Andrew Scheer, Leader of Conservative Party of Canada, delivers a keynote speech to attendees of the Alberta United Conservative Party Annual General Meeting in Calgary, Alta., Friday, Nov. 29, 2019. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Dave Chidley

Scheer cautions against internal fighting in speech in Conservative heartland

Scheer’s speech Alberta received a warm, but by no means raucous, reception

Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer has dismissed those calling for him to step down after last month’s election loss as elites and “talking heads” who know he’ll never relent in his opposition to the carbon tax.

“They think that what Canada needs is a second Liberal Party,” he said in a speech to the Alberta United Conservative Party annual general meeting on Friday.

“And you may have heard that some of these folks want me gone because they know I will never stand for that.”

The Liberals were re-elected with a minority government on October 21. They were entirely shut out of Alberta and Saskatchewan, where there is deep anger over the federal carbon tax, an overhaul of resource project environmental reviews and an oil tanker ban off the northern B.C. coast.

Scheer’s speech in the heart of Conservative country received a warm, but by no means raucous, reception. It was bookended by standing ovations and some in the crowd waved signs bearing his name.

When he asked UCP members whether a carbon tax would be the Conservatives’ path to victory in the next election, they responded with a hearty “no” followed by a smattering of cheers of ”Andrew! Andrew! Andrew!”

The Conservative leader said he was deeply disappointed in the election results and would be listening and learning from people in his party about what can be done better next time.

“I am very interested in how you think our party must be shaped to finish the job we started this campaign,” he said.

ALSO READ: B.C. Conservative MP Ed Fast declines critic role, cites Scheer’s leadership

“I am entirely uninterested in what the talking heads, the naysayers and the people who make their money by stirring up division in our party have to say.”

Scheer cautioned against listening to those who want to turn the Conservatives’ April convention into an internal fight.

“When we focus on our differences instead of our common goals and our vision for a strong and united Canada, we have snatched victory from ourselves in the past,” he said.

Earlier Friday, Conservative MP and former cabinet minister Ed Fast said he has declined a spot in Scheer’s shadow cabinet, saying the party leader needs to be surrounded by people who fully support him.

The B.C. MP expressed frustration over how the party’s climate-change policy was handled, saying most of the voters he met didn’t even know the party had one. Fast had previously served as Scheer’s critic for the environment ministry.

Lauren Krugel, The Canadian Press

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Regional district funding phased out for Friends of Fintry

Heritage site volunteer group loses $39,000 grant incrementally over next two years

Vernon council boosts O’Keefe Ranch grant

Proposed increase of $75K passed through council by one vote margin

Vernon’s Vasek Pospisil ousted at French Open

Paris has never been kind to Vernon tennis star, now 0-7 at the Grand Slam event

Vernon company scores global award

Rotech Motor Ltd. named ROTAX Engines Distributor of the Year, beating out European powers

105 new COVID-19 cases, 1 death as health officials urge B.C. to remember safety protocols

There are currently 1268 active cases, with 3,337 people under public health monitoring

U.S. Presidential Debate Takeaways: An acrid tone from the opening minute

Here are key takeaways from the first of three scheduled presidential debates before Election Day on Nov. 3

Peachland resident finds severed bear paw on driveway

Tracie Gordon thought it was a Halloween prank, but it turned out to be a real bear paw

B.C. nurses report rise in depression, anxiety, exhaustion due to pandemic

A new UBC study looks into how the COVID-19 response has impacted frontline nurses

National child-care plan could help Canada rebound from COVID-induced economic crisis: prof

A $2 billion investment this year could help parents during second wave of pandemic

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

Search suspended for Indigenous elder last seen mushroom picking in northwest B.C.

Mushroom picker Thomas (Tommy) Dennis has been missing since Sept. 16

16 MLAs retiring from B.C. politics add up to $20M in pensions: Taxpayers Federation

Taxpayers pay $4 for every dollar MLAs contribute to their pensions

‘Bonnie’ and ‘Henry’ among latest litter of service dog puppies

B.C. Alberta Guide Dogs names two pups after provincial health officer

Most Read