July 24th, 2024

Medicine Hat MP Motz endorses Erin O’Toole for Tory party leader

By Tim Kalinowski on April 24, 2017.

NEWS PHOTO TIM KALINOWSKI Medicine Hat-Cardston-Warner MP Glen Motz announced on Monday he is endorsing former veterans affairs minister Erin O'Toole to be the next leader of the Conservative Party of Canada.

tkalinowski@medicinehatnews.com @MHNTimKal

In a surprising move, Medicine Hat-Cardston-Warner candidate Glen Motz endorsed former veteran affairs minister Erin O’Toole to be the next leader of the Conservative Party of Canada. Motz made the announcement at his Medicine Hat constituency office on Monday.

Motz had been expected to endorse Andrew Scheer, former Speaker of the House and the leading western Canadian, leadership, candidate. Scheer even visited the riding to campaign for Motz during the byelection last October.

Indeed, Motz did say Andrew Scheer will be his second choice on the ballot, but he felt O’Toole brought the appeal of being a more centrist candidate from central Canada, where Canadian elections tend to be decided, and a great deal of relevant life experience prior to entering politics, which Scheer and other leadership candidates just didn’t have.

Motz cited O’Toole’s bilingualism and successful law career in energy regulation as reasons for the endorsement, but it was ultimately the bond of the uniform which brought Motz, the former police inspector, into O’Toole’s camp. O’Toole, who represents the Ontario riding of Durham, is a retired Royal Canadian Air Force captain who once flew Sea King helicopters.

“It was a very difficult choice,” said Motz. “There are some quality candidates in this race… As time went on, and this leadership process continued, I watched and listened (to the candidates) two individuals surfaced as being worthy, and deserving of serious consideration in this particular race. Obviously my first choice is Erin O’Toole and the second choice will be Andrew Scheer. Those are the only two names that will be appearing on my ballot.”

After the announcement, Motz was asked why he felt endorsing an Ontario-based candidate like O’Toole was the right way to go instead of endorsing a western-based candidate like Scheer.

“We do know, historically, that central Canada generally decides who is going to be the next government… I think (O’Toole) will resonate well in the area of Canada we need to take back again as Conservatives.”

Motz is not the first MP from Alberta to endorse O’Toole: Two others, Rachel Harder from Lethbridge and Pat Kelly from Calgary Rocky Ridge, also endorsed O’Toole on the same day Motz did, bringing the total to 11 endorsements from Alberta MPs for Erin O’Toole.

Motz was also asked why he did not endorse perceived frontrunners Kevin O’Leary and Kellie Leitch.

“I don’t know Mr. O’Leary really well. I know Kellie a little bit better. Both of them are good people, and I applaud them for this race. But, to me, it’s about who I think will be the leader who will resonate with Canadians to form government in 2019. That decision is very clear in my mind; and it’s Erin O’Toole.”

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