Conservative Party Leader Erin O'Toole addressed Canadians at the 2021 Conservative policy convention, with a speech focusing on changing his party in the face of COVID-19, distilling his approach into a five-point plan.
O'Toole said he understood that it was up to Conservatives to appeal to voters, rather than simply wait for Trudeau to shoot himself in the foot so many times that voters felt forced into voting for an alternate party.
"We're never going to win over Canadians just by relying on Justin Trudeau to disappointed. His scandals will never be enough to defeat him," said O'Toole calling on Conservatives to grow as a party and "move beyond" a party that only does well "in certain parts of Canada while leaving other Canadians out."
O'Toole told Canadians that voters were facing a choice between two paths; one that "veers to the unknown to Trudeau's reimagined economy" with an "Ottawa-knows-best" approach, versus "the path of security and certainty," painting himself as the right candidate to do so.
"Now is not the time to reimagine our economy," said O'Toole. "Who else is going to stop Trudeau's reimagining of the economy. Jagmeet Singh isn't going to, Yves-Francois Blanchet isn't going to, he can't. We are."
O'Toole then unveiled his party's new Canada Recovery Plan, dubbed the "plan to secure the future."
The plan focused on five key issues, and the Conservative's proposed solutions to them.
- Comprehensive job plans to recover the millions of jobs lost within one year, by "taking immediate action on the hardest hit sectors, helping those who have suffered the most, including women and young people."
The plan would provide incentives to "invest, rebuild, and start new business
opportunity in all sectors and in every part of the country."
- Toughest accountability and transparency laws "in Canada's history," with anti corruption laws, strengthening the conflict of interest act and the lobbying act to impose higher penalties "to end Liberal cover ups once and for all."
- Fighting Canada's mental health crisis "There isn't a Canadian family that hasn't been impacted by mental health challenges," said O'Toole, calling for "better mental wellness coverage," and promising the creation of a three-digit suicide prevention hotline.
- Ensuring the country is never unprepared for a crisis again, by reducing reliance on foreign countries like China. By partnering with pharma
to increase production of critical medicines and active ingredients in Canada, and domestic vaccine production capacity."
- Securing the economy by not passing unsustainable debt to future generations and getting spending under control.
O'Toole also flashed his French on several occasions throughout the speech, particularly when addressing Quebec voters. O'Toole made clear that it was within the Conservatives' interest to defend Quebecois interests, "protecting Quebec culture, immigration, and applying" the controversial Bill 101.
O'Toole also targeted NDP voters, saying that New Democrats "no longer stand up for working Canadians and their families."
"Private sector unions share so much of our values... Like us, they are proud of what we build here in Canada. They should be voting Conservative," said O'Toole. O'Toole made similar appeals to Bloc voters, focusing again on culture and the specific needs of Quebec and Quebecers.
O'Toole also said a conservative government in Ottawa would quench the thirsts of "thousands of families in the west losing hope" that are turning to separatist movements such as Wexit.
"I am proud to be a kid from Bowmanville, running to be prime minister of Canada. And together, we're going to secure the future for this great country," said O'Toole before waving the virtual crowd goodnight.