The Honourable Andrew Scheer, MP “The Man Who Would Be Prime Minister”?
Andrew James Scheer was born in Ottawa on May 20th, 1979. His father, James D., was a librarian, proofreader, and Roman Catholic deacon. His mother, Mary Gerarda Therese Enright, was a nurse. Andrew has two sisters.
Andrew graduated from Immaculata High School in Ottawa, later receiving the “Distinguished Catholic Alumni Award”. He studied history at the University of Ottawa. As a 21-year-old university student, Andrew ran for the position of school trustee for the Ottawa-Carleton Catholic School Board, in 2000, losing to incumbent Kathy Ablett, a registered nurse, who served 27 straight years as a trustee. That was the only election Andrew has ever lost.
At the University of Ottawa, Andrew met fellow student Jill Ryan, moving to her hometown of Regina, Saskatchewan, and graduating from the University of Regina with a Bachelor of Arts Degree in History. Jill and Andrew married in 2003 at the Holy Rosary Cathedral in Regina. They have five children together, and the children attend a private faith-based school. Andrew is a practising Catholic, who attends Sunday mass and is an active member of the Knights of Columbus.
Andrew’s two brothers-in-law are also well-known in Saskatchewan. Jonathan Robert Ryan, formerly played for the Green Bay Packers and the Seattle Seahawks in the National Football League. Jon is presently the all-star punter wearing #9 for the Saskatchewan Roughriders of the Canadian Football League. Andrew is a football fan: obviously cheering for the Saskatchewan Roughriders in the CFL and the Seattle Seahawks in the NFL. Andrew is also a hunter and a firearms owner.
Andrew’s other brother-in-law, Steven Ryan, ran for the Saskatchewan New Democratic Party in the 2007 and 2011 provincial general elections. Unfortunately, Steve was unsuccessful on both occasions.
Andrew was more successful when, at 25 years old, he ran against the Honourable Lorne Edmund Nystrom, the long-time NDP front-bench incumbent MP for Regina Qu’Appelle riding, in the June 28th, 2004 federal general election. Andrew was victorious by a margin of 861 votes. Re-elected in the federal general election of January 23rd, 2006, Andrew increased his margin of victory to 2,740 in his rematch with Lorne Nystrom.
In April of 2006, Andrew was named as Assistant Deputy Chairman of the Committee of the Whole, and one of the three Deputy Speakers. Only 26 years old, Andrew was one of the youngest MPs in Commonwealth history to serve as a Deputy Speaker of the House of Commons.
In the federal general election of October 14th, 2008, Andrew doubled his margin of victory to 5,369 votes over NDP candidate Janice Bernier. On November 21st, 2008, Andrew was named Deputy Speaker and Chairman of the Committee of the Whole.
The federal general election of May 2nd, 2011, had Andrew being re-elected by a margin of 4,477 votes over the “Orange Crush” NDP candidate Fred Clipsham. On June 2nd, 2011, Andrew’s experience as Deputy Speaker led him to being elected Speaker of the House of Commons, at 32 years old, the youngest Speaker in Canadian parliamentary history, and the first Speaker from a Saskatchewan riding.
In the October 19th, 2015 federal general election, Andrew was re-elected with a margin of victory of 5,342 votes over NDP candidate Nial Kuyek.
Following the majority victory of the Liberal Party under Justin Trudeau, Stephen Harper resigned as Leader of the Conservative Party on October 25th, 2015. Andrew was appointed Leader of the Opposition in the House of Commons. In Halifax, Nova Scotia, at the Conservative Party caucus meeting, on September 13th, 2016, Andrew announced his resignation as Leader of the Opposition in the House of Commons in “order to explore a bid for the leadership of the Federal Conservative Party”.
Andrew announced his bid to be Leader of the Conservative Party on September 28, 2016. Andrew had the support of 32 MPs in the Conservative Party caucus. His leadership campaign slogan was: “Real Conservative. Real Leader”.
At the Conservative Party Leadership Convention on May 27th, 2017, Andrew was elected Conservative Party Leader on the thirteenth ballot with 50.95 % of the ballots cast over Maxime Bernier who had garnered 49.05%.
Andrew is considered a “Blue Tory”. Andrew has described himself as “focused on economic development, fiscal restraint, and reducing inefficiencies in the government.” Andrew is a staunch opponent of the federal carbon tax: “repealing it in order to reduce the tax burden on individuals and businesses.” Andrew plans on balancing the federal budget within two years of forming a government. Andrew would like to open up the airline industry to foreign competition. Andrew is considered “tough on crime”.
As major political influences, Andrew considers the late John George Diefenbaker, former Canadian Conservative Prime Minister, and Daniel John Hannan, the Conservative Member of the European Parliament for South East England and the Founding President of the Initiative for Free Trade, at the top of his list.
Andrew was awarded the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal for Canada by Her Royal Majesty.
Many critics have compared Andrew Scheer to Stephen Harper. Nicknames have included among others: “Harper with a smile”. “Stephen Harper 2.0”, and “Harper’s boy”.
I wish the best of luck to the Honourable Andrew Scheer, the Leader of the Official Opposition, in his future endeavours!