Advertisement

Scheer spoke to Harper after election loss, vows leadership review will proceed

Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer says he spoke with former Conservative prime minister Stephen Harper after losing the election last week.

But he’s not giving any hints about what they discussed.

READ MORE: ‘There’s no one more disappointed than me,’ Scheer says of election result

In an interview with the West Block’s Mercedes Stephenson, Scheer confirmed he has heard from his former mentor and party leader following his return to Official Opposition status in Monday’s election, and said he is focused on figuring out what went wrong with the Conservative campaign.

Is Andrew Scheer on shaky ground with the Conservative Party?
Is Andrew Scheer on shaky ground with the Conservative Party?

“I’ve reached out to many different Conservatives. I won’t go into all who I have and haven’t been speaking with. My priority is to talk to candidates and members who ran in the last campaign because I really do want to hear from them,” Scheer said when asked if he had spoken with Harper.

Story continues below advertisement

“I won’t go into a private conversation but look, we’re taking this very seriously.”

Tweet This

“We had great people running for us in every part of this country and many of them were not elected. That’s disappointing to me and I want to make sure going forward we have a stronger campaign that connects with voters all across the country.”

Extended: ‘Incredibly disappointing’: Andrew Scheer sits down to reflect on Election 2019
Extended: ‘Incredibly disappointing’: Andrew Scheer sits down to reflect on Election 2019

There have been numerous columns and articles written over the past week citing Conservative insiders who said Scheer’s stance on same-sex marriage and his opposition to reproductive choice hurt his party’s appeal for voters in Ontario and Quebec.

READ MORE: Andrew Scheer confirms he remains ‘pro-life’ when asked about abortion

The fact that Prime Minister Justin Trudeau went into the campaign with a damaged brand from his infamous India trip and the SNC-Lavalin scandal, and survived despite the revelations he repeatedly wore blackface as a young adult, have also been cited in those reports as a source of concern for party insiders.

In essence, those reports have suggested that officials within the Conservative team are questioning whether Scheer can take down Trudeau in the future if he couldn’t kick him out of the prime minister’s office with all the baggage connected to him in the last campaign.

Scheer vowed after the election loss that he would be staying on as leader of the party.

Story continues below advertisement

But that’s not entirely up to him.

Party members are set to vote on whether Scheer should stay on as leader at a leadership review in April 2020 and already there are rumblings about whether prominent party members like former Harper cabinet minister Peter MacKay could be vying for his job.

Scheer vowed that review will still go ahead but said he will be making his case to voters about how he wants to move forward.

Scheer talks disappointment after election, Western frustration over equalization payments
Scheer talks disappointment after election, Western frustration over equalization payments

“It’s absolutely going to go ahead. This is something that is part of our party’s democratic tradition, that the leader is held accountable by the members, by the national council, by our caucus and by our grassroots organization. So that is something that will absolutely proceed,” he said.

“I wouldn’t want it any other way.”