Given the amount of speculation growing around the topic, South Okanagan-West Kootenay MP Richard Cannings said he wasn’t surprised by Andrew Scheer’s resignation.
That being said, Cannings said he, along with other Members of Parliament, was not expecting it today, Dec. 12.
“I don’t think anyone in Ottawa was really surprised that it happened eventually,” he said. “There’s was such a lot of chatter, I think it was just a matter of when.”
Thursday morning, while on house duty, Members of Parliament received word of the resignation and debate was suspended for the Conservative leader’s statement.
“There was such a lot of speculation, it seemed like something was going to happen, whether it was happening now or in April,” added Cannings.
Throughout the federal election in October, the NDP-elected MP said he heard from many who were displeased with the policies of the Conservative Party. And, on the other hand, he heard of many who were voting Conservative.
Cannings said he’s not entirely sure how Scheer’s leadership affected the election in the South Okanagan-West Kootenay area.
“I don’t think his leadership really came into it too much, I think it was – at least from my perspective — it just seemed to be more of an election on party policies,” said Cannings.
The MP said that although some may point to Scheer’s social conservatism, most said they couldn’t vote conservative because of the party’s policies, and Cannings used their “lack of a coherent climate policy” as an example.
He admitted that in other parts of Canada, that might have been different. In Quebec, Cannings heard that Scheer did not perform well.
Today in Ottawa, the MP said members of parliament were focused more on congratulating Scheer on his service.
“It’s a very tough job being a leader of a party, and we thanked him for that service, for stepping up, and that’s certainly what the mood in the house was today,” explained Cannings.
Moving forward, the Conservative Party is focusing its efforts on finding a new leader. Having been through that for the past four years with the NDP, Cannings said he knows first-hand how this works.
“We’re very happy with our new leader and I don’t want to begin speculating where they (Conservatives) might end up with a new leader or how this process will play out,” he said. “But it’s certainly something we will be watching obviously.”
Cannings would not comment on chatter concerning the Conservative Party’s decision to allow Scheer to use party funds when he was elected as party leader and had to move to Ottawa.
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