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.

Just Posted

Update: RCMP confirm body found at Kelowna’s Gyro Beach

Police tape is blocking part of the beach and several RCMP officers are on scene.

Pets still missing after Peachland home fire

Two Pomeranians and two cats are missing after fire

Okanagan-Shuswap weather: A sunny Easter Sunday

Temperatures will peak at approximately 20C region-wide

Petition to stop new cell tower too close to Kelowna homes

An online petition was started to stop cell tower construction near Ellison Elementary School

‘No answers:’ Canadians react to Sri Lanka bombings that killed hundreds

The co-ordinated bomb attacks killed at least 207 people and injured 450 more on Easter Sunday

Regional district backs more consultation on plans to help caribou

It is feared that the caribou recovery plans could result in closure of backcountry areas

Okanagan student shows skill at provincial finals

Aidan Eglin of Armstrong won website development event at Skills Canada’s B.C. finals in Abbotsford

Kootnekoff: Easter Bunny legal woes

Several years ago, our young daughter needed to know: “Is Santa Claus… Continue reading

Okanagan fire department rescues kittens

Enderby homeowner not aware cats were in wood pile in yard near garbage pile fire that got away

Okanagan township’s open burning winds down

Spallumcheen reminds residents of regulation changes as open burning concludes April 30

Children gather for Easter festival in Summerland

Fourth annual Easter Egg-stravaganza included activities and egg hunt

QUIZ: How much do you know about Easter?

Take this short quiz and put your knowledge to the test

Most Read