A look at the mechanism that could allow the Conservatives to oust Erin O’Toole


Published February 1, 2022 at 1:33 pm

OTTAWA — A group of Conservative MPs has submitted a letter to the caucus chair demanding a review of Erin O’Toole’s leadership. Here’s a look at the legislation that allows the review to take place:

The Reform Act, introduced by Tory MP Michael Chong, gives MPs a mechanism to remove an unpopular leader.

The legislation, which was passed in 2015 and applies to parties that adopt it, not only strengthens the power of the party caucus, but gives riding associations more power to choose local candidates. It also gives MPs the power to launch a review of their party leader.

A leadership review can be triggered if at least 20 per cent of caucus members submit a written notice to the caucus chair, who, in the case of the Tories, is Ontario MP Scott Reid. 

One Conservative caucus member has said one-third of Tory MPs have signed the letter urging a review of O’Toole’s leadership.

The caucus chair must make public the names of those caucus members requesting the vote. But any ensuing leadership review will be conducted by secret ballot, with the result determined by a majority vote of caucus members. 

It is up to the political party to decide how to choose a new leader, if that is the outcome.

When he introduced the reform bill in Parliament, Chong said it would “restore and strengthen the concept of confidence in House of Commons parliamentary party caucuses and would reinforce the caucus as a decision-making body.”

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Feb. 1, 2022. 

The Canadian Press

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