The federal Conservative Party is still digesting the announcement of leader Andrew Scheer stepping down.

After losing the October election to Justin Trudeau and the Liberals, many people questioned whether Scheer should stay on as leader.

Prince George-Peace River-Northern Rockies MP, Bob Zimmer told they were caught off-guard by the news.

“We weren’t expecting it, we were talking about the new USMCA trade deal between us, Mexico and the United States and then his announcement at the end of the discussion came across as a surprise for sure.”

When asked if Zimmer would run for the leadership role, he states the timing isn’t the best.

“My kids have talked to me about this and I said if there is a lineup of about 100 people at my door then I would consider it, there has been a lot of people talking to me about it. You never say never, but not this time.”

Scheer stated on Thursday he wanted to spend more time with his family while media reports suggested he took money from the party to pay for his kid’s private school education.

Either way, Zimmer is of the opinion they need to do a better job of promoting their platform.

“We need to find ways to connect to the voter. We just saw in England last night (Thursday) they just elected a Conservative majority, one of the strongest in many years, so there is an appetite for Conservative principles.”

Zimmer also believes the potential was there for the Conservatives to win with Scheer despite his naysayers.

“I thought post-October 21st we saw what we could have done better in the election and I thought had we responded and improved on some things that we needed to I think Andrew could have won the next election but it would have been challenging for sure as it’s a difficult thing to do.”

“There are two different things, there’s losing the vote and then there is winning the vote. I think governments can lose the vote by doing bad things but you gain the vote by giving people your vision and have them buy into it and we just didn’t spend enough time to get that across to Canadians broadly.”

Scheer is expected to stay on as leader until his successor is found.