Erin O’Toole was declared the winner of the Conservative leadership race early Monday morning, Aug. 24, 2020. (Photo by THE CANADIAN PRESS)

North Okanagan-Shuswap MP congratulates new Conservative leader

‘Conservative leadership campaign of 2020 was truly historic,’ says MP Mel Arnold

North Okanagan-Shuswap Member of Parliament Mel Arnold offered his congratulations to new Conservative Leader Erin O’Toole after a record leadership campaign.

“The Conservative leadership campaign of 2020 was truly historic as all four candidates contended with unprecedented circumstances and overcame major challenges to ensure our grassroots members were presented with a strong slate of candidates,” Arnold said in a statement issued Monday, Aug. 24.

He offered his thanks and congratulations to contenders Peter McKay, Leslyn Lewis, Derek Sloan and their campaign teams, “for their hard work to expand the conservative base under the challenging circumstances of the COVID-19 pandemic.”

Arnold said the leadership campaign set a new record of 269,469 members and marked a record voter participation with 174,849 ballots cast.

O’Toole was declared the winner of the leadership race early Monday morning after technical problems delayed the vote results by hours, as thousands of ballots had to be replicated by hand after the counting machine shredded their envelopes.

“Conservatives are clearly engaged in our national affairs and ready to work hard to achieve results for Canadians, even during a pandemic,” Arnold said.

Now, Arnold is, “eager and prepared,” to work with the new Conservative leader and his colleagues in the Official Opposition, “to deliver the policies and results that Canadians need for today and our future.

“By working together, we will hold the Trudeau government to account and demonstrate that Conservatives are ready and qualified to form the next government,” he said. “Together, we can and will build a better Canada with greater hope and opportunities for all Canadians.”

Arnold extended his gratitude to former leader Andrew Scheer, and his wife Jill, “for their commitment and service to Canada over the past 16 years.

“Especially the past three years as Andrew led our party,” Arnold said.

READ MORE: Erin O’Toole wins Conservative leadership after results delayed for hours

READ MORE: UPDATE: Road reopened following serious motorcycle crash


@caitleerach
Caitlin.clow@vernonmorningstar.com

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