Saskatchewan Member of Parliament (MP) Andrew Scheer is the new leader of the Conservative Party of Canada. Scheer, 38, a former speaker of the House of Commons, is the youngest leader of the official opposition in Canadian history.
In a news conference after his late-night victory, Scheer committed himself to being the leader of a “Conservative Party for all conservatives” and said he would allow Conservative MPs to introduce private member’s bills opposing abortion.
Scheer was not predicted to win the leadership race by anyone in the mainstream media. Last month, front runner Kevin O’Leary dropped out of the contest and gave his support to Quebec MP Maxime Bernier, whom most political observers predicted would win. Scheer claimed his razor-thin win might have been a result of farmers who objected to Bernier’s opposition to supply-management policies that regulate the price of agricultural products like milk and cheese.
Scheer has already reiterated his support for legislation that would bar federal funding for universities that deny freedom of speech. In his victory speech, he also pledged to increase Canada’s effort in the war against terrorism by deploying a squadron of CF-18 fighter jets to fight ISIS.
In his victory speech, Scheer attributed his win to being “about what we thought. It’s about running a campaign on issues that matter to Conservatives.”