Now that the Conservative party's chosen its leader, MPs are weighing in on how their party will fare. Portage-Lisgar MP Candice Bergen shared her thoughts.
"I feel really positive about our new leader, Andrew Scheer, and about the party in general," says Bergen. "With the last year, we've had a leadership race we've seen almost 260,000 people purchase memberships to become part of the Conservative Party, and we've out-fundraised the Liberals, including leadership candidates' money."
She says the leadership race was a great one, with a plenty of ideas debated and discussed. Now that it's over, Bergen says the candidates are proud of their party, noting they're happy about the future and were all present in the House Tuesday in support of Scheer during the first question period following the Conservative convention. Bergen adds Scheer's strongly in agreement with the Conservatives' policy, especially noting he's opposed to the carbon tax and will repeal that tax in a Conservative government. She adds they'd give the provinces the ability to make their own decisions on that kind of policy.
"I think overall, as well, his approach to fighting terrorism and ISIS is great. He's promised that Canada would be back in the fight against ISIS and we would get our fighter jets involved with our allies again. I think that's important. We've seen recent attacks, whether it's in Manchester or Coptic Christians who've been massacred in Egypt by Jihadist terrorists. We need a prime minister who will call it for what it is. Andrew Scheer is not afraid to call it what it is -- Jihadist terrorism. So, I'm very happy to hear him talk about those things."
She adds he's spoken about border security and ensuring borders are safe and secure with no allowance for illegal migrants who are jumping the queue. "I'm pleased with the policy and direction Andrew is talking about now -- the way that he will be taking our party, and hopefully after 2019 our country," Bergen adds.
Having seen that turnaround so fast, Bergen notes Scheer's been an MP for a long time with plenty of experience. He's been a Speaker of the House and could work well with all sides. She adds they all know his collegial part of his abilities. "But I think what's really good to see is the strong policy direction that he's already taking," continues Bergen. "But what also really stood out to us was how much of a contrast he is to our current prime minister, Justin Trudeau. Trudeau is on billionaire islands, hangs out with the very élite and is very much a part of the very élite crowd. Andrews Scheer is a very average guy. He and his wife have five children and a minivan. Andrew said, 'Instead of talking to the élites, we need to be talking to people in the Legion halls and in the hockey rinks and at Tim Horton's.' -- the people that are raising their kids and just dealing with everyday struggles. Andrew is one of those people. He was not born with a silver spoon in his mouth. He's a really average guy, but has also proven to be a good leader, speaker, and will also show that leadership quality as the leader of our party."
She notes Trudeau cannot relate to what normal families in Canada are going through, with his extremely expensive holidays, visits to Broadway using tax dollars for tickets, meeting with wealthy executives and Liberal élites. Bergen adds that's not Andrew Scheer.