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Conservative Leader Erin O’Toole is facing a caucus revolt after 35 MPs signed a letter calling for a leadership-review vote over concerns about the direction of the Official Opposition party.

The letter, sent to caucus chair Scott Reid on Monday, would require a leadership-review vote by Conservative MPs as early as Wednesday’s regular caucus meeting. If more than 50 per cent of caucus voted against him, Mr. O’Toole would have to step down immediately.

MPs would then have to elect an interim caucus leader while the Conservative Party calls a leadership race. Two sources said at least 63 of the elected 119 Conservative MPs are willing to vote against Mr. O’Toole.

Arriving Tuesday for Question Period, Alberta MP Garnet Genuis said the matter is best discussed among caucus members.

“I think the leader’s position is untenable right now,” the MP for Sherwood Park-Fort Saskatchewan told reporters. “We’re not seeing what we need to from the leadership right now.”

Mr. O’Toole has said he welcomed the vote.

“I’m not going anywhere and I’m not turning back. Canada needs us to be united and serious,” he said in a post on Facebook. “It’s time for a reckoning. To settle this in caucus. Right here. Right now. Once and for all,” he said in a statement Monday night.

Ottawa Bureau Chief Robert Fife and Parliamentary Reporter Marieke Walsh report here.

Reporter’s Comment, Ottawa Bureau Chief Robert Fife: “Erin O’Toole is in a fight for his political life. His opponents are his own colleagues. The Globe got wind of the move to oust him on Sunday. Lots of phone calls took place within the dissidents and O’Toole camps before we were able to break the story on Monday evening. All eyes will now be on Wednesday’s crucial caucus meeting to see if Mr. O’Toole can survive or will be removed. No predictions on the outcome from The Globe, but stay tuned as we will strive to be the first to break the news.”

This is the daily Politics Briefing newsletter, written by Ian Bailey. It is available exclusively to our digital subscribers. If you’re reading this on the web, subscribers can sign up for the Politics newsletter and more than 20 others on our newsletter sign-up page. Have any feedback? Let us know what you think.


UNVACCINATED TAX SCRAPPED - Quebec Premier François Legault said Tuesday he is abandoning plans to tax the unvaccinated because he is worried about divisions generated by the proposal. Story here.

MEETING FIRMED BETWEEN INDIGENOUS DELEGATION AND POPE - An Indigenous delegation is to meet with Pope Francis at the Vatican in early spring to discuss reconciliation and healing after a visit was postponed because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Story here.

GO HOME OTTAWA PROTESTERS: FORD - Ontario Premier Doug Ford said both the province and the country hear concerns of protesters who have descended on to the nation’s capital, but it is now time to let people in the city resume their lives. Story here. There’s a Globe and Mail explainer here on the ongoing protests.

FREELAND DETAILS PREBUDGET CONSULTATIONS - Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland said housing affordability, a “green transition” and jobs will be priorities as the government launched public consultations ahead of the 2022 federal budget. Story here.

HARASSMENT OF POLL WORKERS - Police responded to 78 harassment calls at polling stations, including physical attacks on poll workers, during last year’s federal election, according to a new report by Elections Canada.

ETHICS COMMITTEE OPPOSES DATA COLLECTION PLAN - The House of Commons ethics committee has called for a halt to the Public Health Agency of Canada’s plans to collect data from millions of mobile phones as a way to understand travel patterns during the COVID-19 pandemic. Story here.

SUPPORT FOR TRUCKER PROTEST LEADS TO PUNISHMENT FOR MANITOBA LEGISLATOR - A Manitoba member of the provincial legislature has been punished for meeting with and supporting truckers protesting COVID-19 vaccine mandates. Story here.

THE DECIBEL – On Tuesday’s edition of The Globe and Mail podcast, Parliamentary reporter Marieke Walsh talks about the “Freedom Convoy” in Ottawa. Thousands of protestors have arrived, initially motivated by a new vaccine mandate that would impose the same restrictions on unvaccinated truckers as other travellers across the border. The Decibel is here.


Private meetings. The Prime Minister spoke with the President of France, Emmanuel Macron, and chaired a virtual meeting of the federal cabinet. The Prime Minister was also scheduled to speak with Dr. David Naylor, the co-chair of the COVID-19 Immunity Task Force, as well as Dr. Mona Nemer, the Chief Science Advisor of Canada. This evening, an interview with the Prime Minister airs on OMNI News Mandarin Edition and Cantonese Edition.


Bloc Québécois Leader Yves-François Blanchet holds a media availability on Parliament Hill regarding the government’s handling of the truckers’ demonstration.

NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh virtually attends Question Period and meets with the Dairy Farmers of Canada and B.C.

No schedule released for other party leaders.


Campbell Clark (The Globe and Mail) on the debate in Parliament about the character of protesters outside: If anything, it was an exchange between Mr. Poilievre and Liberal House Leader Mark Holland that sparked the most noise in the Commons – when both were debating who should be turning down the tone, and even, atypically, expressing respect for each other. “When I saw swastikas on the street, when I saw what had happened, it is time to move on,” Mr. Holland said. He added later: “I would ask Conservatives to also join with us to ask they go home, and let us do this responsibly,” he said. Mr. Poilievre responded by insisting it is the Liberals fuelling division with disrespect. “This country right now is like a raw nerve, and the Prime Minister is jumping up and down on it again and again with his inflammatory rhetoric.”

Robyn Urback (The Globe and Mail) on Prime Minister Justin Trudeau inflaming convoy tensions instead of trying to quell them: “Prime Minister Justin Trudeau didn’t quite resort to Ms. Clinton’s “basket of deplorables” quip when he hosted a news conference Monday, but he certainly espoused no patience for anyone who participated in the trucker convoy that took over downtown Ottawa over the weekend. When asked by one journalist whether it was fair to focus on the “obviously terrible” minority, Mr. Trudeau replied by noting that many protests he has witnessed over the years “don’t see the level of hateful rhetoric, of swastikas, of abuse toward their fellow citizens.” He then added, “Anyone who is part of this group who is disgusted by what the folks protesting alongside are doing needs to step up and take responsibility, condemn these actions and look for other ways to express their displeasure.”

Zain Chagla (Contributed to The Globe and Mail) on why Canada’s current travel restrictions don’t make sense:A permanent ban on travel is impossible, and diverse countries such as Canada have families with diverse travel needs. Omicron has taught us that our global interconnectedness means the virus is a part of our future and that we must think globally for solutions. And it has taught us that the current rules for travel do not make sense.”

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