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O’Toole seeks interim leader post

Erin O'Toole

Durham MP Erin O’Toole, seen here at a funding announcement at UOIT earlier this year, has announced he will be running for interim leadership of the Conservative Party.

Just two weeks after the Conservative Party was ousted from government, replaced by Justin Trudeau’s Liberals, and Stephen Harper released the reigns of the party, eight ambitious MPs have stepped forward to vie for the interim leader position. Durham’s Erin O’Toole is one of them.

The 42-year-old O’Toole, born in Montreal, entered politics in the 2012 byelection. In January of this year he was appointed as the Minister of Veterans Affairs.

If appointed, O’Toole would have the task of corralling a shrunken Conservative caucus of 99 MPs, 33 of whom are rookies in the House.

Seven others are vying for position along with O’Toole, including Alberta MPs Mike Lake, Rona Ambrose and Michelle Rempel, Quebec’s Denis Lebel, Niagara Falls’ Rob Nicholson and Diane Finley, MP for Haldimand-Norfolk.

However, the method for choosing the party’s interim leader has yet to be decided on.

If the Conservative caucus votes to adopt new rules under Conservative MP’s Michael Chong’s Reform Act, which passed last June, it will allow them to vote in their own interim head. Otherwise, party high-ups simply appoint someone to fill the position.

The Conservative Party’s first meeting after the election is slated for Nov. 5 where a vote is expected to be held.