O’Leary holds campaign-style event with Scheer

Sheer to get some star power from businessman Kevin O’Leary

Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer’s campaign for prime minister next year will get some star power from businessman Kevin O’Leary, the two said in Toronto Monday.

O’Leary ran against Scheer for the Conservative party leadership before dropping out and backing Scheer’s main rival Maxime Bernier. But now O’Leary and Scheer have joined forces in hopes of defeating the Liberals in 2019.

The pair held a question-and answer session at Ryerson University with students and other Conservative members, showing off their partnership.

“We need a new manager, we need a new government, we need new policy. That’s why he’s here,” said O’Leary at one point, gesturing toward Scheer. “And we’re going to do this all across the country.”

RELATED: Scheer marks one-year countdown to federal election with campaign-style speech

O’Leary said the country needs saving from “weak, weak managers.”

“The whole cabinet is weak,” he said. “It’s a spatula we need. … Scrape it clean and start again.”

For his part, Scheer told the audience that he likes to talk about bringing a “positive Conservative vision” to Canadians. Under him, the party has consistently placed second in public-opinion polls, well ahead of the New Democrats but rarely challenging the Liberals for the top spot.

“Were going to fire and we’re going to hire,” O’Leary said of the Tory plan for the government. “I’m so motivated to get out there and make this change happen because I smell it. I smell the winds of change.”

Brock Harrison, a spokesman for Scheer, said the plan is for the pair to hold more events together.

If Bernier is irked by the relationship between his former rival and former supporter, he didn’t show it Monday. He’s quit the Conservative party now, calling it “morally corrupt.” He said O’Leary backed his Conservative leadership bid but not his new movement, The People’s Party.

Tim Powers, a Conservative strategist and vice-chairman of Ottawa consulting firm Summa Strategies, said if Scheer can learn from O’Leary, then the Conservative party will benefit from his appearances.

“Mr. O’Leary is a unique character. Maybe there are some lessons that can be learned as it relates to connecting to millennials,” said Powers.

RELATED: Feds ‘violating’ Canadians’ privacy with data request: Scheer

But there are also risks involved with the alliance, Powers said, such as if O’Leary overshadows Scheer with his booming personality.

“Let’s not kid ourselves. If Kevin O’Leary turns and makes this all about Kevin O’Leary and makes inopportune comments, then Andrew Scheer can wear those,” Powers said.

Janice Dickson, The Canadian Press

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

True crime podcaster on mid Island inspired by case of missing Island woman

‘Island Crime’ Season 1 covers 2002 disappearance of 21-year-old Lisa Marie Young

Alberni Valley Community Foundation releases second round of emergency funding

The Alberni Valley Community Foundation will provide $75,000 to support local charities… Continue reading

Port Alberni’s Cruise for Care returns for encore

Car enthusiasts will honour frontline workers Friday, May 29 on route through city

Accident, downed power lines closes Highway 4 west of Port Alberni

Detour is available near Hector Road as BC Hydro crews work to restore power

Huu-ay-aht First Nations qualify for national wage subsidy

Limited partnership structure caused concern when CEWS was first introduced

B.C. records no new COVID-19 deaths for the first time in weeks

Good news comes despite 11 new test-positive cases in B.C. in the past 24 hours

An ongoing updated list of Alberni Valley events affected by COVID-19

Has your event been cancelled or postponed? Check here

Tahsis opens its gates to visitors to save local economy

Seasonal local businesses that rely on tourism hope to survive despite drop in tourist numbers

BC Corrections to expand list of eligible offenders for early release during pandemic

Non-violent offenders are being considered for early release through risk assessment process

Fraser Valley driver featured on ‘Highway Thru Hell’ TV show dies

Monkhouse died Sunday night of a heartattack, Jamie Davis towing confirmed

Study looks at feasibility of Vancouver Island abattoir

South Island Prosperity Partnership funds study looking at local meat processing

Island city cancels plan for homeless camp; exploring alternative option

The plan heard strong objection from neighbouring residents and businesses

B.C. visitor centres get help with COVID-19 prevention measures

Destination B.C. gearing up for local, in-province tourism

Most Read