Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer visits Yellowknife as part of low-key Canadian tour
Leader of the federal Conservatives says his party will soon form its Northern game plan
Andrew Scheer, the leader of the Conservative Party of Canada, was in Yellowknife on Sunday — his first visit to the territory. He came to get acquainted with the North and meet the premier.
Scheer, 38, took the reins of the Conservative Party in May. He is the MP for the Saskatchewan riding of Regina Qu'Appelle, and has been active in Conservative Party politics since his early 20s.
He's relatively unknown in the North, but he said he's going back to Ottawa with a better sense of some Northern concerns.
"A lot of people today in my meetings talked about their disappointment in the unilateral decision of the Liberal government to bring in a moratorium on offshore development," Scheer said.
"That's something that has sent a very negative signal throughout the natural resource industry. There are a lot of concerns about the way the Liberals are imposing that 'Ottawa knows best' approach."
Northern infrastructure, or a lack thereof, is another concern that stood out for him. Scheer said the North needs a federal government with a "bold vision" about unlocking trapped potential.
His Yellowknife stop was part of a low-key tour of the country before Parliament returns to session in the fall.
"This for me was really a listening tour," he said.
"I wanted to meet with people — I wasn't pretending to have all the answers all at once."
Scheer said the real work of developing a Northern policy will soon begin.
"The next step would be to come back, and once I announce my shadow cabinet in the next few days, to make sure that my shadow ministers — for transportation, for natural resources, for the environment — all come up here and sit down and start to put together some policies that will really speak to and resonate with people in Northern Canada and the Northwest Territories."