Andrew Scheer is Stephen Harper with dimples - 2017-05-28
If most of Michael Chong's supporters also opted for Scheer as a second or third choice it was probably because the former speaker might have seemed like a more comfortable choice than hard-right libertarian Bernier. Chong, readers will remember, is the one and only Conservative leadership candidate who unequivocally accepted the science on global warming. His signature policy was a carbon tax, which Chong tried to sell as a market-based tool in the fight against climate change. What did the Chong folks think, then, when one of the few pledges Scheer made in his victory speech was to immediately repeal the Liberal carbon tax? Whatever they thought, they should not have been surprised. Scheer might be a smiling version of Stephen Harper, which is how many in the party see him. But on most key files -- notably the environment and First Nations -- he is pure and unadulterated Harper.
The entirety of Scheer's stated policy on First Nations is a return to the punitive, Harper-era policy of publishing Indigenous bands' financial statements online. That practice puts the entire responsibility for a broken, dysfunctional funding system -- one which auditor general Sheila Fraser condemned on numerous occasions -- on the shoulders of poor and inadequately resourced First Nations communities.
On climate change, Scheer wants to return to Harper's bogus policy of sector-by-sector regulation, in lockstep with the United States. Given who is in power in the U.S., it is easy to guess how that would work out.