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

Concerns raised over publicly discarded masks, gloves

Deputy mayor says behaviour is simply unacceptable in time of elevated public health crisis

Closures and cancellations in the Bulkley Valley due to COVID-19

Many places and businesses have closed or reduced their hours

Stikine MLA optimistic about COVID-19 recovery

Doug Donaldson says first step is to beat the pandemic then work out the economics

Canfor closes Houston and Plateau mills temporarily

Three-week closure in response to COVID-19 crisis

B.C. COVID-19 contact restrictions working, Dr. Bonnie Henry says

’Not out of the woods yet’ as next two weeks are critical

B.C. VIEWS: Small businesses need our help

Just as integral in neighbourhoods in Vancouver and Surrey as they are in Prince George or Kelowna

‘Tremendous’ response from blood donors has supply keeping pace with demand

About 400,000 of Canada’s 37 million residents give blood on a regular basis

Morning world update: Cases surge past 600,000; positive news in Germany

Spain suffers its deadliest day as Germany considers April 20 to possibly loosen restrictions

VIDEO: Penguins roam empty halls of Vancouver Aquarium

COVID-19 has forced the Vancouver Aquarium to close access to guests – leaving room for its residents

Kids get back to learning in B.C., online

Ministry of Education rolls out new tool for school

67 more B.C. COVID-19 cases, two more deaths in Vancouver region

Positive tests found in Surrey, Langley long-term care facilities

‘Now is not the time to bag that peak’: BCSAR manager discourages risky outdoor adventures

Call volumes are not going down, even as the COVID-19 pandemic persists

Most Read