Erin O’Toole has led a life of service. Born in Montreal, QC, he grew up as a middle-class kid in Bowmanville, ON. He enrolled in the Royal Canadian Air Force when he was 18 and attended the Royal Military College. His time in the RCAF took him across Canada, completing basic training in Chilliwack, BC; earning his wings in Winnipeg, MB; and serving out of Halifax, NS as a tactical navigator. During that time, Erin participated in search and rescue missions on Sea King helicopters and learned French.
After 12 years of service, Erin retired from the military and spent the next decade working in the private sector as a corporate lawyer. He is a founding member of the Board of Directors for the True Patriot Love Foundation, a charity that serves veterans and military families across Canada.
He has been elected to represent Durham three times, first in a 2012 by-election, then in 2015, and 2019. He served as Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of International Trade before becoming Minister of Veterans Affairs, a beleaguered file he successfully turned around within 10 months at the end of the Harper government.
After serving as the Conservative Shadow Minister of Foreign Affairs for two years, Erin is now the Leader of Canada’s Conservatives.