Andrew Scheer focuses on the North, attacks Trudeau on China and avoids talk about Doug Ford

July 8, 2019

After unveiling his environment plan that would have Canada meet its emissions reduction targets while eliminating the current federal carbon tax regime, Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer has headed north to the territories to outline his vision for the North.

The trip is Scheer's first to the Yukon capital since becoming the leader of the federal Conservative Party. Scheer went to Whitehorse to support the Yukon Conservative candidate Jonas Smith, similarly to his trip two weeks ago to Iqaluit to support former Conservative MP and Health Minister Leona Aglukkaq. Last polls shows that LPC and CPC are fighting close battles in Yukon and Nunavut.

Scheer took advantage of his time in the Yukon to reiterate his plan to scrap the carbon tax, instead replacing it with incentives to develop green technology. The tax came into effect in Yukon just days earlier, on July 1.

Scheer gave a broad-strokes outline of his northern vision, saying that a Conservative government would set aside special infrastructure funding for the territories, and he would reform the Canadian Northern Economic Development Agency to make it more responsive to local needs.

Scheer also addressed the issue of unemployment in Indigenous communities, saying that his government would attempt to tackle the problem with a multi-pronged approach.

Trudeau and China

Conservative leader Andrew Scheer did not miss the opportunity to criticize Justin Trudeau on his crisis management with China.

In a letter on July 5th, Scheer pressed Trudeau to take a harder line with Canada’s second-biggest trading partner at a time when the countries are locked in a diplomatic dispute that has dragged on for more than seven months. China detained two Canadians in December just days after Canada arrested Chinese high-tech executive Meng Wanzhou in Vancouver on a U.S. extradition warrant.

How about Doug Ford?

Meanwhile, Andrew Scheer continues to face questions by the media about Ontario Premier Doug Ford's declining popularity.

Recently, Scheer was asked how he feels about Doug Ford and their relationship. Instead of answering he chose to dodge the question completely.
In an interview with CTV News, Andrew Scheer was asked about Doug Ford, specifically whether "the Ontario premier's unpopularity [is] going to rub off on you for the campaign." However, his answer not only did not address Doug Ford’s low popularity, but didn't even mention his name. Instead, Scheer took the opportunity to blame the Liberal government and former premier Kathleen Wynne for any problems in Ontario right now.

A clip of the interview is now circulating on Twitter and people can't help but notice Scheer's cringe-worthy question dodging.

Canadians also couldn't help but notice that while he didn't answer the question, Scheer's responses seemed pretty rehearsed and with a very clear formula to them, specifically blaming the Liberals for everything.

Considering the campaign is just getting underway, it's likely that there are going to be a lot more Doug Ford questions heading Scheer's way in the coming months.

For the moment, Doug Ford’s low popularity doesn’t affect CPC too much in the polls. But a new 338Canada/Maclean’s projection shows that the Ontario battleground is tightening. The Conservative lead holds, but with rising fortunes in Ontario, the Liberals’ seat projection improves significantly. The 338Canada federal model appears to indicate that the Liberals may be gaining in the crucial Ontario battleground, where there are 121 electoral districts, more than a third of Canada’s federal districts. The Conservatives remain in the lead in this week’s national seat projection with an average of 159 seats.