May 28, 2017
By Bob Sheppard
The federal Conservatives have elected a new leader, and it isn’t the one many thought it would be.
Former Speaker of The House of Commons Andrew Scheer won the race for the leadership of the party with 51 percent of the vote compared with 49 percent for runner-up Maxime Bernier on the 13th ballot.
Bernier was the perceived front-runner, ahead of all of the other 12 candidates for much of the race.
He had received the backing of Kevin O’Leary, a Toronto businessman and star of the ABC Television show “Shark Tank,” when O’leary pulled out of the race when he was ahead in the polls. At the time, O’Leary thought he wouldn’t get enough support in Quebec to lead the Conservatives to a win in the next election.
Scheer is a 38 year-old married father of five from Saskatchewan, and a former Speaker of The House during the last stages of the Stephen Harper era as PM.
In his acceptance speech last night, Scheer said that every single kind of Conservative is welcome in the party.