O’Leary holds campaign-style event with Scheer

Sheer to get some star power from businessman Kevin O’Leary

Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer’s campaign for prime minister next year will get some star power from businessman Kevin O’Leary, the two said in Toronto Monday.

O’Leary ran against Scheer for the Conservative party leadership before dropping out and backing Scheer’s main rival Maxime Bernier. But now O’Leary and Scheer have joined forces in hopes of defeating the Liberals in 2019.

The pair held a question-and answer session at Ryerson University with students and other Conservative members, showing off their partnership.

“We need a new manager, we need a new government, we need new policy. That’s why he’s here,” said O’Leary at one point, gesturing toward Scheer. “And we’re going to do this all across the country.”

RELATED: Scheer marks one-year countdown to federal election with campaign-style speech

O’Leary said the country needs saving from “weak, weak managers.”

“The whole cabinet is weak,” he said. “It’s a spatula we need. … Scrape it clean and start again.”

For his part, Scheer told the audience that he likes to talk about bringing a “positive Conservative vision” to Canadians. Under him, the party has consistently placed second in public-opinion polls, well ahead of the New Democrats but rarely challenging the Liberals for the top spot.

“Were going to fire and we’re going to hire,” O’Leary said of the Tory plan for the government. “I’m so motivated to get out there and make this change happen because I smell it. I smell the winds of change.”

Brock Harrison, a spokesman for Scheer, said the plan is for the pair to hold more events together.

If Bernier is irked by the relationship between his former rival and former supporter, he didn’t show it Monday. He’s quit the Conservative party now, calling it “morally corrupt.” He said O’Leary backed his Conservative leadership bid but not his new movement, The People’s Party.

Tim Powers, a Conservative strategist and vice-chairman of Ottawa consulting firm Summa Strategies, said if Scheer can learn from O’Leary, then the Conservative party will benefit from his appearances.

“Mr. O’Leary is a unique character. Maybe there are some lessons that can be learned as it relates to connecting to millennials,” said Powers.

RELATED: Feds ‘violating’ Canadians’ privacy with data request: Scheer

But there are also risks involved with the alliance, Powers said, such as if O’Leary overshadows Scheer with his booming personality.

“Let’s not kid ourselves. If Kevin O’Leary turns and makes this all about Kevin O’Leary and makes inopportune comments, then Andrew Scheer can wear those,” Powers said.

Janice Dickson, The Canadian Press

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Drivesmart column: Mandatory alcohol screening

If you have to drive, don’t drink. If you drink, don’t drive.

Mary Lowther column: Time to plan the winter garden

Weeds have gotten away on me, I’ve just finished laying out my soaker hoses

VIDEO: Internet famous Yukon-based bhangra dancer explores Vancouver Island

Gurdeep Pandher spreads joy through dance, forms cross-cultural connections amid pandemic

Sarah Simpson Column: Finding nature at home

It was time to call in reinforcements.

QUIZ: Do you know the truth?

In what has been described as a post-truth era, how much do you know about truth and lies?

NHL playoffs: Canucks to meet St. Louis Blues in Round 1

Vancouver takes on defending champs beginning Wednesday

Simon Cowell breaks his back falling from electric bike

Incident happened at his home in California

Unofficial holidays: the weird and wonderful things people celebrate around the world

On any given day of the year, there are several strange, silly or serious holidays to observe

Missing teen visiting Courtenay found safe

She had last been seen going for a walk on Aug. 6

Moving on: Tanev scores 11 seconds into OT as Canucks oust Wild

Vancouver beats Minnesota 5-4 to move into first round of NHL playoffs

Fitness non-profit challenges citizens to invent a game to be physically active

The campaign was launched after a study showed only 4.8 per cent of children and youths in Canada met required standards of the 24-hour movement guidelines

Gene editing debate takes root with organic broccoli, new UBC research shows

Broccoli is one of the best-known vegetables with origins in this scientific haze

VIDEO: U.S. Air Force pilot does fly-by for B.C. son amid COVID border separation

Sky-high father-son visit plays out over White Rock Pier

Most Read