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  • Help us build a better Ontario September 14, 2017
    If you live in Ontario, you may have recently been selected to receive our 2017 grassroots poll on vital issues affecting the province. Your answers to these and other essential questions will help us decide what issues to focus on as we head towards the June 2018 election in Ontario. For decades, the CCPA has […]
    Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives
  • Does the Site C dam make economic sense for BC? August 31, 2017
    Today CCPC-BC senior economist Marc Lee submitted an analysis to the BC Utilities Commission in response to their consultation on the economics of the Site C dam. You can read it here. In short, the submission discussses how the economic case for Site C assumes that industrial demand for electricity—in particular for natural gas extraction […]
    Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives
  • Ontario's middle and working class families are losing ground August 15, 2017
    Ontario is becoming more polarized as middle and working class families see their share of the income pie shrinking while upper middle and rich families take home even more. New research from CCPA-Ontario Senior Economist Sheila Block reveals a staggering divide between two labour markets in the province: the top half of families continue to pile […]
    Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives
  • Join us in October for the CCPA-BC fundraising gala, featuring Senator Murray Sinclair August 14, 2017
    We are incredibly honoured to announce that Senator Murray Sinclair will address our 2017 Annual Gala as keynote speaker, on Thursday, October 19 in Vancouver. Tickets are now on sale. Will you join us? Senator Sinclair has served as chair of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC), was the first Indigenous judge appointed in Manitoba, […]
    Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives
  • How to make NAFTA sustainable, equitable July 19, 2017
    Global Affairs Canada is consulting Canadians on their priorities for, and concerns about, the planned renegotiation of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). In CCPA’s submission to this process, Scott Sinclair, Stuart Trew and Hadrian Mertins-Kirkwood point out how NAFTA has failed to live up to its promise with respect to job and productivity […]
    Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives
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The Progressive Economics Forum

Scheer Success

Andrew Scheer has been elected House of Commons Speaker. I met him in 2004, when we were federal candidates in adjacent Regina ridings. I was the no-shot NDP candidate against then-Finance Minister Ralph Goodale and he was the long-shot Conservative candidate against veteran NDP MP Lorne Nystrom.

At the end of that summer, we were both headed east. I drove a 1986 Ford Escort to Kingston to study at Queen’s University. Andrew went to Ottawa to represent the good people of Regina–Qu’Appelle.

After completing my master’s degree, I drove the Escort up to Ottawa to work in the federal public service. Walking down Bank Street one evening, I saw a sign on Subway restaurant stating it was the last day that Sub Club stamps would be accepted. I ran to my apartment to get my pile of stamps before Subway closed.

Upon returning to the Bank Street franchise, I found myself in line with Andrew. The Subway cashier informed me that he could not accept a handful of loose stamps; they had to be affixed to cards. I asked if he had any blank Sub Club cards. The cashier explained that he did not because the program was ending, but that he was prepared to accept any type of card.

Without missing a beat, Andrew pulled out his business cards and offered that I could use them. So, I stood there sticking Sub Club stamps onto “Andrew Scheer, MP” cards while he ordered his sandwich. That’s my best story about Andrew being a good guy.

Notwithstanding his friendliness, his electoral victory had seemed surprising. He had not lived in Regina for long, had been working as a waiter at Danbry’s restaurant and, as far as I know, had not completed his bachelor’s degree.

(Today’s Murray Mandryk column indicates that he did finish his degree at the University of Regina and Wikipedia indicates that he finished his degree at the University of Saskatchewan, so I stand to be corrected, although his official biography just indicates that he “studied” at the Universities of Ottawa and Regina. In any case, he has gone on to more significant accomplishments.)

Political commentators have been dismissive of the young and unexpected New Democrat MPs from Quebec, who have few roots in their ridings, have not finished their bachelor’s degrees and/or were employed at restaurants. However, Andrew Scheer’s rapid rise from similar beginnings to the Speaker’s chair proves that these new Quebec MPs could well succeed in politics.

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Comments

Comment from duncan cameron
Time: June 4, 2011, 6:55 pm

His fluency in French distinguished him from the other Conservatives contesting the election. If he is not a product of immersion French, he is a good example of the advantages it can bring.

Comment from Travis Fast
Time: June 5, 2011, 1:47 pm

Harper has muzzled more than 80% of his caucus regardless of age so lets just recognize this meme for what it is.

Comment from Gonzaga
Time: June 6, 2011, 7:41 am

I didn’t understand Duncan Cameron’s second sentence, i.e., “If he is not a product of immersion French.” Should it be “if he is”?

Comment from Denise Freedman
Time: June 6, 2011, 2:06 pm

It seems to me there has long been an industry of “dismissive of the NDP” both in Ottawa and across the country. And the opposite for other parties–especially if they form the government.

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