The day after Durham, Ont. MP Erin O’Toole was named Conservative Party of Canada’s new leader, replacing Andrew Scheer, South Surrey-White Rock MP Kerry-Lynne Findlay’s staff scrubbed her social media of posts critical of her new boss.
Findlay congratulated O’Toole on his Sunday night win, however, she told Peace Arch News Tuesday that she still has concerns about his platform.
The Conservative MP tweeted last June that, if elected, O’Toole “would kill jobs & mire our fossil fuel industries with regulation.”
The tweet featured an image, which said O’Toole’s plan to raise taxes included a hidden carbon tax, expanded carbon tax, and “Review (raise?) taxes.”
The tweet was captured by PAN Monday morning before it was removed.
In another since-deleted tweet, Findlay took issue with O’Toole’s platform because it “sounds an awful like Justin Trudeau’s language on carbon tax.”
“(O’Toole) talks about ‘Alberta and the West’ but not a single mention of BC. Talks about ‘making industry pay’ while our economy is struggling through COVID-19,” Findlay tweeted.
In another tweet, which remained on her profile as of Tuesday morning Findlay wrote, “many are questioning the wording of Erin O’Toole’s energy policy platform.”
The tweet includes an image of a quote, which reads, “Erin has vague language suggesting another mechanism for ‘taxing industry’ which sounds a lot like a carbon tax of his own.”
Although the tweets were deleted, Findlay, who currently sits as a shadow minister for environment and climate change, said she still has concerns about O’Toole’s environment platform.
“That aspect of his platform, which I am going to be very interested to hear him articulate more clearly, on carbon pricing, left me not understanding what he was suggesting. Because he also said he’s against a carbon tax, which has been our conservative position,” Findlay said.
“If you say you’re against a carbon tax but you’re for a regulatory and carbon pricing regime, I would like to know exactly what that means.”
Asked if she regrets that staff deleted the tweets critical of O’Toole, Findlay said, “I just got back on a late flight last night and I’ve been very busy in Ottawa. So it’s something we’ll have to discuss.”
In the months leading up to the Aug. 23 leadership vote, Findlay had been a vocal supporter of candidate Peter MacKay, who was defeated by O’Toole on the third ballot of the vote.
Following the nomination, Findlay congratulated O’Toole on Twitter, adding that “Conservatives must now unite in order to beat @JustinTrudeau and move Canada forward.”
O’Toole was first elected as an MP in 2012, and briefly served in the Harper government as minister of veterans affairs in 2015.
Findlay said O’Toole quickly earned respect for the way he handled himself and his thoughtfulness on files.
“And I know here in South Surrey-White Rock, which is home of the Equitas Society, the leaders felt that he did a very good job as veterans affairs minister and that they could talk to him and he listened, and was prepared to come closer to what they thought was an equitable solution on their pensions,” she said.
O’Toole was named new leader after technical issues with the ballot count delayed the Conservative Party election for hours. Findlay, who was in Ottawa assisting with the process, said she heard concerns in media about ballots being “shredded.”
“That’s not what happened,” she said, adding that the process involved a tabulation machine and an envelope opening machine.
“The one that opened the envelopes, some of the envelopes were torn a little bit, not shredded in any way, just torn a little bit,” she said, adding the ballots that sustained minor damage had to be completely redone under watchful eyes and entered into the tabulation machine.
“This process of re-marking, even these little imperfections, as you know took us hours and hours.”