Black Conservative Canadians divided over the ABC’s endorsement of O’Toole

Written By Guest User, Posted on May 16, 2020

The Association of Black Conservatives (ABC), a group formed “to harness the numbers of black conservatives across Canada,” according to their Facebook page, has endorsed Erin O’Toole in his bid for the leadership of the Conservative Party of Canada (CPC). 

The endorsement, which may come as a surprise to some given the historic candidacy of Dr. Leslyn Lewis, the first black woman to run for the leadership of the CPC, came after “a reflective and methodological” evaluation of the candidates.

The ABC, in a statement released regarding their endorsement, noted the “willingness to address the economic concerns of the Black Canadian community” that O’Toole demonstrated during their dialogue. 

“Erin showed an appreciation for the benefits of broadening the Party’s base to achieve CPC electoral victory. We were particularly pleased with Erin’s strategy to designate a caucus member to lead cross-cultural engagement under his leadership. We need a leader that is willing to consult with the grassroots and visible minorities including Black Canadians in order to serve all Canadians effectively, initially as leader of the opposition, and thereafter as Prime Minister.”

One of the major factors leading to the endorsement of O’Toole is the fact that only his campaign and Peter MacKay’s responded to the ABC’s request for dialogue. 

Not all Black Canadians agree with the ABC’s endorsement however. Jermaine Chambers, a Brampton community organizer, released a statement on Twitter outlining his endorsement of Lewis, citing her belief in the family as the cornerstone of society, protection of fundamental freedoms, compassion for the most vulnerable, and fiscal responsibility. 

“Her personal story of hard work, perseverance, and success will connect with families across Canada, particularly in the GTA and other urban areas where we need to win to form government.”

Chambers accused the ABC of not consulting its membership before issuing their endorsement of O’Toole, saying the decision was made by “unelected officers.” 

Tunde Obasan, a former UCP candidate in the riding of Edmonton South, also issued an endorsement of Lewis, calling her the “quintessential personification of the Canadian values of freedom, equality, inclusion, and multiculturalism.”

For her part, Lewis responded to Chambers by thanking him for his courage in standing up to the ABC and also thanked Obasan for his endorsement calling him a “hard worker and an amazing community leader.”

Guest User

2 responses to “Black Conservative Canadians divided over the ABC’s endorsement of O’Toole”

  1. ANONYMOUS says:

    Thought this was a news website (nice name) but see it’s a blog.
    This isn’t journalism as it’s a summary of Jermain’s twitter activities for the day. Why not also do a summary of the twitter thread where suggesting a black organization should endorse the black candidate backfired. The endorsement criteria was more than responses to a questionnaire. To make this real journalism reach out to both sides for comments. Glad to be the first comment and goodluck with the blog.

  2. Concerned Canadian says:

    After reading the questionnaire the ABC put out to the leadership candidates, it appears that the ABC is not interested in Conservative policies.