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

The Honourable
Andrew Scheer
PC MP
Andrew Scheer with Winnipeg Mayor Brian Bowman (37017567232).jpg
Leader of the Opposition
Assumed office
May 27, 2017
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau
Preceded by Rona Ambrose
Leader of the Conservative Party
Assumed office
May 27, 2017
Deputy Denis Lebel (2017)
Lisa Raitt (2017–present)
Preceded by Rona Ambrose (Interim)
Leader of the Opposition in the House of Commons
In office
November 18, 2015 – September 13, 2016
Leader Rona Ambrose
Preceded by Peter Julian
Succeeded by Candice Bergen
35th Speaker of the House of Commons
In office
June 2, 2011 – December 3, 2015
Monarch Elizabeth II
Governor General David Johnston
Prime Minister Stephen Harper
Preceded by Peter Milliken
Succeeded by Geoff Regan
Member of the Canadian Parliament
for Regina—Qu'Appelle
Assumed office
June 28, 2004
Preceded by Lorne Nystrom
Personal details
Born Andrew James Scheer
(1979-05-20) May 20, 1979 (age 38)
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
Political party Conservative
Other political
affiliations
Alliance (until 2003)
Spouse(s) Jill Ryan
Relations Jon Ryan (brother-in-law)
Children 5
Residence Stornoway
Education History & politics (B.A.)
Alma mater University of Ottawa
University of Regina
Salary CAD$255,300[1]
Website Party website

Described as a "true blue Tory",[2] Scheer is a staunch opponent of a federal carbon tax[3] and has stated that he would balance the federal budget within two years of forming a government.[4] During his career, Scheer was often compared to former Prime Minister Stephen Harper, and has been described as ,“Harper’s boy", "Harper with a smile" or "Stephen Harper 2.0".[5][6]

Elected to the riding of Regina—Qu'Appelle at the age of 25,[7] Scheer was elected Speaker of the House of Commons at age 32, making him the youngest Speaker in the chamber’s history.[8] On September 28, 2016, Scheer announced his bid for the leadership of the Conservative Party,[9] running under the slogan of “Real conservative. Real leader.” On May 27, 2017, he was elected Leader of the Conservative Party of Canada on the 13th and final ballot of the leadership election, with 50.95% of the vote to opponent Maxime Bernier’s 49.05%.[10]

Contents

Early life and careerEdit

Scheer was born and raised in Ottawa, Ontario, the son of Mary Gerarda Therese (Enright), a nurse, and James Scheer, a librarian and proofreader, who is a deacon of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Ottawa.[11][12][13] He has two sisters. Part of his family is from Romania.[14][15] Scheer graduated from Immaculata High School, and then studied history and politics at the University of Ottawa. While attending university, Scheer worked in the correspondence department of the Office of the Leader of the Opposition (OLO). He moved to Regina after meeting his future wife Jill Ryan at university and finished his BA at the University of Regina. Instead of returning to Ottawa, Scheer worked at Shenher Insurance before joining the constituency office of a Canadian Alliance MP, Larry Spencer in Regina—Lumsden—Lake Centre. Scheer was working waiter before running for Parliament.[1]

Political careerEdit

First years in the House of CommonsEdit

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, then longest-serving member of the House of Commons by 861 votes.[7] Near the end of the race, Scheer accused Nystrom of being soft on child pornography.[16] He was re-elected in the federal election of 2006, once again defeating Nystrom, this time by a margin of 2,740 votes.[17]

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. He sponsored one bill, An Act to amend the Criminal Code (motor vehicle theft) (Bill C-343), which would create minimum sentences for those convicted of motor vehicle theft.[citation needed]

On November 21, 2008, during the 40th Canadian Parliament, he was named Deputy Speaker of the House of Commons and Chairman of Committees of the Whole,[18] succeeding New Democrat MP Bill Blaikie.

In a 2010 interview, Scheer stated that he stayed with his parents when in Ottawa, explaining that it "saves the taxpayers money." This claim was challenged in the Huffington Post, who noted that Scheer claimed over $23,000 in MP accommodation and per diem expenses in 2009-2010. His Chief of Staff later clarified that he stayed with his parents a "fair bit" of the time, but also used hotels.[19]

Speaker of the House of CommonsEdit

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.[8][20] On June 2, 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[21]. The main reason behind his selection had more to due with a divided opposition. The Liberals saw him as one of  "Harper’s boys" and unsuccessfully lobbied the NDP to support their preferred candidate, veteran MP Lee Richardson. [6]

While opposition parties expressed confidences in Scheer during his tenure, however individual opposition MP and journalist were critical of some of his decisions. Liberal MP Irwin Cotler questioned his impartially due to a decision over a robocall incident with Campaign Research (it was reported that Scheer was a client of the firm).[22] While, NDP Leader Tom Mulcair criticized him for failing to intervene with Paul Calandra, answering a non-sequitur about supporting Israel. In addition, Journalist pointed out there were similar incident with other opposition politicians. Scheer responded by stating that previous Speakers have ruled that they have no authority over the content of what politicians say, and is bound by that precedent.[2] [3][23][6]

Opposition (second time)Edit

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

Scheer was re-elected in the 2015 federal election that defeated the Conservative government.[24] 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 interim Party Leader but was dissuade by fellow caucus MP Chris Warkentin, who pointed out that interim leader cannot take the permanent position.[25] On September 13, 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.[26]

2017 leadership electionEdit

On September 28, 2016, Scheer announced his bid for the leadership of the Conservative Party,[9] and that he has the support of 32 members of the Conservative caucus.[27] On May 27, 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.[10]

During the race, Scheer, did not attend Campaign Life Coalition March for Life, however he did sent Garrett Genius to make a statement on behalf of him. [28]

Hamish Marshall, a former director of the right-wing[29] news outlet The Rebel Media, which succeed the Sun News Network, worked as Scheer's campaign manager. [30] [31][32]

Scheer was criticized by opposition politicians for removing his campaign platform after winning the Conservative leadership race.[33]

Leader of the Official OppositionEdit

In September 2017, Scheer apologized to Environment Minister Catherine McKenna after Tory MP Gerry Ritz called her a 'Climate Barbie'.[34]

The Globe and Mail reported that Scheer was not posting details of his own private fundraising events, while at the same time criticizing the Liberal Party for the same, stating that he should not be bound by the same ethical standards he demanded of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, because the Conservatives are not in government.[35]

During the Lac-St.Jean byelection, his party tried to make legalization of marijuana an issue and made a promise to push back the pending legalization if they won, stance that he supported[36].

On, October, 31, 2017, it was reported that Scheer has three Real estate limited partnerships (RELPs), an investment vehicle that reduced their tax burden by writing off up to 50 per cent 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.[37]

Marshall has also been named campaign chair for their 43rd Canadian federal election. [38]

Political positionsEdit

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 he did take a strong stance on included scrapping the carbon tax and being "tough on crime".[39] Scheer is considered a Blue Tory.[2] He has been called "Harper with a smile" or Stephen Harper 2.0. [4] Scheer considered British MEP Daniel Hannan and former Canadian Prime Minsiter John Diefenbaker. as political influences.[40] It has also been pointed out that Scheer shares similarity with Saskatchewan Premier , Brad Wall.[41]

Economic policyEdit

During the Conservative leadership race, Scheer stated that he would balance the federal budget within two years of forming government.[42]

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. [43] He wants to introduce 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, lower business taxes .[44][45]

Scheer has express support for free markets stating that he believes in "a free market where businesses profit by having the best product or service." [5]

Scheer was a major advocate for the removal of the Canadian Wheat Board. [6]

Andrew Scheer proposed a policy to mandate the inclusion of national flag decals on gas pumps to highlight "Canadian-sourced, ethically produced oil."[3]

EnvironmentEdit

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.[3] It's been pointed out[by whom?] that Scheer does not have much regard with climate change.[41]

In October 2016, Scheer voted against the ratification of the Paris Agreement.[7] However, Scheer voted to reaffirm Canadian ratification on the Paris Agreement in June 2017[46]

Scheer told the Le Soleil that he supported federal funds to a tunnel between Quebec City and Lévis suggesting that it would increase vehicle capacity" and improve the flow of traffic. Also, Scheer stated that he does not support a "war on cars" when supporting a tunnel between Quebec City and Levis.[8]

Freedom of speechEdit

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,[47] 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.” . [9] When asked if an a university like St.Paul blocked a film on abortion would fit in his criteria. Scheer stated no. [48]

Senate policyEdit

Scheer oppose unpartisan Senate being perused by the current government and suggested that he would appoint people to the Senate "who share my goal of lowering taxes and growing the private sector.” “They would be conservative senators who would implement the conservative vision for Canada,”[49] Scheer criticized Lynn Beyak following her comments about indigenious people, but stated that "no longer has a role" in the Conservative caucus and stopped short of saying whether he’d take action to remove her. Scheer stated that  leader of the Conservatives in the Senate, Sen. Larry Smith, is dealing with it.[10] Scheer has ordered the senate conservative to block the passage of the the Cannabis Act. [50]

Social policyEdit

Scheer considers himself a feminist.[51]

During the 2004 election campaign, Scheer opposed same-sex marriage.[52]As an individual MP, he voiced his opinion in the house of commons against recongizing same-sex marriage and voted in favour of a 2006 motion to re-open debate on the issue.[53] 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.[54][55][56]

In 2016, Scheer supported the removal of "traditional definition of marriage " from the conservative party policy book.[57]

In 2005,Scheer defended bishop Fred Henry by 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,".[56]

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."[58][53]

Scheer is considered pro life by the Campaign Life Coalition and "has an impeccable pro life voting record" in the House of Commons.[53][59] Scheer has said[54] 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".[54] In 2008, he was disappointed when the Order of Canada was given to abortionist Henry Morgentaler, and annoyed that his announcement came on Canada Day.[11][60]

Scheer was critical of Justin Trudeau over comments made by the governer general Julie Payette on questioning people who support creationism stating that millions were “offended’ by her comments.[12]

Foreign policyEdit

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.[61]

In 2016, he voiced his support for the UK's decision to vote in favour of Brexit.[62]

Scheer was one of thirteen Canadians banned from travelling to Russia under retaliatory sanctions imposed by President Vladimir Putin in March 2014.[63] Scheer supports the use of sending peacekeepers to the Ukraine to Russia border believing that "The defence of Ukraine's sovereignty and territorial integrity should be a priority for Canada's government on the international stage,".[64]

Drug policyEdit

When asked about his stance on Canada's potential legalization of marijuana, 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."[65] Recently, he has refused to repeat these remarks in the interview he gave to Canadian Press and has not stated if his party support or repeal the Cannabis Act during the 2019 election. [50]

In the leadership race, Scheer accused Justin Trudeau of wanting to legalize heroin.[66] Scheer is critical of safe-injection sites arguing that "the government makes it quote unquote safer to inject illicit drugs."[67] On November 2, 2017, Scheer accused Health Minister Ginette Petitpas Taylor on Twitter of trying to legalize hard drugs, but later changed to decriminalization.[68][69] A spokesperson from Scheer office admitted that the Health Minister may have not said the word "decriminalization", but she indicated it basing it on statements like "rather than prosecuting" and "diverting people out of the criminal justice system".[70]

ImmigrationEdit

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.[71] 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 is because of the Liberal Party "using a devastating tragedy for political purposes".[72]

Personal lifeEdit

 
Scheer and his family in July 2017

Scheer and his wife Jill have five children: Thomas, Grace, Madeline, Henry and Mary.[73][74] Jill Scheer's younger brother is professional football player Jon Ryan.[75] Another of Jill Scheer's brothers, Steve Ryan, ran for the Saskatchewan NDP in the 2007 and 2011 provincial elections.[76]

He and his family attend Sunday Mass at Canadian Martyrs or Good Samaritan parishes.[52] Scheer is an active member of the Knights of Columbus.[77] During the leadership race, Scheer revealed that his children were attending private faith-based school.[78]

Electoral historyEdit

Canadian federal election, 2015
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[79][80]
2011 federal election redistributed results[81]
Party Vote  %
  Conservative 16,197 53.19
  New Democratic 11,769 38.65
  Liberal 1,449 4.76
  Green 908 2.98
  Others 127 0.42
Canadian federal election, 2011
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
Canadian federal election, 2008
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
Canadian federal election, 2006
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
Canadian federal election, 2004
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.

ReferencesEdit

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  81. ^ Alice Funke. "Pundits' Guide to Canadian Elections". Punditsguide.ca. Retrieved 2017-09-18. 

External linksEdit


Internet Archive of Andrew Scheer's Policy Positions https://web.archive.org/web/20170525150751/http://www.andrewscheer.com/policy

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