Politics

Erin O'Toole's acceptance speech: Full transcript

The Ontario MP is leader of the Conservative Party of Canada after winning the leadership race earlier this week. Read his full acceptance speech here.

Erin O’Toole won the Conservative Party leadership race on August 23, 2020. Here is the full transcript of his speech.

What an honour. Thank you so much.

Thank you to my friends—Leslyn Lewis, Derek Sloan, and of course to the Honourable Peter MacKay.

Thank you for stepping up for our country. Congratulations for the campaigns you have run, for the ideas you have put forward, and for the Canadians you have recruited to our cause.

Thank you for putting your name on the ballot. For leaving your families for weeks to travel all over this great country – whether on the ground or in a room of your house on hours of Zoom calls.

Thank you for talking to Canadians about our country, our party and ideas for a stronger future.

Thank you for valuing the grassroots members of our movement.

READ: Who really is Erin O’Toole?

I want to thank my incredible campaign team from coast to coast to coast!  We have built an incredible team of passionate and patriotic Canadians. Your hard work led to this victory.

Mes amis, cette course montre que le Parti Conservateur est un parti d’idées et de principes. Les débats positifs avec Leslyn, Derek, et Peter prouvent que notre mouvement est en santé. Merci à vous trois. On va continuer le travail ensemble.

Durant cette course, j’ai été fier de voyager à travers la Belle Province. J’ai rencontré des centaines de Québécois à Montréal, Trois-Rivières, Québec, et dans le Saguenay. Merci de m’avoir reçu chez vous pour parler d’économie, de santé, et d’agriculture. Quand les journalistes vont parler de cette course, ils vont parler de notre grand succès au Québec. On a bâtit une équipe incroyable qui fait honneur au deal des deux peuples fondateurs.

I also want to thank the volunteers for Peter, Leslyn and Derek. You worked incredibly hard and I look forward to all of us working together to build a stronger country with more opportunity for our children and grandchildren.

I would also like to thank Andrew and Jill Scheer and your family for your service and dedication to our party and our country.  We will continue to work together for Canadians.

And of course I want to thank my wife, Rebecca, our children Mollie and Jack and all of my family and friends here tonight or watching at home for your love, advice and patience these nine months.

Cette victoire revient évidemment à mon épouse Rebecca, nos enfants Mollie et Jack, ainsi que toute ma famille et nos amis. Merci pour votre amour, votre patience, et vos conseils.

Most of all, thank you to the tens of thousands of Canadians from coast to coast to coast who voted for me.

You put your faith in me to lead this historic party and I am honoured and humbled. I promise you, I will not let you down.

Today, you have given me a clear mission:

To unite our party.
To champion our conservative principles.
To show Canadians what we know so well – that Justin Trudeau and his team are failing our great country.
We must continue to point out Liberal failings and corruption BUT we also must show Canadians our vision for a stronger, prosperous and more united Canada.
Canada can—and must—do better and Conservatives will work hard to earn the trust and confidence of Canadians in the next election.

Aujourd’hui, vous me donnez une mission claire:

– Unire notre parti
– Me tenir debout pour nos valeurs
– Et démontrer, encore une fois, que Justin Trudeau affaiblit le Canada.

Mais je ne vais pas juste critiquer les Libéraux. Nous allons proposer une vision d’un Canada plus fort, plus uni, et plus prospère. Une vision positive Conservatrice.

Friends, now the real work begins. We could be into an election campaign as soon as this fall. But as more than 260,000 passionate Conservatives have already shown in this record breaking leadership amidst a pandemic—the Conservative Party will be ready for the next election. And we will win the next election.

To the millions of Canadians that I am meeting tonight for the first time…

Hello, I’m Erin O’Toole….

You are going to be seeing and hearing a lot from me in the coming weeks. I want you to know that I am here to fight for you and your families.

Il y a des millions de citoyens qui me voient ce soir pour la première fois.

Mais on a beaucoup en commun. Je suis né à Montréal et j’ai grandi en Ontario. J’ai appris mon français dans les Forces Armées Canadiennes. Et oui, je parle comme un anglo… mais un anglo qui respecte les francophones et qui est fier du français dans notre pays. Je suis en politique pour me battre pour tous les Canadiens et nos deux langues nationales.

Like millions of Canadians, Rebecca and I have been juggling a lot of jobs lately. With our kids at home, COVID has made us appreciate teachers more than ever before.

My mother, who passed away when I was nine, was a teacher. And, throughout my life, I have wished she was here to give me advice.  Right now, I wish she were here to see her child succeed.  But, I know she is here tonight because I can see her in my daughter who shares her name.

Thankfully, I have had my stepmother – also a teacher – to guide me to this very day. I am thankful she and my Dad are here with me tonight. My father John, inspired me into public service.

But like many teenagers, especially those who have lost a parent, I gave my dad a hard time growing up.

He worked at General Motors for over 30 years, which brought us from Ste. Therese QC to Bowmanville, Ontario – to my home in the Toronto area.

After high school I joined the military to gain discipline and to serve the country. It deepened my love for Canada and defines who I am today.

I served as a navigator on Sea King helicopters and sailed with our Navy out of Halifax.  It was in Halifax where I met Rebecca, the love of my life.

Today, Rebecca and I are both navigating raising our amazing children Mollie and Jack – and 5 days ago we celebrated 20 years of marriage…

I have spent my entire adult life trying to serve Canada and its people. Soon, I will be asking Canadians for the chance to serve as Prime Minister so we can get our country back on track. I love this country and I am very worried about the course we are on.

When I launched my campaign in Calgary in January, I said that the stakes were high.

They are even higher today.