It looks like Saskatchewan MP Andrew Scheer is running for leadership of the Conservative Party of Canada.
He has resigned as opposition house leader, a position he would have difficulty doing if he were to enter the race.
In a written statement released to the media he writes:
“I am announcing today that I am resigning as House Leader of the Conservative caucus. My consultations about a possible run for the Conservative Leadership have been very encouraging and I would like to continue to explore the feasibility of such an endeavor. As the House returns next week, I believe it is more appropriate for me to continue in these efforts outside of a caucus leadership position.
I would like to thank our Leader Rona Ambrose for trusting me with this important role for the last 10 months. It was an honour to serve alongside her as our party rebuilds and works towards the next election.
Without a doubt, this has been one of the most effective oppositions in recent memory. We have a great team of critics and I enjoyed working with each and every one of them as we held the Liberals to account for their wasteful spending and mismanagement.
I will continue to explore the possibility of a leadership bid and will make a decision in the coming weeks.”
We are told by Scheer’s staff in Ottawa an announcement is imminent.
Scheer is certainly receiving encouragement from his caucus colleagues.
Regina-area MP Tom Lukiwski believes he has the right qualities for the party’s top job.
“Certainly he is devastatingly bright, he is very, very knowledgeable,” Lukiwski said from the Conservative fall caucus meeting in Halifax.
“He is a solid conservative, he is a good family man.”
At that same meeting former cabinet minister Gerry Ritz all but confirms Scheer’s decision to run.
“He made the announcement that he is stepping down to take part in that leadership run. I have been working with Andrew, I’m going to say, for the last three or four months,” Ritz confirmed.
Scheer has been the Regina-Qu’Appelle MP since 2004 and served as Speaker of the House of Commons from 2011 to 2015.
He is married with five children and is seen as a staunch conservative.
So far Maxime Bernier, Michael Chong, Tony Clement, Kellie Leitch and Deepak Obhrai have registered to run for Conservative leadership. Pierre Lemieux, Adrienne Snow and Saskatchewan’s Brad Trost have declared a bid to run.