TORONTO -- In his victory speech, newly elected Conservative Party of Canada leader Erin O'Toole introduced himself to Canadians who have not voted Conservative before, saying he intends to work hard for their best interests.

“To the millions of Canadians that are still up, that I'm meeting tonight for the first time: Good morning. I'm Erin O'Toole, you're going to be seeing and hearing a lot from me in the coming weeks and months, but I want you to know from the start that I'm here to fight for you and your family,” O’Toole said in his first speech as leader in the early morning hours on Monday.

O’Toole, 47, became the new leader of the Conservative Party of Canada after securing victory on the third ballot following a historic, months-long leadership campaign.

O’Toole, an MP from Ontario, defeated Peter MacKay, clinching 57 per cent of party support, after picking up down-ballot support from Leslyn Lewis and Derek Sloan supporters.

In his first speech as leader, O’Toole was given a chance to introduce himself and spell out his vision for the future and direction of the party, a role he now takes over from Andrew Scheer. looks at some of the highlights from his speech.

  • Scroll down or click here to recap our live blog of the Conservative leadership results


In his speech, O’Toole said that there is a place in his party for all Canadians, regardless of race, religion, economic standing, education or sexual orientation. He also thanked his opponents as well as the tens of thousands of Canadians who voted for him.

“You put your faith in me to lead this historic party, and I'm honoured and humbled. I promise you I will not let you down,” O’Toole said.

The crowning of the party’s new leader marks the start of a new chapter for the federal party and O’Toole acknowledged that he will immediately work to establish party unity after the sometimes fractious leadership contest.

Rallying the party across the country, as well as the cadre of 121 Conservative MPs in Ottawa, will be essential as the Liberal minority has suspended Parliament to regroup amid talk of a snap election.

“Today, you have given me a clear mission: To unite our party. To champion our Conservative principles. To show Canadians what we know so well -- that Justin Trudeau and his team are failing our great country,” O’Toole said.

Spelling out how they plan to be an effective Official Opposition, O’Toole said the Conservatives’ path to defeating Prime Minister Justin Trudeau in the next election, which could be called in a month’s time, include continuing to “point out Liberal failings and corruption” but also showing “Canadians our vision for a stronger, prosperous and more united Canada.”

“Canada can -- and must -- do better and Conservatives will work hard to earn the trust and confidence of Canadians in the next election,” O’Toole said.

However, his speech wasn’t just used to criticize the incumbent Liberals. O’Toole said he plans to unify his party and Canadians with the help of the other Conservative leadership hopefuls, saying he will continue to work with them.

Former prime minister Brian Mulroney told CTV’s Your Morning that consulting with the other leadership candidates will be crucial in O’Toole’s bid to unite his party.

“The first thing he's got to do is make certain that no faction of the party feels isolated among candidates who ran for leadership. In his office he's got to find place, not only for his own supporters, but supporters of the other candidates. The same thing in the House of Commons,” Mulroney said in an interview on Monday.

“It’s one thing to win a leadership campaign but it's pretty well worthless if you can't win an election, and you can only win an election if the party is entirety united and that all stems from the leader,” he added.

Mulroney explained how he consulted with his fellow leadership running mates after he took hold of the Conservative Party in 1983, to listen to their ideas and communicate how they could work together. Mulroney “recommends strongly” that O’Toole follow a similar path.

“I can tell you, in retrospect, I followed that course all the way through my nine years as prime minister and 10 as party leader. That prescription was vital for me, my success and the success of my government, but it's also vital in terms of party unity without which you cannot win a general election,” Mulroney said.

While O’Toole said he will continue to work with the other leadership candidates, he did not elaborate on what form those relationships will take. However, party unity and establishing a Conservative federal government remain his priority.

“This race shows that the Conservative Party is a party of ideas and principles. The positive debates with Leslyn, Derek, and Peter prove that our movement is healthy,” O’Toole said.

“We will deliver a vision of a stronger, more united, and more prosperous Canada. A positive Conservative vision.”


While O’Toole was celebratory in his speech, he also said it is time to get to work. Canada could be in a federal election as soon as this fall, but O’Toole said the Conservative Party will be ready to win.

“Our country is currently facing its most serious economic challenges since the Great Depression. Capital and jobs have been leaving Canada and large deficits were being run before the COVID crisis led to record debt and deficits,” he said.

O’Toole added that Canada has become “a risky country to invest” highlighting its economic troubles.

“Hundreds of family businesses are on the verge of bankruptcy. We see tariffs on aluminum rising and no deal for Canadian lumber. Warren Buffet cancelled his multi-billion investment in the Saguenay because of the illegal blockades.”

The new party leader said he plans to restore confidence to employers, small and medium-sized enterprises and innovators so they are reminded that it is possible for Canada to be “one of the best places in the world” to do business.

“Above all, I will fight for all the forgotten, those people who get up early to feed their families. The men and women who work hard and are proud to work. They can count on me,” O’Toole said.

Although he’s a member of the Conservative Party, O’Toole said he fights for “all Canadians” as he can find common ground with people of different political views because of his background.

“I was born in Montreal and raised in Ontario. I learned my French in the Canadian Armed Forces. And yes, I speak like an Anglo… but an Anglo who respects Francophones and who is proud of French in our country,” he said.

O’Toole explained how his father inspired him to go into public service. He also credits his mother and stepmother, who were both teachers, for guiding him growing up.

The three-time Conservative MP represents the riding of Durham, Ont. O’Toole was first elected in a 2012 byelection, and went on to become a Stephen Harper-era veterans’ affairs minister. Prior to entering politics, O'Toole was in the Royal Canadian Air Force for a decade and later worked as a lawyer.

In the leadership race, O’Toole took populist policy positions looking to appeal to the base of the party. He described himself as the "true blue" candidate and had focused his sights squarely on Peter MacKay, who he said would have divided the party due to his more socially-progressive views.

“I have spent my entire adult life trying to serve Canada and its people. Soon, I will be asking Canadians for the chance to serve as prime minister so we can get our country back on track. I love this country and I am very worried about the course we are on,” O’Toole said.


O’Toole’s win as Conservative leader comes as Canada continues to battle the COVID-19 pandemic. While a snap federal election amid a global health crisis may not seem like a good idea to some, O’Toole assured Canadians that the Conservative Party would be better suited to lead the country at this time.

“Premiers across our country have shown real leadership amid the COVID-19 crisis. They were looking out for you. Justin Trudeau, Bill Morneau and the Liberals showed once again that even amid a national crisis, they were more interested in looking after their friends,” O’Toole said, adding that Canada needs “serious leadership for these challenging times.”

To rebuild the economy while protecting Canadians from the ongoing threat of COVID-19, O’Toole said Canada needs a leader with “real-world experience” and is someone who is not afraid to make tough decisions.

In his speech, O’Toole said Canada needs a prime minister who cares more about keeping Canadians safe than about his personal image.

“We need a leader who puts Canadians first and will stand up for Canada and our interests in a challenging world where we have lost the respect of our friends and allies,” O’Toole said. “The world still needs more Canada, it just needs less Justin Trudeau.”

O’Toole said he can be that leader because he believes that all Canadians regardless of their skin colour, heritage, religious values and sexual orientation are an important part of Canada, saying they “have a home in the Conservative Party of Canada.”

In his speech, O’Toole called on people who may have voted for a different party their whole life and those who maybe have never voted at all to consider the Conservative Party of Canada.

“It is time for many Liberal and NDP voters to socially distance themselves from these out of touch parties. It’s time for more Canadians to look at the Conservative Party again,” he said.

“If you want the opportunity to work hard to provide for your family -- you should be voting Conservative. If you want to stop insiders getting ahead while you are falling back -- you should be voting Conservative. If you are proud of what we produce in this country -- whether it is the resources in the ground or the ideas in our heads -- you should be voting Conservative.”

O’Toole explained that a Conservative Party under him will make Canada stronger, more self-reliant, and more resilient so its people are better prepared for future waves of COVID-19.

“We can get Canadians back to work, be proud of the things we grow, build and produce in Canada again. We must have a government that will keep us safe, and ensure that we are never ill-prepared again,” O’Toole said.

With files from's Rachel Aiello