Kitchener-Waterloo

Climate strike demonstrators try to confront Scheer during Cambridge stop

Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer was in Cambridge Tuesday, making a last-minute change to his schedule to hit up a local hot dog stand rather than the coffee shop where global climate strike demonstrators were waiting for him.

Scheer goes to hot dog stand, visits baseball bat factory

Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer stopped at KR3 Custom Bats in Cambridge, Ont., on Tuesday afternoon and got a feel for one of the baseball bats the small company makes. (Kate Bueckert/CBC)

Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer says he wasn't avoiding climate demonstrators when he went to a Cambridge hot dog stand for a bite to eat instead of the coffee shop where he was scheduled to stop.

Global climate strike demonstrators yelled chants of "no more oil, keep it in the soil" and cheered as cars honked outside the Melville Café, located at the University of Waterloo School of Architecture building in Cambridge on Tuesday afternoon.

But they quickly moved when word spread Scheer's bus had stopped at L.A. Franks, a popular quick-serve restaurant less than a kilometre away. By the time many of the demonstrators made it to the restaurant, Scheer was back on the campaign bus.

Asked if he was dodging the demonstrators, Scheer said no. 

"We only had a few moments to stop and say a quick hello to a candidate … and pick up a quick bite to eat before we came out here," he said.

The Melville Café advertises on its website a full menu of food, including sandwiches, desserts and all-day breakfast, and it also notes they do take out.

Climate demonstrators were gathered at a coffee shop in Cambridge where Scheer was scheduled to stop Tuesday afternoon. Instead, Scheer went to a hot dog restaurant around the corner. (Kate Bueckert/CBC)

Opioid plan coming

Scheer's second stop in Cambridge was at KR3 Custom Bats, which makes wooden baseball bats, to tout his party's announcement from earlier in the day about cutting regulations for small businesses and repeal changes to the tax system made by the Liberal government.

But Cambridge is also a city that has been hit hard by the opioid crisis and how to handle the impact has divided residents and local politicians. Neighbouring city Kitchener is set to open an interim supervised consumption site next month. Cambridge council has agreed to look for a location for a site, but has said it cannot go in any of the three downtown cores of the city.

Scheer has said he doesn't support the way the Liberal government handled the crisis, but when asked what he'd say to residents in Cambridge who are facing its effects on a daily basis, he said people should stay tuned.

"We are going to be making some announcements later on the campaign that focus on recovery, helping people get off of dangerous drugs instead of focusing on maintaining addictions," Scheer said. "We want to help people move on with their lives and recover from their addiction. So that's going to be our focus."

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