Saskatchewan

Andrew Scheer praises Erin O'Toole as next leader of Conservative Party

Scheer stepped down as the party leader after the last federal election and said he plans to run again in the next one.

Scheer stepped down as the party leader but said he plans to run again in the next federal election

Conservative Party of Canada Leader Erin O'Toole speaks after his win at the 2020 Leadership Election in Ottawa. (Sean Kilpatrick/Pool via Reuters)

The former Conservative Party leader said Erin O'Toole is a 'fantastic' choice for the party. 

O'Toole was elected the leader of the opposition late on August 23, after issues with the election ballots. 

Former leader Andrew Scheer said O'Toole is a good move for the party. Scheer is the Member of Parliament for Regina-Qu'Appelle. 

"[O'Toole] is a smart, intelligent, hard working person, who has served our nation in the military," Scheer told The Morning Edition. "I've worked with him side by side for the past few years and I'm just thrilled that he was able to win last night."

Scheer said the conservative caucus is falling behind O'Toole and will do everything possible to have him be elected in the next federal election. 

Premier Scott Moe joined in on the praise on social media. He tweeted out a congratulations and said he is looking forward to working with him to create a strong recovery for Canada's economy. 

Scheer said it's important O'Toole was searching for common ground in the election and having the "big tent approach." He said O'Toole has made it clear that the Conservative Party will not reopen certain issues that divide the party. 

"In order to lead a party like the Conservative Party, you have to constantly be looking for that common ground," Scheer said. 

"Clearly, Erin was able to demonstrate a message where every kind of conservative felt included," Scheer said. "He was obviously able to do that in a more effective way than the other candidates."

Scheer said O'Toole did that by having an environmental message, jobs plan, military plan and a small suite of policies to appeal to a broad base. 

Scheer is spending the summer reconnecting with his riding and will run again in the next federal election, he said. 

Scheer says don't take 'media narrative' as fact

Scheer said he told people in his outgoing speech to not take the media narrative as fact. Instead he said people should check and double check what they read and see. 

"This was clearly a different perspective between any of the mainstream media outlets and the issues they like to focus on," Scheer said. "Check and double check and not just take what they see on TV on the internet for granted."

Scheer instead told people in his speech to look at sites like The Post Millennial — which has been criticised for allegedly blurring the line between journalism and conservative 'pamphleteering.'

"My point was we in the conservative movement have to find new ways of getting our message out, making sure that there is that objective analysis."

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