Andrew Scheer, Leader of Conservative Party of Canada, delivers a keynote speech to attendees of the Alberta United Conservative Party Annual General Meeting in Calgary, Alta., Friday, Nov. 29, 2019. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Dave Chidley

Scheer cautions against internal fighting in speech in Conservative heartland

Scheer’s speech Alberta received a warm, but by no means raucous, reception

Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer has dismissed those calling for him to step down after last month’s election loss as elites and “talking heads” who know he’ll never relent in his opposition to the carbon tax.

“They think that what Canada needs is a second Liberal Party,” he said in a speech to the Alberta United Conservative Party annual general meeting on Friday.

“And you may have heard that some of these folks want me gone because they know I will never stand for that.”

The Liberals were re-elected with a minority government on October 21. They were entirely shut out of Alberta and Saskatchewan, where there is deep anger over the federal carbon tax, an overhaul of resource project environmental reviews and an oil tanker ban off the northern B.C. coast.

Scheer’s speech in the heart of Conservative country received a warm, but by no means raucous, reception. It was bookended by standing ovations and some in the crowd waved signs bearing his name.

When he asked UCP members whether a carbon tax would be the Conservatives’ path to victory in the next election, they responded with a hearty “no” followed by a smattering of cheers of ”Andrew! Andrew! Andrew!”

The Conservative leader said he was deeply disappointed in the election results and would be listening and learning from people in his party about what can be done better next time.

“I am very interested in how you think our party must be shaped to finish the job we started this campaign,” he said.

ALSO READ: B.C. Conservative MP Ed Fast declines critic role, cites Scheer’s leadership

“I am entirely uninterested in what the talking heads, the naysayers and the people who make their money by stirring up division in our party have to say.”

Scheer cautioned against listening to those who want to turn the Conservatives’ April convention into an internal fight.

“When we focus on our differences instead of our common goals and our vision for a strong and united Canada, we have snatched victory from ourselves in the past,” he said.

Earlier Friday, Conservative MP and former cabinet minister Ed Fast said he has declined a spot in Scheer’s shadow cabinet, saying the party leader needs to be surrounded by people who fully support him.

The B.C. MP expressed frustration over how the party’s climate-change policy was handled, saying most of the voters he met didn’t even know the party had one. Fast had previously served as Scheer’s critic for the environment ministry.

Lauren Krugel, The Canadian Press

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Police probe reports that fire alarm didn’t sound during fatal Prince George motel blaze

A suspect was also arrested, but later released pending further investigation

Finding freedom in expression through painting

Vanderhoof painter talks about her love for painting and the difficult questions artists are faced with.

District and Airport development society in disagreement over new apron

User group says there are safety hazards, and the district of Vanderhoof says otherwise.

Vanderhoof will have its own cannabis store Tuesday

This is the 18th government-run store to open in the province.

Provincial COVID-19 data can now be used for B.C. to prepare for a second wave

In the past week, B.C. has seen a slight spike in daily test-positive case counts

Sources say Canada, U.S. likely to extend mutual travel ban into late August

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau hinted at the possibility after a phone call with U.S. President

Windows broken, racist graffiti left on Okanagan home

Family says nothing like this has happened since they moved to Summerland in 1980s

B.C. man who went by ‘Doctor Ray Gaglardi’ charged with sex assault of teenage boys

The man, 75, is accused of assaulting teenage boys he met through Coquitlam-area churches

B.C.’s potential deficit $12.5 billion as spending spikes, taxes drop

Finance Minister Carole James gives COVID-19 outlook

Canadians torn on scaling back COVID-19 benefits to save money: poll

Of those surveyed, 78 per cent said they were worried about the size of the deficit

‘Trauma equals addiction’: Why some seek solace in illicit drugs

Part 2: Many pushed into addiction by ‘toxic stress,’ says White Rock psychologist

Hotel rooms for B.C. homeless too hasty, NDP government told

Businesses forced out, but crime goes down, minister says

Wage subsidy will be extended until December amid post-COVID reopening: Trudeau

Trudeau said the extension will ‘give greater certainty and support to businesses’

B.C. government prepares for COVID-19 economic recovery efforts

New measures after July consultation, Carole James says

Most Read