“Conservatives condemn all types of hatred and racism. We are proud to be an open and inclusive party, where we have representation of many faiths and backgrounds.” - Andrew Scheer
1. When and why did you consider taking up the role of leader of the Conservative Party of Canada? What is your vision?
One of the reasons that I wanted to run for the Conservative Party of Canada leadership was because I believed that Conservatives have a positive story to tell. First of all, our party is united. My colleagues are passionate about what they believe in and we have many hardworking individuals from all over the country – representing a wide diversity of backgrounds and experiences. My vision is to show Canadians our positive Conservative vision based on the fundamental desire to see the quality of life improve for all Canadians.
2. How are you preparing for the next federal election in 2019? What are the key issues you will be focusing on?
I have spent this summer travelling across the country to meet and talk with as many Canadians as I can. It is the Conservative Party’s role to help give voice to the questions that matter to people across this country and to champion better ideas and better results. The Conservative Party will focus on advocating for policies that help grow the economy and create prosperity so that we can create more opportunities for future generations.
3. What positive changes can voters expect from the party?
I want Canadians to know the Conservative Party as a principled, compassionate, thoughtful party; one that makes a difference in the lives of everyday Canadians. We want a government that doesn’t make future generations pay for today’s reckless spending. We want a government that promotes policies that put more money back in the pockets of hardworking Canadians, so that it’s easier to afford that vacation and parents are able to send their children to university or college.
4. The recent violence in Charlottesville has created buzz on the topic of racism. As the leader of the party how will you promote inclusivity within the party and among the public?
Conservatives condemn all types of hatred and racism. We are proud to be an open and inclusive party, where we have representation of many faiths and backgrounds. We were the first party to have a Muslim Member of Parliament, Chinese Member of Parliament, Filipino Senator, Korean Senator and Pakistani Senator. We welcome all candidates of all faiths and ethnicities with open arms.
5. You have pledged to cut funding to universities that do not protect the right of free speech on campuses. How will you protect and promote free speech?
All Canadians can agree that the current situation on campuses is untenable. Students groups shouldn’t be prevented from forming organizations around religious beliefs, and events that have already been sanctioned by a university shouldn’t be shut down because of pressure by a vocal minority. I am committed to working with university administrations, professors and students to find the best way to promote greater free speech on campuses across the country.
6. The refugee issue is still going on. Is the Canadian government handling it well?
Conservatives want an immigration and asylum system that is compassionate, and above all, efficiently works to protect the world’s most vulnerable. Justin Trudeau asked Canadians to trust the immigration system. He broke the system when he tweeted that everyone is welcome, giving false hope to thousands of people.
For months, Conservatives have been demanding that Trudeau come up with a plan to stop these illegal crossings. Canadians haven’t heard one. But Justin Trudeau has several options available to him. He could: Extend the law dealing with American asylum seekers to the entire border, not just specific points of entry, like the Windsor border crossing; or Establish legal points of entry at the crossings in Manitoba and Quebec.
7. What do you have to say about the Omar Khadr settlement? Liberals have stated that the Conservatives should have settled this in the past. Was the decision in the best interests of the country?
The Conservative Party is deeply disappointed with the Omar Khadr payout. We believe that it is one thing to acknowledge alleged mistreatments and another to secretly award convicted terrorists that have committed real crime. Justin Trudeau was not instructed by the Supreme Court of Canada to give money to Mr. Khadr. The only required remedy was repatriation, as ruled by the Supreme Court in 2010, and that is exactly why the previous Conservative government brought Mr. Khadr back to Canada. This payout was nothing but our Prime Minister’s choice and it was the wrong one.
8. What are the top crucial issues Canada is facing currently? How will you deal with them when you are elected, especially climate change?
Conservatives want to put more money back in the pockets of hardworking Canadians. Life is quickly becoming unaffordable thanks to Justin Trudeau. Conservatives want to encourage growth and investment, so that every family can benefit from what Canada has to offer. Canada needs to address the environmental challenges we face here at home, and with our allies around the world. The previous Conservative government took important steps to protect the environment not just nationally but at a community level, through the National Conservation Program that helped protect ecologically-sensitive lands and supported the restoration of wetlands. What we do not believe is that the solution to Canada’s environmental challenges is a carbon tax that will only make life more expensive for families and local businesses.
9. This year, Canada celebrates 150 years, what are the things that can be improved on for the growth of the country?
Canadians want a competent government with a vision on how they are going to create and secure jobs, not only for today’s Canadians, but for the generations to come. We must make it easier for job creators to hire and expand. The Liberal plan to hike taxes on local businesses, farmers, and doctors is absolutely the wrong strategy – these are the people we need to help reinvest in their own businesses so they can grow and hire more young people. We also need to end the practice of giving billion-dollar payouts to big corporations – that money belongs to the taxpayers who work every day for it, not special interests.
10. What is your message to the residents of Canada?
In 2019, Canadians will have a choice – a choice between a Liberal agenda for higher taxes backed up by reckless spending, and a Conservative government that will help make life more affordable for every Canadian while supporting job growth and prosperity. Conservatives are ready to form government and lead the country.