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Lakeland MP not interested in leading Conservatives

Shannon Stubbs says she's surprised at how many people have asked her to consider running for the party leadership
Lakeland MP Shannon Stubbs.

ATHABASCA - As Lakeland MP Shannon Stubbs looks forward to 2020, she has no plans to run for the Conservative Party of Canada leadership.

“I am both very surprised and grateful to how many people have asked me to consider it,” said the 40-year-old MP said in a Dec. 26 e-mail. “I am glad to see so many qualified and accomplished people considering bids for the leadership. I thing that speaks well of our party and our movement.”

Stubbs took the time to look back at what she remembered most about the past year, and what she is looking forward to for 2020.

“2019 was a pivotal year, both in my role as the Shadow Minister of Natural Resources and as (a Member of Parliament),” she explained. “It was the year I worked with Indigenous leaders and business owners, municipalities, provincial reps, private sector associations, industry leaders and Senators, and led the fight against C-69 and C-48. It was galling to witness the Liberals impose those laws despite the diverse and widespread opposition across the country.”

She added that even today, every provincial and territorial premier still wants to see major changes made to both laws.

“But so far the Liberals refuse to consider them,” Stubbs said.

She also looked back on her private member’s motion calling for action on rural crime.

“The unanimous passing of that motion, along with the support of thousands of Canadians and more than 100 endorsements from organizations across seven provinces, was the highlight of my entire first term.” Stubbs reminisced. “The Liberals' subsequent procedural tricks to limit the work, witnesses, and then delay the report that they ensured ended up making no real recommendations to address this crisis was my biggest disappointment.”

Following up, she added she might not get an opportunity for a dedicated private members bill during this current term.

“But all Conservatives continue to fight to make rural crime a national priority,” Stubbs continued. “We intend to put the rights of law abiding Canadians and victims of crime ahead of criminals, to toughen sentences and stop the revolving door of repeat offenders, and to enhance legal protection for people who have been forced to defend or protect themselves, their families, homes and businesses, instead of treating them like they are the bad guys and re-victimizing them.”

Stubbs also disagreed with the circumstances that led to Andrew Scheer’s resignation as Tory leader despite winning the popular vote and gaining more than 20 seats in the October election.

“I was dismayed to see all the widespread, personal and relentless attacks on my leader and friend which in part led to his resignation,” she said. “It was a selfless act of servant leadership on his part where he put his family, the party, and the country ahead of himself.”

In terms of choosing Scheer’s successor, she said any candidate she ends up supporting will be based on her confidence in their capacity and position relative to the issues she holds dear.

“We must remain a Conservative party, by principle and philosophy. We must provide that alternative to Canadians, not move our party left,” Stubbs explained. “I will also support candidates who are unapologetic, unequivocal advocates for rural communities and farmers, oil and gas, and the west, who want a new fair deal for Alberta, and who support populist measures to empower every day citizens and hold elected representatives accountable.

As for any plans to defeat the Liberals during the new year, Stubbs said that would be largely dependent on the Bloc Quebecois and the NDP.

“You can count on Conservatives opposing on major issues and confidence votes, but we don't have the numbers to do it ourselves,” Stubbs added. “The Liberals also have the power to 'defeat themselves' if their polling shows them in a position to win a majority government, and I don't think it would be surprising at all to see them set up an opportunity for them to maintain power, since their partisanship and power is what mostly motivates them.”

Bryan Taylor

About the Author: Bryan Taylor

Bryan Taylor is a reporter with the Athabasca Advocate, joining the paper in April 2018. He covers Athabasca and Boyle municipal politics, as well as other news, community events and sports in and around the region.
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