Conservative MP urges party to unify around O'Toole as others question his leadership

Tory urges party to unify

A re-elected Conservative member of Parliament says party members should get united behind leader Erin O'Toole, as questions swirl about whether he should remain in the job.

Alberta representative Garnett Genuis took to social media to call on Conservatives to avoid "another round of internal conflict or public navel gazing" after the unsuccessful campaign.

The Conservatives are projected to finish with 119 seats, which is two less than it won during the 2019 federal election under former leader Andrew Scheer.

O'Toole says he's committed to stay on as leader and admits the party didn't make the gains it needed to in Metro Vancouver, the Greater Toronto Area and Quebec to defeat the incumbent Liberals.

An effort has already been started by a member of the party's national council petitioning for members to get a chance to review O'Toole's leadership earlier than scheduled in 2023.

Some Conservative MPs have taken to social media to express their support for O'Toole, while others have been more critical of the party's election performance.

Town & Country News reported reelected Alberta MP Chris Warkentin as saying he felt the party's electoral fortunes shifted toward the Liberals in the campaign when O'Toole began to "waffle" on some policies.

Warkentin didn't immediately return a request for comment left at his office.

One of the hits O'Toole took during the campaign was when he said he would keep a Liberal ban on some 1,500 models of firearms, like the AR-15 in place, despite his platform promising to do the opposite to address the concerns of firearms owners, hunters and sport shooters.

That resulted in him inserting a footnote into the document, saying the ban would remain in place pending the outcome of a classification review.

British Columbia MP Mark Strahl has said the party needs to probe the specific reasons why it lost and tweeted an article Thursday saying "good read," with a caption of some of the text.

“A Conservative party that isn’t conservative is pointless, but so is a Conservative party that can’t form governments … what Conservatives need to figure out is how to thread this needle: not just how to win, but how to win as Conservatives," Strahl tweeted.

More Canada News