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Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer visits London in southwestern Ontario swing

Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer addresses business leaders at a London Chamber of Commerce on Feb. 21 at the London Convention Centre. Karen Vecchio, MP / Twitter

Conservative Party of Canada Leader Andrew Scheer escaped the “Ottawa bubble” with a trip to London, he said at a London Chamber of Commerce luncheon.

The visit comes days before Trudeau’s government will be tabling the budget, in which Scheer said Canadians are likely to see “happy talk” from the government.

“They will point to the Canadian economy’s relatively good performance in 2017, with growth of three per cent,” Scheer said. “This growth was good news – it creates quality jobs Canadian families depend on. And of course, the government will always be tempted to take credit for it – and even to use it to deflect criticism of the prime minister’s ethical failings and efforts to raise taxes on local businesses.”

In his remarks, Scheer spoke of his middle-class upbringing, and the changes put forward by the Liberals to small business tax policy.

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Scheer’s visit takes place while Trudeau is travelling with his family through India, a trip that has come under the microscope for everything to do with Trudeau’s attire to the poor reception by Indian media and government officials.

In an in-studio interview with 980 CFPL’s Andrew Lawton, Scheer said this is yet another failing by the Liberals on the foreign stage.

“I think it’s a problem with the prime minister,” he said. “I think Justin Trudeau has completely failed on the international stage. When you look at his mismanagement of the (Trans-Pacific Partnership) – you know, walking away from a deal and then months later signing on without any kind of explanation about what the delay was – his embarrassing trip to China where he couldn’t even negotiate a photo-op with the government officials, and now, this supposedly high-level trip to India where he’s not having any high-level meetings. That is something I think Canadians should be concerned about.”

READ MORE ANALYSIS: What does $1B in new investment between Canada and India really mean?

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Scheer said Canada’s trade relationship with India, a democracy, is one that needs to be a priority for Canada’s government.

Though Scheer said in order for trade to thrive, the business climate in Canada needs to improve.

“Whether it’s because of regulatory burdens or tax issues, for companies in India looking at Canada, when Canada’s less competitive and the United States is lowering their taxes making their country more competitive, Australia has repealed their carbon tax, the socialist government in France has abandoned their plans for a carbon tax, and Canada’s promising [one], there’s a tremendous amount of uncertainty,” he said.

“We know that investors make long-term decisions… Right now, the signals that are being sent by Justin Trudeau is that Canada is not a welcoming place for those investors.”

READ MORE: Trudeau family criticized for overdoing it on their traditional Indian outfits

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