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Home News Hoback touts O’Toole’s leadership at campaign office opening in Prince Albert

Hoback touts O’Toole’s leadership at campaign office opening in Prince Albert

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Hoback touts O’Toole’s leadership at campaign office opening in Prince Albert
Randy Hoback officially opens his new campaign office with help from friends, family members and party supporters Wednesday night. -- Jason Kerr/Daily Herald

Incumbent Prince Albert MP Randy Hoback thanked supporters for their hard work, touted Erin O’Toole’s leadership, and urged Prince Albert residents to tell their friends in Ontario to “vote the right way this time” as he officially opened his campaign office in the south end of Prince Albert.

A handful of family, friends and supporters were on hand for a ribbon-cutting and campaign barbecue Wednesday night. Hoback drew lengthy applause when he told visitors the Conservatives were on the cusp of a majority, and said he only expects their campaign to get stronger as Canadians get to know Erin O’Toole.

“He’s someone they can look at and trust,” Hoback said in an interview afterwards. “He comes from the military. He’s got the credentials to be the Prime Minister of Canada, and he’s super smart. There’s no question about that.

“He’s probably one of the smartest guys I know—right on the same level as Stephen Harper. We’ve got a leader in the party right now who can take us to a majority government, and run a very efficient and effective government.”

O’Toole has faced criticism from the Liberals for his party’s healthcare plan, which the Liberals say will create a two-tier system where wealthy Canadians jump the line at the expense of the poor, and for their vaccine strategy and views on vaccine passports.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau also criticized O’Toole for not doing enough to reign in the aggressive protestors dogging the Prime Minister at events around the country.

At one event in Ontario, volunteers for a local Conservative MP where identified in the crowd wearing Conservative campaign gear. The Conservatives say those individuals are no local welcome to volunteer for the party.

Hoback said it’s important for protestors to be civil and obey the law when protesting, but said Trudeau is deceiving himself if he thinks O’Toole is responsible for the anger at the federal government.

“Trudeau has brought this on himself,” Hoback said. “This isn’t something that Erin O’Toole has created. The issues that they’re protesting about aren’t things we’ve (promoted) in government.

“It’s his government who has created the problems people are protesting, and if he isn’t smart enough to recognize that he’s made some huge mistakes in the last six years, and he thinks the protestors are the problem, then he doesn’t acknowledge the real problem.”

Hoback said the Liberal Party has “lost their mojo” in recent days, and have relied too heavily on outdated attacks they used during campaigns in 2015 and 2019. He’s confident voters will see through those comments as they see more of O’Toole.

““The Conservative Party that we’re seeing under Erin O’Toole isn’t the Conservative Party of Stephan Harper,” he said. “They’re different parties. Things have changed. Erin has shown a little more of a compassionate, softer side to the Conservative Party, while still maintaining the strong conservative principles that make the party what it is.”

Hoback said he’s going to start ramping up his campaign in the coming days, but added most people he’s talked to aren’t happy to be talking politics right now. He said most constituents want to enjoy the last few weeks of summer as opposed to focusing on a federal election.

Those plans may or may not include the Federal Election Candidates Forum hosted by the Prince Albert and District Chamber of Commerce. Hoback said Wednesday he’s still deciding on whether or not to attend. He’s not convinced it’s the most efficient use of a candidate’s time during a short election, but said he’s still open to it.

“It doesn’t bother me to do them. It’s just, ‘what is the best use of our team’s time?’”