Andrew Scheer: Neutral but not happy with the race to replace him.

Andrew Scheer says he is neutral in the race to replace him as Conservative Opposition leader. But in an interview with The Times, the MP for Regina-Qu’Appelle made it obvious that he is not impressed by the three candidates who are after his job.
So far only Peter Mackay, who once led the Progressive-Conservatives, Erin O’Toole, a former veterans’ affairs minister who Scheer defeated when he replaced Stephen Harper as leader, and Marilyn Gladu, a Tory backbencher with no track record, have announced they are running in the June 27th leadership contest. When we went to press John Baird was still weighting his options. There is not one candidate from Western Canada which is where Scheer won the most votes.
“I was expecting more candidates, a field of publicly recognized candidates better known than those who have announced,” Scheer said.
Scheer was to have been in Fort Qu’Appelle to meet with local agricultural producers in Fort Qu’Appelle on Monday, but because of a change in flight schedules, the meeting was held in Regina instead.
Asked if he regrets resigning, Scheer said that when he ran for the leadership in 2016 “I knew it could very well be a two-step process, but the end result is much different than I imagined it would be. I won’t say I regret what happened, but I put everything I had into it.”
Had he been allowed to stay as leader he said he thought he might have been able to fix some of the problems that kept the party 36 seats from winning the election.
“I may have allowed some of the mistakes that happened to happen; the expectations were so high. Election night was a negative night,” he said, adding that he couldn’t expect to put his family through the exercise all over again.
“The reason I didn’t resign right away is because I thought I was still the best person to lead the party. If I had gone north of 130 seats it might be a different story.” But, as he points out, the Conservatives won
the popular vote, “We knocked the Liberals down to 157. I kept the party together, kept the caucus united, and we came out of the election debt free.”
Of the conservatives elected last October, 38 are rookies who owe their election to Scheer and at least 40 other MPs still support him. Asked whether he might consider a draft, or even throw his hat into the leadership race, he said a draft is something he never contemplated. But asked point blank whether he would refuse a ‘draft Scheer’ movement at the convention, he didn’t say no.
Scheer said once his successor is chosen, he will turn his attention to his constituency. He said that while he admitted he was critical of the federal government’s bilateral investing in Canada infrastructure program, (ICIP) he will “go to bat” to help the Town of Fort Qu’Appelle get the $5-million it needs to upgrade its waterworks system next year when Broadway is torn up and paved by the Provincial Department of Highways.