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Lakeland MP taking wait and see approach to Conservative leader candidates

Lakeland MP Shannon Stubbs says she’s waiting to see who will be running in the Conservative Party leadership race before endorsing anyone.

“It sounds like we have a lot of interesting and qualified people who are considering getting into the race. It speaks a lot about our party and our movement but I’m going to take my time to see how that race is shaping up and make my decision after that.”

The most recent rumoured candidate is former interim Conservative leader Rona Ambrose, however, she has not formally announced a decision. Stubbs has a long relationship with Ambrose after volunteering for Ambrose’s campaign during her first run as MP for Edmonton-Spruce Grove.

“She would be very welcome to the race,” says Stubbs. “I have long supported Rona and I think it would be fantastic to see her jump in.”

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While not completely endorsing Ambrose, Stubbs says the new leader should have certain qualifications before getting her vote.

“Ultimately my own standard will be a candidate who is conservative by principle and by philosophy. A candidate who will push back on media and who will be unapologetic and unequivocably about fighting for conservative policies, fighting back against the left and Liberals. Who will be unequivocably for their advocacy for Alberta, Western Canada, the energy sector and rural communities.”

The leadership race started after disappointing results in the federal election led to Conservative infighting about whether Regina-Qu’Appelle MP Andrew Scheer should stay as head of the party. Scheer resigned on December 12 and attributed the strains of public duties on his family as his reason for leaving. Stubbs says the decision shows his character as a leader.

“His decision is a profound act of leadership to our party and our movement. It’s his integrity, humility and character which leads him to put almost everything before himself.”

Stubbs says she was disappointed at the reaction from the media when the announcement was made. 

“He was railroaded by lefty media mob and in many ways, I’ve been troubled and disgusted by the attacks on him and his family but I have to say his decision is reflected of the Andrew Scheer I know.”

Stubbs says she wasn’t completely aware that Scheer would be resigning that day. She met with him that morning when he stepped into her meeting with representatives from the Canadian Association for Petroleum Producers. 

“In hindsight, some of the things that were happening made more sense if his heart wasn’t in it for the long haul and what he said about the pressure on himself and his family.”

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Scheer will remain the leader of the official opposition until his replacement is named.

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