Pierre Poilievre

Pierre Poilievre

*Image source: Manning Centre c/o: Jake Wright via Flickr, March 1, 2014. Licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic license. Retrieved from Wikipedia.

Credentials

Background

Pierre Marcel Poilievre is a member of the Canadian Parliament representing Carleton riding near Ottawa, Ontario.2About,” Pierremp.ca. Archived January 31, 2022. Archive URL: https://archive.ph/q6g4q

Polievre, a member of the Conservative Party, has served in various roles in the Conservative Party’s shadow cabinet, including Shadow Minister for Finance and Shadow Minister for Jobs and Industry. 3The Hon. Pierre Poilievre, P.C., M.P.Parliament of Canada. Archived March 17, 2022. Archive URL: https://archive.ph/pjF7o

He has been described as a “free-market activist.”4Pierre Poilievre | Conservative MP for Carleton,” YouTube video uploaded by user “Coastal Front,” November 9, 2020. Archived .mp4 on file at DeSmog. “To make room for personal freedom and responsibility, he believes in limiting government,” his website states. “He champions the free market in which everyone gets ahead on merit, not government handouts. “5About,” Pierremp.ca. Archived January 31, 2022. Archive URL: https://archive.ph/q6g4q

On February 5, 2022, Poilievre released a video on social media announcing his intention to run for prime minister, effectively entering the leadership race for the Conservative Party following the ousting of Erin O’Toole.6I’m running for Prime Minister to give you back control of your life,” Twitter post by user @PierrePoilievre, Feb 5, 2022.

Poilievre has become known for “partisan attacks and bare-knuckle parliamentary style.”7Tory MP under fire for ‘tar baby’ comment,CTV News, May 29, 2009. Archived March 17, 2022. Archive URL: https://archive.ph/O9mOqHe has been called someone who “savagely attack[s] opponents without regard to nuance, or even the basic facts.”8Why is Pierre Poilievre so angry?Macleans, March 10, 2022. Archived March 17, 2022. Archive URL: https://archive.ph/AAv10

A 2016 CBC candidate profile describes Poilievre’s career background, noting that he “worked in a variety of policy-related roles for Conservative MPs Jason Kenney and Stockwell Day.” He was also a communications specialist at Magna International, and ran 3D Contact Inc., a “communications and market research firm” (robocall) offering services to the Conservative Party of Canada.9Nepean – Carleton,” CBC News. Archived May 11, 2016. Archive URL:https://archive.ph/GB5IS 10Glen McGregor. “Poilievre brings robocalls expertise to new job,” National Newswatch, July 18, 2013. Archived March 17, 2022. Archive URL: https://archive.ph/isDcc

Political Fundraising

The data below were obtained via Elections Canada. Scroll right to view total:

Stance on Climate Change

Pierre Poilievre has consistently opposed carbon tax legislation. In March 2022, he said he would oppose “anti-energy laws” in Canada: 11Alexander Quon. “Pierre Poilievre promises to scrap ‘anti-energy laws’ during CPC leadership campaign stop in Sask.CBC News, March 4, 2022. Archived March 17, 2022. Archive URL: https://archive.ph/wip/YYywt “Right now, we have anti-energy laws in this country that are preventing people from harvesting our resources and bringing them responsibly to market,” Poilievre said during a news conference at Brandt Tractor in Regina.

At the same event, he promised to repeal Bill C-69, an overhaul of Canada’s key federal environmental regulatory law, as well as Bill C-48, which prohibits crude oil tankers over a certain size from docking in northern British Columbia.

Key Quotes

March 11, 2022

“I oppose the carbon tax. I voted against it in parliament when it came up and I never wavered or flip flopped on that either,” Poilievre said in an interview with the Andrew Layton Show, a program put on by True North.12Pierre Poilievre says he’s running on cost of living and freedom,” YouTube video uploaded by user “True North,” March 11, 2022. Archived .mp4 on file at DeSmog.

March 5, 2022

In response to a tweet from Elon Musk calling for an increase in oil and gas output, Pierre Poilievre described Canadian oil and gas as “ethical and environmentally sound,” echoing the “ethical oil” arguments made popular by Ezra Levant.13Elon, it should be Canadian oil and gas—the most ethical and environmentally sound in the world.” Tweet by user “@PierrePoilievre,” March 5, 2022. Archived .png on file at DeSmog.

March 2, 2022

Conservative-Party-linked Canada Proud, a group promoting a message that Canada should accelerate fossil fuel production in response to the Russian war on Ukraine, re-posted one of Poilievre’s campaign ads on Facebook:

February 14, 2022

Poilievre appeared on the podcast Full Comment with Anthony Furey where he came out supporting Canadian truckers occupying Ottawa:

“I’m proud of the truckers and I stand with them,” Poilievre said.14“‘I’m proud of the truckers,’ says Poilievre in lambasting Justin Trudeau’s response to protests,” National Post, February 11, 2022. Archived March 17, 2022. Archive URL: https://archive.ph/MnY3z

“They have reached a breaking point after two years of massive government overreach of a prime minister who insults and degrades anyone who disagrees with his heavy-handed approach.

“But let’s be honest, if Canadians are being inconvenienced, or in any way suffering from these protests, it is because Justin Trudeau made these protests happen and his intransigence is keeping the protests going.”

He added: “[T]he vast majority of truckers and their supporters have been peaceful, law abiding, joyful, decent patriotic people, despite the dishonest propaganda of the liberal press gallery on Parliament Hill.”

Ezra Levant‘s Rebel News later interviewed “Freedom Convoy” protestors, and those interviewed supported Poilivre in his bit for Conservative Party leadership, with some calling him the “best option, most logical option.”15Pierre Poilievre hopes to be the new Conservative leader — and Freedom Convoy supporters rejoice,” Rebel News, February 8, 2022. Archived March 17, 2022. Archive URL: https://archive.ph/XgUqS

By comparison, in February 2020 Poilievre criticized blockades of certain rail routes in protest against the construction of the Coastal GasLink Pipeline through Wetʼsuwetʼen First Nation territory in British Columbia:

“These blockaders are taking away the freedom of other people to move their goods and themselves where they want to go and that is wrong and the government has laws and tools in place to combat it,” he said.

February 4, 2022

“I’m the only candidate for prime minister that will protect people’s paycheques and make life more affordable by cancelling the carbon tax,” Poilievre said in Regina, Saskatchewan, according to Global News.16Stephanie Taylor and Mickey Djuric. “Poilievre promises to kill carbon ‘tax’ as Conservatives weigh climate plans,” Global News, February 3, 2022. Archived March 17, 2022. Archive URL: https://archive.ph/ShnAk

May 29, 2009

Poilievre faced backlash after comments responding to Liberal Leader Michael Ignatieff’s decision to withdraw from his predecessor’s carbon tax policy.17Tory MP under fire for ‘tar baby’ comment,” CTV News, May 29, 2009. Archived March 17, 2022. Archive URL: https://archive.ph/qVGfQ

“On that side of the House, they have the man who fathered the carbon tax, put it up for adoption to his predecessor and now wants a paternity test to prove the tar baby was never his in the first place,” said Poilievre, who reportedly used the “tar baby” term again during question period.

Liberal MP Ralph Goodale raised the issue at the end of question period:

“In addition to being a pejorative term, which might well prove to be unparliamentary, the parliamentary secretary might consider that there are many authorities both in this country and many others that consider the term racist,” said Goodale.

Poilievre said he wasn’t aware that the term had racist connotations.

“I have worked hard to represent people of all backgrounds and I have always done so in a spirit of tolerance. My reference to the term ‘tar baby’ was a common reference that refers to issues that stick to one,” he said.

June 11, 2008

Poilievre faced criticism for a comment he made during a a radio interview which is no longer online, that was reproduced by Macleans as follows:

“That gets to the heart of the problem on these reserves where there is too much power concentrated in the hands of the leadership, and it makes you wonder where all of this money is going. We spend $10 billion dollars – $10 billion dollars – in annual spending this year alone…now, that is an exceptional amount of money, and that is on top of all the resource revenue that goes to reserves that sit on petroleum products or sit on uranium mines or other things where companies have to pay them royalties and that’s on top of all that money that they earn on their own reserves. That is an incredible amount of money. Now along with this apology comes another $4 billion in compensation for those who partook in the residential schools over those years. Now, you know, some of us are starting to ask, ‘Are we really getting value for all of this money, and is more money really going to solve the problem?’ My view is that we need to engender the values of hard work and independence and self reliance. That’s the solution in the long run – more money will not solve it.” 18Kady O’Malley. “Pierre Poilievre shows his empathy for residential school survivors,” Macleans, June 11, 2008. Archived March 17, 2022. Archive URL: https://archive.ph/sJ2FY

Poilievre apologized for the comment the next day in the House of Commonso:19Tory MP says sorry to natives for ‘hurtful’ remarks,CTV News, June 12, 2008. Archived March 17, 2022. Archive URL: https://archive.ph/6na6k

“Yesterday on a day when the House and all Canadians were celebrating a new beginning, I made remarks that were hurtful and wrong,” he said. “I accept responsibility for them and I apologize.”

February 2020

When protests against the construction of the Coastal GasLink Pipeline through Wetʼsuwetʼen First Nation territory in British Columbia caused certain rail routes to be shut down in February 2020, Poilievre opposed the blockades:

“These blockaders are taking away the freedom of other people to move their goods and themselves where they want to go and that is wrong and the government has laws and tools in place to combat it,” he said.

Key Actions

March 11, 2022

Poilievre appeared on a True North program, The Andrew Lawton Show, to discuss his campaign to be the next leader of Canada’s Conservative Party.20Pierre Poilievre says he’s running on cost of living and freedom,” YouTube video uploaded by user “True North,” March 11, 2022. Archived .mp4 on file at DeSmog.

True North paid to advertise the program on Facebook with copy that read: “If he’s elected Prime Minister, Pierre Poilievre says he will defund the CBC.”

March 7, 2022

True North, a conservative media platform of the True North Centre for Public Policy, a public policy think tank,21About True North,” True North. Archived March 17, 2022. Archive URL: https://archive.ph/RpEV4 reported that Polievre wrote a letter to Justin Trudeau calling for the end of COVID-19 public health mandates in Canada.22Andrew Lawton. “Poilievre urges Trudeau, ‘give people back control of their lives’,” True North, March 7, 2022. Archived March 18, 2022. Archive URL: https://archive.ph/W5AML

“Do not allow your spite towards the trucker protest to stand in the way of doing the right thing,” Poilievre writes. “This is not about saving face. Your pride and ego come after the public interest. Prime Minister, the power trip is over.”

March 3, 2022

Pierre Poilievre promised to scrap the carbon tax if he were to become prime minister, as promoted by True North, a publication of the True North Centre for Public Policy.23Cosmin Dzsurdzsa. “Poilievre to scrap carbon tax if elected prime minister,True North, March 3, 2022. Archived March 7, 2022. Archive URL: https://archive.ph/tQBUx

“I believe we should leave more money in the pockets of Canadians. I also believe that fighting climate change is about technology, not taxes, results and not revenue. That’s why my government would introduce plans that would incentivize carbon reducing technologies,” Poilievre said.

Canadian Taxpayers Federation federal director Franzo Terrazzano praised Poilievre’s position. “It’s good to see Poilievre show leadership, stick up for taxpayers and commit to fight the carbon tax. Ottawa is making these tough times tougher by hiking the carbon tax during a pandemic, while Canadians suffer with pay cuts and job losses,” Terrazzano said.

Poilievre also created a petition to scrap the carbon tax:

March 1, 2022

Poilievre wrote an article in the Post Millennial claiming “Canadian natural gas is the solution to Europe’s Russian energy crisis.”24Pierre Poilievre. “Canadian natural gas is the solution to Europe’s Russian energy crisis,” Post Millennial, March 1, 2022. Archive URL: https://archive.ph/ydgG8

“Every time Trudeau kills a Canadian energy project, dictators like Putin in Russia or Maduro in Venezuela do a victory dance—because they get to sell more of their energy when we sell less,” Poilievre wrote. “One of Trudeau’s worst laws, Bill C-69, makes it almost impossible to ever get a pipeline approved.”

If elected prime minister, Poilievre stated he would “scrap Trudeau’s anti-energy laws,” and “replace them with rules that truly protect the environment, consult First Nations, and give quick decisions on proposed energy projects,” and also “require regulators to fast-track decisions on projects like LNG Newfoundland and Labrador that protect international security.”

“Simply put: my government will remove the bureaucratic gatekeepers, so our workers can earn paychecks and our energy can power our allies against tyranny.”

The Post Millennial has faced criticism for publishing false stories,25Mikael Thalen. “High school falsely accused by conservative outlet of forcing unvaccinated teens to wear ankle monitors,” Daily Dot, August 25, 2021. COVID-19 disinformation,26Robert Evans. “How Coronavirus Disinformation Gets Past Social Media Moderators,” Bellingcat, April 3, 2020. and for its lack of transparency.27Jeff Yates. “Canadian news site The Post Millennial blurs line between journalism and conservative ‘pamphleteering’ Social Sharing,” CBC News, June 27, 2019.

May 2021

Former Bank of Canada governor Mark Carney, the head of impact investing at Brookfield Asset Management Inc., was reportedly “aggressively hounded by Pierre Poilievre” during a Canadian parliamentary hearing on a transition to a low-carbon economy. Poilievre reportedly accused him of “hypocritical window dressing.” 28Brookfield’s Carney Is Hounded by Trudeau Critic at Green Economy Hearing,” Bloomberg, May 27, 2021. Archive URL: https://archive.ph/a8cJU

January 11, 2022

Facing criticism from a Liberal MP for retweeting Jordan B. Peterson on social media, Poilievre responded by saying that “There’s more brainpower in Dr. Peterson’s pinky finger than in all the bobbleheads of your Liberal caucus combined,”29Roberto Wakerell-Cruz. “Poilievre ATTACKED by Liberal MP for retweeting Dr. Jordan Peterson,” Post Millennial, January 11, 2022. Archived March 18, 2022. Archive URL: https://archive.ph/SxZDJ according to the right-wing Post Millennial.

“Poilievre has been publicly supporting Dr. Peterson as of late,” the Post Millennial reported,30Roberto Wakerell-Cruz. “Poilievre ATTACKED by Liberal MP for retweeting Dr. Jordan Peterson,” Post Millennial, January 11, 2022. Archived March 18, 2022. Archive URL: https://archive.ph/SxZDJ noting that Peterson had called Poilievre a “Canadian politician who appears both courageous and articulate” on Twitter:

March 26, 2021

Poilievre demanded an apology31Poilievre demands apology after pro-energy group slandered as white supremacists,” True North Wire, March 26, 2021. Archived March 17, 2022. Archive URL:https://archive.ph/35Qk7 after he was accused of wearing a “white supremacy symbol” in the logo for pro-oil group Oilsands Strong, reported the Conservative online publication of True North, a division of the True North Centre for Public Policy, a public policy think tank.32About True North,” True North. Archived March 17, 2022. Archive URL: https://archive.ph/RpEV4

“A Liberal Party tweet slandered this multicultural group founded by this Métis man to champion diversity in the energy sector. The tweet disparaged Fort Mac & falsely alleged racism.Trudeau & Local Liberal, Chris Rodgers must apologize to these workers for this appalling lie,” Poilievre tweeted in response.

November 18, 2020

Poilievre’s website hosted a petition to oppose a “reset” by the World Economic Forum. He also linked to it from Twitter:33RESET-World Economic Forum’s report[…]” Twitter post by user “@PierrePoilievre”, November 18, 2020. Archived .png on file at DeSmog.

The Great Reset was the title of the World Economic Forum’s Virtual meeting in June 2020. The event sparked popular conspiracy theories. 34What is the Great Reset – and how did it get hijacked by conspiracy theories?BBC News, June 24, 2021.

“Among the most popular posts are baseless statements that the Great Reset is a strategic part of a grand conspiracy by the global elite, who somehow planned and managed the Covid-19 pandemic,” BBC News reported. “In this narrative, lockdown restrictions were introduced not to curb the spread of the virus, but to deliberately bring about economic collapse and a socialist world government, albeit run for the benefit of powerful capitalists.”

Outside of these conspiracies, “Conservative political figures and media outlets accuse the organisation of pushing for environmental policies that would hurt the economy,” BBC noted.

February 19, 2019

Pierre Poilievre can be seen in the background of a video where Andrew Scheer welcomed the “United We Roll” convoy / Yellow Vest Movement at a protest on Parliament Hill.

“We’re fighting for you. We’re standing with you,” Andrew Scheer said in speech to the crowd. “We believe in you. We celebrate what you’ve done to build this country.”

Poilievre can be seen nodding and clapping during Scheer’s comments, including his promise to remove the carbon tax.

View video below via Facebook.

The Canadian Anti-Hate Network issued a press release on February 14, 2019 criticizing the Yellow Vests Canada (YVC) convoy, also known as United We Roll:35 (Press Release). “Important context about the Yellow Vests Canada (YVC) convoy, aka ‘United We Roll’,AntiHate.ca, February 15, 2019. Archived March 17, 2022. Archive URL: https://archive.ph/QmiPF

“The organizers of the convoy express support for anti-Muslim hate groups including Canadian Combat Coalition, Soldiers of Odin, and Worldwide Coalition Against Islam,” stated the group.

“The rebrand from a Yellow Vests Convoy to ‘United We Roll’ is diverting attention from the overt racism and death threats that have come to characterize the Yellow Vests Canada movement. We, Yellow Vests Canada Exposed and Anti-Racist Canada have documented hundreds of examples.”

[…]

“The Yellow Vests movement has been entirely co-opted by the far-right including most extreme anti-Muslim groups in Canada. Their rallies are attended by neo-Nazis like Paul Fromm and Brian Ruhe. Faith Goldy, a self-proclaimed propagandist for the alt-right neo-Nazi movement, spoke at the first Toronto rally and promotes the convoy on Twitter.”

The release concludes: “Yellow Vests Canada represents a public safety threat, according to a briefing note authored by the Canadian Association for Security & Intelligence Studies”

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