Canada: Jason Kenney headed to Ontario to campaign for Andrew Scheer in crucial Toronto-area ridings - - PressFrom - Canada
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Canada Jason Kenney headed to Ontario to campaign for Andrew Scheer in crucial Toronto-area ridings

07:05  03 october  2019
07:05  03 october  2019 Source:   nationalpost.com

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Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer (left), visits Ontario Premier Doug Ford at Queen's Park in Toronto So, it is interesting to consider what will happen to Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer in 2019. Jason Kenney has pulled off his minor miracles winning the leadership and then a majority

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Andrew Scheer holding a sign: Alberta Premier Jason Kenney with Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer while campaigning for candidate James Cumming in Edmonton, Sept. 28, 2019.© Ed Kaiser/Postmedia Alberta Premier Jason Kenney with Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer while campaigning for candidate James Cumming in Edmonton, Sept. 28, 2019.

EDMONTON — Jason Kenney, who has long promised he would campaign on behalf of Andrew Scheer’s Conservatives against Justin Trudeau’s Liberals, will make good on that vow this weekend, with more than a dozen appearances in his old stomping grounds around Toronto.

Kenney is planning to appear alongside various local Conservative candidates — details aren’t finalized — to buff up support in crucial ridings before he returns to Alberta for the upcoming session of the legislature.

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The path to a majority government, generally speaking, leads through the ridings around Toronto — aka the 905. With polling showing tight races in multiple ridings, not to mention Trudeau and Scheer neck and neck as the person voters would prefer to see as prime minister, it makes sense for the Tories to pull out all the stops.

During the Conservative years in Ottawa, Kenney was in charge of ethnic outreach on behalf of Stephen Harper’s government, even as he moved across cabinet roles. While by no means are voters in the 905 a consistent ethnic or political bloc, it’s an area where Kenney spent a considerable amount of time, is well liked and has contacts.

Hence, Jason Kenney, arguably the most popular conservative in the country, will try to convince Ontario voters that Scheer is the best bet in this election. The federal Conservatives are footing the bill for Kenney’s journey; he will appear at 16 events over the course of the weekend.

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Mr. Scheer is expected to get some help this week: Alberta Premier Jason Kenney is planning to spend the weekend in North Toronto and the city’s suburbs, embarking on a whistle-stop tour, although likely without the federal Conservative Leader, who campaigned in Toronto and the 905 on Monday.

Alberta Premier Jason Kenney fired up the crowd in front of a candidate's campaign office in Edmonton on Saturday as Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer hopped on stage. It's a scene you likely won't see repeated during the federal election campaign in Ontario , which is led by Conservative.

On Tuesday, Kenney was already working this theme, speaking to a Calgary audience about how there will be a balkanization of Canada should any of the other party leaders form government and, in a scrum, drawing a stark contrast between Trudeau and Scheer.

“I’d say if you want a federal government that’s focused on reducing the cost of living rather than increasing it then vote for Andrew Scheer’s Conservatives,” Kenney said. “If you want a prime minister of whom you can be proud, who isn’t going to have to apologize for endless embarrassing incidents, then vote for Andrew Scheer.”

It’s not even an especially new talking point for the premier.

Kenney came to power in Alberta last spring, buoyed by a wave of anti-Liberal sentiment. He has, for months, been telling Albertans the best way to secure the future prosperity of the province is to ensure Justin Trudeau is a one-term prime minister. And his message to Ontario voters is expected to be the impact of Trudeau’s policies, and why he shouldn’t get a repeat.

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When it comes to the regular recent bogeymen of Alberta politics, such as the overhaul of the pipeline approval process, a ban on oil tanker traffic on British Columbia’s northern coast and the carbon tax, these are all Trudeau policies that Kenney — and therefore many Albertans — believe will go away if Scheer is elected.

So far, though, Kenney has been reasonably quiet on the federal front. He took a visit to the United States to drum up support for investment in Alberta during the earliest days of the campaign.

But on Sept. 28, he made an appearance with Scheer in Edmonton in two key ridings the Conservatives hope to seize from the Liberals — a quid pro quo to the man who, in the final days of the Alberta election, took to the bed of a truck with Kenney to proclaim him the best man for the premiership.

The Liberal campaign under Justin Trudeau has, so far, expended a considerable amount of energy campaigning against Ontario Premier Doug Ford in Toronto. Polling shows Ford is relatively unpopular among Ontario voters and Trudeau is attempting to paint himself as the alternative to Ford, despite them being different levels of government, and attempting to make Scheer out to be the same sort of man as Ford and, for that matter, as Stephen Harper.

• Email: tdawson@postmedia.com | Twitter: tylerrdawson

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