Canadian Conservative Party leader ousted by his lawmakers

Canadian Conservative party leader Erin O’Toole has been ousted in a vote by the party’s lawmakers.

Erin O’Toole had advertised himself as a "true-blue Conservative" when he became party leader but angered some by trying to move the party more toward the center. He lost the federal election last fall.

In a statement after the vote, O’Toole said Canada needs a Conservative Party that is both an intellectual force and a governing force.

"Canadians deserve a government that delivers exemplary management with a foundation based upon values and our decency as a country. What Canadians deserve from a Conservative Party is balance, ideas, and inspiration," he said

O’Toole said that Canada is in a "dire moment," citing ongoing protests against pandemic restrictions. He urged members of his party and others to listen to all sides of political debates.

O’Toole’s removal has big implications for the conservative movement in Canada. With him gone, the party could swing back toward the right as it competes with political movements on both sides of the spectrum.

It’s not yet known who will lead the party next, but O’Toole pledged support to whoever gets the job. He continues as a Member of Parliament from Durham, Ontario.

O’Toole is third main political rival Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has helped bring down. O’Toole had replaced Andrew Scheer as Conservative leader in 2020.