O’Toole #1

Following a tumultuous convention for the Conservative Party of Canada, leader Erin O’Toole came out firing away at dissenters saying he was the one running the show.

“I’m the leader, I’m in charge,” O’Toole said at a Tuesday press conference.

O’Toole renewed his party’s commitment to addressing climate change ahead of the next federal election palatably. 

The Tories acknowledged climate change in their 2019 election platform but were explicit in their opposition to a carbon tax to address the issue.

Over the weekend, delegates to the Conservatives’ virtual policy convention voted down a resolution that would have included the line “climate change is real” in the party’s official policy document.

The Liberals jumped on the vote results Monday to accuse the Tories of being climate change deniers.

“Only Mr. Trudeau and the Liberals would tax 30 million households, single seniors, small business owners, farmers drying their grain to try and tackle climate change when they’re actually not partnering with the provinces and with large emitters,” said O’Toole.

With a divide on the climate change between party leadership and its base, O’Toole spoke of the need for them to come around on climate policy.

In his virtual speech Saturday, he warned of the consequences of remaining status-quo, citing repeated failures to form a government.

He argued the public perceived they did not take the issue seriously.

“We’ve now fought and lost two elections against a carbon tax because voters did not think we were serious about addressing climate change,” he said.

“We will have a plan to address climate change.”

Those opposed stated the concerns surrounding greenhouse-gas emissions were misplaced, as they claimed many types of pollution do not contribute to climate change.

Among the voters the CPC hopes to tap into next election are Quebecers who support the Bloc Québécoisand its party leader, Yves-François Blanchet.

“The Conservatives say that climate change does not exist, and the Liberals do nothing about it while pretending to do something about it,” Blanchet said Tuesday. 

“They will keep supporting generously the oil and gas sector in Western Canada, while we say that this is not the way to do it.”

Dhaliwal is a Western Standard reporter based in Edmonton

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