Interview: Surprise-win Green MP Jenica Atwin wants Jody Wilson-Raybould to join party
The 2019 federal election had a great deal of uncertainty. Up until the polling stations had closed, Trudeau’s Liberals and Scheer’s Conservatives had been level on points, with the other parties scrambling for third place.
However, it soon dawned on Ottawa’s broadcasters that nothing of any interest had occurred. The Liberal’s had won their minority, the Conservatives had failed to convince anyone of their competence outside of the Prairies, and the NDP was, unsurprisingly, swept away in Quebec.
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.
Councillors in Victoria, British Columbia are trying to raise their salary by more than 50 percent. They are also hoping to provide additional benefits, according to the Times Colonist.
In an online survey on Victoria’s budget, the City asked respondents whether they would agree to raise their salary to $70,100. This figure is the same median salary for city employees. Overall, this is an increase of $25,000.
Councillors are currently paid around $45,000 a year, and the mayor of Victoria receives $113,000 a year. There are no plans to alter the mayor’s salary.
Speaking to the Times, a councillor justified their pay raise by saying the city wanted to “attract professionals and others, and not just have very wealthy people serve on the council, I think we do have to set the compensation at a level that [would attract] younger people.”
The current salaries were set in 2009 upon the review of an independent commission.