Sask. MP takes top Tory job

Support from Quebec dairy farmers helped Saskatchewan MP Andrew Scheer win the Conservative leadership.

The former Speaker of the House of Commons, and the MP for Regina Qu’Appelle, took 51 percent of the vote in the 13th ballot to defeat Maxime Bernier, a Quebec MP who had advocated the end of supply management.

That position prompted at least four Quebec MPs to protect their dairy farmers by throwing their support behind Scheer.

Bernier was the front-runner and led in the first 12 ballots.

Scheer is 38, was first elected at 25 in 2004 when he defeated long-time NDP MP Lorne Nystrom and has been called “Stephen Harper with a smile.” He was, at 32, the youngest to be elected Speaker in 2011.

In his first address to caucus after winning the May 27 preferential ballot contest, Scheer pledged to work with all Conservatives.

He said the party represents hard-working Canadians.

“We’re the party of everyday Canadians,” he said. “The Liberals can take their cues from the cocktail circuit. We will take ours from the mini-vans, from the soccer fields, the Legion halls and the grocery stores.”

The next federal election will be held in 2019.

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