BONOKOSKI: Embattled Erin O’Toole’s trials and tribulations

Article content

Food prices are going through the roof, the pandemic is spreading its wings with its variants, the price of gas at the pumps is unreal, the debt and deficit have been spiralling out of control and unattended, and Parliament is finally set to return Monday.

Advertisement

Story continues below

Article content

Yet Conservative leader Erin O’Toole cannot win for losing, and this upsets a lot of Tories with Parliament’s opening just hours away.

“It’s certainly very frustrating and disappointing to see colleagues not being loyal to the team,” one MP, who backs O’Toole’s leadership, told Global News.

“There’s huge issues the country is facing, we haven’t sat in Parliament for six months, the cost of living is skyrocketing … It’s just so ridiculous and disappointing to see any member of our caucus, appointed or elected, to be doing this. I just find it shameful.”

This revolt by Conservative Saskatchewan Sen. Denise Batters didn’t last long, with O’Toole quickly booting her out of the Tory caucus, and vowing to do the same to any MP, senator or party executive wanting to follow suit.

Advertisement

Story continues below

Article content

“It was a necessary decision to make for the well-being of our caucus, our Parliament and our country,” O’Toole said. “We’re united on our way forward as a team. People that are now allowing their frustrations and their own personal agendas or issues on the pandemic to interfere with our progress are not part of that team.”

Batters launched her petition last Monday to give the Conservative rank-and-file a say in O’Toole’s continued leadership of the party, ahead of the party’s 2023 convention.

We apologize, but this video has failed to load.

And it’s not dead yet.

“There are significant numbers of caucus members as well as both past and current riding presidents, and riding officials across the country as well as former national councillors that are engaged in this,” said one MP familiar with the inner workings of the revolt.

Advertisement

Story continues below

Article content

They’re allegedly waiting for “critical mass” before attacking O’Toole once again.

Michelle Rempel Garner, one of the Tories’ more prominent voices, expressed her displeasure on Twitter.

“There will always be differences in a party, but … we will never overcome the Liberals if we’re in open public warfare with each other,” she wrote. “Every Canadian will be focused on this for the next month instead of anything we do in the House.”

Batters, however, was not without a strong narrative.

To get an idea where her head is and isn’t, the Harper-appointed senator is closer to former Conservative leader Andrew Scheer, also a Saskatchewanian, but backed former Tory defence minister and East-coaster Peter MacKay in the party’s 2020 leadership race.

Advertisement

Story continues below

Article content

We apologize, but this video has failed to load.

“O’Toole won the leadership race claiming to be a ‘true blue’ Conservative but ran an election campaign nearly indistinguishable from Trudeau’s Liberals. Conservatives and Canadians can’t afford more of the same,” Batters wrote on her new website called membersvote.ca.

“As leader, O’Toole has watered down and even entirely reversed policy positions without the input of party or caucus members,” wrote Batters, “On the carbon tax, on firearms, on conscience rights — he has contradicted positions within the same week, the same day, and even within the same sentence!”

In a statement on Twitter, Tory party President Rob Batherson said Batters’ push to force a leadership review is offside party rules.

Not that it mattered in the moment.

The party is not scheduled to host a national convention and mandatory leadership review for two years.

Batters wanted it sooner, supposedly because Trudeau’s minority government could collapse at any time.

This, however, is very wishful thinking,

The NDP loves the Liberals.

markbonokoski@gmail.com

    Advertisement

    Story continues below

    Comments

    Postmedia is committed to maintaining a lively but civil forum for discussion and encourage all readers to share their views on our articles. Comments may take up to an hour for moderation before appearing on the site. We ask you to keep your comments relevant and respectful. We have enabled email notifications—you will now receive an email if you receive a reply to your comment, there is an update to a comment thread you follow or if a user you follow comments. Visit our Community Guidelines for more information and details on how to adjust your email settings.

    Share:

    Share on facebook
    Facebook
    Share on twitter
    Twitter
    Share on pinterest
    Pinterest
    Share on linkedin
    LinkedIn
    On Key

    Related Posts

    On AIR

    Russtrat world

    Who are you, Monsieur Zemmour?

    MOSCOW, 03 Dec 2021, RUSSTRAT Institute. The Ruptly video agency, part of the RT television company, reported that a protest rally was held in Paris