Candidate raises concern about ‘climate lockdown,’ O’Toole says focus is platform

Conservative Leader Erin O’Toole is having to answer for one of his candidates on the campaign trail who asked residents if they are in favour of a ‘climate lockdown.’

The question was posed in undated correspondence sent before the Sept. 20 election call from the office of Cheryl Gallant, who has served as a Member of Parliament in Ontario.

It asks constituents to “make the coming election a referendum on more lockdowns” and says Canadians need to ask a series of questions before agreeing to a “climate emergency lockdown.”

Gallant did not immediately respond to request for comment on the matter, but O’Toole was asked to address his candidate’s statements while campaigning in a town east of Montreal.

The Conservative leader didn’t answer when repeatedly asked whether he found Gallant’s statements to be acceptable, given how he says the party is focused on running a positive campaign and has a plan to tackle climate change.

O’Toole says his focus isn’t on the past, but on talking to Canadians about his party’s plan to help the country’s economy recover from the COVID-19 pandemic.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Aug. 29, 2021.

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