O'Toole says election review shows he was 'too scripted,' TV studio proved unsuccessful
Conservative Leader Erin O’Toole says among the findings of a new report highlighting the party’s 2021 election campaign missteps, was that he was “too scripted” in the final days and communicating with voters stationed in a TV studio proved ineffective.
The Conservative caucus was briefed Thursday on the review, which was led by former Alberta MP James Cumming.
According to Cumming, it looked at everything from party infrastructure to the leader’s performance. More than 400 people were interviewed, including candidates, campaign managers, electoral district associations, party members, activists, and others.
“[The] review of what went right, what went wrong and its recommendations – some of those relate to me. Leadership starts at the top. There were areas I fell short, including especially in the last 10 days,” said O’Toole.
“I got comments that in the last week of the campaign, I seemed too scripted.”
O’Toole leaned heavily into communicating with voters virtually throughout the five-week period, taking questions and delivering announcements from the studio set up in Ottawa where he hosted 17 ‘teletownhalls.’
“The studio cut me off from meeting more Canadians. We were told that we should have been doing more events,” he said.
“I want to get out there and meet more Canadians in person not in a studio and not on Zoom, so I’m as frustrated as so many Canadians working from home, working virtually.”
The Conservatives failed to increase their seat count in 2021 and lost votes in key western ridings where support is usually steady. That dip in popularity was attributed, in part, to the rise in traction of the People’s Party of Canada and diverted efforts to try to win over voters in urban centres.
A source with direct knowledge of the review told CTV News earlier in the day that the need to recruit more diverse candidates was listed as a priority, as well as more effective outreach to ethnic communities.
“The party needs to do a better job communicating with communities in their first language and using platforms and mediums that those communities use, in culturally appropriate ways,” the source said.
The source also said infighting during two leadership races in less than five years has resulted in a loss of trust among voters.
“[Voters] can’t trust a political party to govern if they can’t govern themselves and voters are worried that this infighting can lead to key policy shifts on the economy, and social issues,” the source said.
O’Toole said there is a commitment to make changes to reflect the concerns listed.
“The intention here is to make changes. Myself as leader, I’m responsible for the loss and I want to make sure that we gain the confidence of more Canadians so I will make changes myself, to our team, to our strategy, and within our party and our MPs and our entire party structure will be part of that change,” he said.
Cumming told CTV News Channel’s Power Play on Thursday that going forward the party has to be firm in its stance on more polarizing issues such as a price on carbon.
“The party’s got to be decisive, has to be very clear on what they stand for, and what the vision is for the future,” he said.
Asked whether O’Toole is included in that vision, based on the sentiment of the report, Cumming said a large majority of participants were “supportive” of his performance in the campaign but “not entirely happy with the result.”
The release of the report comes at a time when O’Toole faces challenges to his leadership, including calls from three electoral district associations to hold an early vote on who should lead the party through the next election.
MORE POLITICS NEWS
'Anger that I haven't seen before': Singh harassment incident puts renewed spotlight on politicians' security
NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh's recent encounter with protesters at an Ontario election campaign stop, where he was verbally harassed, is casting a renewed spotlight on politicians' security, with Singh telling CTV News that he's witnessing a level of anger he hasn't seen before.
The stunning leak of a U.S. Supreme Court draft opinion to strike down the landmark Roe v. Wade decision on abortion rights seized political attention in Ottawa on Tuesday. In the House of Commons, MPs' persisting differing views were on display after a symbolic push to affirm abortion rights failed, and the Conservative caucus were told not to comment on the leak.
Six candidates are officially on the ballot to become the Conservative Party's next leader. In holding rallies, appearing in media interviews, and preparing for the soon-approaching party debates, each contender has started to trickle out details of their platforms. Here's a snapshot of where the candidates stand on the economy, housing, climate, defence and social issues.
The federal Liberals and New Democrats have finalized an agreement that, if maintained, would keep Prime Minister Justin Trudeau's government in power until June 2025, in exchange for progress on longstanding NDP priorities. Trudeau announced Tuesday morning that the confidence-and-supply agreement has been brokered, and is effective immediately.
Conservative Party members will be electing their new leader in September. Six candidates have secured their place on the ballot, after meeting all of the party's eligibility requirements. Here's a snapshot of who each candidate is, their political histories, and what kind of campaign they're running.
There's a lesson for Canada's political leaders in the short life and quick death of Jason Kenney as premier of Alberta, writes Don Martin in an exclusive opinion column for CTVNews.ca.
OPINION | Don Martin: Ford on cruise control to victory in Ontario while Alberta votes on killing Kenney as UCP leader
It's becoming a make-or-break week for two Conservative premiers as their futures pivot on a pair of defining moments, writes Don Martin in an exclusive opinion column for CTVNews.ca.
In an exclusive column for CTVNews.ca, Don Martin weighs in on the Conservative leadership debate highlights and fumbles in Edmonton on Wednesday night.
As was the case with the Freedom Convoy, it’s the organizers of Rolling Thunder who are giving the event's modest purpose some ominous overtones, writes Don Martin in an exclusive opinion piece for CTVNews.ca.
OPINION | Don Martin: In the heart of Liberal-owned Toronto, an unlikely Conservative rock star takes the stage
Conservative leadership frontrunner Pierre Poilievre is attracting big crowds to large halls in unlikely locations. And if his early romp lasts, he'll be impossible to beat, writes Don Martin in an exclusive opinion column for CTVNews.ca.
ANALYSIS & INSIGHTS
CTVNews.ca Top Stories
Three months after the Feb. 24 invasion of Ukraine, many ordinary Russians are reeling from those blows to their livelihoods and emotions. Moscow's vast shopping malls have turned into eerie expanses of shuttered storefronts once occupied by Western retailers.
Justice Mahmud Jamal sat down with CTV National News' Omar Sachedina for an exclusive interview ahead of the one-year anniversary of his appointment to the Supreme Court of Canada. Jamal is the first person of colour to sit on the highest court in the country, bringing it closer to reflecting the diversity of Canada.
China is trying to navigate its biggest coronavirus outbreak without a tool it could have adopted many months ago, the kind of vaccines that have proven to offer the best protection against the worst outcomes from COVID-19.
'Too many children did not make it home': Anniversary of discovery at Canada's largest residential school
Western University's Northern Tornadoes Project is investigating the aftermath of the deadly storm that blew across southern Ontario and Quebec, but analysis will take time.
As residents in Ontario and Quebec work to repair the damage caused by a severe storm over the weekend, many may be wondering whether their homes and cars are covered from any damages. The Insurance Bureau of Canada says wind damage is usually covered, but to confirm with their provider what losses may be included.
A British-Iranian charity worker who was detained in Tehran for almost six years says she was forced by Iranian officials to sign a false confession to spying before she was freed two months ago.
President Joe Biden said Monday that the U.S. would intervene militarily if China were to invade Taiwan, saying the burden to protect Taiwan is 'even stronger' after Russia's invasion of Ukraine. It was one of the most forceful presidential statements in support of self-governing in decades.
Yemen's Houthi rebels said Monday that three people were killed in the country's capital when a drone aircraft crashed in a neighborhood after being shot down.
The latest updates on the war in Ukraine on Tuesday: Outgoing Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte sharply criticized Russian leader Vladimir Putin for the killings of innocent civilians in Ukraine, saying while the two of them have been tagged as killers, 'I kill criminals, I don't kill children and the elderly.'
California Gov. Gavin Newsom threatened Monday to impose mandatory water restrictions if residents don't use less on their own as a drought drags on and the hotter summer months approach.
The U.S. House Ethics Committee is investigating allegations that Republican Rep. Madison Cawthorn had a conflict of interest in a cryptocurrency he promoted and engaged in an improper relationship with a member of his staff, the panel said Monday.
The Conservative Party of Canada says its ended its investigation into a racist email sent to leadership contender Patrick Brown's campaign team after the party member purportedly behind it resigned their membership.
Canada's Public Safety Minister Marco Mendicino insists the once unknown fate of Michael Spavor and Michael Kovrig was not why the government delayed its decision to ban Huawei technologies from Canada's 5G network.
A leading adviser to the World Health Organization described the unprecedented outbreak of the rare disease monkeypox in developed countries as 'a random event' that might be explained by risky sexual behaviour at two recent mass events in Europe.
Health officials remain perplexed by mysterious cases of severe liver damage in hundreds of young children around the world.
The federal government is banning China's Huawei Technologies from involvement in Canada's 5G wireless network. Huawei and the Chinese government have vigorously denied accusations around the danger of spying, saying that the company poses no security threat.
The race to resume supersonic passenger flights nearly two decades after the retirement of Concorde was offered a glimmer of excitement on Monday when plane manufacturer Bombardier revealed high speed achievements while confirming the launch of its new business jet.
Misinformation, trolling and worse has always existed online, but content moderators say they saw a shift after the U.S. elected Donald Trump president in 2016 that reached a new height when George Floyd, a Black man in Minneapolis, was killed in police custody in May 2020, fuelling racial tensions just as the world was locked down due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
A hand surgeon testified Monday that Johnny Depp could not have lost the tip of his middle finger the way he told jurors it happened in his civil lawsuit against ex-wife Amber Heard.
Spend enough time with Billie Eilish and you may notice her tics. The singer talked about having Tourette's syndrome in an interview with David Letterman for his Netflix series, 'My Next Guest Needs No Introduction.'
On Monday night, timed for PEN America's annual gala, Margaret Atwood and Penguin Random House announced that a one-off, unburnable edition of 'The Handmaid's Tale' would be auctioned through Sotheby's New York.
Asian shares were lower on Tuesday as worries over inflation tempered optimism over U.S. President Joe Biden's remark that he was considering reducing U.S. tariffs on Chinese imports.
The COVID-19 pandemic has been good for the wallets of the wealthy. Some 573 people have joined the billionaire ranks since 2020, bringing the worldwide total to 2,668, according to an analysis released by Oxfam on Sunday. That means a new billionaire was minted about every 30 hours, on average, so far during the pandemic.
Starbucks is leaving Russia for good. The coffee company paused its operations and stopped shipments of its products to Russia in March. Now, it 'has made the decision to exit and no longer have a brand presence in the market,' Starbucks said in a brief statement Monday.
A whole month of unlimited transport in Germany is just US$9.50 -- that's a great deal at any time, but in a time of fuel price hikes, rocketing car rental rates and a worldwide cost of living crisis, it becomes unbeatable.
This summer, auction house Sotheby's will display some of history's most influential tiaras -- many which have not been seen by the public in decades -- in a new exhibition called 'Power & Image: Royal & Aristocratic Tiaras.'
You have a big test, a difficult conversation or a stressful day ahead -- how much of a difference could a hug from your partner make on your state of mind? A hug can make a big difference for women, according to a new study. Unfortunately, the effect is not as powerful when it comes to men.
If the Calgary Flames thought their second-round series was going to be a cakewalk after scoring nine goals in the opening game, they forgot the firepower of their opponent.
Canadian Bianca Andreescu scored a three-set victory over Ysaline Bonaventure of Belgium in the first round of the French Open on Monday.
Novak Djokovic intends to defend his title at Wimbledon and supports the decision by the ATP men's tour to withhold ranking points from that tournament as a show of unity among players -- even though the move will negatively affect his hold on the No. 1 spot.