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Andrew Scheer says he’ll run again as MP for Regina

Scheer says he’s ‘happy’ with decision to step down as leader, will run as MP in next election
WATCH: Scheer says he's 'happy' with decision to step down as leader, will run as MP in next election

Andrew Scheer is signalling he’ll be seeking another term as MP in 2023 after stepping down as leader of the Conservative Party.

“I love my riding. I love the people of Saskatchewan. I love fighting for the interests of people of my riding and all the communities that it entails,” he said Saturday.

He said he’s honoured that residents “place their trust” in him as MP and hopes they do so the future.

Scheer says he will ensure caucus stays on task as leadership race underway
Scheer says he will ensure caucus stays on task as leadership race underway

Scheer was speaking after a wrapping up a Conservative caucus meeting in Ottawa ahead of the next sitting of Parliament, which starts Monday.

In that session, Scheer said the Conservatives would be focusing on issues such as the economy, government spending, what moves the Liberals could make to bargain with the other parties such as the NDP to pass legislation, and the case of the two Canadian men detained in China.

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“We’re going to be holding the government’s feet to the fire on the relationship with China,” he said.

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Scheer is remaining at the helm until the party chooses a new leader at a Toronto convention slated for June 27. What role Scheer takes on in the party after he steps down would be “up to the next leader,” he said.

So far, those in the running to be Scheer’s successor include former MP Peter MacKay and current MPs Erin O’Toole, Derek Sloan and Marilyn Gladu, along with Alberta businessman Rick Peterson.

Scheer has represented the Saskatchewan riding of Regina–Qu’Appelle since 2004. He was re-elected in October with 63.7 per cent of the popular vote.

But the overall result in the federal election — the Tories picked up seats but not enough to form the government — sparked turmoil over Scheer’s future as leader.

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Scheer resigned in December citing family reasons.  His resignation came, however, after word circulated among Tories that Scheer had been provided with party money to make up for the higher cost of private schooling for his children in Ottawa.

Global News also reported last month that there were also concerns expressed within the party over Scheer’s office spending, which multiple party sources said was about $700,000 higher than normal in 2019.

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READ MORE: Top Tories probing over $900K in Scheer office expenses

A Conservative Party official said that costs had increased because of the additional expenses associated with an election year.

Scheer declined to answer questions about those issues on Saturday.

“These are internal party matters and I don’t have anything to add to that story,” he said, adding that there are “checks and balances” in place within the party.