Con­ser­va­tive cau­cus em­braces Scheer

Cape Breton Post - - Canada -

Con­ser­va­tive MPs who weath­ered months of friendly po­lit­i­cal fire from fel­low lead­er­ship ri­vals trained their sights back on the Lib­eral benches Mon­day as they ral­lied around newly elected leader An­drew Scheer on Par­lia­ment Hill.

Scheer be­gan his ten­ure as Op­po­si­tion leader sur­rounded by cheer­ing cau­cus mem­bers who gath­ered to hear their new boss rally his troops — a speech in which he wasted no time de­pict­ing the gov­ern­ing party as out-of-touch elites.

His call to arms urged his fel­low MPs to look past their lead­er­ship scars and form a united front against the Trudeau Lib­er­als, in­vok­ing the name of for­mer prime min­is­ter John Diefen­baker to ham­mer home his point.

“Dief the Chief” was ac­cused in 1967 of be­ing pre­oc­cu­pied with the in­ter­ests of “hard­work­ing Cana­di­ans,” said Scheer, a Saskatchewan MP best known for his non-par­ti­san ten­ure as Com­mons Speaker.

Diefen­baker’s re­sponse? “’I can’t help that,’ he said — ‘I’m one of them.’ And that’s as true of our party to­day as it was 50 years ago,” Scheer said to re­sound­ing cheers.

“We’re the party of ev­ery­day Cana­di­ans who work hard, who make sac­ri­fices to se­cure a bet­ter fu­ture for their kids. That’s who we are, that’s who we fight for — that’s never go­ing to change.

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