The turmoil within the federal Conservative party continues. Today, the Conservative Member of Parliament Ed Fast dealt another blow to the leadership of Andrew Scheer. Fast said he turned down an offer to be a shadow cabinet minister under his leadership. Fast was a former trade minister under contentious Prime Minister Stephen Harper. Earlier this week both Scheer and Fast spoke and discussed where he could best serve. It is speculated that perhaps Fast felt he was not being offered a prominent enough role with the opposition. Fast said “I expressed my desire not to be included at this time.” It is not know if a position was offered which was not to his likening.
Fast discussed with CBC News that “Mr. Scheer, I believe, is entitled to surround himself with a team that fully supports his leadership and I’m looking forward to remaining fully in the affairs of our Conservative caucus and to holding Justin Trudeau to account for his actions, his words and how he leads this country. The shadow cabinet of opposition MPs works to criticize government departments and Ministers.
The Conservative party said in an email that “Mr. Scheer appreciates the efforts Ed Fast put into developing the Conservative environment plan as the previous shadow minister and Ms. Kerry-Lynne Findlay will continue to build on his work as the new shadow minister for the environment and climate change. Mr. Fast will continue to serve the Conservative caucus in different ways.”
Member of Parliament Rachael Harder, the party’s status of women critic in the last Parliament, was also excluded from the Conservative shadow cabinet. Harder was a very criticized first term MP due to her controversial stances on feminism. Her “regressive” positions almost caused the collapse of the Status of Women Committee. It is also known that both Harder and Fast endorsed Erin O’Toole in the last Conservative leadership contest.
In April 2020, a leadership review will occur within the Conservative party concerning Andrew Scheer and if he should remain as the leader. Scheer said “I am staying on to fight the fight that Canadians elected us to do. Now is not the time for internal divisions or internal party politics. That is an unfortunate part of the Conservative tradition in this country, but it’s essential that we stay focused on the task at hand. I will be making the case to our members that we need to stay united and focused, and will be seeking a mandate to do that in April.”
Currently it seems the only way for Scheer to save his leadership will be to seek an early federal election before the April vote.
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