Ottawa – The Conservative Party is facing internal conflict as some insiders want to see Erin O’Toole out as leader, while newly elected lawmakers hope for some semblance of unity.
After failing to dethrone the Liberals and take more seats in this federal election, O’Toole must move from fighting for Justin Trudeau’s job to fighting for himself.
However, Calgary Nose Hill MP Michelle Rempel Garner says she and her allies are moving back to Ottawa, focused solely on their role as opposition.
“We have 120-something Members of Parliament going back to Ottawa to deal with major issues. Parliament needs to go back to work,” she said during an interview on Granthshala’s Question Hour, which aired on Sunday.
Rempel Garner said she welcomes an election campaign review, adding that the party should both look back at what went wrong and look to the future to see how they want to shape forward policy.
“We can do both as a party. We can have this review, we can address some of these concerns and we can also make sure Canadians see a stable opposition party that is providing a clear alternative to the Liberals,” she said.
Last week, Bert Chen, Ontario’s representative on the Conservative Party’s National Council, launched an online petition Called on the party to call a referendum on O’Toole’s leadership.
The petition has garnered more than 2,700 signatures as of 5:45 p.m. EDT Friday, but it is open to all Canadians, of all party stripes.
Party president Robert Batherson responded to Granthshala News Channel’s petition on Power Play earlier this week.
“He never informed me or any of his colleagues that he was going to launch this petition, so we are all scratching our heads about what Mr. Chen’s role in leading the charge and putting this petition out there. What is the agenda,” he said. said.
“The important thing is to take a step back and listen to grassroots members’ concerns, asking tough questions … but we do it through dialogue, engagement, respect and professionalism.”
During another interview on Granthshala News Channel’s Power Play, Chen said he had heard from members disappointed by O’Toole’s walk away from the promises he made during his leadership campaign.
“Erin has broken the confidence of members by changing her position so rapidly since she was elected by membership more than a year ago to lead this party,” he said.
Chen said O’Toole’s foreign policy rhetoric on China was “combative” and made him and other Sino-Canadians “uncomfortable”.
“Any federal riding that has a large Chinese-Canadian population – it would have been extremely difficult to elect a conservative for voters who were using Erin O’Toole with rhetoric,” he said.
Rempel Garner said she would support O’Toole as the leader going forward.