Erin O’Toole poses with a chocolate bar in this undated handout photo. On the morning of Aug. 24, 2020, the Colorado O’Toole woke up to find a whole lot of new Canadian followers. Turns out, the politician O’Toole had just won the Conservative leadership. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO, Erin O’Toole *MANDATORY CREDIT*

Erin O’Toole poses with a chocolate bar in this undated handout photo. On the morning of Aug. 24, 2020, the Colorado O’Toole woke up to find a whole lot of new Canadian followers. Turns out, the politician O’Toole had just won the Conservative leadership. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO, Erin O’Toole *MANDATORY CREDIT*

Twitter twins stay on top of Canadian news one misfired tweet at a time

Colorado’s Erin O’Toole shares birthday with her Canadian Twitter twin, the now ex-Conservative Leader

After the Winnipeg city council voted Monday to condemn racist imagery at a protest over the weekend, a Regina resident wanted his councillors to do the same.

So he did what many people do in the 21st century when wanting something from a politician. He tweeted at them.

The response wasn’t quite what he was looking for.

“I am not the mayor,” came the written response. “This is my name.”

It is not the first time that Regina Mayor, an energy expert at KPMG in Houston, Tex., has danced with eager Saskatchewanians with less than perfect Twitter skills.

“There were a whole bunch about street racing once that I totally didn’t understand,” she reported via Twitter. “And usual rants about city inefficiency. What’s going on up there?”

For her troubles Monday, she was rewarded with several new followers, the offer of a new “Experience Regina” T-shirt from the city’s Rebellion Brewing Company, and an awful lot of apologetic Canadians.

One suggested the real mayor of Regina, Sandra Masters — who is not on Twitter — should join the apology club.

“And I await an apologetic response from the real mayor of Regina,” the non-mayor Mayor from Texas replied in jest to that suggestion, with a tears of joy emoji for effect.

If Mayor wants, she could also form a club of Canadian social media doppelgängers, joining the likes of Erin O’Toole, Doug Ford and Jason Kenney.

“Twitter twins,” squealed Erin O’Toole, a National Public Radio host in Colorado who has spent the last 17 months following the ebbs and flows of Canadian Conservative politics through Twitter misfires.

On the morning of Aug. 24, 2020, the Colorado O’Toole woke up to find she had a whole lot of new Canadian followers. It turns out the politician O’Toole had just won the Conservative leadership.

She has had a disclaimer pinned to the top of her feed since that day.

“I see a couple of new friends from Canada this morning … Just so you know, I may not be the Erin O’Toole you’re looking for,” she wrote.

O’Toole, who oddly even shares a birthday with her Canadian Twitter twin, has had many laughs over the misdirected tweets. On Monday, her feed blew up again with Canadians commenting after news broke about a challenge to political O’Toole’s leadership.

“I mean it’ll be hard to say goodbye to all this,” she wrote.

She never really thought much about Canadian politics before 2020. Now she is likely among the most well-informed Americans on Canadian Conservative politics.

In Richmond, Va., Jason Kenney had some fun at Regina Mayor’s expense Monday.

“Run for mayor,” he suggested. “Become mayor. Have everyone call you Mayor Mayor. It’ll be great.”

Kenney has felt Regina Mayor’s pain. His political Twitter twin is the premier of Alberta. A mistaken tag happens often enough that he has added “not Canadian” to his Twitter bio.

On the weekend, when he saw Premier Jason Kenney tweet that he would be visiting nearby in Washington, D.C. over the weekend, Virginia Jason Kenney responded, “ummm, road trip?”

“Honestly, I was more thinking this would be a great opportunity to meet ↕jkenney, get a beer (or Jameson) and a couple photos,” he would add later. “If it weren’t for two kids with COVID, a winter storm, and the drive through (Northern Virginia) I might have seriously tried. Next time.”

O’Toole hasn’t met her Canadian social media twin but they did speak on the phone when Canadian O’Toole’s office got wind of the online mix-ups.

The American Kenney and O’Toole have even amassed legions of Canadian fans of their own, who will tip them to beware an incoming flood of mentions whenever the Canadian O’Toole or Kenney make big headlines.

Some have sent O’Toole boxes of Coffee Crisp chocolate bars, which you can’t get in the United States.

Colorado O’Toole said sometimes she does find herself on the receiving end of an angry Canadian, which can be disconcerting momentarily until she remembers they’re not really yelling at her. And while she has no input on the future of Canadian O’Toole’s political career, the end of it will likely also end her celebrity period on social media.

“I’m both relieved (for my Twitter mentions) and sad that our incredible and unusual relationship may be coming to an end,” she tweeted Wednesday after the Canadian O’Toole lost a vote to remain as leader of the Conservative Party of Canada.

“I have had so much fun interacting with these wonderful people from Canada,” she had said before the vote took place. “And I have to say, I mean, everyone who realizes, ‘Oh, I mistakenly tagged the wrong person,’ they’re just as nice as can be. And very apologetic.

“So yeah, I mean, I do expect it to fade away. This isn’t gonna last forever. And people don’t follow me because they want pictures of my dog or what I’m working on at work. But you know, yeah, I have to say, I’ll miss it if it goes away.”

—Mia Rabson THE CANADIAN PRESS

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