Conservative senator pushes for review of O'Toole's leadership

spaminator

Hall of Fame Member
Oct 26, 2009
36,087
3,071
113
Conservative senator pushes for review of O'Toole's leadership
Author of the article:Canadian Press
Canadian Press
Jim Bronskill
Publishing date:Nov 15, 2021 • 11 hours ago • 3 minute read • Join the conversation
Canadian Senator Denise Batters.
Canadian Senator Denise Batters. PHOTO BY CHRIS ROUSSAKIS /Postmedia Network / Files
Article content
OTTAWA — A Conservative senator has begun a petition pushing for a review of Erin O’Toole’s leadership of the party within six months — the latest rumbling of discontent over losing the recent federal election.

Advertisement
STORY CONTINUES BELOW

Article content
Sen. Denise Batters, a vocal critic of O’Toole, says he cannot lead the party to victory in the next election campaign.


“This campaign was not lost because of Mr. O’Toole’s mistakes or inexperience,” she said in a video accompanying the online petition. “It was lost because of what Canadian voters perceive as his character flaw, that he is not trustworthy. You can’t come back from that.”

Batters, who backed the socially conservative Andrew Scheer in the party’s 2017 leadership contest and veteran politician Peter MacKay in the most recent one, said a rift among party members is growing.

O’Toole has watered down, and even entirely reversed, the party’s policy positions on guns, carbon pricing and conscience rights without input from caucus members, Batters said.

Advertisement
STORY CONTINUES BELOW

Article content

She accused O’Toole of running a failed election campaign that was almost indistinguishable from Justin Trudeau’s Liberals despite winning the party leadership claiming to be “true blue.”

“Erin O’Toole lectured our party members on election night, telling us we need to have the courage to change — into what he hasn’t yet said. But members deserve to have a say on this change and the future direction of this party, including our leadership.”

O’Toole lost the October election, in which the Liberals were held to a second consecutive minority government, by every measure, Batters said.

“Our party lost half a million votes, claimed fewer seats and a lower popular vote than in 2019,” she said.


The Conservatives won 119 seats in the Sept. 20 election with 33.7% of the popular vote. In 2019, the Conservatives won 121 seats and 34.4% of the popular vote.

Advertisement
STORY CONTINUES BELOW

Article content
O’Toole’s office had no immediate comment.

In a series of tweets, Conservative MP Michelle Rempel Garner swiftly urged Batters to withdraw the petition and “have it out in caucus instead.”

“I am so frustrated right now. Denise, the Liberals are popping champagne and toasting to you right now. I hope you’re happy.”

At least half a dozen other Conservative MPs echoed Rempel Garner’s view, including Bob Zimmer, Marty Morantz, Randy Hoback, Melissa Lantsman, Dane Lloyd and Alain Rayes.

But Batters said in an interview that she’s hearing “a lot of support from caucus colleagues, both senators and MPs.”

Within a few hours of posting her petition online, Batters said it had garnered more than 1,000 signatures, including former MPs, riding presidents and “all kinds of people from across the country.”

Advertisement
STORY CONTINUES BELOW

Article content
O’Toole is not scheduled to face a leadership confidence vote until the party’s national convention in 2023.

Batters is trying to force a leadership review vote much earlier, by getting sufficient signatures on her petition to force a referendum on whether O’Toole should remain as leader.

Under party rules, a referendum of party members may be initiated by a petition submitted to the national council signed by at least 5% of members in each of at least five provinces. The council would then be responsible for conducting a referendum by secret ballot within 120 days of receiving the results of a valid petition.

However, Conservative party president Rob Batherson informed Batters in a letter Monday, which he posted to Twitter, that her “petition is not in order as it does not adhere” to the party’s constitution.

Advertisement
STORY CONTINUES BELOW

Article content
He said the constitution specifies that a leadership selection process can only be initiated by the party’s national council following the death or retirement of the leader, a notice of resignation submitted by the leader or a vote by more than 50% of delegates at a national convention.

But Batters countered that she’s not trying to initiate a leadership selection process. She said she’s simply trying to expedite a leadership review that would otherwise not take place until 2023 and the constitutional provisions Batherson cites do not apply to that.

“There’s no limitation in the constitution put on what type of referendum can occur,” she said in an interview.

“I think really this leadership review is happening one way or the other and I think it’s in the interests of all members, even Mr. O’Toole, that we do this sooner rather than later so we can put it to rest.”
 
  • Like
Reactions: taxslave

spaminator

Hall of Fame Member
Oct 26, 2009
36,087
3,071
113
O'Toole boots senator who challenged his leadership out of Conservative caucus.
Author of the article:Canadian Press
Canadian Press
Publishing date:Nov 16, 2021 • 6 hours ago • 3 minute read • 5 Comments
Denise Batters arrives to the House of Commons' standing committee on health in Ottawa on March 8, 2012.
Denise Batters arrives to the House of Commons' standing committee on health in Ottawa on March 8, 2012. PHOTO BY CHRIS ROUSSAKIS /Postmedia Network
Article content
OTTAWA — Erin O’Toole kicked Sen. Denise Batters out of the Conservative caucus Tuesday — one day after she challenged his leadership.

Advertisement
STORY CONTINUES BELOW

Article content
“As the leader of the Conservative Party of Canada, I will not tolerate an individual discrediting and showing a clear lack of respect towards the efforts of the entire Conservative caucus, who are holding the corrupt and disastrous Trudeau government to account,” O’Toole said in a brief statement released late Tuesday.


“Just eight weeks ago, Canadians elected Conservatives to hold Justin Trudeau accountable for his economic mismanagement, and fight the cost of living crisis, skyrocketing inflation, and supply chain issues that are crippling businesses. That is our focus as a team.”

Batters has been a Conservative stalwart since she was appointed to the Senate in 2013 by former prime minister Stephen Harper.

Advertisement
STORY CONTINUES BELOW

Article content
But on Monday she launched a petition aimed at forcing a referendum on O’Toole’s leadership within six months, rather than wait for a scheduled leadership confidence vote at the party’s national convention in 2023.

She accused O’Toole of abandoning core Conservative principles in a vain attempt to win over centrist voters in the Sept. 20 federal election. And she predicted he’ll never win back Canadians’ trust after reversing himself on issues from conscience rights to carbon taxes.

Batters, who represents Saskatchewan in the upper house, could not be reached for immediate comment Tuesday after her removal from caucus.

But she signalled in a Twitter post that she has no intention of backing off her petition, even though the party’s president has said it’s invalid.

Advertisement
STORY CONTINUES BELOW

Article content
“Tonight, Erin O’Toole tried to silence me for giving our #CPC members a voice. I will not be silenced by a leader so weak that he fired me VIA VOICEMAIL. Most importantly, he cannot suppress the will of our Conservative Party members! Sign the petition,” she tweeted.


Advertisement
STORY CONTINUES BELOW

Article content
In an interview Monday, Batters acknowledged the possibility that she could be kicked out of the Conservative caucus but she argued it would resolve nothing.

“I do know that kicking me out of caucus will not solve the internal crisis that his leadership is facing within caucus and within the party membership,” she told The Canadian Press.

“The fact remains that members of the party voted for Erin O’Toole, the ‘true blue’ leadership candidate, who flipped a 180 (degree turn) in the election to run on a campaign platform that was nearly identical to the Liberals and the members of our party need to be consulted as soon as possible on whether they agreed to proceed in that direction.”


A number of Conservative MPs tweeted their anger with Batters on Monday, suggesting her move would be a distraction from their task of holding the Liberal minority government to account.


Advertisement
STORY CONTINUES BELOW

Article content

Advertisement
STORY CONTINUES BELOW

Article content
But Batters said she had a lot of support from Conservative MPs and senators for her petition, which garnered more than 1,000 signatures on the first day.

However, Batters’ former caucus colleagues have no say about her fate.

Conservative MPs have voted to give themselves the power to decide whether elected members should be admitted to or expelled from their caucus. However, that does not apply to unelected senators, who can still be dumped unilaterally by the leader.

Nevertheless, O’Toole’s decision to turf Batters will doubtless be a hot topic when the Conservative caucus meets Wednesday.

Last week, O’Toole punished some of his MPs who have questioned the value of vaccination against COVID-19, pointedly leaving them out of his shadow cabinet.
 
  • Sad
Reactions: taxslave

Decapoda

Council Member
Mar 4, 2016
1,682
801
113
The hypocrisy and irony in all of this is interesting. People are angry at Ms. Batters for "betraying" O'toole by calling for a leadership review, yet these same people can't see that this whole thing was caused by the betrayal by O'toole of his support base when he did a complete reversal on key policies involving carbon tax and gun control without bringing it to his caucus and supporters. By ousting Batters from the Conservative caucus, he is showing complete hypocrisy and sending the message that only he is allowed to betray his party, that he is the supreme leader and cannot be challenged.

Since becoming leader of the conservative party, this guy has been accused of trying to be Trudeau light, this move just enforces that perception...this move is classic Trudeau style.
 

Decapoda

Council Member
Mar 4, 2016
1,682
801
113
A leader is always under review, part of the game.......Well, unless you are named Justin.
If a leader is fearful of an objective review of their leadership by their peers, it's a pretty clear indication that they probably don't belong in that position.

After unilaterally deciding to adopt key planks of the Liberal platform, it's unlikely Conservatives will ever win another election until this guy is gone. It may sting in the short-term, but from a Conservative perspective it's better for the long game. You can't abandon your base of support and expect it to turn out well, there's not enough mushy Liberals to make up the loss....as proven by the last election.
 

pgs

Hall of Fame Member
Nov 29, 2008
26,747
7,041
113
B.C.
If a leader is fearful of an objective review of their leadership by their peers, it's a pretty clear indication that they probably don't belong in that position.

After unilaterally deciding to adopt key planks of the Liberal platform, it's unlikely Conservatives will ever win another election until this guy is gone. It may sting in the short-term, but from a Conservative perspective it's better for the long game. You can't abandon your base of support and expect it to turn out well, there's not enough mushy Liberals to make up the loss....as proven by the last election.
Unfortunately he has the base support from the 401 corridor .
 
  • Sad
Reactions: taxslave

Nick Danger

Council Member
Jul 21, 2013
1,798
461
83
Penticton, BC
If a leader is fearful of an objective review of their leadership by their peers, it's a pretty clear indication that they probably don't belong in that position.

After unilaterally deciding to adopt key planks of the Liberal platform, it's unlikely Conservatives will ever win another election until this guy is gone. It may sting in the short-term, but from a Conservative perspective it's better for the long game. You can't abandon your base of support and expect it to turn out well, there's not enough mushy Liberals to make up the loss....as proven by the last election.
We're seeing the same thing in Alberta, moderate and farther right elements within the party fighting each other for control. O'Toole saw that a move toward center was needed to get the numbers for a win, but the in-your-face aspects of the far right alienated much of the centrist vote. As much as Trudeau is seen as a goof, he was the lesser of two evils to enough voters to hang on to power.
 
  • Like
Reactions: taxslave

Decapoda

Council Member
Mar 4, 2016
1,682
801
113
We're seeing the same thing in Alberta, moderate and farther right elements within the party fighting each other for control. O'Toole saw that a move toward center was needed to get the numbers for a win, but the in-your-face aspects of the far right alienated much of the centrist vote. As much as Trudeau is seen as a goof, he was the lesser of two evils to enough voters to hang on to power.
The problem is that what was once considered "moderate" or "center" not too long ago has now shifted hard left (taking over NDP policy), and what was considered "right" is now the center-left. This leaves no representation for traditional conservatives. Being from Alberta, surely you understand this.
 

taxslave

Hall of Fame Member
Nov 25, 2008
36,362
4,337
113
Vancouver Island
O'Toole boots senator who challenged his leadership out of Conservative caucus.
Author of the article:Canadian Press
Canadian Press
Publishing date:Nov 16, 2021 • 6 hours ago • 3 minute read • 5 Comments
Denise Batters arrives to the House of Commons' standing committee on health in Ottawa on March 8, 2012.
Denise Batters arrives to the House of Commons' standing committee on health in Ottawa on March 8, 2012. PHOTO BY CHRIS ROUSSAKIS /Postmedia Network
Article content
OTTAWA — Erin O’Toole kicked Sen. Denise Batters out of the Conservative caucus Tuesday — one day after she challenged his leadership.

Advertisement
STORY CONTINUES BELOW

Article content
“As the leader of the Conservative Party of Canada, I will not tolerate an individual discrediting and showing a clear lack of respect towards the efforts of the entire Conservative caucus, who are holding the corrupt and disastrous Trudeau government to account,” O’Toole said in a brief statement released late Tuesday.


“Just eight weeks ago, Canadians elected Conservatives to hold Justin Trudeau accountable for his economic mismanagement, and fight the cost of living crisis, skyrocketing inflation, and supply chain issues that are crippling businesses. That is our focus as a team.”

Batters has been a Conservative stalwart since she was appointed to the Senate in 2013 by former prime minister Stephen Harper.

Advertisement
STORY CONTINUES BELOW

Article content
But on Monday she launched a petition aimed at forcing a referendum on O’Toole’s leadership within six months, rather than wait for a scheduled leadership confidence vote at the party’s national convention in 2023.

She accused O’Toole of abandoning core Conservative principles in a vain attempt to win over centrist voters in the Sept. 20 federal election. And she predicted he’ll never win back Canadians’ trust after reversing himself on issues from conscience rights to carbon taxes.

Batters, who represents Saskatchewan in the upper house, could not be reached for immediate comment Tuesday after her removal from caucus.

But she signalled in a Twitter post that she has no intention of backing off her petition, even though the party’s president has said it’s invalid.

Advertisement
STORY CONTINUES BELOW

Article content
“Tonight, Erin O’Toole tried to silence me for giving our #CPC members a voice. I will not be silenced by a leader so weak that he fired me VIA VOICEMAIL. Most importantly, he cannot suppress the will of our Conservative Party members! Sign the petition,” she tweeted.


Advertisement
STORY CONTINUES BELOW

Article content
In an interview Monday, Batters acknowledged the possibility that she could be kicked out of the Conservative caucus but she argued it would resolve nothing.

“I do know that kicking me out of caucus will not solve the internal crisis that his leadership is facing within caucus and within the party membership,” she told The Canadian Press.

“The fact remains that members of the party voted for Erin O’Toole, the ‘true blue’ leadership candidate, who flipped a 180 (degree turn) in the election to run on a campaign platform that was nearly identical to the Liberals and the members of our party need to be consulted as soon as possible on whether they agreed to proceed in that direction.”


A number of Conservative MPs tweeted their anger with Batters on Monday, suggesting her move would be a distraction from their task of holding the Liberal minority government to account.


Advertisement
STORY CONTINUES BELOW

Article content

Advertisement
STORY CONTINUES BELOW

Article content
But Batters said she had a lot of support from Conservative MPs and senators for her petition, which garnered more than 1,000 signatures on the first day.

However, Batters’ former caucus colleagues have no say about her fate.

Conservative MPs have voted to give themselves the power to decide whether elected members should be admitted to or expelled from their caucus. However, that does not apply to unelected senators, who can still be dumped unilaterally by the leader.

Nevertheless, O’Toole’s decision to turf Batters will doubtless be a hot topic when the Conservative caucus meets Wednesday.

Last week, O’Toole punished some of his MPs who have questioned the value of vaccination against COVID-19, pointedly leaving them out of his shadow cabinet.
Making him even more like turdOWE.
 

petros

The Central Scrutinizer
Nov 21, 2008
109,788
11,595
113
Low Earth Orbit
We're seeing the same thing in Alberta, moderate and farther right elements within the party fighting each other for control. O'Toole saw that a move toward center was needed to get the numbers for a win, but the in-your-face aspects of the far right alienated much of the centrist vote. As much as Trudeau is seen as a goof, he was the lesser of two evils to enough voters to hang on to power.
Not really. It was low voter interest (60%) that kept Trudeau in office.
 
  • Like
Reactions: taxslave

Decapoda

Council Member
Mar 4, 2016
1,682
801
113
Unfortunately he has the base support from the 401 corridor .
Not sure what election results you were looking at, but 401 seemed pretty red to me.

The only support base he's getting from the GTA is from Liberals who would love nothing more than to see him stay in power and take his party even further off course, flipping and flopping which ever way the current pushes him.
 

Nick Danger

Council Member
Jul 21, 2013
1,798
461
83
Penticton, BC

The problem is that what was once considered "moderate" or "center" not too long ago has now shifted hard left (taking over NDP policy), and what was considered "right" is now the center-left. This leaves no representation for traditional conservatives. Being from Alberta, surely you understand this.
Regardless, the simple fact that they are in open dispute internally will keep moderate voters away, votes they would need to gain power.

(I commuted to work in Alberta up until this past summer when I gained legal old fart status, I live happily in BC where we're allowed to start whining about the cold when it hits five below.)
 

pgs

Hall of Fame Member
Nov 29, 2008
26,747
7,041
113
B.C.
Not sure what election results you were looking at, but 401 seemed pretty red to me.

The only support base he's getting from the GTA is from Liberals who would love nothing more than to see him stay in power and take his party even further off course, flipping and flopping which ever way the current pushes him.
Yes but the leadership vote was the 401 corridor . Much like his predecessor was the milk lobby .
 

taxslave

Hall of Fame Member
Nov 25, 2008
36,362
4,337
113
Vancouver Island
Regardless, the simple fact that they are in open dispute internally will keep moderate voters away, votes they would need to gain power.

(I commuted to work in Alberta up until this past summer when I gained legal old fart status, I live happily in BC where we're allowed to start whining about the cold when it hits five below.)
Nah, we start whining when it gets below +10. There are a great number of people on the island don't own snow tires. ICBC just buys them a new car every 2 or 3 years.
 

Ron in Regina

"Voice of the West" Party
Apr 9, 2008
23,551
8,268
113
Regina, Saskatchewan
Not really. It was low voter interest (60%) that kept Trudeau in office.
And yet, two consecutive federal elections, the conservatives got the popular vote (heavy turn out in the West & but lost out in seat counts in the east).

Senator Denise Batters (I looked) is 51 years old so….now she sits as an independent senator for the next 24 years and then she can retire with a gov’t pension. Turfing her from caucus just makes O’Toole look like a Liberal Goof. Not cool at all.

Currently the conservatives seem to be left of Center, the Libs & NDP are competing for extreme fringe left…& the Bloc? Is the Bloc the closest to the actual political Center of all at this point (?) and they’re a Quebec only (separatist at one point?) party?? I didn’t mention the Greens ‘cuz there’s not enough of them for Jew Hating Threesome.
 

spaminator

Hall of Fame Member
Oct 26, 2009
36,087
3,071
113
O’Toole warns more expulsions in store for any MP who challenges his leadership
Author of the article:Canadian Press
Canadian Press
Stephanie Taylor
Publishing date:Nov 17, 2021 • 8 hours ago • 4 minute read • 90 Comments
Canadian Senator Denise Batters.
Canadian Senator Denise Batters. PHOTO BY CHRIS ROUSSAKIS /Postmedia Network / Files
Article content
OTTAWA — Conservative Leader Erin O’Toole is warning his MPs that they risk the same fate as a senator expelled from the party caucus if they challenge his leadership.

Advertisement
STORY CONTINUES BELOW

Article content
O’Toole laid down the law Wednesday as he headed into a two-day Tory caucus retreat, one day after showing Sen. Denise Batters the door.


“You don’t want to make that decision, but really, she made it for herself,” he told reporters as he arrived for the meeting, flanked by members of his leadership circle.

“People that are now allowing their frustrations and their own personal agendas or issues on the pandemic to interfere with our progress are not part of the team.”

He argued that the Conservative caucus needs to keep focused on defeating Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and holding his Liberal minority government to account. He added that anyone “who’s not putting the team and the country first will not be part of this team.”

Advertisement
STORY CONTINUES BELOW

Article content

Expelling Batters is the most serious consequence O’Toole has meted out for any member since his Sept. 20 election loss, which has triggered grumblings over his performance and internal struggles over the Conservatives’ stance on vaccine mandates.

The Saskatchewan senator and longtime party stalwart launched a petition Monday aimed at forcing a referendum on O’Toole’s leadership within the next six months, instead of waiting for a scheduled leadership confidence vote at the party’s national convention in 2023.

As of late Wednesday, her office said the petition had garnered around 3,700 signatures. The party, however, has dismissed Batters’ petition as an invalid way to trigger a leadership review — something she and her supporters reject.

In launching the petition, Batters, who was appointed to the Senate on the advice of former Conservative prime minister Stephen Harper in 2013, argued that O’Toole lost the election because Canadians didn’t trust him. Having reversed his positions on a firearms ban, carbon taxes and conscience rights,she predicted he would be unable to win back voters’ trust in future.

Batters was unrepentant Wednesday.

“I am and will always be a Conservative,” she said in a statement.

“It is ironic that Erin O’Toole is expelling me from our national Conservative caucus for asking him to adhere to the principles and policies our Conservative party members have approved.”

Advertisement
STORY CONTINUES BELOW

Article content

She also questioned why she’s being singled out when Sen. Michael MacDonald urged Tory MPs last month to give themselves the power to hold an early leadership review.

“If Mr. O’Toole is certain that the members of our party support the new direction in which he is taking our party, he should have nothing to fear by facing our members democratically in an expedited confidence vote,” said Batters.

In a previous interview with The Canadian Press after her petition was launched, Batters said other MPs and senators support her efforts.

However, O’Toole insisted Wednesday his caucus is “united on our way forward.” His team also believes it has the support of a majority of MPs to kick out any MP who publicly supports the effort by Batters oust O’Toole.

Advertisement
STORY CONTINUES BELOW

Article content
O’Toole can unilaterally expel a senator from the caucus but removal of an elected member would require a majority vote by MPs.


The leader last week pointedly left out of his shadow cabinet a number of MPs who’ve objected to mandatory vaccination against COVID-19 or questioned the efficacy of vaccines.

Among those was Leslyn Lewis, a newly elected representative for Ontario, who was heavily backed during last year’s leadership race by the party’s western and social conservative base. O’Toole had courted that bloc of supporters during the contest, billing himself as the ‘true blue’ candidate to party faithful.

Lewis has previously voiced support for O’Toole following the election loss, but a spokesperson for her office declined Wednesday to offer comment on Batters’ petition.

Advertisement
STORY CONTINUES BELOW

Article content
Many MPs who were chosen for critic roles were quick to publicly denounced the senator on Monday and echoed that sentiment as they headed into Wednesday’s caucus meeting.

Newly elected Ontario MP Michelle Ferreri said Batters should have kept her concerns behind the closed doors of caucus.

“I think Denise made her choices and I think we’ve got to focus on what Canadians need and get back to work,” said Scott Aitchison, MP for Parry Sound—Muskoka.

Winnipeg MP Marty Morantz said he supports O’Toole’s decision to remove Batters and the grassroots will get to have their say when the scheduled convention rolls around in two years.

“Mr. O’Toole’s only been leader for just over 14 months. The members just had their say and I don’t think it’s productive at all to be taking leaders out after 14 months of being leader without giving Canadians an opportunity to get to know them and trust them.”

Advertisement
STORY CONTINUES BELOW

Article content
MORE ON THIS TOPIC

Denise Batters arrives to the House of Commons' standing committee on health in Ottawa on March 8, 2012.
O’Toole boots senator who challenged his leadership out of Conservative caucus
Conservative Sen. Denise Batters speaks during a pro-pipeline rally at IJACK Technologies Inc. near Moosomin, Sask., on Feb. 16, 2019.
KINSELLA: Irony of publicly infighting lost on Conservatives
Canadian Senator Denise Batters.
Conservative senator pushes for review of O’Toole’s leadership

While caucus appeared supportive of O’Toole’s decision to expel Batters, her petition remains active. It is being promoted by groups representing swaths of the Conservative grassroots dissatisfied with O’Toole’s leadership and his attempts to put a more moderate stamp on the party.

Elect Conservatives, which endorsed Lewis during the 2020 leadership race, issued a statement linking to the petition. The statement said it was “hypocritical” of O’Toole to give Batters the boot, given that the party professes to promote “free speech and open dialogue.”

Anti-abortion groups Campaign Life Coalition and RightNow have also endorsed the petition, after weeks of separately saying O’Toole didn’t live up to the pledges he made to social conservatives during the leadership race.