Kitchener-Waterloo·Audio

Federal Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer on GO trains, affordable housing and election

Federal Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer was in Waterloo region on Monday. He stopped by the CBC Kitchener-Waterloo studio for a wide-ranging one-on-one interview with The Morning Edition's Craig Norris.

Despite two local candidates being anti-abortion, Scheer says debate won't be reopened

Federal Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer made a stop in Waterloo region on Monday as part of a summer tour. He sat down for an interview with The Morning Edition's Craig Norris. (Kate Bueckert/CBC)

Federal Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer was in Waterloo region on Monday and he stopped by the CBC Kitchener-Waterloo studio to talk one-on-one with The Morning Edition's host, Craig Norris.

When it comes to the issues in Waterloo region, Scheer said he's a "big believer" in public transit because he grew up in a family that didn't own a car. 

He said the Conservatives have pledged to be "full partners in funding municipal infrastructure making sure that public transit is a priority."

He said he's also heard concerns from people about getting around the province.

"When I talk to people in this area, all throughout southwestern Ontario, a big quality of life issue is how much time people lose in traffic. That can be addressed with public transit as it can also be addressed with more efficient road systems as well."

Another big issue is housing and the need for affordable housing.

He said the supply side of housing is a big problem.

"One of the things that we're going to be speaking about in our platform is a strategy to make homes more affordable by making sure that there are more homes coming on the market," he said.

"That means investments in infrastructure to open up new areas for development. It also means working with municipalities to lower the cost of their own regulations, that we don't have dumb regulations that just lead to higher costs but don't actually provide a benefit to to society."

The full interview can be heard here:

Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer was in Waterloo region on Monday. He stopped by the CBC Kitchener-Waterloo studio for a one-on-one interview with The Morning Edition's host, Craig Norris. 14:33

There were a number of other issues covered in the interview. Below are some of the other issues Scheer discussed.

On the abortion debate

Two candidates in Waterloo region are known for their anti-abortion stances.

Current Kitchener-Conestoga MP Harold Albrecht and former MP and current candidate for Kitchener Centre Stephen Woodworth are both against abortion. Albrecht sponsored a petition to parliament to defund abortions through healthcare.

But Scheer says there is no abortion debate.

"We've made the commitment that we're not going to reopen this debate," Scheer said. "That's absolutely set in stone; it's a firm commitment."

Tone of the upcoming campaign

Over the weekend, Scheer posted a video of him confronting Trudeau at an event in New Brunswick to his social media channels.

He was asked if these kinds of moments are what voters can expect in the campaign and he accused the Liberals of "mean-spirited attacks."

"Our commitment is to keep it on the issues, keep it on the record and on the issues. I won't criticize Justin Trudeau … as a person. But I certainly will hold up a light to how he's conducted himself as prime minister, how he's used the office that he holds to reward his friends and punish his critics," Scheer said.

Youth vote

Scheer says young people can trust him to build a country where they have a better chance of getting ahead because he comes from "humble beginnings."

"I was only able to go to school because I was able to work and pay through my tuition. My parents gave me a free place to stay and they bought me my bus pass every month and that was it. Everything else was on my own. So I recognize the hard work that's required to get into a field or to get an education," he said.

He said there are also challenges with finding work and the economy is changing and young people have to be flexible because they won't have the same career for 40 years like previous generations.

Federal Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer, right, speaks with Craig Norris, host of The Morning Edition, after an interview on Monday. (Kate Bueckert/CBC)

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