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Hello,

Erin O’Toole is the new leader of the Conservative Party of Canada.

Mr. O’Toole, a former member of the Air Force, a lawyer, an Ontario MP and – briefly – a cabinet minister under Stephen Harper, is the third permanent leader the modern Conservatives have had. He campaigned with a vision to keep the party going in the same direction forged by Mr. Harper and continued by his successor, Andrew Scheer.

Mr. O’Toole beat out Peter MacKay, the longtime federal cabinet minister and former leader of the Progressive Conservatives. Mr. MacKay led on the first ballot, but Mr. O’Toole overtook him in points after Ontario MP Derek Sloan and Toronto lawyer Leslyn Lewis were eliminated. Ms. Lewis emerged as a new voice in the race and finished only a hair behind Mr. MacKay in the second ballot. She was first place in the four western provinces.

The race was marred at the end by hours of delays because a mail-opening machine had ripped up thousands of ballots. The announcement of results had originally been scheduled for around 6:30 p.m. ET on Sunday, but didn’t come until after 1 a.m.

This is the daily Politics Briefing newsletter, written by Chris Hannay. 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 signup page. Have any feedback? Let us know what you think.

TODAY’S HEADLINES

Canadian MPs have brought to light at least two times that Chinese authorities urged them not to meet human rights activists. In 2017, the foreign affairs committee visited Hong Kong and was urged not to speak with pro-democracy advocates. And in 2019, NDP MP Linda Duncan was asked by the Chinese embassy not to meet with the Dalai Lama, though she did anyway.

The federal lobbying commissioner is looking into a report that Rob Silver, husband of the Prime Minister’s chief of staff, contacted Liberal aides in the early days of the pandemic to seek changes in the wage subsidy that could be beneficial to the company he works for.

Foreign Affairs Minister François-Philippe Champagne is making his first overseas trip since the pandemic started, with a stop in Lebanon to see the site of the devastating Beirut explosion.

Chrystia Freeland may have been tapped as the new finance minister because of her skill at working with other political leaders – such as conservative premiers – and her communication style, sources tell The Globe.

And Ms. Freeland takes over from Bill Morneau, who had been finance minister for nearly five years. Last week, Mr. Morneau said he would run for secretary-general of the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development. Observers of the international group say Mr. Morneau will face a challenging contest, as he will be caught between a competitive U.S. candidate and a potential desire among European countries for a secretary-general from their region.

John Ibbitson (The Globe and Mail) on Conservative Leader Erin O’Toole: “These aren’t normal times. The usual political rules don’t apply. If Mr. O’Toole doesn’t have a governing agenda ready to go by Sept. 23, when the Liberals deliver their Throne Speech, if he comes across as indecisive or angry in responding to it, if people decide the Conservatives have no answers or are just playing politics, then they will turn away.”

Kelly McParland (National Post) on O’Toole’s support from social conservatives: “That won’t stop Liberals from arguing he’s a sheep in wolf’s clothing, a moderate easterner who mortgaged himself to hardliners. Does he believe them or does he not? Will they have important influence on policies? If not, why court them, and why pretend to be something he isn’t? It’s all about the uncertainty: Liberals will gain important ground if they can unsettle voters about O’Toole the way they did with Scheer. The fact he won thanks to supporters of the two authentic socons, Lewis and Derek Sloan, means Liberals already have significant ammunition at their disposal. "

Peter Donolo (The Globe and Mail) on the economic reasons Trumpism doesn’t flourish in Canada: “Put simply, Canada won’t produce a Donald Trump for the same reason we don’t have a domestic automobile industry: our market isn’t big or lucrative enough.”

Ismail Ibrahim and Joey Jamil (The Globe and Mail) on how to deal with the rent crisis caused by COVID-19: “The extension of eviction moratoriums is a problem. Rent arrears are not solved, but merely kicked down the road. Extensions are also unfair to landlords, as they carry the burden of the arrears. Notwithstanding the financial impact on tenants, landlords need rent to cover their own costs, such as mortgages, property taxes and repairs. If an eviction moratorium is extended, it should be part of a broader strategy to address what happens at the end of the moratorium and how to assist struggling landlords.”

Rita Achrekar (The Globe and Mail) on systems for safely reopening schools: “An illustrative example would have four levels of risk – very low, low, moderate, and high – along with an early warning indicator (risk is increasing, stable or declining). The risk level would be assessed based on best available scientific measures (key risk indicators) determined by public-health experts and would include factors such as how many cases a community has (absolute number and relative to population), level of testing, 14-day trend, etc.”

Brigitte Pellerin (Ottawa Citizen) on the need for men to push back against toxic masculinity: “We need you, the vast majority of lovely and decent men who don’t see women as inferior to anyone, to say, hey, buddy, that’s really not OK. Here in the 21st century, we don’t talk to (or about) women like that. It’s not enough for the good guys to not be toxic, the same way it’s not enough for white folks to not be racist. Ignoring toxicity (or racism) normalizes it.”

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