Amid chants of support and protest, the Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer made his first Saskatchewan campaign stop this weekend.
On Sept. 28, Scheer made his way to the Saskatoon Farmers’ Market to deliver a rally speech. The crowded market was filled with music and chants as Saskatoon-West candidate Brad Redekopp introduced “the next prime minister of Canada.” Outside, climate strikers protested Scheer. One of them held up a sign to the glass door that asked why Scheer was “hiding during the climate strike.”
Scheer shared campaign promises, including carbon tax repeal and a national energy corridor that would connect coast-to-coast energy resources. Scheer addressed the protesters halfway through his speech saying he “[doesn’t] mind when people express their views.”
Scheer also discussed lowering taxes for the lowest tax bracket, tax free maternity leave and the importance of heating costs in the Saskatchewan winter.
Mitchell McEachern, an Edwards School of Business student, attended the event and was glad to hear Scheer keep his speech focused on Saskatchewan. McEachern says that Scheer’s policies about tax cuts appeal to him as a student.
“As a university student, I see it as a very good platform; He’s lowering the taxes for the lowest income bracket and that directly affects me, being a student while I work part-time,” McEachern said.
Throughout the rally, Scheer threw jabs at the Liberal Party Leader Justin Trudeau, particularly about the carbon tax.
“Justin Trudeau has never had to worry about money. That’s why he’s not worrying about yours,” Scheer said. “Wealthy millionaires, liberals like Justin Trudeau, might not mind paying higher gas prices thanks to his carbon tax.”
Michelle Wiebe, a nursing student at the University of Regina, was critical of Scheer’s comments about the opposition.
“I feel like right now in our political age, they do more of tearing the other person down so they can look good, and I don’t really like that approach as much but I did enjoy his speech,” Wiebe said. “It’s like lots of promises, hopefully he can keep good on them. I want to hear him talk more about how he’s qualified.”
Tiana Greyeyes, a grade 12 student from Nutana Collegiate, stood outside the rally among the protestors. Greyeyes says that she was protesting to fight for the environment’s protection.
“As an Indigenous person, I was put on this land to protect and to share the land and the water with other creatures. That’s why I’m here, for my people,” Greyeyes said.
During the Sheaf’s interview with Greyeyes, a rally attendee came up to a neighbouring protester and called them “brainwashed.” Greyeyes discusses dealing with hate as a political protester.
“It hurts in the beginning but… I know that there are youth and Indigenous youth who don’t have a say, who don’t know how to react, who don’t know how to be here so I’ll be here for them,” Greyeyes said. “The adults are acting like kids so we need to act like adults.”
After the rally, Scheer made his way to Southern Ontario. He is currently facing a small controversy regarding his insurance broker background, which he has admitted that he only worked as a broker for six to seven months.
Aqsa Hussain/ Layout Manager
Photo: Victoria Becker/ Photo Editor