Scheer elected leader

New Con­ser­va­tive Party of Canada Regina politi­cian ex­pected to be good for Saskatchewan in Ot­tawa

Moose Jaw Times Herald - - FRONT PAGE - SARAH LADIK

“I firmly be­lieve that An­drew’s go­ing to be the next Prime Min­is­ter of Canada. Whether that be 2019 or later than that, he will be, in my view, the Prime Min­is­ter.” Tom Luki­wski, MP for Moose Jaw – Lake Cen­tre – Lani­gan

Newly-elected fed­eral Con­ser­va­tive leader An­drew Scheer is draw­ing praise from both sides of Moose Jaw’s po­lit­i­cal aisle af­ter last week­end’s win.

“I’m a huge sup­porter of An­drew’s, have ac­tu­ally sup­ported him in his lead­er­ship bid since be­fore day one,” MP for Moose Jaw – Lake Cen­tre – Lani­gan Tom Luki­wski told the Times-Her­ald on Mon­day.

“I re­call hav­ing my ini­tial con­ver­sa­tion with him about whether or not he wanted to test the waters well be­fore he made any for­mal an­nounce­ment.”

Scheer won out over 13 other con­tenders on Satur­day at the party’s lead­er­ship con­ven­tion, only beat­ing out front-run­ner Maxime Bernier by the small­est of leads – 51 to 49 per cent. Scheer was Speaker of the House of Com­mons dur­ing Stephen Harper’s ten­ure as Prime Min­is­ter and was widely touted as a con­sen­sus can­di­date for Con­ser­va­tives. He is also, at 39, one of the youngest peo­ple to lead the party.

What Luki­wski and oth­ers were ex­cited about, how­ever, was the Regina-based MP’s rep­re­sen­ta­tion of Saskatchewan in Ot­tawa.

“Ul­ti­mately, I think it’s go­ing to be a great thing for Saskatchewan,” Luki­wski said.

“I firmly be­lieve that An­drew’s go­ing to be the next Prime Min­is­ter of Canada. Whether that be 2019 or later than that, he will be, in my view, the Prime Min­is­ter, and I think it’ll be sooner rather than later.”

Rid­ing chair for the fed­eral Lib­er­als in Moose Jaw – Lake Cen­tre – Lani­gan Russ Col­li­cott said that while he per­son­ally doesn’t think Scheer can un­seat cur­rent Prime Min­is­ter Justin Trudeau, he was pleased to see more rep­re­sen­ta­tion for the prov­ince in the na­tion’s cap­i­tal.

“I don’t see how there’s any neg­a­tive for Saskatchewan,” he said. “We haven’t had a leader of a fed­eral party who had more than a de­cent chance of be­com­ing Prime Min­is­ter since Diefen­baker.”

He said he hopes Scheer brings some of the unique is­sues the prov­ince faces to the fore­front on the na­tional stage. Along with Luki­wski, Col­li­cott warned against un­der­es­ti­mat­ing Scheer, de­spite his age and boy­ish ap­pear­ance.

“You can’t be the Speaker when he was the Speaker, dur­ing those mi­nori­ties, with­out learn­ing a lot,” Col­li­cott said. “That’s tough sled­ding. You’ve got to have the pa­tience of Job.”

Luki­wski said that one of Scheer’s best at­tributes is his abil­ity to make peo­ple like him, and in so do­ing, unify them, some­thing the fed­eral Con­ser­va­tives very much need. He also said that peo­ple might un­der­es­ti­mate the new leader.

“An­drew is a bright in­di­vid­ual. Some peo­ple may un­der­es­ti­mate him be­cause he’s young and he looks just like a ge­nial boy next-door,” he said. “They would un­der­es­ti­mate him if they think that he’s just a smil­ing, nice young guy from Saskatchewan. He has got an in­cred­i­bly bright and strate­gic mind, and he will be able to show­case that pretty quickly.”

LISA GOUDY/TIMES-HER­ALD

An­drew Scheer, who was elected the leader of the Con­ser­va­tive Party of Canada, is seen here dur­ing a Moose Jaw stop ear­lier this year.

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