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Andrew James Scheer PC MP (born 20 May 1979) is a Canadian politician serving as Member of Parliament (MP) for the riding of Regina—Qu'Appelle since 2004. He has been Leader of the Conservative Party and Leader of the Official Opposition since 2017.


Andrew Scheer

Andrew Scheer in 2018
Leader of the Opposition
Assumed office
27 May 2017
MonarchElizabeth II
Governor GeneralDavid Johnston
Julie Payette
Prime MinisterJustin Trudeau
DeputyLisa Raitt
Preceded byRona Ambrose
Leader of the Conservative Party
Assumed office
27 May 2017
PresidentScott Lamb
DeputyDenis Lebel
Lisa Raitt
Preceded byRona Ambrose (interim)
Opposition House Leader
In office
18 November 2015 – 13 September 2016
LeaderRona Ambrose
Preceded byPeter Julian
Succeeded byCandice Bergen
35th Speaker of the House of Commons
In office
2 June 2011 – 3 December 2015
MonarchElizabeth II
Governor GeneralDavid Johnston
Prime MinisterStephen Harper
DeputyDenise Savoie
Joe Comartin
Preceded byPeter Milliken
Succeeded byGeoff Regan
Deputy Speaker of the House of Commons
In office
21 November 2008 – 1 June 2011
MonarchElizabeth II
Governor GeneralMichaëlle Jean
David Johnston
Prime MinisterStephen Harper
Preceded byBill Blaikie
Succeeded byDenise Savoie
Member of the Canadian Parliament
for Regina—Qu'Appelle
Assumed office
28 June 2004
Preceded byLorne Nystrom
Personal details
Born
Andrew James Scheer

(1979-05-20) 20 May 1979 (age 40)
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
Citizenship
  • Canada
  • United States
Political party
Other political
affiliations
Saskatchewan Party
Spouse(s)
Jill Ryan (m. 2003)
RelativesJon Ryan (brother-in-law)
ResidenceStornoway
EducationUniversity of Ottawa (BA)
University of Regina
Signature
WebsiteParty website

Elected to the riding of Regina—Qu'Appelle at the age of 25, Scheer was re-elected in 2006, 2008, and 2011 before becoming the Speaker of the House of Commons at age 32, making him the youngest Speaker in the chamber's history.[1][2] He held the speaker role for the entirety of the 41st Canadian Parliament. On 28 September 2016, Scheer announced his bid for the leadership of the Conservative Party, running under the slogan "Real conservative. Real leader."[3]

Scheer has described himself as focused on economic development, fiscal restraint, and reducing inefficiencies in government.[4][5] A staunch opponent of the federal carbon tax, he has stated that he would balance the federal budget within two years of forming a government and open up the airline industry to foreign competition.[6][7][8] Scheer has been likened to former Prime Minister Stephen Harper.[9][10][11] On 27 May 2017, he was elected Leader of the Conservative Party of Canada.[12]

Early life and career

Scheer was born and raised in Ottawa, Ontario, the son of Mary Gerarda Therese (Enright), a nurse, and James D. Scheer,[13][14] a librarian, proofreader with the Ottawa Citizen, and Roman Catholic deacon.[15][16] Jim was born in the United States.[17] According to a 2019 Maclean's article, Scheer's family would have earned considerably more than the median income for most Canadian families.[18] Scheer has two sisters.[19] Part of Scheer's family is from Romania.[20][21] Scheer spent summers during his youth with his maternal grandparents in Mississauga.[22] Scheer graduated from Immaculata High School, and later received the "Distinguished Catholic Alumni" award from it in 2012.[23]

Post-secondary education

In 1998, Scheer began his Bachelor of Arts studies in criminology,[24] political science, and history at the University of Ottawa,[25] from which he would ultimately graduate in 2008, receiving his BA degree four years after he was first elected to Parliament.[26] During his earlier university years, Scheer worked on several political campaigns, including the Unite the Right campaign to merge the Progressive Conservative and Reform parties and Preston Manning's campaign to lead the Canadian Alliance. He also worked in the correspondence department of the Office of the Leader of the Opposition under Stockwell Day.[15][27] Scheer also worked on Ottawa city councillor Karin Howard's youth advisory committee. In his third year of university, Scheer ran as a school trustee for the Ottawa-Carleton Catholic School Board in the 2000 Ottawa municipal elections,[28] but lost to incumbent Kathy Ablett.[29] After meeting his future wife Jill Ryan at the University of Ottawa, Scheer moved to her hometown of Regina, Saskatchewan, and continued his studies at the University of Regina, taking some courses for his BA there.[30]

Pre-MP work

In Regina, Scheer worked as an insurance clerk, a waiter, and in the constituency office of Canadian Alliance MP Larry Spencer.[31][15][32] In 2005, Scheer's blog as an MP listed that he was an accredited insurance broker,[33] and in 2007 the biography section on Scheer's MP website stated that he passed the Canadian Accredited Insurance Broker program in Saskatchewan and started his insurance industry career at Shenher Insurance in Regina.[34] While running for election in 2019 as the leader of the Conservatives, Scheer's biography on the party website stated that he had worked as an insurance broker,[35] but upon investigation the The Globe and Mail found no evidence that he was ever properly accredited as an insurance broker.[36] Scheer responded to these claims by maintaining that he received accreditation for general insurance after leaving Shenher Insurance in Regina.[37] As of September 2019, the provincial regulator, Insurance Councils of Saskatchewan, was reviewing the matter.[38]

Political career

First years in the House of Commons

Scheer was elected at age 25 as a Conservative candidate in the federal election of 2004, in the riding of Regina—Qu'Appelle, beating New Democratic Party MP Lorne Nystrom—the longest-serving member of the House of Commons at the time—by 861 votes.[1] Near the end of the race, Scheer accused Nystrom of being soft on child pornography.[39] He was re-elected in the federal election of 2006, once again defeating Nystrom, this time by a margin of 2,740 votes.[40]

In April 2006, during the 39th Canadian Parliament, Scheer was named as Assistant Deputy Chairman of Committees of the Whole, one of three deputy speakers and one of the youngest Members of Parliament to serve in that role in Commonwealth history. Also, he sponsored a bill that would create minimum sentences for those convicted of motor vehicle theft called Bill C-343, An Act to amend the Criminal Code (motor vehicle theft),[41]

On 21 November 2008, during the 40th Canadian Parliament, he was named Deputy Speaker of the House of Commons and Chairman of Committees of the Whole, succeeding New Democrat MP Bill Blaikie.[42]

Speaker of the House of Commons

When the Conservative Party won a majority at the federal election in 2011, Scheer's experience as Deputy Speaker led many to consider him the front-runner to be elected Speaker of the House of Commons.[2][43] On 2 June 2011, Scheer defeated Denise Savoie, the lone opposition candidate and only woman in the sixth round of balloting. Scheer became the youngest House Speaker in Canadian history and the first speaker to represent a Saskatchewan riding.[44] Liberal MPs, who opposed Scheer's candidacy, criticized the NDP for voting for their own party member instead of tipping the balance toward Conservative MP Lee Richardson based on the MPs' beliefs that Scheer was "Harper's Boy".[45]

During his tenure, some individual opposition MPs were critical of some of his decisions. Liberal MP Irwin Cotler questioned his impartiality due to a decision over a robocall incident with Campaign Research (it was reported that Scheer was a client of the firm).[46] NDP Leader Tom Mulcair criticized him for failing to intervene with Conservative MP Paul Calandra, who failed to answer Mulcair's questions during Question Period and instead responded with non-sequiturs about supporting Israel.[47] In addition, journalists pointed out there were similar incidents with his treatment of other opposition politicians.[48] Scheer responded by stating that previous Speakers have ruled that they have no authority over the content of what politicians say, and he is bound by that precedent.[49][50]

During the 2011 Canadian federal election voter suppression scandal, opposition politicians raised concerns over Scheer's interventions to block questions after The Globe and Mail revealed that his riding association loaned $3,000 to Marty Burke while Burke's campaign was under scrutiny by Elections Canada over the incident.[51]

After 2015

Scheer was re-elected in the 2015 federal election in which the Conservative government was defeated.[52] He was appointed Leader of the Opposition in the House of Commons by Leader of the Official Opposition and interim Conservative party leader Rona Ambrose. He thought about running for the position of interim Party Leader but was dissuaded by fellow caucus MP Chris Warkentin, who pointed out that the interim leader cannot take the permanent position.[53] On 13 September 2016, he announced his resignation outside a party caucus meeting in Halifax in order to explore a bid for the leadership of the federal Conservative Party.[54]

In 2016, Scheer publicly voiced his support for the UK's decision to vote in favour of Brexit during the referendum.[55] Later in 2018, Scheer tweeted, "I was pro-Brexit before it was cool."[56]

2017 leadership election

 
Leadership campaign logo

On 28 September 2016, Scheer announced his bid for the leadership of the Conservative Party, and that he had the support of 32 members of the Conservative caucus.[3][57] On 27 May 2017, Scheer was elected as the second full-time leader of the Conservative Party of Canada, beating runner up Maxime Bernier and more than 12 others with 50.95% of the vote through 13 rounds.[12] Bernier later attributed his failure to the "fake conservatives" in the supply management dairy lobby and agricultural sector. In fact, Scheer garnered laughs at the annual Press Gallery dinner with this gag:[58]

Scheer's campaign for the Conservative Party of Canada leadership was run under the slogan "Real conservative. Real leader." He avoided advocating the social conservative issues that some of the candidates championed, saying that he wanted to "reach a broader audience of Canadians". Positions on which he took a strong stance included scrapping the carbon tax and being "tough on crime".[59] During his political career, Scheer has been compared to former Prime Minister Stephen Harper, and has been called "Harper with a smile"[9] or "Stephen Harper 2.0".[10][11] Scheer is considered a Blue Tory[6] and is critical of the policies of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, having also been critical of Trudeau's late father, former Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau.[60] Scheer considered former Canadian Prime Minister John Diefenbaker and British MEP Daniel Hannan as political influences.[61] Scheer described U.S. Senators Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio as "strong conservative voices" during the 2016 Manning Center Conference.[62] Unlike other candidates, Scheer's leadership team was focused less on headlines or eye-grabbing policy and more on data and organizing.[63]

During the Conservative leadership race, Scheer stated that he would balance the federal budget within two years of forming government, however his platform on specific reforms to accomplish this have not yet been revealed.[64]

During the race, Scheer did not personally attend the Campaign Life Coalition's March for Life but sent Garnett Genuis to show his support for the group and make statement on his behalf.[65] Scheer benefited from the unexpected support of Brad Trost during the leadership race. It was reported that some of Trost supporters contravened the Elections Act and party membership rules by offering incentives to vote. Dimitri Soudas, a former Stephen Harper aide, pointed out that it violated election rules and it benefited Scheer's campaign but the ballots had been destroyed so the result stood.[66]

 
Scheer with his leadership team (Mark Strahl, Alain Rayes, Lisa Raitt, Chris Warkentin, and Candice Bergen) shortly after his leadership victory

Scheer was criticized by opposition politicians for removing his campaign platform after winning the Conservative leadership race.[67][68] Tory strategists suggested that the ideas proposed by Scheer during the race likely won't be part of the Tories 2019 election platform.[69] It was later revealed in a Dairy Farmers of Canada briefing document after the 2018 Conservative Convention in Halifax that “The powers of the leader are far reaching in preventing policy from being in the party platform. DFC [Dairy Farmers of Canada] has been told by the Leader’s office that he will exercise this power, and that this policy will not be in the Conservative election platform regardless of the outcome at convention,”.[70]

The day after the election it was revealed that Hamish Marshall, Scheer's campaign manager, was listed as an IT specialist and one of the directors of the far right news outlet The Rebel Media.[71][72][73] On 16 October 2017, The Globe and Mail asked Scheer if he knew that Marshall worked for the Rebel during the leadership campaign, he responded: "I didn't ask Hamish about every client he had" and then ended the interview. Later, a conservative spokesperson clarified that Scheer was aware that the Rebel was one of Marshall's many clients, but did not know the specifics.[74][75] The day after, Marshall was named Conservative campaign chair for the 43rd Canadian federal election.[76] On 21 March 2018, in an interview with Macleans, Scheer stated that Marshall and his past relationship with the Rebel should not be conflated with his selection as campaign chair.[77]

Leader of the Official Opposition

 
Scheer being sworn into the Queen's Privy Council for Canada, several months after he became the Leader of the Official Opposition

After the Charlottesville, Virginia "Unite the Right" rally, Scheer denounced The Rebel Media due to its sympathetic coverage of the rally,[78] and stated that he would stop doing interviews with The Rebel Media until its "editorial directions" changed.[79] The day after Scheer stated that he would not be granting interview with the Rebel going forward in an interview with the National Post.[80]

On 4 January 2018, Scheer expelled Senator Lynn Beyak from the conservative caucus, after she refused to remove one of her letters that suggested Indigenous people want to get things for "no effort". He also stated that "Racism will not be tolerated in the Conservative caucus or Conservative Party of Canada".[81] Scheer said that his office was only aware of the letters on 2 January, but Garnet Angeconeb, a residential school survivor, stated that he emailed Scheer and Conservative Senate Leader Larry Smith about them on 15 September 2017, and did not get a response.[82] In response, Beyak said neither Scheer nor anyone from his office contacted her to take down a letter.[83] A senior Conservative source confirmed Beyak's accusation.[84]

 
Scheer meeting UK Prime Minister Theresa May in London, March 2018

Scheer travelled to the United Kingdom in March 2018 to "lay the groundwork" for a Canada–UK trade agreement, should he become Prime Minister after the 2019 election.[85] In London, he met with Prime Minister Theresa May, foreign secretary Boris Johnson, and other UK ministers including Liam Fox and Sajid Javid.[86] Scheer's trip faced minor criticism from The Globe and Mail and the Ottawa Citizen. The Citizen editorial commented that the trip was "undiplomatic" and "not statesmanlike", while the Globe editorial pointed out that a Canada–UK trade agreement had already been announced last year by Prime Minister Trudeau.[87][87][88]

Toward the end of March 2018, the Opposition held a filibuster over the government's India trip, which was intended to persuade the governing Liberals to answer questions in the House of Commons about the apparent scandal, and provide open and transparent information to the Canadian public; the filibuster lasted 21 hours costing taxpayers $50,000 per hour in overtime fees.[89][90] It was revealed that a few days before commencing the filibuster to demand information, Scheer's Office was offered a briefing by the Privy Council Office regarding the trip. A spokesperson of Scheer's responded to these claims by stating "Has the government offered Andrew a briefing? The answer is 'no'", and "This [is] fake news."[91] A day later, Andrew Scheer called the allegation "completely false" and stated he would accept an offer if it were made to all members of parliament. It was later revealed that the Clerk of the Privy Council Michael Wernick approached Scheer's chief of staff and Conservative MP Tony Clement to brief Scheer on any information the Privy Council may have. Clement responded that he would not confirm or deny it.[92] A couple of weeks later, Scheer accepted a briefing on the matter.[93]

After the Conservative Convention in August 2018, Scheer denied an allegation that the Dairy Farmers of Canada worked with his office to block a motion to change the party's position on supply management after a page from the briefing book was already made public on Twitter by a Conservative delegate.[70][94]

Political positions

Economic

Scheer has proposed a tax cut for the lowest income tax bracket. This tax bracket, for income up to $47,630, would be reduced from 15 per cent to 13.75 per cent over the next four years. The CPC has stated this tax cut would save the average individual $444 a year, and a two-income couple $850 per year.[95][96][97] Scheer has promised to restore the Children’s Fitness Tax Credit, where families can claim $1,000 annually for costs related to fitness or sports. Families with children with disabilities can claim $1,500.[98][99][100] Scheer has states that he will cancel Canada's $250 million annual contribution to the Asian infrastructure bank.[101][102]

Scheer has expressed support for free markets stating that he believes in "a free market where businesses profit by having the best product or service".[103]

Scheer was a major advocate for the removal of the Canadian Wheat Board.[104] Scheer proposed a policy to mandate the inclusion of national flag decals on gas pumps to highlight "Canadian-sourced, ethically produced oil".[7] Scheer would ban Huawei from Canada's 5G network.[105]

Scheer has pledged to repeal the federal carbon tax in order to reduce the tax burden on individuals and businesses.[106]

 
Scheer talking about maternity benefits

Scheer says he wants to make maternity and parental leave less expensive for families. He has promised to make employment insurance for parental and maternity benefits tax-free.[107] He wants to introduce a tax credit to families who send their children to private schools. Scheer also proposes raising the limit on how much employment income a parent can earn each week while on leave. He has vowed to remove HST/GST from home heating bills and lower business taxes.[108][109] In February 2018 Scheer introduced a private member bill, the second of his career. Bill C-394, An Act to amend the Income Tax Act (parenting tax credit), or as he titled it the Supporting New Parents Act, would create a new tax credit intended to offset federal taxes owing on benefits received from maternity and parental leave.[110] The parliamentary budget office found out that the credit would cost $607.6 million in lost revenue and would rise incrementally each year for the next five years.[111]

During the 2019 Canadian federal election, Scheer proposed he would legislate that corporate takeovers by foreign state-owned enterprises be subject to a national-security review.[112]

Education

Scheer has promised to increase the federal government’s contribution to the Registered Education Savings Plan (RESP), increasing it from 20% to 30% annually up to $2,500. He added that low-income families would receive 50% on the first $500 invested instead of the current 40%.[113][114] He has also promised to revive the Children’s Arts and Learning Tax Credit, where families can claim $500 per child for extracurricular arts or education programs, and families with children with disabilities are eligible to claim $1,000 per child.[115][116]

Environment

Scheer has described his opposition to a federally-imposed carbon tax. He has said that if he is to form government, he will act to repeal any elements of a plan to implement a carbon tax enacted by the Trudeau government.[7]

 
Scheer presenting his proposed Green Public Transit Tax Credit in Mississauga, September 2019

Scheer has proposed to restore the public transit tax credit, which the party says is part of its environment plan. The Green Public Transit Tax Credit, would refund transit users a 15-per-cent credit on their taxes of the cost of a metro pass or a bus pass.[117][118] Scheer has also promised to implement a Green Home Tax Credit, where home owners could claim a 20 per cent refundable tax credit for spending between $1,000 and $20,000 on energy-efficient home renovations. [119][120] The Conservative climate plan also promises a $250 million investment in a "green technology and innovation fund," that would leverage public and private funds to help green tech companies and entrepreneurs secure capital.[121][122]

In October 2016, Scheer voted against the ratification of the Paris Agreement.[123] However, he voted to reaffirm Canadian ratification on the Paris Agreement in June 2017. Pundits argued that his June 2017 vote was used as a way to avoid accusations comparing him to U.S. President Donald Trump, who pulled the United States out of the accord, a few days earlier.[124][125][126]

Scheer told Le Soleil that he does not support a "war on cars" when supporting a tunnel between Quebec City and Levis.[127]

Firearms

Scheer pledged that a Conservative government would extend the period of background checks to an individual's entire life instead of the current system of five years.[128] He opposes a long-gun registry, opposes a proposed ban on handgun ownership, and has pledged to repeal the new regulations in the Liberal government's Bill C-71.[129] Scheer has proposed to introduce legislation that classifies firearms, instead of giving the authority to cabinet or the RCMP.[citation needed]

Foreign policy

China

Scheer says he would not pursue a free trade agreement with China if he were prime minister.[105] He has criticized the Liberals for not ratifying the TTP quickly enough.[130]

Israel

 
Scheer with a banner that states the Conservatives' position on the status of Jerusalem, during the UJA Federation march in Toronto, May 2018

In December 2017, when U.S. President Donald Trump announced his decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israel's capital, Scheer did not take a public position. However, on 26 February 2018, Scheer stated that a Conservative Canadian government, if elected in 2019, will recognize Jerusalem as Israel's capital.[131][132]

Scheer has tweeted that he was "praying for the safety of the soldiers of the Israeli Defense Forces and all Israelis tonight as they face missile attacks".[133]

Saudi Arabia

After Prime Minister Justin Trudeau told CTV’s "Question Period" that the government was examining means to block shipment of Canadian-built light-armoured vehicles to Saudi Arabia in protest of the brutal murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi, Scheer stated that he firmly opposed any such move by the Liberal government. The arms sale to Saudi Arabia was brokered by the former Conservative government.[134] Scheer has stated that Canada should ban the import of oil from Saudi Arabia due to human rights and environmental concerns.[135] In 2018 Scheer demanded that the gender-based analysis requirement imposed on Canadian pipeline projects by the Liberal government be instead applied to oil imported from Saudi Arabia.[136]

Ukraine

 
Scheer at a Ukraine Independence Day festival in Toronto, holding up a t-shirt that reads Crimea is Ukraine

Scheer was one of thirteen Canadians banned from travelling to Russia under retaliatory sanctions imposed by President Vladimir Putin in March 2014.[137] Scheer supported sending peacekeepers to the Russian-Ukrainian border believing that "the defence of Ukraine's sovereignty and territorial integrity should be a priority for Canada's government on the international stage."[138]

Immigration

Scheer wants to prioritize helping those he considers the most vulnerable refugees, namely religious minorities like Christians in the Middle East who face death for conversion away from Islam.[139] He prefers to help refugees integrate through private sponsorship instead of government sponsorship. He contends that the refugees who are currently struggling to find housing, jobs and language training do so because of the Liberal Party "using a devastating tragedy for political purposes".[140]

In 2018, Scheer opposed the Global Compact for Migration.[141]

Quebec

 
Scheer attending Saint-Jean-Baptiste Day festivities in Pont-Rouge, Quebec

On 8 February 2018, Scheer expressed good will towards opening the constitution in support of then-Premier Philippe Couillard's proposal based around five conditions which were: the codification of a distinct society; limits on federal spending power; while guaranteeing representation on the Supreme Court; a constitutional veto right; and increased control over immigration to Quebec in the constitution.[142] In May 2018, Scheer promised to advocate for a robust Quebec nationalism, and to give Quebec more control over immigration and culture as well as collecting then transferring their federal income tax.[143][144]

On 28 March 2018, The Journal de Montréal revealed that Scheer's personal website was offered in English only. After the publication of the article, a French version of the site was created.[145]

In August 2018 Scheer defended a woman with links to anti-immigration activist groups such as the Front Patriotique du Quebec and the Storm Alliance after Justin Trudeau denounced her questions.[146]

Senate

Scheer opposes the non-partisan senate and has suggested that he would appoint people to the Senate "who share my goal of lowering taxes and growing the private sector". He also said "they would be Conservative senators who would implement the conservative vision for Canada".[147]

On 16 September 2017 Scheer criticized Senator Lynn Beyak following her comments about Indigenous people. He stated that any decision to remove her would be made by the leader of the Conservatives in the Senate, Larry Smith.[148] Beyak was eventually expelled from the caucus on 4 January 2018.[149] Scheer has encouraged the Senate Conservative Caucus to block the passage of the Cannabis Act.[150]

Social

Scheer is considered pro life by the Campaign Life Coalition and "has an impeccable pro life voting record" in the House of Commons.[151][152] He has said that he will respect the Conservative Party's official policy on abortion, which currently states, "A Conservative government will not support any legislation to regulate abortion".[153] Scheer reiterated his stance on abortion during a 2017 CBC News interview, stating that he still considers himself pro-life, but would not re-open the issue if he were Prime Minister.[154] In 2008, he was disappointed when the Order of Canada was given to Henry Morgentaler, and annoyed that his award came on Canada Day.[155] Scheer accused the Liberal government of "imposing" the prime minister's views on upholding "women's rights and women's reproductive rights" when faith groups are applying for funding for summer jobs programs.[156]

Scheer voted against Bill C-14, which allows practitioners to assist in the suicide of mentally competent adults with "enduring and intolerable suffering" in cases where death is "reasonably foreseeable".[157][151] Scheer was critical of Justin Trudeau over comments made by the Governor General Julie Payette on questioning people who support creationism stating that millions were "offended" by her comments.[158][clarification needed]

Scheer has promised that universities or colleges "that do not foster a culture of free speech and inquiry on campus" will not receive federal funding under his government, though after University of Toronto said it would not open space on its campus for an event hosted by the Canadian Nationalist Party, he stated "I respect the right for universities to determine which outside groups they give a platform to. And so that's within their purview" and that his policy would be based on "an objective set of criteria".[159][160] When asked by cabinet member Kirsty Duncan if a university like St.Paul blocking a film on abortion would fit in his criteria, Scheer said no.[161][162]

During the 2004 election campaign, Scheer opposed same-sex marriage.[163] As an individual MP, he publicly voiced his opposition in the House of Commons debate against recognizing same-sex marriage and voted in favour of a 2006 motion to re-open debate on the issue.[151] Scheer has stated that, as leader of the Conservative caucus – where there is no consensus on the issue – he will not try to reopen the debate on same-sex marriage.[153][164][165] In 2016, Scheer supported the removal of "traditional definition of marriage" from the conservative party policy book.[166]

In 2005, Scheer defended Bishop Fred Henry's statements against the legalization of same-sex marriage,[167] stating "to think that a Catholic bishop must answer to a civil authority over matters of faith is abominable. It is abhorrent to me, to other Catholics and to every member of every faith community."[165]

Changes to the national anthem

Scheer voted against Bill C-210, which altered the lyrics of the national anthem to a gender-neutral form. When asked about his vote, he expressed disappointment on the bill's passing in 2016 and stated that he would sing the "old version" until the law received royal assent, which was the day after his comments.[168]

Gender

Scheer describes himself as a feminist and advocates for a gender-diverse senior team stating, "I think the core of that is to recognize the fundamental equality between men and women."[169]

On 31 January 2018, Scheer was asked if he had ever acted inappropriately in the past, in which he responded by "No", and "A good friend of mine when I first got elected said nothing good happens in Ottawa after 8:00pm and I've tried to live by that rule."[170]

On misconduct of candidates for office

After it was revealed that the 2015 Conservative campaign team knew about sexual misconduct allegations against former Conservative MP Rick Dykstra, Scheer responded by stating he could not speak to "decisions made by past campaign teams". However, after Conservative MPs Maxime Bernier and Brad Trost called for an investigation into the party's handling of Dykstra's candidacy while Michelle Rempel criticized the party's decision, Scheer called for a third-party investigation on 31 January 2018.[170] On 6 February 2018, Scheer declined to comment on the fate of those involved in the mishandling of the allegations against Dykstra during the 2015 election or say whether those involved remain welcome into the party.[171]

Recreational drugs

 
Scheer speaking with members of the Cedars Society, an organization that promotes recovery from drug addition

When asked about his stance on Canada's potential legalization of marijuana in April 2017, he said though he is not in favour of the motion, "I am very realistic, and once it's legal in a short period of time there's going to be a lot of people that work for companies that distribute it ... so we have to be very realistic as a party."[172] During the Lac-St.Jean byelection, Scheer stated that he is opposed to the pending legalization of marijuana and made it an issue during the campaign.[173] In an interview with Tout le Monde en Parle in May 2018, Scheer admitted that he had smoked marijuana when he was younger, but reinforced his opposition to the bill, and would not rule out the possibility to re-criminalize marijuana if he wins the election.[174][175] However, in October 2018, Scheer stated that the Conservatives would not re-criminalize marijuana, noting how the Conservative Party "recognize the reality," of legal cannabis, and "do not intend to go back and make marijuana illegal again."[176]

In the leadership race, Scheer accused Justin Trudeau of wanting to legalize heroin.[177] He has also accused Health Minister Ginette Petitpas Taylor on Twitter of trying to "legalize" hard drugs which he corrected to "decriminalize".[178][179] Scheer is critical of safe-injection sites arguing that "the government makes it quote unquote safer to inject illicit drugs".[180]

Repatriation of Omar Khadr

Scheer has publicly denounced the Liberal government's decision to end its lawsuit with Omar Khadr for what was reported to be a $10.5 million settlement. Scheer argued that Khadr's compensation should have been limited to the right of repatriation, which Khadr had received in 2012.[181]

Transparency

The Globe and Mail reported that Scheer was not posting details of his private fundraising events. Scheer previously criticized Justin Trudeau for hosting cash-for-access fundraisers. Scheer stated that, "The Prime Minister of Canada is a public office holder and … he and his cabinet have held a number of receptions that are directly linked with stakeholders and the portfolios that they may have views on the file".[182]

On 31 October 2017, it was reported that Scheer had three real estate limited partnerships (RELPs): investment vehicles that reduce the holders' tax burden by writing off up to 50 percent of their initial investment, for those who make an average income of $75,000 or more in Saskatchewan. Scheer invested $75,000 in the RELPs, and his holdings were previously disclosed to Mary Dawson, the ethics commissioner.[183]

Personal life

 
Scheer and his family in September 2018

Scheer married Jill Ryan at the Holy Rosary Cathedral in Regina in 2003.[184] The couple have five children together.[185][186] Scheer is a practising Catholic who attends Sunday mass and is an active member of the Knights of Columbus.[163][187] His children attend a private faith-based school.[188] According to Global News, "Scheer’s French is passable, but he’s not fluently bilingual."[189]

Scheer is a hunter and firearm owner.[190] A gridiron football fan, Scheer supports the Seattle Seahawks and Saskatchewan Roughriders; his brother-in-law is professional football player Jon Ryan.[191][192] Another of his wife's brothers, Steve Ryan, ran for the Saskatchewan NDP in the 2007 and 2011 provincial elections.[193]

When he was Speaker of the House from 2011 to 2015, he lived at the official residence, called the Farm, in the Gatineau Hills. Currently, he lives in Stornoway, the official residence of the leader of the opposition. On 12 July 2018, it was revealed that the National Capital Commission was renovating the roof at a cost of $100,000. When the Globe and Mail asked his office about his party's attack on similar renovations carried out at Harrington Lake, the prime minister's summer residence, a spokesperson from Scheer's office stated that the work scheduled to be carried out at Stornoway was not comparable.[194]

Dual citizenship

Scheer has dual Canadian and American citizenship, and in August 2019 he began the process of renouncing his US citizenship, which he obtained through his American-born father.[195][196] Scheer confirmed that he has filed US tax returns and the party verified that he is registered for the draft under the U.S. Selective Service System, which is a list of individuals who can be conscripted into the armed forces in the event of a national emergency.[197] Scheer denied that he had been hiding this information, but rather stated that he had never been asked about his dual citizenship, nor about having an American-born parent, before the information was revealed by the Globe and Mail during the 2019 federal election campaign.[195][196]

Honours

 

Ribbon Description Notes
  Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal for Canada

Styles of address

  • 1979–2004: Mr Andrew James Scheer
  • 2004–2011: Mr Andrew James Scheer MP
  • 2011–2015: The Honourable Andrew James Scheer MP
  • 2015–2017: Mr Andrew James Scheer MP
  • 2017–present: The Honourable Andrew James Scheer PC MP

Electoral history

2015 Canadian federal election
Party Candidate Votes % ±% Expenditures
Conservative Andrew Scheer 16,486 44.70 −8.49 $118,170.22
New Democratic Nial Kuyek 11,144 30.21 −8.44 $65,386.08
Liberal Della Anaquod 8,401 22.78 +18.02 $21,967.01
Green Greg Chatterson 852 2.31 −0.67 $3,114.91
Total valid votes/expense limit 36,883 100.0     $202,239.34
Total rejected ballots 152
Turnout 37,035
Eligible voters 52,220
Source: Elections Canada[198][199]
2011 Canadian federal election
Party Candidate Votes % ±% Expenditures
Conservative Andrew Scheer 15,896 53.5 +1.8 $78,726
New Democratic Fred Clipsham 11,419 38.4 +6.3 $63,800
Liberal Jackie Miller 1,400 4.7 −5.8 $15,991
Green Greg Chatterson 879 3.0 −2.8 $9,100
Independent Jeff Breti 127 0.4 $18,116
Total valid votes/expense limit 29,721 100.0   $81,793
Total rejected ballots 97 0.3 0.0
Turnout 29,818 61.7 +4
Eligible voters 48,300
2008 Canadian federal election
Party Candidate Votes % ±% Expenditures
Conservative Andrew Scheer 14,068 51.7 +10.4 $78,480
New Democratic Janice Bernier 8,699 32.1 −0.3 $44,446
Liberal Rod Flaman 2,809 10.5 −12.7 $17,222
Green Greg Chatterson 1,556 5.8 +2.5 $8,194
Total valid votes/expense limit 27,135 100.0   $78,949
Total rejected ballots 81 0.3 0.0
Turnout 27,213 57 −7
2006 Canadian federal election
Party Candidate Votes % ±% Expenditures
Conservative Andrew Scheer 12,753 41.3 +5.5 $71,773
New Democratic Lorne Nystrom 10,041 32.4 −0.3 $50,501
Liberal Allyce Herle 7,134 23.1 −4.7 $68,287
Green Brett Dolter 1,016 3.3 +1.0 $545
Total valid votes 30,944 100.0  
Total rejected ballots 93 0.3 0.0
Turnout 31,037 64 +8
2004 Canadian federal election
Party Candidate Votes % ±% Expenditures
Conservative Andrew Scheer 10,012 35.8 −5.0 $68,776
New Democratic Lorne Nystrom 9,151 32.7 −8.6 $46,290
Liberal Allyce Herle 7,793 27.8 +9.9 $54,913
Green Deanna Robilliard 639 2.3  
Christian Heritage Mary Sylvia Nelson 293 1.0 $4,213
Independent Lorne Edward Widger 106 0.4 $728
Total valid votes 27,994 100.0  
Total rejected ballots 89 0.3 −0.2
Turnout 28,083 56.2 −4.9

Note: Conservative vote is compared to the Canadian Alliance vote in 2000 election.

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External links

Parliament of Canada
Preceded by
Lorne Nystrom
Member of Parliament
for Regina-Qu'Appelle

2004–present
Incumbent
Political offices
Preceded by
Bill Blaikie
Deputy Speaker of the House of Commons
2008–2011
Succeeded by
Denise Savoie
Preceded by
Peter Milliken
Speaker of the House of Commons
2011–2015
Succeeded by
Geoff Regan
Preceded by
Peter Julian
Leader of the Opposition in the House of Commons
2015–2016
Succeeded by
Candice Bergen
Preceded by
Rona Ambrose
Leader of the Opposition
2017–present
Incumbent
Party political offices
Preceded by
Rona Ambrose
Interim
Leader of the Conservative Party
2017–present
Incumbent