Conservative Party Leader Andrew Scheer is resigning. But he says he will stay on as leader until his replacement is chosen and continue to serve as MP for Regina—Qu’Appelle.
His resignation comes as a direct result of new revelations that he was using Conservative Party money to pay for his children’s private schooling, according to Conservative sources who spoke with Global News.
Senior Conservatives say the expenditures were made without the knowledge or approval of the Conservative fund board, including the chair of the board. There are also calls for the party’s executive director, Dustin van Vugt, to resign over the decision to pay the schooling expenses.
According to multiple sources, only a tight circle of insiders knew that the party was reimbursing Scheer for the cost of his children’s private schooling and that news erupted over the last several days inside the party. The resulting anger focused on what sources described as the lack of transparency about that reimbursement as well as concerns about how it would look to the public.
Global News has also learned that former Prime Minister Stephen Harper didn’t know about the arrangement and is “very angry” about how Scheer used the money.
In a public statement announcing his decision to resign as leader, Scheer did not address the concerns raised by those party sources to Global News. His office says the suggestion that his resignation is linked to the issue of private school reimbursement is false.
Scheer attributed the decision to the strains of his public duties on his family.
“I just informed my colleagues in the Conservative caucus that I will be resigning as the leader of the Conservative Party of Canada and I will be asking the Conservative Party national council to immediately begin the process of organizing a leadership contest,” Scheer said in remarks in the House of Commons shortly after the news broke.
“In order to chart the course ahead in the direction this party is heading, the party needs someone who can give 100 per cent.”