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Peter MacKay and Erin O’Toole have officially announced their bids to become the leader of the Conservative Party of Canada.
Erin O’Toole who announced his bid on Monday in Alberta. In his announcement, O’Toole pitched himself as a “true blue” Conservative who could fight for jobs and “defend our history, our institutions against attacks from cancel culture and the radical left.”
On Saturday, Erin O’Toole’s main competitor Peter MacKay also officially announced his candidacy in Nova Scotia where he made the case for a united Canada. He also had a rally in Ottawa with over 400 in attendance.
During the event, MacKay told his audience, “We’ve all lived through the realities of what can happen when Conservatives are not united. We know firsthand how important it is that we do our part not to divide ourselves, our party or our nation.”
“If divided, we falter, we fail. And I’ve done my part and I’ve played my part in uniting the Conservative family into one big blue tent,” he added.
MacKay retired from federal politics in 2015 after a long ministerial career under Harper’s government. The native Nova-Scotian served as the Minister of Justice, the Attorney General, and the Minister of Foreign Affairs. This is MacKay’s first run for the modern Conservative Party, although he previously served as leader of the Progressive Conservatives.
O’Toole, on the other hand, is not a newcomer to leadership contests. In 2017, the Durham MP finished in third position behind Maxime Bernier and Andrew Scheer—finishing with around 20 percent of the vote on the final ballot.
Before entering politics, O’Toole served in the Canadian military and as a lawyer in the private sector. He currently serves as the Official Opposition Critic for Foreign Affairs where he criticized Justin Trudeau’s foreign policy blunders.