What he wanted to talk to them about was how he’ll make their lives more affordable, and why the Liberals have lost what he called the “moral authority” to govern.
But what Canadians also learned about him and his party over the last 39 days didn’t always reflect that goal. Debates about his socially conservative beliefs, the holes in his personal and professional resume, his candidates with controversial positions, and his statements about opponents that had no basis in fact all clouded his central campaign theme.
He alluded to that Sunday, telling a crowd in the riding of Surrey-Newton that while the Conservatives sometimes have trouble getting their message out, they have what others lack: ethics.
And what he wants Canadians to remember is this, he’d said earlier in the day: he ran a positive campaign.
“It’s been a campaign of hope and a message of brighter days ahead with a new Conservative government that will live within its means and put more money in your pocket so you can get ahead.”
Whether that message will win him the majority government he’s after might not be known until hours after the polls close Monday. As Scheer noted in campaigning throughout Vancouver, it’s likely to be a tight race.
But even as he urged everyone to stay positive at a stop in West Vancouver, he also took repeated jabs at his rivals, framing what he said was the question of the campaign: do Canadians want a majority Conservative government or a Liberal-NDP coalition?
“The choice is clear: an NDP government wearing a Justin Trudeau mask that will raise taxes, kill jobs, damage our economy and take more money out of your pockets,” he said, as ships making their way into the Vancouver harbour sounded horns behind him. “And a Conservative majority government that will live within its means and put more money in your pockets so you can get ahead.”
For the last week of the campaign, Scheer travelled from coast to coast laying out which of his pledges he’d move on right away, calling it a “first 100 days” plan.
It was a perfect move, said Quebec candidate Gerard Deltell, who is running for re-election after being one of the party’s star recruits in the 2015 election.
“We were able to say to the people: we will govern, we are ready to govern, we have a plan, a definitive plan,” he said earlier this week after Scheer’s final rally in the province.
Scheer’s campaign in Quebec took on a different flavour from elsewhere in the country — he had a platform for the province specifically.
Its leader, Yves-Francois Blanchet, has gone after Scheer’s promise to build an “energy corridor” that would take gas east and hydroelectricity west, saying Quebecers will not give licence for pipeline projects through their province.
Scheer struck back against him on Sunday, saying Blanchet would do nothing for Quebecers except try to advance a referendum on sovereignty that nobody wants.
Within the first 100 days, Scheer said he would focus on five things: a task force on corporate welfare, passing a fiscal update that would incorporate some of his tax credits, meeting with premiers on interprovincial trade, introducing new ethics laws, and axing the carbon tax.