Everything you Need to Know About Andrew Scheer - Canadanewsmedia
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Everything you Need to Know About Andrew Scheer

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According to a write up on wikipedia, Andrew James Scheer PC MP (born 20 May 1979) is a Canadian politician serving as Member of Parliament (MP) for the riding of Regina—Qu’Appelle since 2004. He has been Leader of the Conservative Party and Leader of the Official Opposition since 2017.

Elected to the riding of Regina—Qu’Appelle at the age of 25, Scheer was re-elected in 20062008, and 2011 before becoming the Speaker of the House of Commons at age 32, making him the youngest Speaker in the chamber’s history.[1][2] He held the speaker role for the entirety of the 41st Canadian Parliament. On 28 September 2016, Scheer announced his bid for the leadership of the Conservative Party, running under the slogan “Real conservative. Real leader.”[3]

Scheer has described himself as focused on economic development, fiscal restraint, and reducing inefficiencies in government.[4][5] A staunch opponent of the federal carbon tax, he has stated that he would balance the federal budget within two years of forming a government and open up the airline industry to foreign competition.[6][7][8] Scheer has been likened to former Prime Minister Stephen Harper.[9][10][11] On 27 May 2017, he was elected Leader of the Conservative Party of Canada.[1

Even though he has been on the Canadian political scene for decades, many Canadians still say they don’t know who Andrew Scheer is. He wasn’t even the front-runner in the race to lead his Conservative Party.

So how did he wind up campaigning to be prime minister? 

He’s called, “the smiling Stephen Harper,” and he’s known for his knack of bringing people together. But beyond his dimples, what do you really know about Andrew Scheer? Today, with the federal election fast approaching, we talk to Maclean’s Ottawa bureau chief, John Geddes about the leader of the Conservative Party. We’ll get insight into how he became such a unifier (hint: his favourite book is the self-help classic How to Win Friends and Influence People) and how that squares with his more divisive moments, such as his hardline stance on the United Nations migration pact. This is the first in a series of pre-election profiles we’ll do about Canada’s federal party leaders. 29:43

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Conservatives defend ads that accuse Liberals of planning to legalize hard drugs

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Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer was not campaigning on Sunday, but defended the online ads when asked about them on Saturday.

CARLOS OSORIO/Reuters

The Conservatives are standing by their use of ads that falsely say the Liberals plan to legalize hard drugs, as another example of the Tory-endorsed claim has surfaced.

The Globe obtained a copy of a flier sent out in the Scarborough area of Toronto that says “Justin Trudeau has a plan to legalize hard drugs.” The flier has English and Chinese languages on both sides with the same message.

A picture of someone shooting up is accompanied by the question: “Do you want Justin Trudeau to legalize hard drugs in your community?”

At a campaign event in Toronto on Sunday, Mr. Trudeau called the ads “reprehensible” and a “lie.”

The flier goes on to say: “Only Andrew Scheer’s Conservatives will stop Trudeau’s hard drug legalization plan and keep our kids safe.”

Mr. Trudeau said during the French language TVA debate on Oct. 2 that a re-elected Liberal government would not legalize or decriminalize hard drugs “right now,” but clarified with reporters immediately afterwards that he has no plans to do so if he wins a second mandate.

“We will not be further decriminalizing any drugs other than cannabis,” Mr. Trudeau told reporters after the debate.

The Conservatives are defending their ads, accusing the Liberal Leader of being unclear.

“If Justin Trudeau tells us precisely when he is going to legalize dangerous drugs, we will amend our [ads] to reflect this new information,” Conservative spokesperson Simon Jefferies said on Sunday when asked about the fliers.

On Friday, The Globe reported that the party was also pushing similar ads on its Chinese-language Facebook page.

Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer was not campaigning on Sunday, but defended the online ads when asked about them on Saturday.

“We’ve called attention to the Liberals’ inability to come clear on this,” he said. “This is something that Canadians have a right to know about: whether or not they’re going to give Justin Trudeau a second mandate where he will continue to go down this road of making drugs more accessible.”

Mr. Trudeau said the ads are a distraction from the Conservative platform, which outlines $53-billion in cuts over five years to balance the budget while also introducing an across-the-board income tax cut.

“The Conservative Party is continuing to mislead and even lie to Canadians,” Mr. Trudeau said.

“I think it is reprehensible. We have been very clear, we will not be legalizing hard drugs. We will continue with the approach that we have that has been working on fighting this terrible opioid epidemic.”

Parts of the country have been dealing in recent years with a surge in deaths from overdoses linked to illicit opioids.

Mr. Trudeau has said his approach to combating the opioid crisis will be “grounded in science, in harm reduction, in safe consumption, in giving more tools to our medical professionals.”

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Trudeau remains under increased security

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High profile security surrounds Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau as he arrives at a rally in Mississauga, Ont., Saturday, Oct. 12, 2019. The Rally was delayed for 90 minutes due to a security issue.

Frank Gunn/The Canadian Press

Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau remained under increased security Sunday morning, with tactical security officers and sniffer dogs accompanying the Liberal campaign as it departed downtown Toronto.

The increased presence comes a day after Mr. Trudeau wore a protective vest under his shirt at a rally in Mississauga, Ontario. His campaign has been tight-lipped about the reasons for the increased presence but the Liberal leader is scheduled to speak with reporters Sunday afternoon.

Mr. Trudeau didn’t appear to be wearing a protective vest on Sunday.

At his Saturday night rally Mr. Trudeau arrived at the event 90 minutes late wearing the vest under his shirt and suit jacket and was accompanied by tactical security officers wearing backpacks. More than 2,000 people were in attendance. Cameron Ahmad, a spokesperson for the Liberals, said the campaign had no comment about the delay or increased security for Mr. Trudeau. Mr. Trudeau’s wife, Sophie Gregoire Trudeau, was also supposed to speak at the rally Saturday but didn’t end up attending. Mr. Ahmad declined to comment on the change of plans.

Mr. Trudeau is scheduled to speak to reporters at a food drive in Liberal candidate Ahmed Hussen’s riding of York South-Weston Sunday afternoon.

He will then make whistle stops with Liberal candidates in Newmarket and Richmond Hill, followed by a visit to a Hindu temple in Etobicoke. NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh is campaigning in B.C. on Sunday and will vote in advance polls in his Burnaby South riding. Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer is not campaigning today.

NDP leader Jagmeet Singh walks along Bloor Street during a campaign stop in Toronto on Saturday, October 12, 2019.

Nathan Denette/The Canadian Press

The Liberal campaign is targeting the NDP amid the party’s rise in the polls. Mr. Trudeau held a rally with nearly 500 people in Burnaby Friday night, but didn’t mention the NDP or Mr. Singh, who is riding high on the positive attention he received following his debates appearances.

However, the Liberal leader changed tactic Saturday night at the Mississauga rally, taking aim at Mr. Singh. “Remember this: The NDP couldn’t stop [Stephen] Harper. They couldn’t stop Ford. And they can’t stop Scheer,” Mr. Trudeau told the crowd in Mississauga. “The only way to stop Conservative cuts is to vote Liberal.”

The increased focus on the NDP comes as polling from Nanos Research shows growing support for the New Democrats.

According to Sunday’s daily tracking survey from Nanos Research, the Liberals and Conservatives are deadlocked at 32 per cent support each. The New Democrats are up five points since Friday and now sit at 20 per cent, with the Greens at 9 per cent, the Bloc Québécois at 6 per cent and the People’s Party at 1 per cent.

The poll was sponsored by The Globe and Mail and CTV, with a total of 1,200 Canadians surveyed from Oct. 11 to Oct. 13. It has a margin of error of 2.8 percentage points, 19 times out of 20. Respondents were asked: “If a federal election were held today, could you please rank your top two current local voting preferences?” A report on the results, questions and methodology for this and all surveys can be found at http://tgam.ca/election-polls.

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The week before Election Day

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With advance polls open and just eight days left on the campaign trail, election strategists convened on the West Block to dish out some advice for federal party leaders.

The most recent Ipsos poll conducted for Global News showed the Liberals and Conservatives virtually tied, with support for the Liberals at 35 per cent and for the Tories at 34 per cent.

The same poll showed the NDP in a remote third spot, at 15 per cent. The Liberals and Conservatives were also in a tight race in two battleground provinces: Ontario and B.C.

Last few days of campaign

The challenge for incumbent Liberal Party Leader Justin Trudeau is that he is not just defending his record as prime minister, but also defending against the progressive platforms touted by both the Green Party and the NDP, according to Liberal strategist Richard Mahoney.

“But he’s going to have to try and convince Canadians over the course of this last week … that his program is the most realistic,” Mahoney said. “That’s the challenge for his last nine days.”

With a little more than a week left in the campaign, Trudeau will have to “contrast himself against Mr. Scheer.”

The last Ipsos poll saw 35 per cent of respondents cite Trudeau as the party leader who would make the best prime minister, with Scheer coming in second and polling at 30 per cent.

The Conservative Party released their fully costed platform on Friday, proposing various tax relief measures as well as tens of billions of dollars worth of federal budget cuts, with the goal of eliminating the deficit within five years.

9:24
Conservative election platform will mean longer waits for municipalities seeking federal funds

Conservative election platform will mean longer waits for municipalities seeking federal funds

This put the Liberal Party on the attack, with Trudeau criticizing the Tories for releasing their platform late in the campaign and saying the proposed cuts were “deeper” than those proposed by Ontario premier Doug Ford.

Conservative strategist Fred DeLorey called it a “prudent platform” that cuts out “wasteful spending.”

But NDP strategist Anne McGrath said the Tories’ fiscal plan — which includes cutting consulting costs and selling federal real estate while maintaining existing public servant levels — left them vulnerable to “parody.”

“It’s a little bit ridiculous to think that you can get that much money out of reducing the size of people’s desks and that sort of thing,” she said. “But the cuts themselves are very serious and quite severe.”

Scheer’s campaign appears to be “more about what’s wrong with Mr. Trudeau,” Mahoney said.

“The release of the platform this week on the eve of Thanksgiving weekend shows he’s really playing to the core of his support rather than reaching out to a broader coalition of people and say ‘Elect me prime minister and I’ll move the country forward,’” he said.



1:15
The lighter side of the campaign trail

The lighter side of the campaign trail

Debate analysis

NDP leader Jagmeet Singh’s debate performances garnered some praise from the strategists.

Mahoney noted that the English debate’s format — with multiple moderators and six party leaders — was a bit “convoluted.”

“There are just too many topics, too many leaders, maybe too many moderators, and not enough chance for people to get a sense of it,” he said.

But while Trudeau was, as expected, attacked from all sides, Singh came out as a “kind of chill dude.”

“He seemed kind of relaxed and there was a chance in this election that he faced a pretty daunting result, and I guess he may still because we don’t know,” Mahoney said. “But he did have a good night.”

McGrath chalked up Singh’s performance to “his sincerity, his authenticity, his preparation.”

Singh hit the campaign trail and entered the debates “with most Canadians not really having any impression of him” and with most people in media and political circles “basically writing him out of the picture,” she said.

“I think people were more than just pleasantly surprised,” McGrath said.

Now the question is whether Singh’s likeable debate performances “will translate into actual vote intention.”

McGrath said that when votes begin to move late in an election campaign, that momentum “tends to continue.”

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