Politics

Erin O'Toole: Not today Jason Kenney, not today

SATIRE: Reimagining the Conservative leader's recent press conference—and the dogged effort to get him to utter two simple words

New Brunswick. Four days before the federal election. Erin O’Toole is trying to make an announcement about securing the future. His hopes are dashed. Nobody wants to talk about securing futures. Nobody wants to talk about New Brunswick. They only want to talk about the premier of Alberta, who has announced new lockdown and vaccine passport measures to curb a mounting disaster in the province.

O’Toole stares into the camera, steeled to push ahead. Jason Kenney won’t take this day away from him. No. The words “Alberta” and “Jason” and “Kenney” will not come out of his mouth. Not today. Not when he’s this close to securing the future. Nothing will stop him now.

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This is roughly how the press conference ensues:

Reporter: Any response to Jason Kenney’s announcement and how he’s done with the pandemic?

O’Toole: Justin Trudeau did a very bad job with the pandemic.

Reporter: Sure, so, in contrast, you said the other day that Kenney had done a very good job. But even Kenney now disagrees with that. Do you stand by your statement?

O’Toole: Here’s what I stand by. I stand by Canadians. I’ve always stood by Canadians. Liberals don’t do that. They just call expensive elections.

Reporter: But what you said the other day…

O’Toole: My answer is clear. I’d stand by Canadians. Trudeau is bad. Provinces are good. New Brunswick, by the way, is a province.

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Reporter: Who handled the pandemic better? Justin Trudeau or Jason Kenney?

O’Toole: I’ll tell you who didn’t handle it well. And that’s Trudeau. He handled it badly.

Reporter: Did Kenney handle it badly?

O’Toole: I’ll tell you one thing. Trudeau is spending $600 million on an election.

Reporter: But, like, between the two of them?

O’Toole: I would respect, and work with, every single province. Such as New Brunswick. New Brunswick is the province I am in today.

Reporter: Alberta and the Delta variant—thoughts?

O’Toole: If I were Prime Minister, I would work with the provinces. If I were Prime Minister, the Delta variant wouldn’t even be here.

Reporter: …Okay, what would you have done differently to keep the Delta variant out of the country?

O’Toole: I’d have stopped the flights. And guess what. I’d have worked with the provinces.

Reporter: But back to Jason Kenney…

O’Toole: Trudeau won’t work with every single province like I will. I’ll be a wingman for every single one. A wingman, that’s me. Did I mention I was in the air force?

Reporter: Jason Kenney. Ja-son Ken-ney. Is this mic on?

O’Toole: Did I mention the $600 million? So many taxpayer dollars—600 million of them! You could, you know, work with the provinces using that kind of money! Provinces like New Brunswick!

Reporter: If I ask you about Alberta one more time, are you really going to stand there and tell me, yet again, that you’re going to work with the provinces? Is that really what you’re going to say? Is that—can you even hear me?

O’Toole: Here’s one thing you can take right to the bank. I’ll work with the provinces. You can bet your hard-earned taxpayer money on that.