The Sunday Magazine·the sunday edition

Andrew Scheer is the new leader of the Conservative Party of Canada

Andrew Scheer won the leadership of the Conservative Party of Canada on Saturday evening.
Andrew Scheer celebrates after winning the leadership during the Conservative Party of Canada leadership convention in Toronto, Ont., on May 27, 2017. (Chris Wattie/Reuters)

On Saturday evening, the Conservative Party of Canada chose a new leader in what turned out to be -- rather surprisingly -- a nail-biter.  Andrew Scheer took 51 per cent of the points, to Quebec MP Maxime Bernier's 49.

This is not the first time Andrew Scheer has delivered a political surprise. In 2004, he triumphed in the federal riding of Regina-Qu'Appelle, defeating the longest-serving member of the House of Commons at the time, Lorne Nystrom of the NDP.  Then, he became the youngest person in the country to serve as Speaker of the House of Commons.

Most bets were on Mr. Bernier, a libertarian whose views are not popular across the party.  But Mr. Scheer, who is fluently bilingual, had more caucus support in Quebec than Mr. Bernier.

He sold himself as the "compromise candidate," with a commitment to keep Conservatives united.

He is the father of five young children. He has proposed tax breaks to Canadian parents who want to home school their kids or send them to private schools. He is also anti-choice.  
    
Michael talks to Globe and Mail political writer John Ibbitson at the Toronto Congress Centre on Saturday evening, after Andrew Scheer's victory as leader of the Conservative Party of Canada. (Talin Vartanian)
Globe and Mail columnist John Ibbitson spoke to Michael about the unusual method of voting and vote-counting, and about what we can expect from Andrew Scheer. Ibbitson is a political writer and columnist at The Globe and Mail and the author of a biography of former Prime Minister Stephen Harper.  

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