Before he was elected the new leader of the Conservative Party of Canada on May 27, Andrew Scheer attended a BBQ party in Etobicoke hosted by Laryssa and Taras Hetmanczuk and Krystina Waler. At the party, Mr. Scheer explained major points of his platform while members of the local community asked him plenty of questions which helped complete a comprehensive picture of his ideology and political plans. The following is a condensed presentation of major points that Andrew Scheer talked about that evening:
How Andrew Scheer differs from Justin Trudeau
Justin Trudeau’s biggest strength right now is his image: he’s very well-known, he’s got a great social media presence, he’s very good with staged photos, and everything is measured and well-though-out. But Canadians are seeing how contrived it is, how there is nothing genuine about it. And I think the more he does that, the more over-exposed he gets. To me Justin Trudeau is a political equivalent of a boy band, a creation of marketing and image consultants. I think we can exploit and use that to our own advantage if we have someone who has a fresh approach and someone who is relatable, but someone with substance behind them. And my showcase is my family. He’s got kids, I got kids. I don’t have taxpayers to fund a nanny. I am not setting up staged photographs in our home to get some likes on Instagram. I think that’s how we can beat him – by showing how fake it is.
Four major positions to run a campaign
We need to spend two years before the election laying the groundwork for why Canadians should be concerned about deficit. If an interest rate goes up 1 or 2 points, we will be in big trouble. We’ve got unfunded pension liabilities in a public sector, municipal and provincial debt. That is a looming crisis. Then, repealing the carbon tax is going to be a huge issue. We live just north of our neighbour who is not going down that road. I met a guy who owns a manufacturing company in Markham, makes plastic components for the automotive sector. He’s already cut his workforce down from 5 days to 4 days a week just because of hydro prices. Add a carbon tax on that and he’s moving to New York and he’s going to sell those components right back to Canada. I want to completely overhaul our tax code system to make it more attractive for investment, to make it easier for families to make ends meet. If I can add a fourth position, I do think that immigration and border security issues will be a big issue in 2019. People are coming here illegally from the US right now, jumping the que, tying up resources that Canada could be using to help legitimate refugees who are facing real persecution.
To me it’s more of a question why the government is selling the assets. If a government decides to get out of the way, to free it up for private sector competition or investment – that’s a good reason to do it. If they are doing it just to sell for cash, to balance the budget, then that’s not a good reason to do it. If they are selling the cow instead of selling the milk, after you spend the money you got from the sale, you’re still in trouble. When Trudeau’s Liberals are looking for assets to sell, they are looking for other sources of income.
We should be self-sufficient on energy and we are not. Right now the Liberals have announced the tanker ban on the West coast that only applies to Canadian vessels. American vessels can still travel from Alaska through our waters to the US. Its only hurting Canadian natural resource companies. Meanwhile tanker after tanker of Saudi oil or Venezuelan oil, or Nigerian oil comes up the St. Lawrence and floods our Eastern Canadian markets. That’s why the Energy East pipeline is so important, because it would bring Western energy to Eastern Canada, we wouldn’t have to buy oil from countries that have a terrible human rights record and not anywhere near the same compliance that we have when it comes to labor and environmental issues. I want to get Canada off of foreign oil.
I’m against corporate welfare. I don’t believe that the government should be picking winners and losers, and I reject the idea that the economy can be managed like it’s a gigantic computer console. There are a lot of politicians that give you the idea that we can adjust the style here and add some innovation, and get some jobs, or pull this lever and have a subsidy, and get some growth. None of it works like that. A government should be concerned with creating a leveled playing field and giving ourselves the most competitive taxation regime we can, and then letting businesses fail or not.
Technologies and innovations
I saw one of our Liberal Ministers tweet out “We’re making big risks on innovation.” Gambling with Canadian tax dollars? That’s what the market is supposed to do. We didn’t have a high tech sector in Kitchener and Waterloo area because there was a government white paper 20 years ago that said, hey we should have a cluster of excellency. It happens organically. And the second the government tries to divert or direct, you end up with politicians and bureaucrats making decisions about things they don’t understand and we’re always worse off. I’m not saying we should not worry about individuals, who are affected by radical change.
Support for Ukraine
The easiest thing to do is to enhance our trade and cultural ties, be that strong voice for Ukraine, help it with military training. Getting that West-East energy corridor here in Canada can help displace Russian energy from the European market. If we had tankers leaving Canada for Europe with Canadian energy, that could help dilute the power that Putin has in Eastern Europe. We need to start laying the groundwork for that.
As a father of five kids I’m not happy about the fact that marijuana is going to be legalized. I think there are a lot of weaknesses in the legalization bill, including the age at which it is going to be accessible. There is a lot of evidence and a lot of research, which I read, that 18 years is too young, brains are still developing, people are still subjected to the risks. But I think we need to be very realistic, as a party, – when this bill is passed, there will be a significant number of Canadians who are employed in this industry, there will be people who are purchasing it legally, and if we are going to the 2019 election promising to make it illegal again, we are going to have to think about that very carefully.
I voted against it, I don’t believe in it as a whole. I think there is a lot that can be improved to protect the conscience rights of medical practitioners who should never be forced to perform something they fundamentally don’t agree with and I think there is a lot more we can do for safeguards. One thing that’s very troubling, it’s not so much what the law itself says, it’s what people, who are advocating for the law, say should come next. When they start talking about being more expansive and that young people, people with mental health issues and people with intellectual disabilities should be able to access assisted suicide – it’s very, very scary.
Our immigration system should be tied to our economic needs, with a certain capacity for things like family reunification. We should go out and get the best and brightest. Our immigration system can’t be seen as being a global welfare program, we should put emphasis on those that are coming to contribute. When we think about the Ukrainians that I’ve met or my family – they came here to work, contribute, make something of themselves and add to the society and the economy.