Meet Andrew Scheer, Conservative candidate for Prime Minister
By Emily Macdonald, Staff Writer
Federal election time is coming up quickly here in Canada and every vote matters. A recent poll following the SNC-Lavalin affair has placed the Conservatives in the lead, 7 points ahead of the Liberals. So how does leader Andrew Scheer, leader of the federal Conservatives since 2017, stack up as a potential Prime Minister?
A quick background on Scheer: he spent four years on Parliament hill during Stephen Harper’s majority government as Speaker of the House of Commons. Scheer is currently a member of Parliament as he holds the riding in Regina and is the leader of the opposition. He attended the University of Ottawa before switching to the University of Regina to finish his degree in history and political science where he met his wife. Scheer and his wife together have five children and he is often referred to as a “family man.” He was originally in the insurance business before entering politics 2004.
Not straying from the norm for any conservative government, Scheer hopes to balance the books within two years if voted in. However, he has not specified how this will be done, leaving Canadians to wonder where the cuts would be coming from. The deficit is estimated to be at 15.8 billion dollars by 2021-2022.
Other plans include a cut to HST/GST on home heating bills and the introduction of a tax benefit for those who send their kids to private school or chose home-schooling to help families who wish to educate their children outside of the public system.
A controversial item on Scheer’s to-do list is to recommit the Canadian Forces to the fight against “radical Islam,” something that the Trudeau government has pulled away from. An anonymous first-year student who is in the military commented on the issue, telling The Argus: “I don’t mind if we provide [a] small logistical support role or even assist with air support by sending CF18s, but boots on the ground would be a terrible idea.” He went on to say, “basically we are too busy and it would be a waste of our resources.”
Scheer has also insisted on the Free Speech mandate, something floating around since early 2018. In Ontario, universities and colleges have already been told to create and implement policies, but he would like to make it nationwide within the post-secondary education system. He has taken a similar approach to Ford, saying that funding will be cut for universities who do not have a full range of free speech. Scheer would also like to cut the unified carbon tax that the Trudeau government, this policy will be implemented in April.
Scheer has been known to be against abortion and same-sex marriage. He voted in favour of a private member’s bill in 2016 that would make it a criminal offence to cause injury or death to a fetus when committing a crime against a pregnant woman and voted against the same-sex marriage bill in 2005. He has stated however, that he will not reopen either issue for debate.
Scheer does not seem to divert from the conservative norm — he wants to make family life easier and balance the books.
No matter how you choose to vote, be sure to do your research. Remember, every vote counts and it is a privilege to choose our government.
The federal election will take place on October 21 2019.