Scheer open to aid on Muskrat Falls
Federal leader hopes to hit the reset button on Conservative politics in N.L.
Conservative Party of Canada Leader Andrew Scheer isn’t saying no to federal intervention on increasing electricity costs in Newfoundland and Labrador — but he’s not saying yes, either.
“I believe that would be incumbent upon the provincial government to make the ask to determine what it is that they might be looking for and to make the case,” said Sheer.
“I would have an open ear to what the province may or may not be looking for.”
The federal government, under both former Conservative Prime Minister Stephen Harper and Liberal Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, has supplied two loan guarantees to the province to help keep borrowing costs down — but there has been no discussion on whether federal intervention will be sought to help keep electricity rates down.
Scheer was in St. John’s on Wednesday and Thursday for meetings with provincial Conservative leaders, including a meeting with the Newfoundland and Labrador Employers’ Council on Thursday afternoon.
Some national pundits have pegged Scheer as a reiteration of Stephen Harper, who won just four seats in Newfoundland and Labrador during his tenure as prime minister.
Scheer says he wants to hit the reset button on the federal Conservative party’s record in Newfoundland and Labrador.
“Almost immediately after winning the leadership I decided I wanted to get to Atlantic Canada. We were shut out of the region, and I need to understand why,” said Scheer.
Perhaps Scheer’s most important ally in the province — N.L. PC Leader Ches Crosbie — is one high profile example of a rift between the Federal and provincial conservatives. In the lead up to the 2015 federal election, Crosbie tried to put himself forward as the federal candidate in the Avalon riding. After video surfaced of Crosbie making a joke at Stephen Harper’s expense at a fundraiser for a local theatre group, Crosbie was canned by the Conservatives.
Scheer says he’s confident he and Crosbie will have a good relationship, despite a rocky road in the past.
An Abacus Data poll released on July 31 suggests a neck-and-neck race between the Liberals and Conservatives heading into the next federal election.
The poll says the Liberals have 36 per cent of the vote, with the Conservatives at 34 per cent and the New Democratic Party at 19 per cent support.
The Conservatives already have one candidate in place in Newfoundland and Labrador — Mike Windsor will run in Bonavista-Burin-Trinity, a riding currently held by Liberal Churence Rogers.