Leader of the Opposition Andrew Scheer is applauded by caucus members as he announces he will step down as leader of the Conservatives, Thursday, December 12, 2019 in the House of Commons in Ottawa. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld

‘He was good for the West:’ Sadness, surprise in Saskatchewan over Scheer

Saskatchewan Premier Scott Moe and his predecessor, Brad Wall, both thanked Andrew Scheer

Regina resident Dennis Amon says federal Conservatives have a reputation to “eat their own,” but he had hoped for a different outcome for his member of Parliament, Andrew Scheer.

Amon says he was sad when Scheer announced Thursday that he plans to resign as leader of the party and the Official Opposition.

“I think he was good for the West and for all people of Canada,” Amon said while walking outside in the freezing cold near Scheer’s Regina riding office.

“Unfortunately, a lot of people picked on his personal choices and his personal life and I don’t think that was fair.

“I thought maybe the Conservative party would get behind him a little bit better and understand he did bring in fairly good election results considering who he was going against.”

Scheer’s Conservatives swept Saskatchewan and nabbed all but one seat in Alberta in the October election, however, they did not pick up as many seats as the party had hoped for in vote-rich Ontario and Quebec. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s Liberals were re-elected, although to a minority government.

Scheer’s positions on same-sex marriage as well as abortion dogged him throughout the campaign and after the loss some prominent Conservative voices called for his resignation.

While Scheer said he intends to resign as party leader once a successor is chosen, he plans to stay on as MP for Regina-Qu’Appelle.

Scheer was 25 when he was first elected in the riding in 2004. Staff at his riding office did not want to comment on his announcement.

READ MORE: ‘Not a decision I came to lightly:’ Scheer to resign as Conservative leader

Scheer’s riding is also home to 12 First Nations, where some leaders have called him out for being absent, not only during his time as party leader but also as their MP.

Chief Matthew Peigan of Pasqua First Nation, about 70 kilometres northeast of Regina, said that Scheer should also step down as their representative in Ottawa.

He said that during the campaign constituents saw Scheer running as Conservative leader, not as their elected official. Scheer only visited his Regina riding on Election Day and also stopped in Saskatoon during the campaign.

“From 2004, he hasn’t served, in my opinion, the best interests and pushing the issues of the Indigenous people forward. And if he hasn’t been doing that and he hasn’t done that as party leader, what’s going to make him change to do that now?” said Peigan.

Jamie Page, a lifelong resident of Regina, said Scheer’s resignation came as a good surprise. She feels he held homophobic views and hasn’t been present in the community.

Others noted that as party leader Scheer was required to be elsewhere.

Saskatchewan Premier Scott Moe and his predecessor, Brad Wall, both made brief statements thanking Scheer for his time as leader.

Some local supporters also took to social media to thank Scheer for his leadership and support for the energy and agricultural sectors.

Others commended the football and “Simpsons” fan for being an all around ”good guy” and someone who stood up for the “Saskatchewan cause,” despite being born in Ontario.

“I think he did as best as he could,” Dave Beattie said of Scheer’s election performance.

He called the election loss “pretty much a given, you know, as far as regions go across Canada.”

Stephanie Taylor , The Canadian Press

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Surrey RCMP say $14K in stolen phones recovered following investigation

Police say phones reportedly being sold on Facebook Marketplace

Semiahmoo First Nation declares local state of emergency

Parking lots, beach access on SFN lands closed due to COVID-19

Young Muslims offer helping hand to isolated residents throughout Lower Mainland

Neighbourhood Helper campaign aims to get help to people who can’t leave their homes

Regional parks in Delta closed for the long weekend

Boundary Bay and Deas Island parks closed ‘until further notice’ on Thursday, April 9

VIDEO: B.C. singer creates frontline workers tribute song

Cambree Lovesy’s song saluting those battling COVID-19 draws interest online

Researchers to study whether plasma of recovered patients can treat COVID-19

Plasma is the liquid portion of the blood that contains the antibodies that protect against illness

B.C., Alberta health ministers urge public to stay home Easter weekend

Regional politicians, online petition calling for closure of provincial border to non-essential traffic

Human rights complaint over city’s Pride flag tossed out

Kari Simpson’s attempt to block Langley City’s flag raising has failed

Abbotsford prison has confirmed COVID-19 case

Pacific Regional Treatment Centre is the third prison in B.C. in one week to confirm case

B.C.’s COVID-19 rent supplement starts taking applications

$300 to $500 to landlords for April, May and June if eligible

Canadian Olympian diagnosed with heart failure, possible exposure to COVID-19

Olympic soccer star Karina LeBlanc diagnosed with pleural effusion

B.C. unveils $5M for mental health supports during the COVID-19 pandemic

Will include virtual clinics and resources for British Columbians, including front-line workers

B.C. First Nations Health Authority launches virtual doctor program

Program to provide primary health care through COVID-19 pandemic

Most Read