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Erin O’Toole gets down to work

Erin O’Toole gets down to work

Erin O’Toole held his first Conservative Caucus meeting today promising, Canadians a pandemic recovery plan that will rebuild the economy and give people fresh hope. He said he will lead a party that is compassionate, intelligent and committed to better reflecting Canada’s population.

“Through respect, professionalism and the pursuit of excellence, we will show all Canadians that we are a government in waiting,” he said. “Together we will form an engaged, ethical and compassionate Conservative government.”

O’Toole said after four years of Liberal government under Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, Canadians are more divided, less prosperous and less respected on the world stage.On his way into the caucus meeting, Ontario Conservative MP Michael Barrett said O’Toole is presenting a “bit of a different tone and vision” and the party will put forward a plan that gets Canadians back on track.

Many MPs were asked about the caucus gathering en masse while public health restrictions still in place. They said they were confident about safety, given precautions such as distancing and wearing of masks, and were happy to be meeting in person.

“Children are going back to school. We need to take all the precautions we can. You can never be 100 per cent, but I think we can be smart and we need to get going again,” said Ontario Conservative MP Marilyn Gladu.

In a Labour Day message posted to social media on Monday, O’Toole promised a “Canada First” economic strategy, which puts the wellness of families and higher wages, rather than GDP growth, at its core.

The populist message was reflected in his remarks to caucus as he works to try to broaden the appeal of the Conservatives. Today, he repeated his line that the party will welcome people from diverse backgrounds, including new Canadians, union members and the LGBT community.

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