Andrew Scheer hints at a Conservative foreign policy, calls for a “total reset” on China
During a speech to the Conseil des relations internationales de Montréal (CORIM), opposition leader Andrew Scheer expounded on a Conservative government’s approach to foreign policy.
The enveloping discussion touched upon Canada’s relations with its allies, national defence and how Canada would deal with threats like China and Russia.
Scheer has pledged to reveal several Conservative policy points in the upcoming months, including his party’s environmental policy.
For a while, Scheer has pledged to do away with the Liberal government’s carbon tax and has sided with several blue provinces challenging the pricing scheme at a constitutional level.
Throughout his speech, Scheer criticized Justin Trudeau’s foreign policy as “disastrous” and “unserious”, particularly targetting the PM’s visit to India, calling it the “the most disastrous foreign trip by any Canadian prime minister ever.”
“Being a good ally and contributor on the world stage requires more than just talk. Both our allies and adversaries respect strength and confidence. The current government demonstrates neither,” said Scheer.
Scheer’s vision of a Conservative government’s approach to foreign policy is one that sees Canada further involved in a leadership role in world affairs.
“Some politicians want Canada to be the referee, I want Canada to be on the starting line,” said Scheer.
Particular attention was paid to foreign threats like China and Russia. Scheer indicated that China was Canada’s primary threat followed by Russia.
“The rise of China, the re-emergence of Russia’s cold war mentality and states who export terrorism and extremism are just some of the foreign threats to Canadian security and prosperity in the 21st century.”
Furthermore, Scheer pledged that while Canada will continue to seek further economic activity with the Chinese government, his government would impose several measures to pressure China towards Canadian interests. Among those specific policy points, Scheer indicated that he would look at ending funding for the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank, taking the canola blockade to the World Trade Organization and restraining investment by China-operated companies.
Scheer also pointed to Russia as a predominant threat, particularly to Canada’s arctic region.
“Russia also remains a very serious threat. Vladimir Putin cannot be allowed to act with impunity when it comes to his military adventurism. While today he is occupying ukraine tomorrow it could be Canada’s arctic waters,” said Scheer.
With regards to the arctic, he pledged that Canada would strengthen arctic defence systems, including submarine capability and a reiteration that the region is part of Canada.
“Above all, we must establish, without a doubt, everywhere in the world, that our sovereignty over the North is non-negotiable. The Arctic does not only belong to us. It is us,” said Scheer.
Finally, Scheer criticized the Trudeau’s government departure from being in sync with the United States on matters like Iran and Israel.
“The Canada-United States relationship transcends the personalities of those who occupy each respective office. And its longevity is crucial to our respective peace and prosperity. It must be strengthened,” he said.
The long-standing Conservative Member of Parliament, Scott Reid, has aggressively criticized Peter MacKay on twitter after the former Harper minister announced his intention to run for the leadership.
After a day of speculation over his leadership intentions, MacKay tersely tweeted “I’m in. stay tuned.” Soon after this, Scott Reid, who represents Lanark—Frontenac—Kingston, responded by saying, “Peter, let’s say you’re the leader, and 11 days before [election] day in the next election, a former cabinet minister informs the media that he’s organizing to replace you—just in case Trudeau wins. Can you confirm that you’ll be cool with that kind of writ-period input?”
Both during and after the election, MacKay spoke out aggressively against Scheer’s leadership. One incident that was particularly poignant, was when MacKay declared that social issues hung round Scheer’s neck like a “stinking albatross.” This came only days after the Conservative’s election defeat.
Reid, however, was referring to MacKay’s decision to lay the groundwork for a leadership bid before voters had even gone to the polls.
MacKay denied this story at the time.
Conservative Party Leader Andrew Scheer blamed “Iranian Regime alone” for the downing of a Ukrainian passenger flight 752 Tuesday, only one day after Prime Minister Justin Trudeau put blame on increased tensions.
Scheer’s tweets revealed that Trudeau briefed Scheer on the situation with the downed flight. “We must always remember the Iranian Regime’s actions that led to this horrible atrocity,” the tweet reads.
Scheer then goes on to give a call to action to the Trudeau Liberals to proceed as follows:
1. Immediately implement the Conservative motion passed by Parliament in 2018 to list Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) as a terrorist organization.
2. Demand Iran compensate all victims of the crash, repatriate their remains, and hold the perpetrators of this atrocity accountable.
3. Be prepared to impose Magnitsky Sanctions on Iran if they don’t fully cooperate with the international investigation.”
Scheer calls the demands an “appropriate response” that would move to help the families of victims. “The Iranian Regime can not get a free pass after killing 57 Canadians.”
Iran has begun investigating the incident, as two Canadian Transportation Safety Board investigators make way to the region, with two more on the way. The crew will be sent to analyze black box data.
Several Conservative Party figures have reacted online to the news that Canadian Flight 752 was downed by an Iranian missile.
Conservative MP, Canadian Armed Forces veteran, and potential party leadership hopeful Erin O’Toole commented on the situation on Twitter.
The comments posted only hours after Prime Minister Trudeau addressed media confirming that intelligence from allies showed the flight was taken down by an Iranian missile.
O’Toole stated that Iran shooting down a civilian aircraft “is nothing short of madness,” directly condemning Iran and their regime.
“Whether it was intentional or not, it was an incomprehensibly reckless act that has forever scarred Canadian families and communities,” O’Toole said on Twitter. “Canada must work with our allies to apply pressure on the Iranian regime to submit to a complete investigation so that Canadian families can find justice and closure.”
Other responses from the Conservatives included reaction from Calgary Nose Hill MP Michelle Rempel Garner, who brought up questions about the crash site and it’s security.
“How is the crash site being secured? What is Canada doing to ensure that it won’t be compromised? What will the process be for repatriating the remains of Canadian citizens? All questions that the government need to answer.”
Others, including former Harper cabinet member and MP Pierre Poilievre and CPC leader Andrew Scheer, gave direct condolences to those who lost their lives.
Ontario Premier Doug Ford also called for an investigation to be conducted into the plane being shot down.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau also gave his sincerest condolences, telling Canadians that his government “will not rest” until answers are found.
“The families of the victims, and all Canadians want answers. I want answers. That means closure, transparency, accountability, and justice. And this government will not rest until we get that,” stressed Trudeau to the media.
The majority of the 176 victims were connecting to Canada, including 63 Canadian citizens. The victims included students, families, professors and newlyweds.
Dragons’ Den star, Vincenzo Guzzo, is running to be leader of the Conservative Party of Canada.
Speaking to The Post Millennial, David Tjordman, who was a federal Conservative candidate in Montreal in the last election, stated that “[Guzzo] made it clear he was going to be running … to me, and to a few other people as well.”
“He said he was going to declare after he came back from his holiday, and the reason why is that he feels he has the background in terms of, not necessarily political experience, but definitely business, leadership, and life experience, and he believes he’s the right man to lead the party and defeat the Liberals.”
A couple weeks ago there were media reports that Guzzo was seriously considering running.
As well as this, three separate sources who are close to Guzzo, confirmed to The Post Millennial that Guzzo was intending to run.
Guzzo made his fortune as an entertainment mogul: running and operating Cinemas Guzzo, which is the largest cinema operator in Quebec and the third largest movie exhibitor in Canada.
Due to his success in the cinema industry, Guzzo was welcomed onto Dragon’s Den where he was know for his flamboyant investment strategy.
CPC candidates will have to pay $300,000 and will have to gather 3,000 signatures—effectively limiting the competition to affluent Conservative supporters or party officials with an already established support base. Last Friday the party announced would-be candidates have ten more days to register to run in the CPC leadership race.
Guzzo is the second Dragons’ Den star to run for the CPC leadership race, the first being Kevin O’Leary in the last race, where he dropped out midway through and backed Maxime Bernier.