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Meet Andrew Scheer: Tory keynote re-introduces Conservative leader

HALIFAX — Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer has taken the podium to rally the party faithful in Halifax and to demonstrate he has his sights set squarely on Justin Trudeau — not Maxime Bernier.

In prepared remarks, Scheer takes direct aim at the prime minister, saying he’s the perfect foil to Trudeau’s virtue-signalling, carbon-taxing ways as he issues a call to arms to begin the march toward the 2019 election.

The closely watched keynote speech, being delivered at the party’s policy convention, is heavy on what the Saskatchewan MP calls the stark differences between Conservative values and those of the Trudeau Liberals.

The version distributed to journalists also makes no mention of Bernier, the former Conservative MP who quit the party Thursday with a bitter stream of anti-Tory invective.

Instead, it lingers on Scheer’s personal life, part of the party’s ongoing effort to allow Canadians across the country a closer look at a leader who for many has remained an enigma since taking the helm 15 months ago.

It promises to get rid of the carbon tax once and for all as his first act as prime minister, and chastises the Trudeau government for deficit spending and “virtue-signalling.”

Scheer focuses on recent controversies involving edifices of Sir John A. Macdonald, calling attempts to remove statues and images of Canada’s first prime minister a “disgrace,” noting many other historic figures have ties to dark moments in Canadian history.

And he warns Canadians away from the “forces of political correctness,” which he says are converging on contrary ideas “and even on legitimate criticism.”

The Canadian Press

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