Scheer elected leader
New Conservative Party of Canada Regina politician expected to be good for Saskatchewan in Ottawa
“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.”
Andrew Scheer, who was elected the leader of the Conservative Party of Canada, is seen here during a Moose Jaw stop earlier this year.