Canada: Conservative Party and Andrew Scheer

Written by  //  November 16, 2018  //  Canada, Politics  //  No comments

Meet the Scheers:
Tory leader Andrew and his wife Jill on faith, politics and parenting

16 November
Chantal Hébert: Andrew Scheer gets clipped by Doug Ford’s budget cuts
(Toronto Star) Make no mistake. By putting Ontario’s francophone minority on his fiscal hit list this week, Premier Doug Ford has placed his federal ally Andrew Scheer in harm’s way.
To save what amounts to a small drop in Ontario’s fiscal bucket, the Ford government has managed to trigger waves of indignation within every minority-language community in the country — including Anglo-Quebecers.
On its front page Friday, Ottawa’s Le Droit called the day of the fiscal update “A Black Day for Francos.” That headline was not an outlier.
The issue of the language rights for Canada’s French-language minorities has always been a third rail of Quebec-Canada politics.
… The federal Conservative leader now faces two equally unpalatable choices and each stands to have defining consequences for his election prospects.
He can stick with his Ontario ally and try to take cover under the rationale that it is not his place to question provincial choices. Under that scenario, one can only wish his Quebec MPs good luck, for that excuse will not wash easily. Nor will it pass muster in the ridings outside Quebec where francophone voters are numerous enough to determine the outcome.
Alternatively, Scheer can put a first dent in his friendship with Ford by suggesting he reconsiders the cuts to French-language services. In similar circumstances, Brian Mulroney did just that.

8 November
Clement admits to multiple infidelities, says foreign actors tried to extort him
Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer says he only found out today about a summer incident
(CBC) Former Conservative MP Tony Clement, dropped from caucus over a public sexting scandal, is now admitting to multiple cases of “inappropriate exchanges” online and says it was “foreign actors” who tried to financially extort him.
For the first time, the Ontario MP is also admitting that he had to contact police not once, but twice over online transgressions — calling into question who in official Ottawa and law enforcement circles knew the details of the case, and when.
Clement’s meteoric fall from the Conservative Party’s front bench started on Tuesday, when he resigned his justice critic role and positions on a number of Commons committees
Tony Clement reveals ‘acts of infidelity’ left him open to potential blackmail
(Globe & Mail) The revelations about Mr. Clement’s sexual misconduct have sent shock waves through the Conservative Party and overshadowed its policy initiatives. On Thursday, Mr. Scheer announced his party’s new stand on gang violence, but the subsequent news conference was dominated by questions about Mr. Clement’s behaviour.
The fact that Mr. Clement was exposed to extortion has raised questions about his presence up until this week on a committee of MPs and senators that oversees the activities of Canada’s national-security agencies. The committee, which operates behind closed doors, requires its members to obtain a security clearance given their access to classified information – but Mr. Clement only resigned on Wednesday.

21 October
Conservative leader predicts a ‘nasty’ election campaign in 2019
One year out from the 2019 federal vote, Andrew Scheer offers a preview of the race
With 365 days to go before the next federal election, Conservative leader Andrew Scheer gave voters a glimpse of what they can expect from his party’s 2019 campaign.
Speaking to a room full of supporters at the Shaw Centre in Ottawa on Sunday, Scheer said he is ready for what he predicted will be a tough and nasty fight
365 days to go — and Trudeau’s Liberals have the edge on the 2019 election
Andrew Scheer on how Canada would be different if he were prime minister
“The Liberals are going to throw everything they have at us. It’s going to get worse, it’s going to get nasty.”

25 September
Maxime Bernier is furious after being interviewed by the CBC — and he may have a point
Following an interview with Wendy Mesley, Bernier took to Twitter accusing her of a ‘smear job’ and trying to link him to U.S. billionaires, the Koch brothers
(National Post) There’s no question it was a strange interview. But while Bernier, the founder of the People’s Party of Canada, has been making headlines recently for his tweets and statements decrying increasing diversity in Canada, how strong are his connections to the two libertarian American billionaires Charles and David Koch?
Bernier once worked at the Montreal Economic Institute, one of the nearly 500 think tanks partnered with the Atlas Network, which is heavily funded by the Koch brothers.
It’s hard to make an argument that Bernier’s 13-year-old connection to a think tank that was partly funded by a network of think tanks that is partly funded by the Koch brothers is relevant to the average Canadian.
The preamble to the interview on the CBC website gives a clue as to what Mesley was hinting at, though: “Bernier has linked his political beliefs to libertarianism, an ideology that forms the bedrock of many of the populist governments which have swept into power from the U.S. to Brazil.” … Libertarianism is a politically philosophy focused primarily on individual freedom, and its proponents argue that limited government is vital to ensuring that liberty. Like Bernier’s crusade against supply management — the system that manages Canada’s dairy industry and reduces competition from foreign suppliers — many libertarians ideas are almost anti-populist. In fact, that policy probably cost Bernier his bid for the Conservative Party leadership.

8 September
Should Scheer make peace with Bernier?
(CBC The House) Maxime Bernier’s fiery departure from the Conservative party drew the ire of its leaders, though they seemed reluctant to mention him by name at the party’s recent convention. In an effort to minimize the fallout, party officials seem to be resisting tackling the issue head-on.
However, Bernier maintains strong support in factions of the party — demonstrated by his second-place finish in the leadership race last May — and his split could draw enough votes away to thwart party leader Andrew Scheer’s shot at government.
Bernier says he has raised over $90K since quitting the Conservative party

28 August
Overwhelming majority of Tory MPs have no intention of joining Bernier, survey reveals
The results of an e-mail survey of the entire Conservative caucus show overwhelming opposition toward Mr. Bernier’s plan, as 92 of 96 MPs said they will not join the proposed party. Four MPs did not say whether they would consider joining the new party, even after follow-up phone calls.
Mr. Bernier announced his plan to create a new right-wing camp last Thursday, accusing the federal Conservative Party of being “intellectually and morally corrupt.”

25 August
Federal Tory Delegates Vote That Being Born In Canada Shouldn’t Guarantee Citizenship
A resolution targeting so-called ‘birth tourism’ passed at convention.
(HuffPost)
Birthright citizenship should be barred to anyone who doesn’t have a parent who is a Canadian citizen or is a permanent resident, Tory delegates said in a vote Saturday at their party’s policy convention.Currently, anyone who is born on Canadian soil receives Canadian citizenship, something that has spurred concerns about so-called “birth tourism.”
Ahead of the vote, British Columbia MP Alice Wong spoke in favour of the motion, saying “passport babies” take away the resources of our system, which endangers Canadian mothers.
In the coming weeks, Scheer’s advisors plan to huddle with their leader and look at the policies the delegates had passed and their level of support. “You know, it’s one thing to add something in the policy book but it is also one thing to have a policy in the platform in 2019…

24 August
Patrick Lagacé: La curieuse game de Maxime Bernier
Il y a un marché électoral pour les désabusés du multiculturalisme et les sceptiques de l’immigration. Maxime Bernier a décidé hier que ce marché-là valait la peine de claquer la porte du parti qui l’a mis sur la mappe, au profit d’un parti à naître qu’il veut mettre sur la mappe.

Maxime Bernier Already Ready To Register New Party, Source Says
He’s not wasting any time.
(Canadian Press) A number of supporters who backed Maxime Bernier’s oh-so-close bid for the Conservative leadership say they want nothing to do with his plan to start a new party — but one source says the maverick ex-Tory already has what he needs to register his enterprise with Elections Canada.
Four members of Parliament and at least three senators who backed Bernier in last year’s leadership race say they have no interest in endorsing what they consider a flight of fancy — or supporting someone who just tossed a hand grenade into the party’s 2019 election hopes.
… There were signs on social media of people willing to make the jump, including some convention delegates who were tearing up their membership cards after a proposed resolution to abolish Canada’s supply management system for poultry and dairy products never even made it to debate.

Chantal Hébert: Maxime Bernier is attempting to defy political reality
The notion that the Beauce MP is about to pave the way to four more Liberal years in power by splitting the conservative vote in next year’s election presumes that Bernier will succeed where the likes of Preston Manning among others initially failed.
In essence, in the next election he will be asking his prospective followers to trade a possible Conservative comeback under Andrew Scheer for an uncertain crossing of the desert under his leadership. The last such adventure saw the Canadian Right wander in the opposition wilderness for 13 years.
Bernier is no Manning, and certainly no Lucien Bouchard. Every comparison has its limits but if anything, he is to Quebec’s federal Conservatives what Stéphane Dion used to be to the province’s Liberals: a politician with negative traction on his home ground.
Susan Delacourt: For Andrew Scheer, building a new coalition will be an uphill battle
When Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer leaves Halifax and puts these past few tumultuous days behind him, he and his party have to find new voters — beyond the diehard “base,” and the keener partisans who gave up a perfectly pleasant August weekend to debate policy in dark conference rooms.
Margaret Wente: How Maxime Bernier could play the role of spoiler
There are losers, and then there are sore losers. Maxime Bernier is the second kind. He’s always acted as if it was he who should have won the leadership race last year. He came so close! Andrew Scheer edged him out because Mr. Scheer was everybody’s second choice. Mr. Scheer is a colourless, diligent consensus-builder with no bold vision – a family man in off-the-rack suits who’s popular with social conservatives and dairy farmers. In other words, in temperament and character, Mr. Scheer is about as far as you can get from his swaggering opponent. Mr. Bernier never disguised his view that the better man lost.
Yet, apart from personal ambition, it’s hard to fathom just what strategy drove Mr. Bernier to stomp out the door. Does he really believe the Conservatives are “morally corrupt”?

Conservatives hope for Atlantic rebound at Halifax convention
As the party gathers in Halifax for its pre-election policy convention, Conservative sources tell the Star the party considers eight to ten ridings to be in play in 2019. Not enough on its own to unseat the Liberal government, but enough to ensure any losses in the rest of Canada will make Team Trudeau sweat.
Party operatives are placing most of their hope in New Brunswick, but suggest the right candidate could be able to make the difference in traditionally conservative ridings in Nova Scotia and Newfoundland.

23 August
Maxime Bernier reaches his logical conclusion
Paul Wells: For years, Maxime Bernier cheerfully flew the Tory banner—even when his own ideas clashed with the party line. As he quit the party to start his own, it’s not clear he’s leading a serious movement.
Maxime Bernier quits the Conservative Party — and wants to start his own
(Global) Bernier, who narrowly lost the Tory leadership to rival Andrew Scheer, made the announcement on Thursday in Ottawa amid controversy surrounding his tweets over Canada’s diversity and immigration policies.
The MP said he hopes to get his new party started in the next few weeks and will run in the 2019 federal election.
Bernier referred to the Conservative Party as “morally corrupt” and said it has deserted its “core conservative principles” by refusing to end corporate subsidies or abolish the supply management system for poultry and dairy products.
Maxime Bernier clarifies that he’s all for diversity in Canada – just not ‘more diversity’

22 August
Maxime Bernier tweets overshadow policy during Conservative immigration announcement
As the Conservatives come up with ideas on how to deal with asylum seekers and border security, the party is dealing with a messy internal struggle because MP Maxime Bernier is posting tweets challenging leader Andrew Scheer and his caucus colleagues. As David Akin reports, Alberta MP Michelle Rempel has a message for Bernier.
Andrew Coyne: Debate over immigration in Canada veers onto dangerous ground
It is wrong to tar legitimate critics as racist or intolerant, but it is just as wrong to try to pass off calculated appeals to xenophobia as just ‘asking questions’
I want to believe the Conservatives did not know who Diane Blain was or what she stood for when they rallied to her side after her infamous corn-roast contretemps with Justin Trudeau last week in Sabrevois, Que.
But just as Conservatives were working themselves into a lather over the incident as an example of the prime minister’s habit of demonizing critics, it emerged that Blain was in fact an activist in the far-right groups Storm Alliance and Front Patriotique de Québec, last in the news for refusing to be served by a Muslim at a Université de Montréal dental clinic.
It would not have taken much research for the Conservatives to have unearthed Blain’s background, but it should not have required even that. Her followup question, whether the prime minister was tolerant of “Québécois de souche,” or the descendants of the original French settlers, should have been enough. ..
If some of the reaction was over the top, nevertheless their discomfort was understandable. Debates over immigration are legitimate, important and necessary. But they are also inevitably emotional and fraught with potential for misunderstanding. In this context Bernier’s comments are not just simplistic and off-message, but reckless.
Had Bernier wished to open a serious debate on multiculturalism, he might have delivered a major speech on the subject, issued a position paper, offered evidence of having given the matter the careful thought it deserves. He might have spelled out, in specific terms, just how Canada suffers from “too much” diversity, if it does, or at what point we might, or why the issue should be of such urgency at this moment.

13 August
Maxime Bernier criticizes Justin Trudeau for promoting ‘ever more’ diversity
Bernier says he fears too much diversity will destroy what has made Canada a great country
Conservative MP Maxime Bernier is taking issue with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s oft-repeated message of diversity in Canada, calling it a form of “radical multiculturalism.” In a series of tweets published late Sunday, Bernier says he believes promoting too much diversity could have the effect of dividing Canada into ‘little tribes’ that cause division and erode Canada’s identity.

27 May
One year of Scheer: Conservatives mark first anniversary with new leader
(CTV) There is money in the bank. Voters in the hopper. And from many angles, a spring in the step of many Conservatives these days.
One year of Andrew Scheer, observers say, has not exactly been flashy but he has done the Conservative Party some good.
“He’s been steady,” says Tim Powers, a conservative strategist and vice-chairman of Ottawa-based firm Summa Strategies. “You’d probably give him a solid B or B plus.”

3 May
Why Andrew Scheer will never be prime minister
By Michael Harris.
(iPolitics) Reason number one, Harper deja vu. Canadians got a bellyful of Northern Republicanism with the former prime minister, so Scheer’s attempt to create a GOP-style political base in Canada built on the same values is doomed. It will just remind voters why they dumped these guys the last time.
Reason number two: Mother Earth. Justin Trudeau will eat Scheer alive on the environment. Though the Liberals have broken key promises on this file, and will pay a price in British Columbia for doing it, they have at least recognized there is a problem.
Reason three: Scheer’s gun policy, which will play a part in the next election, is based on the NRA fantasy that the government is somehow coming for everyone’s rifle.
Reason number four that Scheer will never be prime minister is his narrow band conservative values. He routinely says that such a charge is just character assassination, but his record speaks for itself.
The fifth reason Scheer won’t have to worry about measuring the drapes for 24 Sussex (should it ever habitable again) is that his party’s reputation for fiscal management is a pleasant fiction.
It is true that Trudeau is spending the numbers off the national credit card, as he weaves his way toward a budget deficit of $23.4 billion.
But after inheriting a budgetary surplus from former Prime Minister Paul Martin, Scheer and his party ran deficits in seven of the nine years they were the government. Eight of nine actually, if you discount the creative accounting in 2014-2015.

21 April
Harper with a smile: Trudeau roasts Conservative leader Andrew Scheer

2017

28 May

Canada’s Conservative Party Picks Andrew Scheer as New Leader

The quiet, no-frills social conservative from the prairies will be an odd fit going up against Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.
(Vice news) In a huge upset, Andrew Scheer is the newest leader of the Conservative Party.
The Saskatchewan member of Parliament, and former speaker of the House of Commons, managed to overcome frontrunner Maxime Bernier, despite a quiet, and underfunded, campaign.
Scheer ran on a campaign that largely echoed many of the policies and priorities of his predecessor, Stephen Harper, in a clear sign that the party membership weren’t quite ready to take a huge jump into the unknown. Scheer gets high marks from the Campaign Life Coalition, a pro-life lobby group, but, like his predecessor, he has also pledged to not re-open debates around abortion and gay marriage.

27 May
Andrew Scheer is the new leader of the Conservative Party
Andrew Scheer wins the Conservative Party leadership contest with 51 per cent of the vote
(Maclean’s) Andrew Scheer, the apple-cheeked Saskatchewan MP and former Speaker of the House of Commons, survived a 13-ballot battle with presumed leadership front-runner Maxime Bernier on Saturday and eked out the narrowest of wins in the fight for the helm of the federal Conservatives.
The nail-biting process of winnowing the 13-candidate field went the full distance before Scheer, 38, was declared the winner with 50.95 per cent of the available points, barely besting longtime front-runner Maxime Bernier.
Bernier had led throughout the previous 12 ballots, but finished a close second with 49.05 per cent.
Deepak Obhrai, Andrew Saxton, Rick Peterson, Kevin O’Leary, Chris Alexander, Steven Blaney and Lisa Raitt were some of the earliest casualties as early-ballot results were announced, while Kellie Leitch, Pierre Lemieux and Michael Chong fell off in subsequent rounds.
“I’m a free market guy so I like competition,” Bernier said earlier, after he was seen exchanging a nervous laugh with Scheer after the results of one of the ballots. “It’s a tough competition.”

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