What Conservative Leader Scheer pledged in key pitch to supporters
Published Friday, August 24, 2018 8:22PM EDT
OTTAWA -- On Friday evening in Halifax, Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer addressed thousands of his party’s supporters during a key speech at the Conservative Party policy convention, his first convention address since taking the party's helm in 2017.
Here are the key promises he made:
Repeal the carbon tax: Scheer said that his first move if his party wins the next election and he becomes prime minister would be to get rid of the Liberal's price on carbon.
"There is a carbon tax revolt brewing," he said, calling the federally imposed price on pollution for provinces who don't already have a system of their own a "pointless gesture" that will "do nothing for the world's climate."
He suggested one way to reduce global emissions would be to grow Canadian industry, citing Canadian aluminum as one example of a product that can be manufactured cleaner in Canada than in other countries.
He's previously told CTV's Question Period that his climate plan will meet the Paris targets without a carbon tax.
Revive the Energy East pipeline: The federal leader also said a Scheer-led government would repeal environmental regulatory changes and "get Energy East back to the table."
He said this after promoting nation-building projects as "the kinds of things that bring us closer together as a people and make it easier for one part of the country to benefit from the prosperity of another."
The Energy East project -- the 4,500-kilometre, $15.7-billion route from Alberta to New Brunswick -- was cancelled last year by Trans Canada.
Promote Canadian history: Scheer also took aim at "extreme voices" who he said are erasing Canadian heritage. He said his party will celebrate the "giants" of Canadian history.
Specifically, Scheer referenced former Liberal prime ministers who have yet to be subject to the same scrutiny as Sir John A. Macdonald has. He called it "a disgrace," and "destructive" to Canadian identity, and vowed not to let it continue.
Projected a majority win: Scheer also took the opportunity to predict that his party will form a majority in 2019. The party currently holds 96 seats in the House of Commons.
"We are certainly one big, strong, united, national Conservative party. And in a little over a year we will once again be a strong, stable, national majority Conservative government," Scheer told the crowd.
Introducing him, former Conservative cabinet minister Peter MacKay rallied the crowd and said the "big blue wave" in 2019 will start in Atlantic Canada, where the party got wiped out in 2015 by a Liberal tide.
What wasn't said:
There were some notable absences in Scheer’s remarks that many political observers were expecting to get a mention -- including his former leadership rival and outspoken MP Maxime Bernier.
Bernier announced Thursday in a dramatic Ottawa press conference that he was leaving the Conservative Party of Canada -- citing irreconcilable ideological differences -- to form his own federal party to compete against his former colleagues in the 2019 federal election.
His name did not pass Scheer’s lips during his nearly hour-long speech, nor did any mention of supply management, one of Bernier’s marquee issues.