I certainly hope conservative leader Erin O’Toole is enjoying this holiday break from parliament. He deserves some rest. He needs to sit back in a warm easy chair, his feet up, his mind at ease and a thirst-quenching beverage of choice in easy reach. He needs the break to think about his future. What he really needs to think about, despite the amenities of Stornoway, the opposition leader’s residence, is his future.
This is Erin’s third career. When he was young, he went into a RCAF recruiting depot in 1991, with dreams of becoming a top-gun pilot. Like many of us, who have done that, you end up somewhere the air force thinks it needs you.
Erin did well by the air force. We are told he got a BA in history and political science at Royal Military College in Kingston. In exchange, he became a navigator. They even let him navigate in antiquated helicopters.
After the military, he stayed in the reserve while studying law at Dalhousie University. This led to his second career in in 2003, as a lawyer in Toronto. His talent seemed to be in commercial and regulatory law.
The legal community lost him though in 2012 when he saw the opportunity to go for the federal by-election in Durham to replace the former MP, Bev Oda, who had resigned. Prime minister Harper must have liked him because it was only after a few months of indoctrination as a new MP, that Harper invited him to sit at the cabinet table.
O’Toole liked that so much that when the conservatives lost in 2015, the member for Durham ran to replace Harper as leader of the conservatives. He lost to ‘Chuckles’ Scheer. When Scheer resigned in 2019, O’Toole was ready. No more Mr. Nice Guy seemed to be his motto. He wooed all conservatives, social conservatives and all the rest. He ran as a true-blue conservative. He won the brass ring.
But Canadians did not know him. In the 2021 general election, he ran a campaign trying to meet their expectations. What he did was confuse them. He came out of the campaign with no gains and an angry, disappointed caucus. He awaits the verdict of the party. He can always go back to law.
Copyright 2021 © Peter Lowry
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