Liberals pick candidate for O’Toole byelection who first tried running for Tories

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Published January 4, 2024 at 4:37 pm

New Liberal candidate for Durham Riding Robert Rock with former MP and Conservative leader (and the man he wants to replace) Erin O'Toole

OTTAWA — A man who initially sought the Conservative nomination for a Greater Toronto Area riding has instead become the Liberal candidate in an upcoming byelection.

The Liberal party announced today that Robert Rock, a councillor in Scugog, will be its candidate in the election to replace former Tory leader Erin O’Toole in Durham Riding.

Rock says he decided to run for the Liberals because the Conservative party no longer speaks to his values, and he believes they will cut services and bring American-style politics to Canada if they are elected.

He had praised Pierre Poilievre’s leadership less than a year ago when expressing interest in the Tory nomination contest that lawyer Jamil Jivani ultimately won.

Conservative spokesperson Sarah Fischer says Rock purchased a party membership last April but failed to meet the requirements to run under its banner.

The byelection must be called by the end of the month.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Jan. 4, 2024.

The Canadian Press

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