05/28/2011 03:23 EDT | Updated 07/28/2011 05:12 EDT

Ontario Conservatives Advised To Court Immigrant Vote

(CP) -- TORONTO - Citizenship and Immigration Minister Jason Kenney says immigrants allowed the Conservatives to take Ontario away from the Liberals in the federal election.

He says the Ontario Tories can do the same this fall if they stick to their conservative values and keep courting new Canadians.

Speaking at the provincial party's convention today, Kenney boasted that "Tory Toronto is back."

The Conservatives made a major breakthrough in Toronto on May 2, claiming eight Liberal seats in a city that's repeatedly rebuffed Tory advances.

Kenney says media and commentators will try to explain away the Harper government's majority mandate and its historic breakthrough in Ontario.

But he says his party picked up 23 more seats in the province because Conservative beliefs -- such as job creation through lower taxes -- resonate with Ontario voters.