Mel Arnold looks forward to the rebuilding of unity within the Conservative party so he and fellow MP’s can refocus on issues facing Canadians.
On the morning of Feb. 2, a little over two years after announcing he would seek to lead the party, Erin O’Toole lost the vote to remain the Conservative Party of Canada’s leader.
The party’s 119 members of Parliament met virtually to cast secret ballots after about one-third of them signed a notice that triggered a leadership review. Ontario MP and national caucus chair Scott Reid said in a statement that 73 Conservative MPs voted to replace O’Toole, while 45 endorsed him.
“This morning, a majority of members of the Conservative Parliamentary Caucus voted to replace Erin O’Toole as leader, and the caucus will be meeting again this evening to elect an interim leader to serve until a new leader is elected,” said Arnold, MP for the North Okanagan-Shuswap, in a statement to the media following the vote.
Arnold thanked O’Toole for his service and dedication to the party and to Canada.
“Public life is not easy, especially during a pandemic, and I thank the O’Toole family for the personal sacrifices they have made in serving our party and our country,” said Arnold.
According to Arnold, recent public discussion and criticism of the Conservative party’s leadership were creating a distraction for MPs from work they need to focus on.
“I believe a timely leadership race is now necessary for grassroots members to select a new leader and allow the Conservative Party to rebuild unity and restore focus on the issues facing Canadians such as mounting inflation, housing and healthcare shortages, and national security,” said Arnold.
O’Toole was elected to replace Andrew Scheer as Conservative party leader in August 2020 following a leadership race that began in June. His main contender was Peter MacKay, who served in several high-ranking positions in the Stephen Harper government, including Minister of Justice and Attorney General and Minister of National Defence.
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