MacKay and O’Toole attack Trudeau, while Gladu, Husny and Peterson focus on introducing themselves

Candidates running for the leadership of the Conservative Party of Canada made their pitch to party faithful at an event for the provincial party in Halifax on Saturday.

Former cabinet ministers Peter MacKay and Erin O’Toole — widely seen as the two front runners in the race — positioned themselves as the most capable of beating Prime Minister Justin Trudeau in an election and attacked him for what they say is his lack of substance and opposition to natural resource development.

Lesser-known candidates Marilyn Gladu, Rudy Husny and Rick Peterson each spent substantial portions of their speeches introducing themselves in addition to presenting substantive policy ideas.

The five leadership hopefuls spoke to the hundreds gathered at the Progressive Conservative Party of Nova Scotia’s annual general meeting, in what was their first opportunity for the candidates to appear beside each other since the 2020 leadership campaign began last month.