Federal conservative leader Erin O’Toole always has his legal career as a fall-back position. The lawyer who can quickly adjust his standards to suit client needs seems to always be in demand. And Canadians can attest to O’Toole’s flexibility during the 2021 federal election.
But, surprise, surprise, flexibility does not always win elections. It was like in Quebec where premier Legault’s Bill 21 won O’Toole’s support because he told us that a conservative government respects provincial autonomy. It did not matter to O’Toole that even though Legault said he was just expressing Quebec values, he still had to use the constitution’s ‘Not Withstanding’ clause to cover off the bigotry involved.
All O’Toole proved was that he has no concept of Canadian values.
And, who would question Alberta premier Jason Kenney’s ringing endorsement of his friend Erin O’Toole? It certainly said a lot that Kenney was always there for O’Toole and not a word was said about what Alberta was doing to the environment.
Of course, it was very different in Ontario where premier Doug Ford could never be there when O’Toole was in his own province of residence. It seems that Ford was not high in the polls at the time, so O’Toole and he did not see each other often.
But the point is that throughout that 2021 election campaign, Canadians became more and more confused by O’Toole’s flexibility. If a program did not appear to be working for his party, he would change it. This guy could flip-flop better than a fish out of water.
And yet, in the Commons recently, he surprised everyone by agreeing to his party sponsoring a motion to fast-track the conversion therapy bill and send it to the senate. That would have been fine if the bill was in danger of missing any legislative deadlines but it says very little for O’Toole’s due diligence in his role as opposition leader. This liberal, for example would have liked a little more discussion of some of the human rights questions that law touches on.
Copyright 2021 © Peter Lowry
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