The leader of the Nova Scotia Opposition hopes the next leader of the federal Conservatives holds values more in line with his, and believes former MP Peter MacKay may be the right guy for the job.
“Peter is certainly somebody that I would have great faith in.”
On Thursday, Andrew Scheer announced he is resigning as leader of the federal Conservatives but will stay on until a new leader is chosen.
Conservative sources who spoke with Global News confirmed Scheer’s resignation was a direct result of new revelations that he was using Conservative Party money to pay for his children’s private schooling.
Scheer attributed the decision to the strains of his public duties on his family.
Houston says he was surprised to learn of Andrew Scheer’s resignation, but thought it was “inevitable” as there was a fundamental difference in the alignment of values.
“When that happens, it’s time for somebody to move on,” Houston said.
“I’m hopeful that some people will put their name forward that have values that are more in line with my progressive values.”
Houston believes Scheer’s views on same sex marriage, women’s rights and the environment didn’t align with the values of Nova Scotians.
“Those are things that are important to me, are important to Nova Scotians, and I’m looking for someone to step up on the federal level who shares those values.”
MacKay was rumoured to run for the Conservatives after criticizing Scheer for what he called an inability to change the channel away from Scheer’s socially-conservative views.
“To use a good Canadian analogy, it was like having a breakaway on an open net and missing the net,” MacKay said of Scheer’s election loss.
After the election, MacKay denied rumours that he would run for the Conservatives should the position become available, stating he criticized Scheer in order to help the party improve.
New Brunswick Premier Blaine Higgs also responded to Scheer’s resignation, noting that Scheer seemed optimistic about the future shortly after the election loss.
“This came as a surprise to me today,” Higgs told reporters.
“The last conversation I had with him was after the election. He called and we chatted about the challenges of the country and going forward, and at that point he didn’t show any indication of a decision.”
— With files from Mercedes Stephenson and Amanda Connolly.