Andrew Scheer, the new leader of the federal Conservative party, told News Talk 770 host Danielle Smith Tuesday he thinks we need to create consumer demand for Canadian energy.
As a first step, Scheer said he wants to put flags on the gas pumps across our nation, to remind Canadians of where their energy originates from.
“If somebody in Toronto or Montreal was filling up their tank and saw those flags of the country it was coming in from, it would remind them that there are out-of-work Canadians in our energy sector; there are projects on deck to be approved. Let’s get some support from hard-working Canadians to buy our energy from Canada and get Canadians back to work.”
WATCH ABOVE: Newly elected leader of the Conservative Party of Canada Andrew Scheer speaks about his victory and what it means for Saskatchewan.
Scheer said a huge percentage of energy in eastern Canada is currently imported from countries like Saudi Arabia, the United States and Venezuela and his plan is to show consumers that.
He also expressed concern over the federal Liberal government’s response to the recent election in British Columbia and potential pushback over the Kinder Morgan pipeline project.
Scheer said pipelines need to remain federal decisions versus provincial ones.
“There’s a reason why there’s a national energy board and not 10 different provincial energy boards. It’s because these things have national impacts.”
The Conservative leader said he hopes the Kinder Morgan pipeline project will not become another example of delay tactics impeding progress to the point “the process becomes the punishment. And the process is used to basically kick the ball so far down the field that these companies go elsewhere.”
Scheer was asked in the 11-minute interview about recent criticism over the party’s appeal to voters.
Mount Royal University professor David Taras told Smith he believes the federal Conservatives have a structural problem with limited appeal to only rural and older voters, something Scheer refutes.
“It’s really easy for some academics or people who are not involved in the movement to scan the odd headline and look at some election results and try to map out this insight that they’ve figured out. There are cycles in Canadian politics,” Scheer said.
The former Speaker of the House did acknowledge his party is facing some challenges, but said “we’re aware of them and we have a great set of policies that will address that.”
Scheer told Smith the party is running smoothly since the leadership vote and even joked about the number of candidates who ran for top spot.
“Our caucus is not missing a beat – right where we left off when we all started running for leader. It seemed like almost half our caucus was a candidate…”
Scheer concluded the interview by explaining how he plans to offer a balanced budget within just two years, a platform he campaigned on. He said it is important to direct spending into places that will benefit “hard-working Canadians”—something he said the Liberal budget did not do.
“I am a big believer that when you get the fundamentals right for the economy, you make Canada more competitive, attract new investment, and you can increase revenues because you’ve got that economic growth.”
The 38-year-old also said he is very motivated to have balanced books because he has children and right now we are “borrowing money from them.”
“I’ve got five kids and as they get older and enter into the workforce, I don’t want them to have to pay more and more money in taxes to pay the services charge on spending that happened before they were adults.”