Poilievre the most likely contender to succeed Scheer: Conservative insider
OTTAWA -- Longtime Conservative strategist Jason Lietaer is placing his bets on Tory MP Pierre Poilievre as the likely successor to former party leader Andrew Scheer.
Speaking on CTV’s Question Period airing Sunday, Lietaer said the current finance critic’s swift ground game has positioned himself ahead of the pack of potential frontrunners.
"While other people are sort of sleeping and trying to figure out ‘should I be in, should I be out’ Pierre is working. He’s been across Canada the last couple of days," said Lietaer.
"He’s going to be either a strong second place or win this thing."
Poilievre first teased the notion of putting forward a bid on Monday during a scrum with reporters on Parliament Hill.
In a subsequent Question Period interview, Poilievre said he’s consulting with his family about the decision to put his name forward.
"We’ll see what they have to say over turkey dinner and report back to you," said Poilievre.
Donning his finance hat, the shadow minister said any future leader of the Conservative party needs to be prepared to "unleash the economy" and "bring back free enterprise so that Canadians can advance and achieve their full potential."
Poilievre has been a Member of Parliament since 2004 and has served as a minister in both of Stephen Harper’s cabinets. He was appointed to Andrew Scheer’s shadow cabinet in 2017.
"He was, if not the top, one of the top performers of the Conservative caucus in the House of Commons over the last couple of years. Number two, he is driven and he’s got a team that seems to be ready to go," said Lietaer.
Several names have been floated as possible contenders to replace Scheer. Conservative MPs Michelle Rempel Garner and Candice Bergen, former cabinet minister Peter MacKay, former interim leader Rona Ambrose, and former Quebec premier Jean Charest are among them.