The Canadian Press
For a moment Monday, it looked like people opposing Andrew Scheer’s leadership had found an ally in Ontario Premier Doug Ford.
Mr. Ford’s official Twitter account retweeted a fledgling organization called “Scheer Must Go,” which is advocating for the federal Conservative Leader’s ouster after a disappointing election result last week.
On Monday, The Globe and Mail reported that former Tory MP Terence Young doesn’t believe Mr. Scheer should stay on after the Conservative Party of Canada (CPC) placed second in the federal election on Oct. 21. Mr. Young, who lost his race in Oakville, Ont., said the Conservative Leader “can’t connect with voters.”
The Scheer Must Go account commented on the story and said that the share of the vote for Conservatives dropped in Oakville, between the 2015 and 2019 elections. The account said that “trend repeated throughout the 905 region” of suburban Toronto.
“Anyone who says the CPC is headed in the right direction is feeding you BS,” the tweet said.
Mr. Ford’s account retweeted the post, but then deleted it.
A source in the Premier’s Office, who is being kept confidential by The Globe because they weren’t authorized to comment, said on Monday that a staff member who used to have access to the account retweeted the tweet by accident.
Mr. Ford did not campaign with Mr. Scheer during the election and kept a low profile throughout the campaign. In an interview with CP24 last week, though, the Premier gave his support to Mr. Scheer.
“I have confidence in the leader. He did a very good job,” Mr. Ford told the Toronto news channel. “Matter of fact, I respect all the leaders. People don’t realize how hard it is. No matter if it’s the NDP, Green, PC, Libs; they all work hard. So I have a great deal of respect for them.”
The Conservatives set high expectations in the election, saying they could defeat Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. Their hopes rested on the Prime Minister’s weakened position after he found himself mired in several controversies during his tenure. Instead, the Liberals won a strong minority, 13 seats shy of a majority government.
Last week, Mr. Scheer said he planned to stay on as leader and tried to cast the second-place finish as a win for the party because it won the popular vote. The party is “very happy with many aspects of the campaign,” he said.
But Mr. Scheer’s future isn’t guaranteed. The election result triggered a leadership review that’s set to take place at the party’s next convention, scheduled from April 16 to 18 in Toronto. He will have to win more than 50-per-cent support from the delegates to avoid an automatic leadership race.
The Scheer Must Go group launched its campaign on Monday, according to co-founder Anthony Koch. The group is hoping to identify potential delegates who would vote against Mr. Scheer’s leadership at the convention and then help them win the delegate position for their local riding.
Citing the party’s failure to break through in Quebec and Ontario and Mr. Scheer’s increasing unfavourable rating during the election, Mr. Koch said he doesn’t think Mr. Scheer has a realistic shot of triumphing.
“If Andrew Scheer remains leader of the Conservative Party it’s guaranteed that Trudeau will win the next election,” Mr. Koch said.