OTTAWA — The federal Conservatives will be holding its first post-election in-person caucus meeting on Tuesday, where the national caucus is expected to vote on whether or not to give themselves the power to potentially oust Erin O’Toole.
It’s one of four key votes that the caucus is expected to take during the meeting, in line with the party’s observance of the Reform Act. The initiative from Conservative MP Michael Chong came into effect in 2015, and is meant to empower party caucuses on Parliament Hill.
The Act sets out four powers that caucuses can decide on whether or not they want to enact
- The review and removal of the party leader;
- The election of the interim leader;
- The election and review of the caucus chair; and
- The expulsion and re-admission of caucus members.
The votes on whether to grant these powers are supposed to happen at the first post-election caucus meeting, but other parties’ observance of the rules has not been consistent in the past.
If Conservative MPs and senators decide tomorrow to enact the power to prompt a leadership review, 20 per cent of caucus would need to sign a formal agreement to trigger the process, and then it would require a majority of caucus to vote to remove the leader through a secret ballot process.
Tuesday’s meeting comes amid ongoing internal Conservative Party disagreement over whether O’Toole should remain at the helm of the party after the Sept. 20 federal election loss. After promising to gain seats across the country the party is returning with the same number of MPs that it had before the vote.
In a statement to CTVNews.ca, Chelsea Tucker, a spokesperson for the Conservative leader, said “Mr. O’Toole has always supported the Reform Act provisions and this continues to be true. Caucus members are encouraged to vote as they see fit.”
When the caucus met for the first time after Andrew Scheer’s 2019 election loss, caucus decided against voting to enact the power to oust him as party leader, though he did go on to face further pressure to step aside, and ultimately resigned months later.