Andrew Scheer wraps up campaign-style stop in Cape Breton
Federal Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer has wrapped up a two-day campaign-style stop in Cape Breton, but his visit wasn’t without controversy.
Scheer was in Glace Bay, N.S., Thursday evening, where he introduced candidates Eddie Orrell and Alfie MacLeod to a room full of Conservative members.
Outside, however, Scheer was met by more than 100 protesters from a number of groups, including Nova Scotians for Equalization Fairness.
They said they were disappointed they weren’t allowed to ask the leader questions directly.
“This island is dying. We have the highest tax rate in Canada,” noted Rev. Albert Maroun. “We have the highest youth poverty rate in Canada, the highest emigration, the lowest infrastructure, our roads are terrible."
With the Liberals currently holding all 32 seats in Atlantic Canada, Scheer is hoping the region will turn blue this fall when the federal election is held.
He says he plans to tackle an issue that many people are talking about -- health care -- by increasing funding by 3 per cent.
“I’ve heard so many stories about hospitals being closed for periods of time and long waits for basic services,” said Scheer. “The federal government needs to be there to ensure the provincial governments have the resources they need.”
Scheer continued his visit Friday, delivering a speech to the Sydney and Area Chamber of Commerce during a breakfast session.
“Right now there is a number of struggles in the small business front, as there always is in some regard, and taxation is a hot topic certainly across the country, as well as here locally,” said Kathleen Yurchesyn of the Sydney and Area Chamber of Commerce.
“Taxation is definitely something that we want the government, federally, provincially, and municipally, to continue to address and we’re happy to hear that today.”
But not everyone feels Scheer’s visit to Cape Breton was best for the local candidates.
“The popularity of the candidates whom they’re running, Eddie Orrell and Alfie MacLeod, exceeds the popularity of the leader, Andrew Scheer, in the communities,” said Tom Urbaniak, a political science professor at Cape Breton University.
Voters will have their say when they head to the polls in October.
With files from CTV Atlantic's Kyle Moore