Conservatives are gathering virtually for a policy convention after two delays. The party’s leadership contest, and then the global pandemic, forced the party to postpone a gathering in Toronto last April, before Erin O’Toole was elected leader, and again in Quebec City last November. Now, the party is holding three days of debates, panel discussions and training sessions.
On the eve of the convention, senior writer Paul Wells wrote about the state of play for O’Toole as he attempts to keep his party’s various factions united in advance of a federal election that could happen on relatively short notice:
Those who come from the West and especially Alberta are starting to suspect the cheerfully inoffensive O’Toole they knew from 2012 to 2019 was the real one, and the firebrand who showed up for a leadership campaign in 2020 was fibbing. They didn’t run four national election campaigns against carbon taxes between 2008 and 2019, winning two of those elections and losing two more, because they thought it was strategically clever. They ran against carbon taxes because they don’t want carbon taxes. They’re less and less sure the new boss agrees with them.
O’Toole will address the virtual convention at 5:15 p.m. on Friday. Watch that live here.