Longtime Regina-Qu’Appelle MP Andrew Scheer slips past the presumptive favourite, Maxime Bernier, in the federal Conservative Party leadership. It’s a political high for Scheer in a career marked with success.
“One of the things that have motivated me very strongly in the campaign is, I cannot allow Justin Trudeau to do the same thing to my five children that his father did to my generation,” Scheer said in his acceptance speech on Saturday.
It didn’t take long for Premier Brad Wall to tweet congratulations.
He also sent out a statement saying in part:
“I was very happy to see Andrew Scheer’s dramatic win in today’s Conservative leadership vote. I know he will be a strong Conservative voice in Ottawa.”
Wall was especially happy to hear the 38-year-old former speaker of the House of Commons take on the Liberals’ carbon tax during his acceptance speech — a political thorn in Wall’s side.
“The Liberal carbon tax is nothing more than a cash grab… I will repeal it,” Scheer said.
University of Regina politics professor Jim Farney says Scheer has an edge to him that we will get to know.
“If you think of the victory speech last night, he pivoted very quickly, from Mr. nice guy for all conservatives, to being, ‘Lets run really hard against Justin Trudeau,'” Farney said.
Farney expects Scheer will bring a Saskatchewan perspective to the cabinet table. One not seen since the Diefenbaker regime 60 years ago.
“Having a big voice at the table will help, and I suspect that the opposition staff will have a lot of people from Saskatchewan going forward. It’s settle trickle down… But of course, it will make some difference,” Farney said.
When voters go to the polls nationally, Farney expects the race to see more younger candidates than ever before.
“It’s almost certain that we will have a leader run with all gen-Xers. That generational change means a different style, a different approach, and it will be interesting to watch how Scheer verses Trudeau will play out,” he said.
The cheers of Saturday’s crowd are still fresh for Scheer but they won’t last much longer. A lot of hard work begins immediately. Job one — rallying almost half of the Conservative Party faithful who voted for someone else.