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

Search concludes over human remains found

Prince Rupert RCMP said search in Moresby Park area has concluded

Nisga’a Nation lifts local state of emergency

No new COVID-19 cases detected since state of emergency was enacted

Northern Health records 1st fatality due to COVID-19

Six people died from the novel coronavirus on the weekend, health officials confirm

Police look for vehicle, male driver after incident involving girl, 11

The driver was described as an older Caucasian male with white hair, no glasses, and no facial hair

Record-breaking 165 new COVID-19 cases diagnosed in B.C. in 24-hour period

Fifty-seven people are in hospital battling the novel coronavirus

March to protect old growth, stop industrial logging coming to B.C. Legislature

Organizers say they want to give frontline communities a bigger say in nearby logging

B.C. releases details of $1.5B economic recovery plan, $660M in business tax incentives

Economic plan includes support for employers, as well as training for workers

‘Not criminally responsible’ hearing slated for man convicted of Abbotsford school stabbing

Gabriel Klein was found guilty in March of killing Letisha Reimer, 13, in 2016

B.C.’s 1st mental health and addictions minister won’t be seeking re-election

MLA Judy Darcy is the fifth cabinet minister not intending to run in the next election

Remote B.C. tourism lodge staffed for coastal clean up instead of wilderness tours

The Great Bear Rainforest is home to exotic wildlife — and international trash

Vancouver’s shuttered aquarium searching for financial solution amid pandemic

The aquarium needs about $1 million a month to cover its costs

Most Read