Canada’s only English debate to feature all major party leaders has come to an end, and Trudeau had at least one genuinely defining moment; worryingly for Singh, it occurred when Trudeau suugested he would oppose Quebec’s Bill 21.
For those not from Quebec, Bill 21 bans all religious symbols such as a headscarf, kippa, or cross, regardless of size, and affects municipal service workers such as public transit drivers, doctors, dentists, and midwives in public institutions, subsidized daycares, and those working for school boards.
Conservative MP Ed Fast has rejected Andrew Scheer’s invitation to join his shadow cabinet as the leader needed someone who “fully supports” his leadership, according to the Globe and Mail. Fast is a prominent member of the Conservative caucus, having served in Prime Minister Harper’s cabinet.
Ed Fast is a well-respected figure within the Conservative Party having served as the trade minister. Fast made his decision public only a few hours after Scheer’s cabinet announcement.
Speaking to the Globe and Mail, Fast said, “Mr. Scheer and I recently had a conversation about where I could fit into his shadow cabinet, and I expressed my desire not to be included at this time.”
Fast went on to say that “Mr. Scheer is entitled to surround himself with a team that fully supports his leadership.”
Fast’s comments were interpreted by many in the party as a rebuke of Scheer’s leadership and strategy during the election campaign.
Since Justin Trudeau’s re-election as PM, Scheer has faced increasing pressure over his decision to remain as leader. This pressure, originally coming from former Conservative politicians, has transitioned to disapproval from both the moderate and the social factions of the Conservative Party.
This week, a third-party organization was created by a group of prominent figures within the Conservative movement. This group, Conservative Victory, is devoted entirely to ousting Scheer.
Others in the party pushed back on the recent media reports, saying Scheer has overwhelming support from his caucus and pointing out he won the popular support.
A group of prominent Conservative operatives have established a non-profit organization that will campaign to oust Andrew Scheer, according to The Globe and Mail.
The group has been named Conservative Victory, and it has been established by Kory Teneycke, Doug Ford’s top election advisor, Jeff Ballingall, the founder of the Proud Network and the Chief Marketing Officer at The Post Millennial, and John Reynolds, who co-chaired the Stephen Harper’s 2006 election campaign.
The group’s ambition is to boot out Scheer before his leadership review which will be held in Toronto in the new year. They plan to do this by organizing a cross-country social media movement.
Speaking to The Globe and Mail, Scheer ally Chris Warkentin MP, stated that this group could be dismissed due to Teneycke’s and Reynolds’ connection to Maxime Bernier’s campaign.
Former Conservative interim leader Rona Ambrose has declared on Twitter that she is proud to participate in gay pride marches and that the Conservative Party should happily endorse gay rights.
In her tweet, Ambrose stated that she “was proud to have been the first Tory leader to march in a Pride Parade.” She went on to say that “It’s time to move forward together and show ALL families we have their backs!”
Social conservatism has been a contentious issue within the Conservative Party of Canada since Justin Trudeau was re-elected as prime minister, with many suggesting that Andrew Scheer’s less-than-clear attitude towards homosexuality lost the party much-needed votes.
Other high-profile Conservatives have also been critical of Scheer’s ability to deal with social issues. The former Harper minister Peter MacKay, for instance, said that issues like abortion and immigration “hung round [Scheer’s] neck like a stinking albatross.”
As well as this, the former Conservative Prime Minister Kim Campbell has stated that Scheer was “hard to trust.”
Ambrose’s comments were in response to an article co-written by two prominent Conservative members, Jamie Ellerton and Melissa Lantsman, who argued Scheer and the CPC will continue to lose elections without full support of the LGBTQ community.
Scheer will soon face a leadership review in Toronto in the new year, where his ideology and leadership will be scrutinized.
During a meeting in Ottawa, Manitoba Premier Brian Pallister gave some “friendly advice” to Justin Trudeau. Pallister told Trudeau that there was growing frustration in western Canada has towards Ottawa, according to the CBC.
In their meeting, the two leaders discussed a range of issues that came up during the election campaign. This included climate change and indigenous issues, as well as western alienation. Speaking to the CBC, Pallister stated that “there’s some great frustration with the lack of progress, not just on pipelines, but on other things.”
After the election, a deep frustration with Ottawa turned quickly into a separatist movement. This was blamed on the Liberal party, who due to a series of policy decisions, did not pick up a single seat in Alberta. Parts of British Columbia, Saskatchewan, and Manitoba have also been vocal in their frustration with Trudeau’s government.
Pallister was critical of Trudeau’s carbon tax and other policies designed to hinder the Canadian oil and gas sector. This has been a deeply contentious topic in the prairies, especially due to the recession that was triggered as a result of Trudeau’s pipeline bungle.
Unlike the Saskatchewan and Alberta premiers, Pallister has not threatened to rip up the equalization agreement.