President's Communications

Aug 2020

Dear fellow Conservatives,

The view from Kingston reveals many positive developments. The leadership race is decided. Our new Party leader, future Prime Minister Erin O'Toole, certainly won't offer the 'deer in the headlights' response to Trudeau's or anyone else's provocations posed as foolish questions. I suspect that Mr Trudeau and, more importantly, his handlers will be very nonplussed by a steely eyed and firm response. We certainly now have a strong leader in Erin O'Toole. We look to more decisive results going forward. All three of the other leadership candidates embraced the result and stated strong support for Erin O'Toole. No one shouted 'sour grapes' and went off to form another party. It looks like we have a winning team congregating around Erin O'Toole!

Many have expressed concern to me that we could face a 'snap election' this fall before Erin O'Toole can fully prepare for it. First, our shadow ministers, supported by Caucus policy development teams, are developing policy continuously. The new leader was a senior member of the shadow cabinet and will be well attuned to this ongoing process. There would be a sound election platform available should an election be called before Thanksgiving in October 2020.

One hears concerns that the Liberals will react to the media polls that indicate popular strength. This strength appears largely due to financial handouts to smooth the economic disruption caused by the Covid-19 pandemic influenced global economic shutdown. Recent history advises that such polls are rather untrustworthy and reflect mostly what a small segment of the population thought at the time. Thoughts can and do change. We could see a Liberal Party led by someone other than Justin Trudeau in the next election. The Liberals have a time honoured strategy of reinventing themselves. Time will tell. Keep your eye on newly minted Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland. Her body language in proximity with Justin Trudeau speaks to doubt and discomfort. We haven't seen Transport Minister Marc Garneau in proximity to the Prime Minister for quite some time. There are likely sharp divisions developing in the Liberal Cabinet.

I sense that there are many pressures on the Liberals to hold off calling an election. Internally, they have a significant number of backbenchers who are concerned to reach the magic date for entitlement to a parliamentary pension. This I estimate is October 30, 2021.. Our incumbent MP in Kingston and the Islands being one such. Within Parliament, the Liberals' natural ally, the NDP are distressed with weak leadership and financial woes. More importantly, the Liberal Government's internal dysfunction, scandals, and pandering after the Peoples' Republic of China in the early days of the pandemic all provide much muck which they know will be thrown at them. We might expect that they will hope the passage of time will lessen the taint of scandal. Fortunately, our dedicated MPs Pierre Poilievre and Michael Barrett will not let them off these hooks at all. Beyond all of this -public reaction to the measures they will propose to pay for their pandemic response largesse will shock many people. It is doubtful that dressing up financial austerity, which means severe new taxation rates and measures, as 'reshaping society' will appeal to anyone but actual and closet NDPers or Liberals desperate to hold onto power and gain that pension. If they go into a leadership convention, that too will provide reason for delay, and a platform distancing them from past scandals and incompetent governance.
Erin O’Toole recognizes that the next election is about Canada and Canadians and not simply about turning out Trudeau and the Liberals. His speeches propound that Canada needs a strong, committed government that can offer sound strategic initiatives that will allow our nation to recover from the Covid disaster and its repercussions. Erin O' Toole will lead a party and a government that will be open, transparent and without hidden agendas in its domestic and international objectives. Our leader is obviously confident and so will ensure that his government will open and maintain dialogues with all key domestic and international stakeholders. All signs indicate that Erin O'Toole is absolutely committed to ensuring Canadians’ concerns continue to be heard, considered, and addressed in the course of rebuilding national prosperity at home and our reputation abroad.  

In the last election, there were many swing voters and, unfortunately in Kingston and the Islands, many Conservative voters who abstained. Please speak with friends and acquaintances -we need to mobilise all in the effort to win.



Gordon Ohlke