Andrew Scheer in Peachland

Andrew Scheer, leader of the Conservative party of Canada, stopped into town last week to sit down with the Peachland View.

Will local MP Dan Albas get appointed to cabinet if Scheer becomes Prime Minister?

He wouldn’t say anything concrete, but “I can tell you that Dan will have an important role to play in a future Conservative government,” he said.

If he were the leader of the country today, Scheer wouldn’t have allowed the pipeline dispute between B.C. and Alberta to have gotten so far. He said Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has been “completely absent on this file,” despite issuing a few statements that receive no follow-up.

“He hasn’t even convened the two premiers together to have a meeting to get them in the same room – that’s the very alas the could have done.”

Trudeau should harness the Department of Justice and Department of Natural Resources, Shcheer says, which he believes have the tools to get the pipeline built.

“I would actually get myself as Prime Minister involved because this project is in the national interest. It benefits all Canadians. It helps Canada get our product to market. It helps out-of-work people in the energy industry.”

It will also help out the energy industry if the federal carbon tax gets repealed, which Scheer is proposing to do.

He suspects that scrapping the carbon tax will be easier with provincial allies at his side, so he’s hoping that Doug Ford, leader of the Ontario PC Party, will defeat Liberal Premier Kathleen Wynne in the upcoming provincial election; and that Alberta’s United Conservative party leader Jason Kenney will defeat NDP premier Rachel Notley in next year’s election.

“It’s very likely before the next federal election, we’ll have Ontario, Alberta and Saskatchewan premiers all working together to fight against the federally imposed carbon tax – that is very encouraging to me.”

Scheer will also fight against the legal status of marijuana; he believes most Canadians would prefer decriminalization. But the bill to legalize it is still before the Senate and isn’t expected to pass until August at the earliest. He said there are “big problems” with the bill, but the Conservatives will be taking a wait-and-see approach.

“We’ll have a lot more to say on it in advance of the next election”

Scheer wants to keep a Conservative voice in the Central Okanagan – Similkameen – Nicola riding, and he gives Albas his endorsement.

“Dan will be part of a Conservative government that wakes up every single day thinking up new ways to lower taxes and increase economic activity for the benefit of all Canadians.”

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