Andrew Scheer was in Cape Breton on Thursday for meetings and to hold a public city hall-style meeting in Glace Bay – leaving many people with questions for Canada’s Conservative Party Leader anticipating the evening’s event.

People like Rev. Albert Maroun of Nova Scotians for Equalization Fairness, who claims the Conservative Party has ignored his group’s fight for more equalization money for the island.

“We thought we would go out there and ask them questions directly to their face,” said Maroun. “And if they don't wish to answer our questions, then we would have a peaceful demonstration outside.”

And healthcare, one of the hottest topics in the province, especially in Cape Breton, is a discussion in which Capers 4 Healthcare, a group in North Sydney, would like to see Scheer engage.

“There's enough media reports around healthcare that he should know about it – he shouldn't have to be told about it by now,” says Gordon MacDonald of Capers 4 Healthcare. “I don't believe Cape Breton is the only area having health care issues.”

Scheer's appearance in Nova Scotia happened two days after Prime Minister Justin Trudeau visited St. John's, N.L., which political experts believe is a strategic move ahead of the 2019 federal election in the Fall.  

“The Conservatives perceive the two Cape Breton ridings, long regarded as the safest liberal ridings in the country, as actual being winnable this time,” says political science professor at Cape Breton University, Tom Urbaniak. “They have two high profile candidates.”

Long-time Progressive Conservative MLA’s Eddie Orrell and Alfie Macleod are slated to be introduced to the crown in Glace Bay on Thursday at the community meeting in the evening, where many protesters are expected. While Urbaniak feels the campaigns will be vigorous locally, he expects they will be highly competitive on the national level.

“We saw an early indication of that during the Jody Wilson-Raybould testimony,” says Urbaniak. “Scheer came right out and called on Justin Trudeau to resign then and there – so there's more than a policy dispute going to happen here.”

Meanwhile, Scheer is scheduled to speak at the Sydney Chamber of Commerce on Friday morning.

With files from CTV Atlantic's Kyle Moore