The presumptive next leader of the Conservative Party of Canada rallied his supporters with a speech today in Nanaimo.
Leadership campaign frontrunner Pierre Poilievre hosted a meeting on Sunday, August 28 at the Vancouver Island Conference Centre.
The MP promised people “smaller government and bigger citizens” and concluded his speech by speaking of a desire to fight for freedom rather than fight for control. He said if he became Tory leader and then prime minister he would oppose the ‘gatekeepers’ who try to control what people see and what people say.
“These awakened warriors want to control what others say. They are always talking about new ways to divide us,” Poilievre said.
He said a Conservative government would repeal changes to the Broadcasting Act he called the “censorship law” and require every university receiving federal research grants to pledge to uphold the rights relating to freedom of expression for students and teachers.
He promised to cut funding for Radio-Canada and received a standing ovation when he announced that he would ban all Conservative ministers from participating in the World Economic Forum.
“If any of my ministers want to go to this big, fancy billionaire conference with the World Economic Forum in Davos, they better go one way because they won’t be coming back to 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 tie federal funds for city infrastructure to the number of housing units those cities allow. He also said that each federally funded transit station would come with pre-approval for housing and that “underutilized” federal buildings would be sold for conversion into affordable housing.
Poilievre said the Liberal government’s “inflationary deficits” mean there’s more money for fewer goods, driving up costs. He discussed some of his plans to limit government spending, including a “payback 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 them when I am prime minister,” he said. “You’ve pinched your pennies long enough.”
Poilievre has another meetup scheduled for Sunday evening August 28 at the Mary Winspear Center in Sidney, and another event on Monday August 29 at the Italian Cultural Center in Vancouver.
The Conservatives will announce their next leader on September 10. The other candidates are Jean Charest, Leslyn Lewis, Scott Aitchison and Roman Baber.