Erin O’Toole delivered one of her final arguments to Canadians ahead of Monday’s vote in dazzling Ontario sun – but a noticeable increase in support for the People’s Party of Canada could also put the Tory leader in the heat.
O’Toole has delivered his clearest message to those angry with Justin Trudeau’s Liberal government considering voting for what he called “small parties.”
Although he declined to name which major political parties he was talking about, he didn’t need to.
Political observers, including conservatives, have stepped up warnings in recent days about sharing the right-wing vote with populist PPC under Maxime Bernier, which could reduce the Conservatives’ chances of defeating the Liberals in a very close race.
‘We’re a big tent party’: Erin O’Toole says he’s not worried about PPC vote sharing
A Léger poll released earlier this week in conjunction with The Canadian Press indicated that the Liberals and Conservatives are tied with 32 percent support of determined voters and the People’s Party was at 5 percent support.
O’Toole noted the anger people feel at the Liberal leader, which was exemplified by the crowds of protesters who followed him across the country during the campaign, swearing and chanting to “lock him up”, channeling their strong opposition to vaccination warrants. and other health measures to prevent the spread of COVID-19, which Trudeau strongly supports.
Some of the crowd were PPC supporters, seen holding party signs. The party expelled one of the presidents of its Ontario riding association after allegations surfaced that he threw gravel at Trudeau while he was there for a campaign stoppage.
The Conservative leader said on Friday that Trudeau had addressed these protesters, “but there are actually millions of Canadians who are very frustrated with Mr. Trudeau.”
“And if they allow this frustration to do anything other than vote for the Conservatives, they vote for Mr. Trudeau,” O’Toole said during a campaign stop in London, Ont., Where Bernier recently organized a rally.
“There are five parties, there are two choices: more the same with Mr. Trudeau, or real change and an ethical government with a plan, with Canada’s Conservatives.
O’Toole’s progressive pitch: “We are no longer your father’s conservative party”
Among the candidates who echoed O’Toole’s sentiment was Leslyn Lewis, a former leadership rival to him who was heavily backed by social conservatives and is now running for office in Ontario, where the Conservatives must win elections. seats if they hope to form a government.
“A vote for the PPC is a vote for Trudeau,” she tweeted on Friday. “Let’s stand united (and) let’s do the work for the good of our country and our future.”
Dan Robertson, chief strategy officer at O’Toole, also tweeted Friday: “The stakes are too high.”
“There is no wasted vote. Each vote sends a message. If that’s your goal, fine. But if your goal is to show Justin Trudeau the door, only the Conservatives can do it. “
This is Bernier’s second election as head of the PPC. The former Conservative MP from Quebec lost his seat in the 2019 vote and did not fail to elect a single MP in the race, where he campaigned on immigration reform and attacked the Conservatives for falsifying their political values.
“You don’t want us to be powerful”: Bernier says he and the PPC won’t leave
This time around, he’s trying to galvanize support by firmly opposing mandatory vaccinations and provinces using a passport-like system for vaccines to give people access to businesses and events.
O’Toole also said he was against establishing an all-or-nothing rule that someone must be vaccinated, and would rather allow those who are not immunized, regardless of the reason, to undergo regular rapid tests, because it respects an individual’s right to make their own choices regarding their health.
Despite this, candidates found themselves having to explain this to voters who questioned them at the gates.
“If we want to say goodbye to Justin Trudeau, the Conservatives must stand united and we can do it on September 20,” said outgoing Manitoba MP Candice Bergen, who is the party’s deputy leader, in a video posted to Instagram Thursday.
Face-to-Face with Conservative Leader Erin O’Toole
Bergen has confirmed that she is doubly vaccinated against COVID-19 and that while the Conservatives believe these vaccines are safe and effective, they respect those who are not vaccinated and accused Trudeau of using the issue to divide Canadians.
With three days remaining in the race, O’Toole traveled from Nova Scotia to Ontario on Friday, ditching the campaign plane to spend the next few days roaming southwestern Ontario and the Greater Toronto, where the party is looking for seats. .
The Conservatives have one goal for the next few days and that is to get the vote out. O’Toole spent Friday afternoon visiting the campaign offices of London West candidate Rob Flack and Brantford-Brant hopeful Larry Brock.
The leader traded the policy of speaking out for delivering donuts and coffee to volunteers at Brock’s office, telling a crowd of volunteers and supporters to do whatever they can to send the candidate to Ottawa.
© 2021 The Canadian Press