Front Burner

Pro-labour, pro-union Conservatives?

Conservative Leader Erin O’Toole says he wants to fight for greater labour rights and more unions in the private sector. Is this part of a new Conservative vision? Catherine Cullen, senior reporter on Parliament Hill for CBC News, tells us more.
Conservative Leader Erin O'Toole holds a press conference on Parliament Hill in Ottawa Wednesday, Sept. 2, 2020. Conservative Leader Erin O'Toole is naming his shadow cabinet, including his predecessor Andrew Scheer as the party's infrastructure critic. (Sean Kilpatrick/The Canadian Press)

In recent public and media appearances, Conservative Leader Erin O'Toole has talked up the need to fight inequality through labour rights, and lamented the decline of unionization in the private sector. He's also blamed the Liberals for favouring elites over workers, and trade deals over jobs in Canada.

These issues have become recurring themes as he introduces himself to Canadians after being elected leader of the Conservatives back in August.

Today on Front Burner, CBC senior parliamentary reporter Catherine Cullen on the reaction to this political shift, and what might be behind it.