Conservative leadership hopeful promises more economic growth and housing during Sidney shutdown
The main candidate for the leadership of the Conservative Party of Canada has promised less government control, including an end to COVID-19 regulations, fiscal discipline in the face of inflation and more autarky, during one of his last stops in British Columbia in front of a new leader is announced on September 10.
Pierre Poilievre drew a crowd estimated at over 1,200 to the Mary Winspear Center in Sidney, where he promised that a future government of his own would reduce Canada’s dependence on foreign food imports while allowing the Canadian sector energy to export more resources, be it oil or natural gas.
He also promised that his government would reduce inflation by cutting public spending, repealing the federal carbon tax and creating more housing by reducing regulation and tying federal infrastructure funds to municipalities building more housing. – preferably high-density housing around public transport. Canada, he said, must help its young people, who have done everything to see themselves excluded from the housing market.
While Poilievre said little about climate change, he had a lot to say about the CBC as part of a broader critique of the “gatekeepers” he accused of suffocating Canadians. He drew loud applause when he promised to withdraw funding from the public broadcaster less than two minutes into his 20-minute speech and then promised to turn his facilities into housing.
Poilievre also took on what he called “awakened warriors”. They – contrary to what they claim – are not concerned with social justice, but with power – the power to tell Canadians what to think and say, while making them feel bad about their own values, he said.
He proposed tying federal support for Canadian universities to unspecified guarantees of academic freedom. In this vein, Poilievre identified freedom of expression as found in S.2 of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms as the most important. Poilievre had previously championed the truckers’ protest in Ottawa earlier this year.
Poilievre’s frequent appeal to the power of freedom won him the admiration of the crowd, many of whom traveled from other parts of British Columbia to see him. Many also endured a long line throughout the establishment to shake his hand and take a photo with him.
“We have hope, we have hope that in the words of the great John Diefenbaker, ‘I am a Canadian, a free Canadian, free to speak without fear, free to stand up for what is right, free to to oppose what I believe to be false, free to worship God in many ways, free to choose who will rule my country.This heritage I pledge to uphold for myself and for all mankind.
Like Diefenbaker, Poilievre promotes a nationalist, but also multi-ethnic vision of Canada, with a direct reference to the religious freedoms of all during the speech on Sunday. But the Diefenbaker reference was likely lost on the vast majority of the audience, many of whom were likely born long after Diefenbaker’s death in 1979 and his years as prime minister between 1957 and 1963.
Poilievre also attempted to underscore this early vision of Canada with his disdain for the World Economic Forum, with Poilievre describing his campaign as a movement.
Ironically, Poilievre echoed a line from former US President Bill Clinton, a staunch supporter of globalization.
“There’s nothing wrong in this country that can’t be fixed by what’s right in this country,” Poilievre said.
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Conservative Party of CanadaSaanich Peninsula