Loading articles...

Former Conservative leader Andrew Scheer not casting a ballot in U.S. election

Last Updated Oct 28, 2020 at 12:30 pm MST

Former Conservative leader Andrew Scheer arrives for the National Caucus in Ottawa, Wednesday, September 9, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld

OTTAWA — Former Conservative leader Andrew Scheer, whose dual U.S.-Canadian citizenship became an issue in last year’s federal election, won’t be casting a ballot in the upcoming American vote. 

Scheer had been in the process of renouncing his U.S. citizenship ahead of the 2019 fall campaign. 

But he ended that process after his party failed to form government and he subsequently stepped down as leader.

In the 2016 presidential election, there were approximately 620,000 Americans in Canada who were eligible to cast ballots, though only around 32,000 did. 

Scheer was not one of them then either; he said last year he has never voted in U.S. elections.

A spokesperson was asked Wednesday whether he intends to vote this time and the answer was no.

Scheer received American citizenship through his father, a fact that did not become broadly known until last fall’s federal election because, he said at the time, no one asked him. 

The issue dogged him during the campaign in part because he had previously spoken out against high office holders hanging onto dual citizenships, without disclosing he was among them. 

Though he won the leadership of the Conservative party in 2017, he didn’t begin to take steps to renounce his American citizenship until just before the 2019 general election.

The decision to renounce was linked to the fact that he had a shot at becoming prime minister, he said at the time. 

But the Conservatives failed to defeat the Liberals and Scheer announced in December he was stepping down as party leader, pending the selection of his replacement. 

“Given the fact that I won’t be prime minister, I discontinued the process,” he said in May.

Current Conservative Leader Erin O’Toole is not a citizen of any other country, a spokesperson said Wednesday.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published October 28, 2020.

The Canadian Press