Courtenay-Alberni NDP MP Gord Johns said he was not overly surprised about the announcement of Conservative Party leader Andrew Scheer’s resignation.
“I don’t believe it did [come as a surprise],” he told the Comox Valley Record. “Certainly there has been a lot of conversation in Ottawa since the election.”
Johns added that despite their philosophical differences, Scheer’s work in Parliament cannot go unnoticed.
“I think today we are really focusing on Mr. Scheer,” said Johns. “Despite our differences of opinion on obviously a great many issues, today we should focus on his service as an MP, Speaker of the House for two Parliaments, and as leader of the Conservative Party. We all are unified in honouring the sacrifices he and his family have made in support of the work that he’s been doing.”
Johns said with the resignation of Elizabeth May as Green party leader last month, and now the resignation of Scheer as Conservative leader, the pressure will be on NDP leader Jagmeet Singh as the lone (major) party leader currently sitting in Parliament.
“Absolutely, no question about it… absolutely there will be more pressure on Jagmeet as a leader of a party in the House of Commons,” said Johns. “That’s a very important role, because Canadians have a lot of questions and a lot of concerns, and they need to have stable leaders who are going to ask those tough questions of government, and bring good ideas to government.”
That said, Johns believes there is no danger of Singh following in the footsteps of May and Scheer. He said Singh’s position as leader of the NDP is “very safe.
“Canadians had a good look at Jagmeet for the first time over the election campaign, for many people, and they really connected with him. I think the momentum around Jagmeet and his leadership is just picking up, to be honest with you. People are excited about the message he is bringing [to Ottawa] on behalf of everyday Canadians.
“I think it’s important for Canadians to not have every political party go through change. [Stability] is very important, and that’s one thing you can count on with the NDP is that there is stability in our leadership and in our party. We may be a small caucus but we play a very important role in Parliament.”