Edmonton-area MPs Genuis and Jeneroux both vote to replace O’Toole
Erin O’Toole was the problem in the Conservative Party, not an ideological divide over the social moderation of its policies, according to two Edmonton-area MPs.
O’Toole resigned as leader on Wednesday after losing a caucus vote 73-45.
Sherwood Park-Fort Saskatchewan MLA Garnett Genuis voted to replace O’Toole, but he rejected suggestions that the split was over social policies like vaccination mandates.
“It’s not about some kind of ideological divide. Our party is made up of people who like to work together, agree most of the time, and like to work together even when we disagree. But this unity has to come from vision, it has to come from leadership,” Genuis said on Tuesday.
In tweets on Monday, O’Toole called the party’s row a battle between his moderate view and one that is “angry, negative and extreme”.
“The other way is to better reflect the Canada of 2022. To recognize that conservatism is organic, not static and that a winning message is one of inclusion, optimism, ideas and hope,” said he tweeted.
Genuis said O’Toole’s leadership had become “untenable”, although he cited party confidence in declining to detail exactly why.
“I think there were a lot of people after the election who were willing to give Mr. O’Toole a chance. Six months later a lot has happened,” he said. said, adding that he is “optimistic” about the future of the party.
‘YOU MUST FORMULATE A PLAN AND A VISION’
Edmonton-Riverbend MP Matt Jeneroux also voted against O’Toole, although he generally agreed with some of the ousted leader’s moderate social policies.
“As a socially liberal and fiscally conservative person, I always felt that Erin had lost the trust of Canadians,” Jeneroux told CTV News Edmonton.
“Erin, throughout the election campaign, in my opinion, had some ideas before, during and after the election, which left us in a difficult situation,” he explained.
Jeneroux also hopes a new leader can keep the Tories together.
“Leaders like Brian Mulroney and Stephen Harper were able to form these coalitions that could then govern the country. I think that can and has worked in the past, and that’s what I would like to see,” he said. declared.
Former Edmonton Center MP James Cumming has written a report on what went wrong for the party in the last election.
He also believes the plan under O’Toole missed the mark and suggested the party focus on job creation.
“At the end of the day, you have to articulate a plan and a vision and it has to be something that articulates with Canadians or you end up in opposition,” Cumming said.
The party was to choose a new interim leader by the end of Wednesday.
As for who takes over long-term, Cumming said it’s important they hear dissenting voices and then figure out how to distill that into a unified message.
“I hope that through this leadership race there will be someone who can bring the party together. The interesting thing about the Conservative movement is that it encourages debate. It encourages differences of opinions, and I think it is healthy to be able to dialogue,” he added. Cumming said.
With files from Chelan Skulski of CTV News Edmonton