Andrew Scheer returned to the Lower Mainland on Wednesday to speak to the party faithful for the first time since he was elected federal Conservative Party leader in May.
The picnic and gathering at the Milner Downs Equestrian Centre in Langley attracted a crowd of several hundred, many of whom posed for photos with Scheer.
His speech played to the many Conservative members in the audience, who had come from local ridings and from across the region.
His main theme was attacking the federal Liberals as a tax-and-spend party, one with failed policies.
“We actually care about results,” Scheer said.
As well as emphasizing balanced budgets and lower taxes, he also welcomed a broad swathe of Canadians into the party.
“The Conservative Party of Canada is the most inclusive and welcoming party that’s ever had the the good fortune to govern,” Scheer said.
He specifically emphasized the diversity of its MPs, including Muslim MPs and some of the first Pakistani-Canadian and Filipinio-Canadian members to sit in Parliament.
“With a positive approach, we can reach out to new Canadians,” Scheer said.
The event was organized by local Conservative riding associations, and a number of B.C. MPs attended. Scheer was introduced by Langley-Aldergrove MP Mark Warawa and Abbotsford MP Ed Fast.
Warawa said that one focus of the party in opposition will be to hold the Liberal government to account on veterans issues.
The Conservatives are to hold a caucus meeting in Winnipeg Sept. 7 and 8, when Scheer is expected to choose new critic roles before Parliament resumes sitting.