Erin O’Toole, a former Canadian Armed Forces airman, entered the Conservative leadership race on Monday taking a shot at one of his main rivals.
O’Toole positioned himself as a true Conservative compared to Peter MacKay, who he said will turn the Tories into a “Liberal-party lite.”
“That’s not how we will win,” O’Toole said in an interview.
O’Toole announced he was entering the race on Monday by video, joining up as a presumptive front-runner alongside MacKay, a former Nova Scotia MP. While describing MacKay as a friend, O’Toole attacked the former cabinet minister’s politics, saying he’d make the Conservative Party of Canada more centrist as a member of the “left side” of the Tory movement.
In a party that’s been fractured over its identity — there has already been controversy over the role of social conservatism — O’Toole is billing himself as a “true blue” conservative.