Canada In Quebec, Andrew Scheer fights to erase memories of a bad debate, keep campaign hopes alive
9 Photos Of Andrew Scheer That Show How He's Changed In The Spotlight
That includes meeting some cool robots.While Scheer wasn't exactly a household name before his leadership position, there have been a few instances of a younger Andrew Scheer being caught on camera. Though his appearance hasn't changed all that much through the years, the circumstances of his public image certainly have.
The Conservatives began the campaign with big hopes for Quebec. They revamped their image in the province and spent months recruiting high-profile local candidates.
Leader Andrew Scheer even launched his bid to become prime minister from Trois-Rivières, Que. It was just the kind of mid-sized city where the Tories felt their promises would resonate.
But that was before Scheer took part in a French-language debate last week that was broadcast on the most widely watched television network in the province.
5 Standout Moments From The 1st French Leaders’ Debate
Four federal party leaders faced off Wednesday in the first 2019 election debate to include Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau. The debate on TVA — the largest private television station in Quebec — featured Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer, NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh and Bloc Québécois Yves-François Blanchet. Here are a few moments that stood out: 1. Scheer accuses Trudeau of being a “hypocrite” on the environment for using two campaign planes DuringDuring a section on the environment, as Trudeau was trying to suggest his government had done a lot to address climate change while Scheer was trying to block efforts to but a price on carbon and the Bloc would not be in a position to put together a pan-Canadian plan to deal with the i
Over the course of the two hours, Scheer dodged questions on abortion, tried to sell Quebecers on an unpopular oil pipeline and advocated limits on assisted dying in the province that first drafted legislation on the issue. And all this in his second language.
The reviews were brutal. Francophone pundits declared Scheer had just killed his party's chances of making gains in the province, while editorial cartoonists ridiculed his pro-life stand.
He was depicted as a priest in one of the cartoons, a particularly unflattering depiction given the importance secularism has become to Quebec's identity.
Tonight, Scheer will once again have the chance to debate the other leaders in French. The event begins at 8 p.m. and will be broadcast on several media channels, including Radio-Canada.
Leaders clash on climate, immigration, abortion and Bill 21 in intense debate
The six main federal party leaders battled it out in the English language debate in Gatineau, Quebec, Monday night exchanging answers and accusations as they looked to bust out from the pack in the final two weeks of the campaign. The only English debate with all six party leaders saw the discussion range across five topics including: affordability and economic insecurity, environment and energy, Indigenous issues, leadership in Canada and on the world stage and polarization around human rights and immigration.
His party's hopes in Quebec, and Scheer's own ambitions to become prime minister, may hinge on delivering a performance that erases the memory of what happened last week.
'Not as charismatic ... as we would like'
It's in ridings like Trois-Rivières, roughly half-way between Montreal and Quebec City, where Conservatives candidates are likely to feel the effects of the TVA debate.
The Conservatives have a star candidate here in Yves Lévesque, who ran Trois-Rivieres for 17 years as a no-nonsense mayor. But now he's locked in a tight race with the Liberals and the Bloc Québécois — all vying to steal the riding from the NDP incumbent.
Lévesque says he's been trying to compensate for Scheer's popularity issues by encouraging voters to look at the party's platform, with its promises of lower taxes, balanced budgets and go-slow approach to addressing climate change.
"Maybe he's not as charismatic, as emotional as we would like. But will he do a good job? That's the question," Lévesque said in a recent interview at his campaign headquarters. "He will do a great job. He built a great team."
From a lot to a little, party leaders dish baloney in English-language debate
OTTAWA — When they weren't talking over each other or trying to land political body blows, the six federal leaders who squared off in an English-language debate Monday night each made statements with varying degrees of accuracy. The Canadian Press Baloney Meter, which is a dispassionate examination of political statements culminating in a ranking of accuracy on a scale of "no baloney" to "full of baloney," has weighed one claim from each leader. Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau© Getty Liberal leader and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau speaks during a news conference after an English language federal election debate at the Canadian Museum of H
But for many voters in Trois-Rivières, Scheer's performance in the TVA debate left a negative impression.
"He just repeated his lines and didn't really leave his comfort zone," said Pascal Desmarais, a 30 year-old telecommunications worker.
Along Trois-Rivières's historic main street, others who watched the debate singled out the exchange over abortion. "It took him a while to say he was pro-life. I think that hurt him," said one man.
And in the studios of FM 106.9, popular lunch-time radio host Rober Pilotte said Scheer had done his local candidate no favours by struggling to get his points across in French.
"Yves Lévesque now has the wind in his face," Pilotte said.
Marriage of convenience?
When the Conservative Party set about drafting an election strategy for Quebec around a year ago, they opted to revive a figure from the party's halcyon days: the Bleu.
Leaders try to head off surging Bloc Québécois in final French-language debate
Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau appealed to francophones concerned about climate change to elect a Liberal government “full of Quebecers” and defeat the Conservatives during the final debate of the election campaign, in an attempt to beat back a surging Bloc Québécois that could threaten a Liberal majority. The debate, which took place in Gatineau, Que., on Thursday evening, was the second French-language debate of the campaign. The only English-language debate featuring Trudeau took place on Monday. Thursday’s debate was a far cry from Monday’s, which was dominated by personal attacks and crosstalk.
The name comes from the party George-Étienne Cartier merged with John A. Macdonald's Liberal-Conservatives, forming in the process the basis of the modern Conservative Party.
In more contemporary circles, a Bleu describes the kind of fiscally conservative Quebec nationalist who rallied to Brian Mulroney's Progressive Conservatives in the 1980s, helping him to back-to-back to majorities.
With the Bloc in a state of disarray last year, giving the Conservative Party a bleu makeover appeared like a good way to build on the 10-seat toehold leftover from the 2015 election.
So the party adopted a number of proposals designed to appeal to these nationalist Quebecers: French-language protections, a single-tax form and, more recently, a hands-off approach to Quebec's new secularism law.
This election, in many ways, is a test of the marriage of the Bleu tradition in Quebec and the social conservatism that forms Scheer's base in Western Canada.
Scheer's debate performance last week, with his anti-abortion beliefs making headlines, may have made it seem to Quebecers that it is the socially conservative side of the party that holds sway.
"It's not a selling point in Quebec to be talking about abortion, even it was the other parties putting words in his mouth," said Pilotte. "In Quebec, we've moved on to other things."
Canada election: What federal leaders have pledged on the economy
Here’s a list of economic pledges leaders have made. Skip to promises made by:Conservative Party of Canada© Provided by Corus Television Limited PartnershipMay 5: Scheer says a Conservative government would balance the books in five years. May 16: In a speech at the Economic Club of Canada, Scheer unveils a series of pledges on the economy, including “a Canada fuelled exclusively by Canadians by 2030.”June 3: Scheer says that as prime minister, he would establish an interprovincial free trade agreement as part of a plan he dubs “a closer and freer federation.
Can the local candidate compensate for an unpopular leader?
Lévesque's own trajectory from the municipal to the federal arena further illustrates the difficult fit between Scheer's policies and the progressive attitudes Quebecers hold on several issues, such as the environment.
While he was mayor, Lévesque opposed the construction of a cross-Canada oil pipeline through Quebec. A similar project is at the heart of the Conservative platform.
But Lévesque's decades in municipal politics, never mind the force of his personality, may be enough to counter ambivalence about Scheer.
Lévesque doesn't so much answer questions as deliver an onslaught of words. And when it comes to his party, and its leader, he is nothing less than effusive.
"Look, I'm telling you, if you have time, which you don't have time, but just [look at] the candidates we have in Quebec," Lévesque said during an animated early-morning interview earlier this week.
"We have the best candidates with the best knowledge and that makes us a great team. That's what makes the car. It's a Conservative car. But what makes it turn right is the people in the car with our chief, and our chief listens to us. Mr. Scheer is a great listener."
Asked if he was willing to bet on who will win the race in his riding, radio host Pilotte declined: "Wise is the one able to predict what will happen in Trois-Rivières."
Style and substance: How each leader is dressing for the part of PM .
Each federal party leader's style is designed to convey something important about his or her substance, according to image experts.As PPC Leader Maxime Bernier, Bloc Québécois Leader Yves-François Blanchet, Green Party Leader Elizabeth May, Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer, NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh and Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau pitch voters on their respective platforms, they're also subtly pitching a version of themselves through the way they dress.
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