O'TOOLE FACES CHALLENGE AHEAD IN MANAGING SOCIAL CONSERVATIVES, RUNNER-UP MACKAY CALLS FOR UNITY

Aug 26, 2020

By Jane Brown

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The new federal Conservative leader has some early challenges ahead in managing the social conservatives in his caucus and party, when the governing Liberals reintroduce legislation on medical assistance in dying.

This will be put to the test again for Erin O’Toole when the Trudeau government reintroduces a bill to ban conversion therapy – a discredited and traumatic practice aimed at repressing non-heterosexual behaviours or to make a person’s gender identity match the sex assigned at birth.

Both bills are controversial among social conservatives who were a decisive factor in O’Toole’s victory this past weekend in the Conservative leadership race.

Meantime, the runner-up in the race is calling for unity in the Conservative party.

Peter MacKay tweeted late Tuesday night saying he had spoken with new leader Erin O’Toole.

He says they discussed the need to keep their party united as well as addressing divisions in Canada, the possibility of a fall election and the importance of defeating the Liberals.

He says he looks forward to continuing discussions with O’Toole in the weeks ahead.

MacKay has not been an MP since he decided not to run in the 2015 election.

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