Durham MP, former Conservative leader Erin O’Toole not seeking re-election, leaving this spring


Published March 31, 2023 at 12:40 pm

Former Conservative leader and Durham Riding MP Erin O’Toole says he will not seek re-election and plans to resign his seat this spring.

O’Toole, who led the Conservatives and served as official Opposition leader from August 2020 until February 2022 (when a majority of his caucus voted to remove him from the post) announced his plan to step down Friday on Twitter.

“It was been an honour of a lifetime to serve my community in Parliament and to also have the privilege to serve the country as a minister and leader of the opposition,” O’Toole wrote in the letter.

“I have been fortunate to have the opportunity to advance issues that I believe are critically important to our country — from veterans’ mental health to military preparedness, nuclear energy, Arctic sovereignty and a range of other important issues, I will continue to advance these interests and serve my constituents until the end of this session.”

His removal as party leader last year followed months of tensions over O’Toole’s management of caucus and attempts to moderate the party’s image, leading to concerns that he flip-flopped on key policy positions, including on carbon pricing and gun control.

O’Toole has kept a low profile on Parliament Hill since his ousting  but said today he remains “a proud Conservative” and had “the unique privilege to lead our party amid a challenging time for our country.”

O’Toole, 50, was born in Montreal, the son of former Progressive Conservative MPP John O’Toole, who represented Durham in the Ontario legislature.

After a short career in the military as a navigator O’Toole earned his law degree and worked mainly in business and corporate law before leading a succesful run to represent Durham Riding, headquartered in Bowmanville, in 2012 after former Conservative cabinet minister Bev Oda resigned.

With files from Glenn Hendry


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