By Charlie Senack, Manotick Messenger
In a campaign video posted to his Twitter account on Saturday, Carleton MP Pierre Poilievre seemed to hint that he will run in the upcoming Conservative leadership race.
Poilievre said he’s running for Prime Minister in order to “give Canadians their freedom back”, however in order to do that, he must run for and then win the leadership contest. That part of the process was never discussed during the roughly three minute-long video.
Along with the ad, Poilievre also posted a link to support the Carleton MP for Prime Minister. Clicking on the link brought you to a form where you could sign up for updates, make a donation, or become a volunteer.
In the video, Poilievre spent most of his time bashing the current Liberal government headed by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.
“Governments have got big and bossy. They are spending more than at any time since World War Two,” Poilievre started by saying.
“They control more of what you earn, and you control less. They caused inflation by borrowing and printing a half trillion dollars which has ballooned the assets of the billionaires, the debts of our children, and the cost of living of the working class,” he added. “Over half of families now say they struggle just to feed themselves, and more 30-year-olds live in their parents’ basements because they can’t afford the typical cost of a home, $800,000.”
The 42-year-old is the first person to officially say their name will be on the leadership ballot.
Just days ago Erin O’Toole was ousted as leader by his own party, when 73 Conservative MP’s lined up to vote against him. Only 45 members of parliament wanted the Durham MP to stay in the position.
In the days since, many have speculated Poilievre has been eyeing the position. He was set to run for leader of the party back in 2020, but dropped out last minute because he didn’t feel “all in.” Poilievre said at the time he didn’t want to sacrifice family life.
Last fall, Poilievre welcomed a second child, a son named Cruz, with his wife Anaida.
Now it appears his opinion is changing. Poilievre has been one of the Conservative party’s most vocal MP’s on any hot pressing government issue, and most recently has thrown his support behind the truckers who are protesting COVID-19 mandates on the front lawn of Parliament Hill.
He says the Trudeau Liberal government has taken freedoms away from Canadians.
“That is why I’m running for Prime Minister; to put you back in charge of your own life,” Poilievre remarked in his video message. “Together we will make Canadians the freest people on earth, with freedom to build a business without red tape or heavy tax. Freedom to keep the fruits of your labour and share them with loved ones and neighbours. Freedom from the invisible thief of inflation.”
“Freedom to raise your kids with your values,” he added. “Freedom to make your own health and vaccine choices. Freedom to speak without fear and freedom to worship God in your own way.”
In an interview with the Manotick Messenger last fall, Poilievre said Canadians shouldn’t lose their jobs because of not being vaccinated, and said the option of regular testing should be provided instead.
Many political insiders felt Erin O’Toole’s fall in the party was inevitable. He was often seen as someone at the political centre, which many “True Blue Conservatives” opposed. O’Toole often shared support for the Gay community, endorsed banning conversion therapy, and was also pro choice when it came to Abortion. The Durham MP also discussed the need for putting a price on pollution, despite many Conservatives being against the Liberals plan of a carbon tax.
Poilievre is being seen as a more traditional Conservative, someone who has on many occasions openly opposed the carbon tax, and at the beginning of his career, spoke out against Gay marriage. He has since changed his tune on that topic, but refuses to talk about abortion.
Poilievre is also known to speak his mind and is not shy with words. Last year during the election cycle, he held a press conference where papers were thrown around the press gallery as he talked about the prime minister orchestrating a “cover up” in relation to the WE scandal.
On CTV’s Question Period, former federal NDP leader Thomas Mulcair said he felt Poilievre may be “too abrasive” to win over the hearts of Canadian voters.
“I find him amusing. He’s a smart guy but he’s also very abrasive,” he said. “Now that works to some extent in dealing with a political adversary, but when you’re trying to attract people, there’s an old saying that you attract more flies with honey than with vinegar and Pierre will have to learn to buy some honey and not just use vinegar if he wants to be a leader who can reach out and attract new Canadians if ever he were to get the job.”
The Manotick Messenger has reached out to Poilievres office multiple times this week for comment on both the upcoming leadership race and tricker convoy, but never heard back.
First elected in 2004, Poilievre is currently serving in his seventh term. He won last fall’s federal election with about 50 per cent of the vote.
During the Harper years, Poilievre served as the Minister of State for Democratic Reform, and Minister of Employment and Social Development. Following the party’s big loss during the 2015 federal election, Poilievre then served as shadow Minister of Jobs and Industry and shadow Minister of Finance.