Erin has dedicated most of his adult life to serving Canada. It began with twelve years of service in uniform as an officer in the Canadian Armed Forces and recently included over a decade of service as a Member of Parliament and candidate for Prime Minister of Canada.
Born in Montreal, Québec, Erin grew up in Bowmanville and Port Perry, Ontario before joining the military at the age of eighteen. He graduated from the Royal Military College and was commissioned as an officer in the Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF). He received his wings as an air navigator and flew operationally with 423 Squadron on the Sea King helicopter in support of naval operations on Canada’s Atlantic coast. He was promoted to the rank of Captain in the RCAF and received his Canadian Forces Decoration (C.D.) and a Sikorsky Helicopter Rescue Award.
Following his military service, Erin attended Dalhousie Law School and spent almost a decade in the private sector as a corporate lawyer and business advisor. He practiced law at two of Canada’s top law firms and worked as in-house counsel for Procter & Gamble (P&G) in Canada. At P&G, Erin developed an innovative brand protection program to combat the rise of counterfeit goods that received national and international recognition for its success.
To give back to the military community after hanging up his uniform, Erin was one of the founders of the True Patriot Love Foundation (TPL). TPL has grown to become Canada’s leading charity for the military and veteran community through its support for family wellness programming and its public awareness initiatives. He also volunteered his time as a member of the Royal Canadian Legion and Rotary International.
Erin was elected four times to represent the riding of Durham, first in a 2012 by-election, then in the 2015, 2019 and 2021 general elections. In the Conservative government of Prime Minister Stephen Harper, Erin served as the Parliamentary Secretary for International Trade during the most ambitious period of trade expansion in Canadian history. He was involved in final negotiations on Canada’s historic free trade agreement with the European Union and helped finalize free trade agreements with South Korea, Honduras and countries within the Trans-Pacific Partnership. In North America, he led efforts related to regulatory cooperation between Canada and the United States.
In the final year of the Conservative government, Erin was promoted to cabinet and became Minister of Veterans Affairs during a time of crisis for the department following the war in Afghanistan. Erin rapidly expanded mental health supports for veterans and their families, reduced wait times and helped reconnect the government with a new generation of veterans. He also served on the Social Affairs and Foreign Affairs and Security cabinet committees.
Following the defeat of the Conservative government in 2015, Erin became a leading voice in the opposition. He served as the Shadow Minister of Public Safety and later as the Shadow Minister of Foreign Affairs before becoming the Leader of the Conservative Party of Canada and Leader of the Official Opposition from 2020 to 2022. In 2021, Erin ran for Prime Minister of Canada in a general election held amid the COVID-19 pandemic. He won the popular vote and advocated for a series of economic and geopolitical policies that continue to impact debate in Canada today.
Erin now leverages his experience in politics, business and the military as the President and Managing Director of ADIT North America, a globally integrated risk advisory firm specializing in business intelligence, international trade, due diligence, security and compliance. As part of Paris-based ADIT Group, ADIT North America helps clients maximize global growth and eliminate trade or investment risk by leveraging ADIT’s unparalleled global reach with over 1,000 analysts and correspondents covering over 130 countries around the world. Based in Canada, Erin also serves on ADIT Group’s Executive Committee.
Erin is married to Rebecca O’Toole (née Grant) whom he met during his military service in Halifax. Rebecca has an impressive work career that she largely put on pause when the O’Toole family dedicated themselves to public life. She has a Grey Cup ring from her work with the Toronto Argonauts and has worked in corporate affairs and event planning for a range of sports and entertainment companies including CTV, Rogers Media, Hockey Canada and the Young President’s Organization (YPO). Erin and Rebecca are the proud parents of Mollie and Jack and the four of them adore their yellow lab named Wexford.