What does Pierre Poilievre have in store for us?

What does Pierre Poilievre have in store for us?

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Pierre Poilievre has been repeating like a mantra for a month that it's because of the Trudeau government's spending that everything is more expensive, and that only the new Conservative leader can turn things around by imposing a slimming diet on the state. 

“The main issue is liberal inflation,” he insists in an interview with Journal, as he has been doing for weeks in Ottawa.

For him, the math is simple. The Trudeau government pumped too much money into the economy through social programs and citizen assistance, which boosted demand. But the quantity of goods available did not increase, prices jumped.

Although he voted in favor of the first liberal package of pandemic aid, which notably made it possible to set up the PCU, the conservative leader no longer has any good words for this strategy, which is nevertheless applied by many allies.

Neoliberal from adolescence

He has returned to the obsession that has inhabited him since he was 17: reducing the size of the state to restrict expenses. It was at this age that he made the books of the American economist Milton Friedman, one of the champions of neoliberal and libertarian thought, his bedside reading.

According to Friedman, state intervention harms prosperity and must therefore be limited to the bare minimum: Defense, Justice and the Treasury. The rest should be left to the free market, including the minimum wage. With that in mind, Mr. Poilievre has twice voted against raising the federal minimum wage.

Today, 18 years after being elected at age 25, and now a father of two young children, he hasn't changed, says his longtime friend, Conservative MP Michael Cooper.

“The Pierre Poilievre that I met 20 years ago is the same Pierre Poilievre that I know today and that Canadians know,” he said, hailing the disciplined consistency of a man of principle.

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Misogyny and the extreme right

He is nevertheless “ready to do anything to gain power”, said New Democrat Alexandre Boulerice, outraged when the Global Network revealed last week that Mr. Poilievre's YouTube videos contained a hashtag linked to misogynistic groups online for four years.

In an interview, the Conservative leader replied that he was unaware of the presence of these hashtags and that he demanded their removal. But for Minister Mélanie Joly, it was no accident.

Mr. Poilievre also positioned himself alongside participants in the Ottawa blockade and opponents of sanitary measures, and even appeared during his campaign with a figure from the far right, Jeremy MacKenzie, whom he then claimed not to be. know.

The ex-soldier who founded the neo-Nazi Diagolon militia was arrested in late September after he threatened to rape Mr. Poilievre's wife, Anaïda.  

IMMIGRATION < /strong>

Pierre Poilievre, himself married to a Venezuelan refugee, has placed immigrants at the heart of his political strategy.

It's no coincidence: 41 constituencies in the country, most located in the suburbs of large cities, have more than 50% visible minorities.

It was by winning their vote that Stephen Harper secured a majority government in 2011, thanks to the hard work of his then Secretary of State for Multiculturalism, Jason Kenney, who trained Pierre Poilievre.

While he is in favor of closing Roxham Road, the Conservative leader is positioning himself as an ardent defender of legal immigration, which he sees as the key to the labor shortage. 

To accelerate the rapid economic integration of immigrants, he promises agreements with the provinces and professional orders to have their skills recognized in 60 days. 

HOUSING

Accommodations like these in Montreal are getting more and more expensive.

While campaigning for the leadership of his party, Pierre Poilievre repeated ad nauseam his example of a young 30-year-old graduate and professional who lives in his parents' basement because he cannot afford housing at a reasonable price.

For him, there are two culprits. First, the Governor of the Bank of Canada raising interest rates. He promises to fire him, although the Canadian central bank acts in a similar way to the other central banks of the G7 to control inflation.

Next, to tackle the anemic supply of housing, M Poilievre blames cities for pushing prices up by imposing exorbitant fees and delays on building permits.

Threats of cuts

In the campaign, he indicated that under his leadership, the big cities would lose a portion of their federal transfers if they did not increase residential construction by 15% and would not densify around public transport axes.

The Conservative government of Ontario applies similar methods. However, according to an analysis by the Smart Prosperity Institute, Ontario's ambitions are hampered by the lack of construction workers. 

LANGUAGE AND IDENTITY&nbsp ;

The first truly bilingual Conservative leader since Brian Mulroney, Pierre Poilievre switches from one language to another with rare ease for a native of Calgary.

But that hasn't stopped the Conservatives from changing their position on the specificity of French-speaking Quebec since he became a chef.

His caucus voted against a Bloc Québécois bill to require knowledge of French to obtain Canadian citizenship in Quebec. However, an old version of this bill had received the support of the Conservatives.

As for the CAQ reform of the Charter of the French language (Bill 96), Pierre Poilievre showed himself to be fleeing to his place in the leadership campaign, while three of his opponents strongly decried it.

However, he clearly said he was against Law 21 on the secularism of the State, saying he was in agreement with the Liberal government's decision to challenge the law in the Supreme Court when the opportunity arises.

ENVIRONMENT

A refinery in Fort McMurray.

While his predecessor Erin O'Toole promised a reengineering of the carbon tax, Pierre Poilievre wants to abolish it, because it contributes, he says, to rising prices.

To green the he hydrocarbons industry, of which he is a fierce defender, he relies on technologies. The Trudeau government also encourages this avenue by funding carbon capture projects.

That remains to be proven

But these still marginal technologies are far from proven and remain extremely expensive.

“If we took that money and invested it in energy efficiency or renewable energies, we would have much greater greenhouse gas reductions per dollar invested,” said the director of Équiterre, now Minister of the Environment, Steven Guilbeault in 2016.

A role for Quebec

But Pierre Poilievre does not budge. He even believes that Quebec can contribute to greening the hydrocarbon industry by building more dams, and more quickly. 

“Quebecers have a clean source of energy, hydroelectricity, which 'they can use to liquefy natural gas without emissions,' he told the Journal, justifying his support for the LNG Quebec project, rejected by the Legault government.

Although he assures us that he would not impose anything on the province, the Conservative leader believes that the context today is more favorable to energy projects than ever.

“The war in Ukraine shows that if the Canada does not produce natural gas, the market will be monopolized by polluting dictatorships like Putin's,” he insisted. 

Cold with the media 

The new Conservative leader has been very suspicious of mainstream media, limiting interviews since his election on September 10.

It took until this week for him to open the door to mass media, including Le Journal.

For conservative strategist Rodolphe Husny, it's that the leader “does not want to give the media the opportunity to dissect his message”.

His relationship with the parliamentary press got off to a very bad start. Shortly after taking office, he had a heated argument with Global News reporter David Akin, who was protesting his refusal to be interviewed.

“Canadians are finding out about it right now and he wants them to associate it with one issue, the economy,” said Mr. Husny, a former adviser to the Harper government.

To achieve this by avoiding being questioned by journalists, Pierre Poilievre uses question period in the House of Commons to hound the government on the cost of living and taxes.

For the rest, the leader of the opposition relies on social networks, where he maintains a direct link with the electorate. This strategy, he says, enabled him to win his seat in suburban Ottawa seven consecutive times.

This rejection by the media, which crosses the global populist right, is linked to the loss of global confidence towards the press, says Mr. Husny.

Propaganda organ

52% of Canadians believe that “the majority of media organizations seek more about promoting an ideology than informing the public,” according to Edelman's annual trust survey.

If elected Prime Minister, Pierre Poilievre intends to stop funding the public broadcaster CBC, and abolish the subsidies enjoyed by most press groups, including Quebecor.

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