OTTAWA —
Conservative leadership hopefuls Peter MacKay, Marilyn Gladu and Erin O’Toole would all seek opposition support to topple the government and force an election if they secure the party leadership.
A tweet sent Monday from MacKays Twitter account included an image of him with his hands in his pant pockets, against a bright background adorned with the words “we need an October election.”
“Canadians have lost faith in this government,” he said in the tweet, which went on to direct users to his website where supporters can donate to his campaign or buy Conservative Party memberships.
Gladu made a similar declaration a week prior, saying in a Facebook post on Feb. 24 that her “first act” as Tory leader would be to ask for opposition support to “bring down this government.”
Meanwhile, in a statement sent to CTVNews.ca on Monday, O’Toole said Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s leadership “is causing serious damage to Canada.”
“As soon as I become leader, I will table of motion of no confidence in the government.”
However, plunging the country into a federal election isn’t something these hopefuls could achieve simply by stating theyd like to see it happen. They’ll need the support of other opposition parties and, to date, both NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh and Bloc Quebecois Leader Yves-Francois Blanchet have balked at the prospect of toppling the government anytime soon.
When the Conservatives flirted with the idea of bringing down the government in February by putting a non-confidence motion on notice and then subsequently backing away from it neither opposition leader seemed eager to back the move.
Singh said it was “ridiculous” and accused the Conservatives of “trying to posture about tearing down the government.”
Blanchet also said his caucus would vote against the motion, should it be presented. He even went so far as to cite the ongoing Tory leadership race as evidence that it would be “helpful” of him to vote against the potential motion.
“I don’t believe that they are suicidal enough to want to go into an election with a leader that they have recently rejected, so that’s a huge and not very tasty bluff,” he said.
While it’s possible the two leaders could warm to the idea in the coming months, the political climate among opposition leaders appears quite chilly towards the prospect of bringing down the government anytime soon. The timing of an immediate post-leadership race election call would also make it tough for MacKay to secure the October election he said Canadians need.
The House adjourns for the summer on June 23, which is before the Conservative leadership vote takes place, and it doesn’t resume until Sept. 21. Even if a non-confidence vote happens that first day back, the 36-day writ period would plant the election on Oct. 27 which is one week before the U.S. presidential election.
Still, he might get the chance to try. Many political pundits have pointed to MacKay and O’Toole as the two clear frontrunners in the Tory leadership race.
The Conservatives will crown their new leader in a vote on June 27.
With files from CTV News’ Rachel Aiello