Andrew Scheer kicks off Cape Breton campaign

Tom Ayers · CBC News

Andrew Scheer shares stage with Eddie Orrell, Alfie MacLeod at town hall

Federal Conservative party leader Andrew Scheer is clearly hoping for a breakthrough in Atlantic Canada this fall.

The federal Liberals currently represent all 32 seats in the region.

“The Liberals might have gone 32 for 32 in 2015, but the people of Atlantic Canada have gone 0 for 32 under Justin Trudeau,” Scheer told a crowd of about 200 at the Glace Bay fire hall on Thursday evening. “That changes this October.”

Scheer is in Cape Breton to kick off the local campaign for the next election, scheduled for October 21.

He promised to repeal the carbon tax, to make parental benefits tax-free and to balance the federal budget.

Scheer got a sustained round of applause with a pledge to lower home heating costs.

Home heating pledge

“I’m sure the situation here in Glace Bay, in Cape Breton and Nova Scotia is very similar to Saskatchewan, where it’s not a luxury to heat your home in the winter, and just like the GST is not charged on other types of necessities, a Conservative government will take the GST off of home heating and home energy bills,” he said.

Scheer also attacked Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, saying he has broken several promises and continued to run deficits.

The town hall meeting was also intended to boost the campaigns for the party’s two candidates in Cape Breton.

Alfie MacLeod is the Conservative candidate in Cape Breton-Canso. So far, the former Nova Scotia MLA is the lone candidate nominated for any of the parties in that riding.

Eddie Orrell, also a former MLA, is running for the Conservatives in Sydney-Victoria. The only other candidate nominated in that riding is Liberal Jaime Battiste.

About 75 people protested peacefully, carrying signs and chanting on both sides of the street outside the Glace Bay fire hall prior to Scheer’s visit.

Chris Hughes, a member of the environmental group Extinction Rebellion, said an international study shows climate change could end civilization in 12 years.

“There’s a climate crisis, a global climate crisis, and Andrew Scheer and the federal Conservatives don’t have any plan that would ever work to avert a climate crisis,” he said.

“We want to be heard and hope that he and other politicians take notice and start to take some action.”


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