O'Toole in 2014
|Leader of the Opposition|
|Assumed office |
August 24, 2020
|Prime Minister||Justin Trudeau|
|Preceded by||Andrew Scheer|
|Leader of the Conservative Party|
|Assumed office |
August 24, 2020
|Preceded by||Andrew Scheer|
|Minister of Veterans Affairs|
January 5, 2015 – November 4, 2015
|Prime Minister||Stephen Harper|
|Preceded by||Julian Fantino|
|Succeeded by||Kent Hehr|
|Member of the Canadian Parliament|
|Assumed office |
November 26, 2012
|Preceded by||Bev Oda|
Erin Michael O'Toole
January 22, 1973
Montreal, Quebec, Canada
|Residence||Courtice, Ontario, Canada and Stornoway|
|Alma mater||Royal Military College (BA, Hons)|
Dalhousie University (LLB)
|Branch/service||Canadian Forces Air Command|
|Years of service||1991–2000 (active)|
|Unit||423 Maritime Helicopter Squadron|
|Awards||Canadian Forces' Decoration|
Sikorsky Helicopter Rescue Award
Erin Michael O'Toole leader of the Official Opposition of Canada and the leader of the Conservative Party of Canada since August 24, 2020. O'Toole served as minister of veterans affairs in 2015. He has been the member of Parliament (MP) for Durham since 2012.(born January 22, 1973) is a Canadian politician who has served as the
O'Toole joined the military in 1991 and received a bachelor's degree in history and political science from the Royal Military College of Canada (RMC) in 1995. He was commissioned in the Canadian Forces Air Command (now the Royal Canadian Air Force), serving as an air navigator, eventually advancing to the rank of captain. Following his active service in the military in 2000, he transferred to the reserves and received a law degree from the Schulich School of Law at Dalhousie University. He practiced law for nearly a decade until he was elected as the member of Parliament for Durham in a 2012 by-election. O'Toole briefly served as veterans affairs minister in 2015 in the Harper government.
In 2017, O'Toole ran in the Conservative leadership election to replace Stephen Harper, finishing third to winner Andrew Scheer. He has been the Opposition Critic for foreign affairs since 2018. In 2020, O'Toole won the 2020 Conservative Party of Canada leadership election to replace Andrew Scheer, defeating former cabinet minister Peter MacKay on the third ballot.
O'Toole was born in Montreal, Quebec, the son of Molly (Hall) and John O'Toole, who served as the member of Provincial Parliament (MPP) for Durham in the Legislative Assembly of Ontario between 1995 and 2014. His father is of Irish descent, and his mother was born in London, England, and came to Canada after World War II. Following his mother's death when he was nine years old, his family moved to Port Perry where he attended elementary school. O'Toole and his family later moved a short way to Bowmanville, where he graduated from Bowmanville High School.
In 1991, O'Toole joined the military, and enrolled at the Royal Military College of Canada in Kingston, Ontario. He graduated with an honours Bachelor of Arts in history and political science in 1995.
Following his graduation, O'Toole was commissioned as an officer in the Canadian Forces Air Command (AIRCOM), now the Royal Canadian Air Force. His first posting with Air Command occurred in Trenton, Ontario, where he was involved in search and rescue operations. O'Toole also spent time at 17 Wing in Winnipeg, Manitoba, where he completed his training as an air navigator.
In 1997, O'Toole was posted to 12 Wing in Shearwater, Nova Scotia. While serving at this post, O'Toole flew as a tactical navigator on a CH-124 (Sea King) helicopter with 423 Squadron, conducted maritime surveillance, and performed search and rescue and naval support operations. While serving at 12 Wing, O'Toole was promoted to the rank of captain. O'Toole also received the Canadian Forces' Decoration for 12 years of service to Canada. O'Toole was also awarded the Sikorsky Helicopter Rescue Award, for having rescued an injured fisherman at sea.
O'Toole graduated from Schulich School of Law at Dalhousie University with a law degree in 2003, and returned to Ontario. He articled at and later became a lawyer with Stikeman Elliott, a business law firm in Toronto. During this time, O'Toole primarily practiced corporate law, insolvency matters, and energy regulation.
Between 2006 and 2011, O'Toole served as Canadian in-house counsel for Procter & Gamble. He acted as corporate counsel for the Gillette healthcare, beauty, and paper business groups, provided commercial and regulatory law advice, and was counsel on issues relating to legislation and anti-counterfeiting operations in Canada.
In May 2012, O'Toole announced his plans to run as the Conservative candidate in the by-election for Durham, following Bev Oda's resignation. On November 26, 2012, O'Toole easily won the by-election for the electoral district of Durham. After spending a few months as a backbencher in the House of Commons, O'Toole was named the parliamentary secretary to the minister of international trade, Ed Fast, in September 2013.
In 2014, O'Toole partnered with then-senator Roméo Dallaire to host the first Samuel Sharpe Memorial Breakfast, in honour of former soldier and MP Samuel Simpson Sharpe. Sharpe committed suicide in 1918 following his return home from World War I. O'Toole and Dallaire started the memorial breakfast to bring issues of veterans' mental health to the forefront and to improve access to treatment and resources for soldiers suffering from operational stress injuries. In May 2018, O'Toole introduced a motion to install a plaque commemorating Sharpe on Parliament Hill. The motion to install the plaque passed unanimously.
On January 5, 2015, O'Toole was appointed minister of veterans affairs, replacing Julian Fantino. O'Toole prioritized repairing relations with veterans and addressing the complaints Canadian veterans had with Fantino.
During his time as veterans affairs minister, O'Toole was able to convince the veterans to place a lawsuit against the Canadian government on hold while they entered settlement negotiations. The lawsuit, filed before O'Toole was named minister, was based on Canadian soldiers arguing that the 2006 overhaul of veteran benefits was discriminatory.
Stephen Harper resigned as Conservative party leader after the party was defeated by the Liberals in the 2015 election. O'Toole announced that he would seek the interim leadership of the Conservative Party. He was defeated by Rona Ambrose, who named O'Toole the Official Opposition critic for public safety.
On October 14, 2016, O'Toole announced his nomination to be a candidate in the 2017 Conservative Party of Canada leadership election. O'Toole ran a positive campaign and avoided personally attacking other candidates during the campaign, arguing that Prime Minister Trudeau doesn't own optimism. He received endorsements from 31 MPs, 12 former MPs, 17 provincial politicians, and CANZUK International. O'Toole finished in third place, behind Maxime Bernier and eventual winner Andrew Scheer.
On August 31, 2018, O'Toole was appointed the official opposition critic for foreign affairs.
In 2018, after Patrick Brown resigned over accusations of sexual misconduct, O'Toole considered entering the Ontario PC leadership election race. He ultimately passed on the opportunity, instead endorsing and supporting Christine Elliott.
O'Toole announced that he would seek the leadership of the Conservative Party in late January 2020. During this campaign, he framed himself as a "true blue" conservative, implying that rivals like Peter MacKay weren't real conservatives. His tone was more angry this time, which he stated was due to his increased worry about the country after 5 years under a Trudeau government.
O'Toole became the third leader of the Conservative Party of Canada after three rounds were counted, replacing Andrew Scheer. His victory was partially attributed to his pitch to supporters of Derek Sloan and Leslyn Lewis to mark him as their second or third choice. He generally performed better in Conservative and Bloc-held ridings, in rural areas, and in areas with fewer visible minorities. Despite representing a riding on the eastern edge of the Greater Toronto Area, O'Toole performed poorly there. People's Party leader Maxime Bernier criticized him in remarks dismissed by fellow leadership candidate Sloan, claiming he wasn't a real conservative.
Shortly after becoming leader, O'Toole stated that triggering a fall election was not his priority and preferred focusing on the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and finding jobs for the unemployed instead. Despite this, he has said that the Conservative Party is prepared for another election if one is called in the fall. On September 2, 2020, he announced that Candice Bergen would serve as his deputy. He is expected to announce who is in his Shadow Cabinet in the following week.
O'Toole has proposed to gradually eliminate the federal deficit. This includes eliminating corporate subsidies and implementing a pay-as-you-go rule. Although he had previously supported maintaining funding for the CBC, O'Toole currently supports defunding its digital operations and immediately halving funding for its English television operations, with the goal of privatizing it by the end of his term. He will maintain funding for the CBC's radio operations, stating that it maintains its original public interest mandate.
O'Toole has proposed a $12 billion package to double down on the current government's Canada Child Benefit, increasing the benefit each quarter of the year until the end of 2021. He believes the government should provide parents with child benefits beginning during the seventh month of pregnancy. He believes that two weeks of paid parental leave should be given to women experiencing stillbirths or miscarriages.
He also wants to reduce and simplify taxes, arguing that a complicated tax system benefits the wealthy, who can afford to easily find loopholes. He supports modifying Canada's equalization system, which he argues is unfair to Alberta. This includes abolishing the carbon tax and allowing income splitting for families. O'Toole supports a full review of government spending and a program in which all new spending must be accompanied by an equivalent reduction. He has called for an incentive to reduce employment insurance premiums small- and medium-sized businesses pay for new employees.
O'Toole supports allowing provinces to scrap the carbon tax, calling it "not an environmental plan, but a tax plan", and will replace federal consumer taxes on gas and other fuels with a tax on industry alone. He has stated that climate change is a global problem which requires a global solution. He supports ending Canada's energy imports from outside North America and helping oil companies become carbon neutral. He has not stated any targets for emissions reduction. O'Toole supports the use of various forms of energy, including oil, gas and nuclear energy. He supports the construction of pipelines and opposes bills C-48 and C-69. He would make a National Strategic Pipelines Act to speed up approvals of pipelines deemed to be in Canada's national interest.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, O'Toole released a post-pandemic recovery plan. He promised to launch a royal commission on the issue within 100 days of taking office and stated that the "big government" strategy failed Canadians. He has proposed converting the existing child care expense deduction to a refundable tax credit. He supports extending Employment Insurance for workers after the Canada Emergency Response Benefit ends. He proposes to expand the emergency loan program for businesses and temporarily amend bankruptcy laws to make company restructuring easier.
After an anti-pipeline movement sparked rail blockades across Canada, O'Toole promised to make it a specific criminal offence to block them, as well as entrances to businesses and air and sea ports. He also plans on making a law to ensure free trade between Canada's provinces.
O'Toole supports a "CANZUK" agreement, allowing freedom of movement between Canada, the UK, Australia, and New Zealand after Brexit. He has proposed tightening up foreign investment groups to deter state-owned companies from non-free countries from buying Canadian resources and companies unless there is a compelling reason to approve. He supports getting "tough on China" and imposing sanctions on Chinese Communist Party officials involved with human rights violations through provisions of the Sergei Magnitsky Act. He promises to ban Huawei from Canada's 5G networks and give other providers tax credits to replace their infrastructure. He will pressure other countries to stop allowing state-owned Chinese companies from accessing their markets. He supports meeting Canada's NATO commitments. 
On immigration, he doesn't support a "Canadian values" test like the one proposed by Kellie Leitch. He opposes Donald Trump's travel ban, claiming it provides a "false sense of security". During the COVID-19 pandemic, O'Toole has proposed increased immigration through family reunification to make up for a decreased amount of economic immigrants.
O'Toole believes that the path to reconciliation involves a focus on the economy in Indigenous communities. He opposes the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, claiming that the Supreme Court has set a higher bar than it.
O'Toole is pro-choice on the matter of abortion and opposes legal restrictions on the practice, though he would hold free votes on abortion bills. He also supports legislation which would allow health care practitioners to decline to offer treatment inconsistent with their religious or philosophical views. O'Toole voted against bill C-14, which made euthanasia legal, stating that he continued to have concerns about it and would prefer resources be focused on palliative care.
O'Toole supports same-sex marriage and has pledged to walk in Pride Parades as long as uniformed police officers could as well. His 2020 leadership platform included an end to the ban preventing gay men from donating blood.
Before recreational cannabis use was legalized, O'Toole supported its decriminalization. During his 2017 leadership campaign, he stated that Trudeau's plan to legalize it would be impossible to reverse.
|Candidate||1st ballot||2nd ballot||3rd ballot|
|Votes cast||%||Points allocated||%||Votes cast||%||Points allocated||%||Votes cast||%||Points allocated||%|
|2019 Canadian federal election: Durham|
|New Democratic||Sarah Whalen-Wright||13,323||18.2||+2.17|
|Total valid votes/Expense limit||73,014||100.0|
|Total rejected ballots||480|
|Source: Elections Canada|
|Candidate||Round 1||Round 2||Round 3||Round 4||Round 5||Round 6||Round 7||Round 8||Round 9||Round 10||Round 11||Round 12||Round 13|
|2015 Canadian federal election: Durham|
|New Democratic||Derek Spence||10,289||16.03||−7.72||$21,240.10|
|Christian Heritage||Andrew Moriarity||364||0.57||–||$4,224.95|
|Total valid votes/Expense limit||64,185||100.00||$236,417.96|
|Total rejected ballots||233||0.36||–|
|Source: Elections Canada|
|DurhamCanadian federal by-election, November 26, 2012: |
Resignation of Bev Oda
|New Democratic||Larry O'Connor||8,946||26.26||+5.16||$96,257|
|Christian Heritage||Andrew Moriarity||437||1.28||+0.49||$4,379|
|Total valid votes||34,068||100.00|
|Total rejected ballots||115|
|Source: "November 26, 2012 By-elections". Elections Canada. November 27, 2012. Retrieved November 27, 2012.|
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Erin O'Toole.|
|Parliament of Canada|
| Member of Parliament
| Minister of Veterans Affairs
| Leader of the Opposition
|Party political offices|
| Leader of the Conservative Party
Presented content of the Wikipedia article was extracted in 2020-09-05 based on https://en.wikipedia.org/?curid=37756081