The resignation of Conservative Party leader Andrew Scheer caught members of his caucus by surprise, including Kootenay-Columbia MP Rob Morrison.
Morrison, who is currently in Ottawa, said Scheer made the announcement this morning to party parliamentarians before rising in the House of Commons to announce his intention to step down as the head of the Tories.
“I think people could see that it was weighing heavily on him,” Morrison said. “He’s a very positive person and it did come as a surprise right then, but when you digest it all, a person with as young a family as he has, I think he was struggling with the commitment that it would take.
“We all [parliamentarians] dedicate our lives when we come down here because we are away from our families a lot and he has quite a young family — I’m pretty sure his youngest is a year old — and he said in his speech he just wanted to spend more time with his family.”
Morrison, who was recently elected as a Conservative MP for the Kootenay region, said Scheer will stay on as leader likely until April, when the party will have its annual general meeting in Toronto where members can decide the process on choosing a new leader.
Scheer was first elected as the MP for Regina—Qu’Appelle in 2004 and served as Speaker of the House during the reign of Prime Minister Stephen Harper. Scheer was elected as the Conservative Party leader two years ago, helming the party through the 2019 federal election, which saw the party increase it’s seat count, while failing to capture a parliamentary majority.