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Erin O’Toole: From MP to PM real quick (maybe)

by Christine Beaudoin September 3, 2020
Erin O’Toole: From MP to PM real quick (maybe)

The new Conservative leader’s potentially quick rise to national power

Erin O’Toole recently became the Conservative Party’s new leader after a whopping 57 per cent vote victory. Self-described as a military man who will fight for the rights of Canadians, O’Toole’s election comes at a critical time in Canadian history, as the country struggles with a pandemic and the Liberal Party loses trust following the WE Charity controversy. In just a few months, he could even become Prime Minister.

This parallel universe in which O’Toole becomes the leader of Canada just a few months after winning the leadership of his own party exists because Parliament is currently in prorogation.

But what exactly is prorogation?

According to the CBC, prorogation “suspends all parliamentary activity, including all legislation and committee work,” until Parliament is next summoned.

In a nutshell, prorogation is like hitting Parliament’s reset button. Ongoing committee work such as bills, studies and investigations are paused during this period and can be reintroduced once the break is over. To top it off, a fresh agenda will be proposed by the Trudeau government upon the reopening of Parliament activities.

In point of fact, Justin Trudeau considers that Parliament has been due for a reset because “the throne speech [they] delivered eight months ago had no mention of COVID-19.” Trudeau said  his government wants to test the confidence of the House.

On Sept. 23, the new session will begin. A speech from the throne will be given, and a confidence vote will be taken.

If confidence is lost…

Should the House decide that it does not have confidence in the government, elections would be triggered.

Canadian elections have historically been ruled by the Conservative Party and the Liberal Party, suggesting that a race to power in this scenario would be dominated by either Justin Trudeau or Erin O’Toole.

However, O’Toole does not intend to trigger this scenario. In an interview with The West Block in Toronto, the pro-choice leader states that Fall elections are not his priority.

 

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