Pierre Poilievre Takes Conservative Leadership in a Landslide

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OTTAWA – POLITICS – Pierre Poilievre has won the leadership of the federal Conservative party of Canada with over 68% of the votes cast Conservative party members.

Poilievre won on the first ballot of the ranked balloting system. He was well ahead of former Quebec premier Jean Charest who received 16 per cent of the vote, as well as Ontario MPs Scott Aitchison and Leslyn Lewis and Roman Baber, a onetime Progressive Conservative member of the Ontario legislature.

Poilievre who ran a campaign very similar to the one that saw Donald Trump win the Republican presidential nomination now will lead the Conservatives into the next election which will be held by 2025.

Poileivre received more votes in winning the Conservative leadership than any other leadership candidate for any political party in Canada’s history.

His initial campaign promise was to make Canada “The freest country on earth”.

The new Conservative leader with 68% of the vote likely feels that there isn’t going to be a lot of fence mending or rift repairs in the party. During the leadership campaign, Jean Charest, the former Progressive Conservative party leader, and former Liberal Premier of Quebec was a frequent target of Poileivre during the campaign. So too was Patrick Brown until he was ousted from the race.

Canadian Labour Congress Unimpressed

Bea Bruske, President of the Canadian Labour Congress says, “Pierre Poilievre has used populist rhetoric to hide away his real agenda. But his long track record of attacking workers’ rights and siding with profitable corporations over everyday people makes clear the kind of leader he would be if he gained power. While Mr. Poilievre talks loudly about inflation, he cannot be counted on to push companies to increase workers’ pay to keep up with skyrocketing inflation.”

Bruske notes that while the evidence clearly shows wages are not contributing to rising inflation, ‘greedflation’ by large corporations – who are taking advantage of the inflation to raise prices – is helping to drive up the cost of living.

“While workers and their families see their buying power decreasing, Mr. Poilievre ignores the real problem. It is critical people see through his glib rhetoric to what his real plans are for our country,” explained Bruske. “All we hear from Mr. Poilievre are vague sound bites about freedom. But he isn’t talking about your freedom to make a fair wage or the freedom to make greedy corporations pay their fair share.”

Bruske added that Poilievre does have a previous record in government, having served in a Conservative government that cut health care, imposed austerity on everyday people, introduced anti-labour laws and helped rich corporations pay even less in taxes.

“In government, Mr. Poilievre and his Conservative colleagues ignored the warnings of frontline health workers and voted to cut tens of billions from public health care funding. He voted to cut support for unemployed workers and repeatedly attacked workers’ rights,” concluded Bruske. “Pierre Poilievre cannot be trusted now to repair our broken health care system, help struggling families or stand up for workers.”

The federal Liberals while congratulating the new Conservative Leader are also warning Canadians.

MPs Dominic LeBlanc and Rachel Bendayan.

“On behalf of Liberals across Canada, we want to congratulate Pierre Poilievre on becoming the leader of the Conservative Party of Canada and the Official Opposition.

“As our country continues to rebuild from the global pandemic, Canadians need their elected politicians to work together to make life more affordable, fight climate change, strengthen our economy, and grow the middle class. Justin Trudeau and our Liberal team will continue to collaborate with all willing political parties to deliver real results for Canadians – and we hope the Conservative Party will join us in that work.

“At the same time, we will stand up and speak out against the reckless policies that Mr. Poilievre has been pushing since the start of his leadership campaign, and during his nearly 20-years as a Conservative insider.

“Whether it’s promoting volatile crypto-currency to ‘opt out of inflation,’ wanting to weaken our gun controls, promising to make pollution free again, opposing support for the middle class, or allowing his caucus to bring forward anti-abortion legislation, the new Conservative leader is proposing dangerous ideas that would risk our economy, our health, and our safety. Even members of the Conservative Party have dismissed Mr. Poilievre for having ‘highly questionable ideas’ that are ‘irresponsible’ and leave them feeling ‘deeply troubled.’

“From the war in Ukraine to supply chain distribution difficulties, Canadians and people around the world are facing real challenges. Canadians need responsible leadership to keep growing an economy that works for everyone, make life more affordable, and stand up for democracy and human rights around the world – and Justin Trudeau and the Liberal Party of Canada are the only team with a positive plan to get the job done.

“While Mr. Poilievre and the Conservative Party continue to promote American-style politics and try to stand in the way of our progress for Canadians, we’ll remain focused on moving Canada forward.”