The presumptive next leader of the Conservative Party of Canada rallied supporters with a speech today in Nanaimo.
Pierre Poilievre, the frontrunner in the party’s leadership campaign, held a meet-and-greet Sunday, Aug. 28, at the Vancouver Island Conference Centre.
The MP promised people “smaller government and bigger citizens,” and closed his speech by talking about a desire to fight for freedom rather than fight over control. He said if he becomes Conservative leader and then prime minister, he will stand up to “gate-keepers” who try to control what people see and what people say.
“These woke warriors want to control what other people say. They’re always talking about new ways to divide us,” Poilievre said.
He said a Conservative government would repeal amendments to the Broadcasting Act which he called “censorship law,” and would require every university that receives federal research grants to commit to upholding rights around freedom of expression for students and faculty.
He promised to defund the CBC and got a standing ovation when he announced that he would ban all Conservative ministers from any involvement in the World Economic Forum.
“If any of my ministers want to go to that big fancy conference of billionaires with the World Economic Forum in Davos, they better make it a one-way ticket because they won’t be back in my cabinet,” he said.
Poilievre outlined plans for Canada to grow more food, produce more energy and build more homes. On housing, he said a Conservative government under his leadership would link federal infrastructure dollars for cities to the number of housing units those cities permit. He also said every federally funded transit station would come with pre-approval for housing, and “under-utilized” federal buildings would be sold for conversion to affordable housing.
Poilievre said the Liberal government’s “inflationary deficits” means there is more money chasing fewer goods, resulting in rising costs. He discussed some of his plans to rein in government spending, including a “pay-as-you-go law” requiring the federal government to find a dollar in savings for every new dollar in spending.
“Politicians need legal limits on their spending and they will get it when I am prime minister,” he said. “You’ve been pinching your pennies long enough.”
Poilievre has another meet-and-greet scheduled for Sunday evening, Aug. 28, at Sidney’s Mary Winspear Centre, and another event Monday, Aug. 29, at Vancouver’s Italian Cultural Centre.
The Conservatives will announce their next leader Sept. 10. The other candidates are Jean Charest, Leslyn Lewis, Scott Aitchison and Roman Baber.