OTTAWA — The Conservative riding association launched a petition to protest leader Erin O’Toole’s plan to institute a carbon tax.

OTTAWA — The Conservative riding association launched a petition to protest leader Erin O’Toole’s plan to institute a carbon tax.

The party’s electoral district for the rural Saskatchewan riding of Battlefords-Lloydminster announced today it has launched a petition it plans to present to the Conservatives’ national council.

O’Toole’s leadership is being shattered by this latest move. At least three other riding associations requested that he undergo an earlier leadership review by mid June. Some MPs also feel that he’s unfit for the job.

In a statement, the riding president for Battlefords-Lloydminster says O’Toole didn’t honour the policy members adopted last March that spells out their belief there shouldn’t be any federal carbon taxes or cap-and-trade systems imposed onto provinces.

Michael Hudec claims O’Toole broke that policy when he announced that the party’s climate plan included a carbon price system. This would have seen the money that consumers pay go into a “personal low-carbon savings account.”

O’Toole argued that his plan was not a carbon tax, because unlike the Liberal government’s federal backstop, it would not see money going to the government.

Hudec stated in his statement O’Toole violated the will of party members when he introduced what he called the O’Toole carbon tax.

It’s not the O’Toole carbon taxes, but it’s a different name. O’Toole’s carbon taxes will make everything more costly for everyone and are exactly the opposite of what our members voted at our most recent democratic political policy convention,” he states.

Rosemarie Falk, riding’s MP, said in a separate statement that she respected the decision made by the riding association’s board.

Falk stated in a statement that the Conservative Party of Canada was a grassroots party with the obligation to respond to its members.

“As the member of Parliament for Battlefords-Lloydminster, my position has always been that a carbon tax is ineffective and unfairly punishes the rural communities that I represent.”

The request for comment was not answered immediately by the party.

Despite all the chaos, Rob Batherson, party president, presented a memo to The Canadian Press that said 2021 was a great year for fundraising.

This document describes how the party ended the year raising nearly $27 million, making 2021 the third-best year in fundraising history.

Batherson claims that the party is now election-ready, having paid its election loan.

The memo states, “This is the earliest time we have achieved this in party history.”

“To be available for an election four months after the last one is not common in Canadian politics — but we are.”