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Erin O'Toole's Conservative leadership victory speech

This is the text of Erin O’Toole’s speech on Sunday night after he won the leadership of the Conservative Party of Canada.
Erin O'Toole
New Conservative Leader Erin O'Toole with wife, Rebecca, and kids Mollie and Jack.

What an honour. Thank you so much.

Thank you to my friends - Leslyn Lewis, Derek Sloan, and of course to the Honourable Peter MacKay.

Thank you for stepping up for our country. Congratulations for the campaigns you have run, for the ideas you have put forward, and for the Canadians you have recruited to our cause.

Thank you for putting your name on the ballot. For leaving your families for weeks to travel all over this great country – whether on the ground or in a room of your house on hours of Zoom calls.

Thank you for talking to Canadians about our country, our party and ideas for a stronger future.

Thank you for valuing the grassroots members of our movement.

I want to thank my incredible campaign team from coast to coast to coast!  We have built an incredible team of passionate and patriotic Canadians. Your hard work led to this victory.

I also want to thank the volunteers for Peter, Leslyn and Derek. You worked incredibly hard and I look forward to all of us working together to build a stronger country with more opportunity for our children and grandchildren.

I would also like to thank Andrew and Jill Scheer and your family for your service and dedication to our party and our country.  We will continue to work together for Canadians.
And of course I want to thank my wife, Rebecca, our children Mollie and Jack and all of my family and friends here tonight or watching at home for your love, advice and patience these nine months.

Most of all, thank you to the tens of thousands of Canadians from coast to coast to coast who voted for me.

You put your faith in me to lead this historic party and I am honoured and humbled. I promise you, I will not let you down.

Today, you have given me a clear mission:
To unite our party.
To champion our conservative principles.
To show Canadians what we know so well – that Justin Trudeau and his team are failing our great country.
We must continue to point out Liberal failings and corruption BUT we also must show Canadians our vision for a stronger, prosperous and more united Canada.
Canada can - and must - do better and Conservatives will work hard to earn the trust and confidence of Canadians in the next election.

Friends, now the real work begins. We could be into an election campaign as soon as this fall. But as more than 260,000 passionate Conservatives have already shown in this record breaking leadership amidst a pandemic - the Conservative Party will be ready for the next election. And we will win the next election.

To the millions of Canadians that I am meeting tonight for the first time…

Hello, I’m Erin O’Toole….

You are going to be seeing and hearing a lot from me in the coming weeks. I want you to know that I am here to fight for you and your families.

Like millions of Canadians, Rebecca and I have been juggling a lot of jobs lately. With our kids at home, COVID has made us appreciate teachers more than ever before.

My mother, who passed away when I was 9, was a teacher. And, throughout my life, I have wished she was here to give me advice.  Right now, I wish she were here to see her child succeed.  But, I know she is here tonight because I can see her in my daughter who shares her name.

Thankfully, I have had my stepmother - also a teacher - to guide me to this very day. I am thankful she and my Dad are here with me tonight. My father John, inspired me into public service.

But like many teenagers, especially those who have lost a parent, I gave my dad a hard time growing up.
He worked at General Motors for over 30 years, which brought us from Ste. Therese QC to Bowmanville, Ontario – to my home in the Toronto area.

After high school I joined the military to gain discipline and to serve the country. It deepened my love for Canada and defines who I am today.

I served as a navigator on Sea King helicopters and sailed with our Navy out of Halifax.  It was in Halifax where I met Rebecca, the love of my life.

Today, Rebecca and I are both navigating raising our amazing children Mollie and Jack - and 5 days ago we celebrated 20 years of marriage…

I have spent my entire adult life trying to serve Canada and its people. Soon, I will be asking Canadians for the chance to serve as Prime Minister so we can get our country back on track. I love this country and I am very worried about the course we are on.

When I launched my campaign in Calgary in January, I said that the stakes were high.

They are even higher today.

Our country is currently facing its most serious economic challenges since the Great Depression. Capital and jobs have been leaving Canada and large deficits were being run BEFORE the COVID crisis led to record debt and deficits.

Our country is more divided than it has ever been in my lifetime.  People are losing faith in Canada because of the ideological and out of touch policies from the Liberals.

We just emerged from the largest health crisis in our history. 

Premiers across our country have shown real leadership amid the COVID-19 crisis. They were looking out for you.  Justin Trudeau, Bill Morneau and the Liberals showed - once again - that even amid a national crisis - they were more interested in looking after their friends.
We can rebuild our great country - while protecting Canadians from the ongoing threat of COVID-19.

We can get Canadians back to work, be proud of the things we grow, build and produce in Canada again.  We must have a government that will keep us safe, and ensure that we are never ill-prepared again.

To do that, we need a leader with real-world experience and someone who is not afraid to make the tough decisions.

A leader who cares more about keeping Canadians safe and united than about his personal image and the interests of his friends.

We need a leader who puts Canadians first and will stand up for Canada and our interests in a challenging world where we have lost the respect of our friends and allies

The world still needs more Canada, it just needs less Justin Trudeau.

Why should I be that leader?

Because I believe that:
Whether you are black, white, brown or from any race or creed.
Whether you are LGBT or straight.
Whether you are an Indigenous Canadian or have joined the Canadian family 5 weeks ago or 5 generations ago.
Whether you are doing well, or barely getting by.
Whether you worship on Fridays, Saturdays, Sundays, or not at all.
You are an important part of Canada and you have a home in the Conservative Party of Canada!

Maybe you have voted for a different party your whole life, or have never voted at all.
Maybe you feel that as a union member you should not vote for our party.
Maybe you feel let down by politicians.
Maybe your family came here for “better” but you are still waiting for “fair” treatment.
Maybe you run a small business and work all day only to be called a tax cheat by your government.

It is time for many Liberal and NDP voters to socially distance themselves from these out of touch parties.

Its time for more Canadians to look at the Conservative Party again.

If you want the opportunity to work hard to provide for your family - you should be voting Conservative.

If you want to stop insiders getting ahead while you are falling back - you should be voting Conservative.

If you are proud of what we produce in this country - whether it is the resources in the ground or the ideas in our heads - you should be voting Conservative.

And if you believe deeply - like I do - that the Canadian Ethics Commissioner needs to stop working overtime - you should be voting Conservative!

Justin Trudeau and Jagmeet Singh claim to stand up for working families, but they fail them time and time again.

Canada needs serious leadership for these challenging times.

To keep Canadians safe and prepared for the future.

To rebuild our economy.

To navigate our way out of record Liberal deficits before they put our social programs at risk.

To ensure that we rebuild stronger, more self-reliant, and more resilient, so we are better prepared for future waves of COVID-19 and other threats.

To restore Canada’s place in a tough world, earning back the respect that Trudeau has lost on the world stage.

That is what Conservatives stand for. 

Doing what is right even when it is not what is easy.

That is what Canadians stand for.

Its the same sense of duty that kept our healthcare workers and PSWs helping our sick in the early weeks of the pandemic when they were worried about risks to themselves and their families.

That same feeling when a family helps newcomers to Canada by opening up their own home and letting them get their start with help from family or friends in their community even when it makes things challenging.

That same feeling our soldiers must have felt at the bottom of Vimy Ridge more than a century ago.

It’s a belief in what Canada can be.

It’s a belief in the hope and opportunity that Canada represents.

My fellow Canadians.

My name is Erin O’Toole.

I believe in this country and I am running to serve you as Prime Minister.

Thank you, good night!