Andrew Scheer is in India this week and so far, there have been no controversies to speak of.
The federal Conservative leader brought his wife, Jill Scheer, along for the journey. The official Opposition leader made it a point to visit the country after Prime Minister Justin Trudeau made international headlines during his India visit in February.
Trudeau was criticized for wearing traditional Indian clothing with his wife and three children when it wasn’t always necessary, much to the amusement of some Indians. Also, Sophie Grégoire Trudeau, the prime minister’s wife, was photographed at an event in India with Jaspal Atwal, a convicted attempted murderer.
In comparison, Scheer’s tour of the country has been described by some as being more low key than Trudeau’s trip.
“This week, I’m on a mission to Canada’s largest trading partner in south Asia and the world’s largest democracy,” Scheer said in a video posted to YouTube on Oct. 9. “I’m going to be sitting down with Indian officials and business leaders to promote Canada’s interests and promote the best opportunities our country has to offer.”
Most notably, the Tory leader met with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi where he reportedly discussed how Canadian oil could help meet India’s energy needs. CBC News reported that Scheer described his interaction with Modi, a man with more than 44 million Twitter followers, as “warm” and he was interested in Scheer’s take on Canada’s new trade agreement with the U.S. and Mexico.
The former House speaker also met with Punjab Chief Minister Capt. Amarinder Singh, Bangalore’s Kempegowda International Airport CEO Hari Marar, Indian Finance Minister Arun Jaitley and other leaders in business and politics.
In August, Scheer spoke of the need to “repair and strengthen” Canada’s relationship with India following Trudeau’s highly-publicized visit.
“A Conservative government will dramatically expand the strategic relationship between our countries and our peoples and advance our shared security, prosperity and values,” Scheer said. “Unfortunately, Justin Trudeau’s disastrous trip to India damaged this key relationship and we must now work to repair it.”
With files from The Canadian Press