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Minister for International Cooperation Bev Oda speaks during Question Period in the House of Commons on Parliament Hill in Ottawa.


A Bay Street lawyer is gearing up for a run at the Ontario seat that federal Conservative Member of Parliament Bev Oda is vacating.

Erin O'Toole, a lawyer at Heenan Blaikie, is said to be preparing to declare his interest in being the Conservative candidate in the Durham riding after years of laying the groundwork in the region east of Toronto that Ms. Oda has represented. Mr. O'Toole lives in Courtice, Ontario, which is in the district, and his surname will be familiar to Conservative supporters in the area because his father, John O'Toole, is a local representative in the provincial parliament.

The younger O'Toole, a former military officer, is active in many causes, including being a prime mover behind the formation of the True Patriot Love foundation. True Patriot Love has raised more than $1-million to support military families in need.

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Mr. O'Toole has yet to officially announce his candidacy. However, a team of young Bay Street supporters is coalescing around him and preparing to launch a campaign.

Mr. O'Toole went into law after leaving the military, where he flew on one of Canada's rickety Sea King helicopters, signalling he may indeed have the stomach for the ups and downs of politics. He first joined Stikeman Elliot, one of the country's biggest law firms. Later, he worked as a corporate counsel at Procter & Gamble, before joining Heenan Blaikie.

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