Conservative leader Andrew Scheer ‘confident’ party can win in Vancouver

Says policies addressing affordability, transit will resonate with Vancouverites

Conservative Party leader Andrew Scheer was in Vancouver Friday morning and said he thinks the party’s policies on addressing housing affordability and investing in public transit will help the Conservatives make gains in the city in the upcoming federal election.

“The affordability message that I spoke about today resonates with people living in a city like Vancouver where the cost of housing is so expensive and where people are really finding their dollar stretched so much,” he told reporters following an event with the Greater Vancouver Board of Trade. “We’ll also be speaking about investments in important things like infrastructure to help people move around the city.”

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The Conservative Party does not currently hold a seat in any of Vancouver’s six federal ridings. The party lost its lone seat in the city, Vancouver South, to the Liberals in 2015 when current Minister of National Defence Harjit Sajjan beat incumbent Conservative Wai Young.

The Liberals took a majority the Vancouver ridings, four of the six, in 2015 with New Democrats’ Don Davies (Vancouver Kingsway) and Jenny Kwan (Vancouver East) winning the remaining two seats.

“A combination of measures to address housing affordability, investments in public transit and I do believe a real sense of dissatisfaction with people who voted Liberal in the past without realizing that they’re not getting what they voted for, Justin Trudeau was not as advertised, leaves me to be very confident that we will be able to regain the seats we lost in 2015,” Scheer said.

Scheer gave a definitive “No” when asked if he would be meeting with Vancouver Granville MP Jody Wilson-Raybould during his time in Vancouver. But did say he had a “brief interaction” with her after she was kicked out of the Liberal caucus earlier this month and had to cross the floor and sit on the other side of the House of Commons.

“I passed along my best wishes to her and told her that I had a great deal of respect for the decision that she made, not just to do the right thing herself but… raising an alarm that inappropriate interference could potentially be happening again after she moved,” he said.

Scheer also addressed rising gas prices, which hit $1.69.9 a litre at some Metro Vancouver stations Friday morning and the fact that United Conservative Party leader Jason Kenney has said he will invoke Alberta’s Bill 12, also known as the “turn off the taps” legislation, which would reduce the flow of gasoline to B.C. if he is elected next week.

Scheer was in Calgary yesterday supporting Kenney in his bid to be Alberta’s next premier. Election day in Alberta is next Tuesday.

“I don’t believe it will come to that,” Scheer told reporters. “I believe that in October Canadians will elect a Conservative government that will get pipelines built and I believe that is the best way to de-escalate some of the regional differences in the country is by having a federal government that works for all Canadians in all regions… We’ve called on these important pipeline projects to be declared as international interests and therefore would put all our energy towards seeing that they are actually built.”

Scheer said he had plans to meet with the B.C. Business Council later Friday followed by attending events celebrating Vaisakhi.

Canadians will head to the polls Oct. 21.

@JessicaEKerr

jkerr@vancourier.com

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