Conservative Leader Pierre Poilievre held a news conference during his visit to Vancouver, addressing various pressing issues in Canada. Poilievre began by expressing concern about recent anti-Semitic incidents in the country, particularly the gunfire at two Jewish schools in Montreal amid the ongoing conflict between Israel and Hamas. He emphasized the need for unity and called for the protection of all Canadians, condemning violence and terrorism.
Moving on to domestic matters, Poilievre announced that the Conservative Party is launching a campaign advocating for senators to support a private member’s bill, C-234. The bill, introduced by Conservative MP Ben Lobb in February 2023, is currently at the third reading in the Senate. C-234 focuses on providing carbon-price relief for farmers, aiming to alleviate the tax burden on agricultural activities.
Poilievre criticized the current government’s approach, attributing the overpriced housing market in Canada to policies implemented during the eight years of Justin Trudeau’s leadership. He highlighted the impact of Trudeau’s proposed solution, which involves quadrupling the carbon tax in collaboration with the NDP. According to Poilievre, this approach would lead to increased prices for gas, heating, and groceries, affecting consumers across the board.
To counter this, Poilievre championed Bill C-234, which aims to remove taxes on farmers, specifically addressing the carbon tax applied to heating barns and drying grains. He argued that these taxes increase the cost of food production and result in the outsourcing of food production to foreign countries. Poilievre framed the bill as a common-sense solution that has already passed the House of Commons and is making progress in the Senate.
The Conservative leader criticized Trudeau’s stance on the carbon tax and highlighted the potential cabinet resignations if Bill C-234 passes. Poilievre urged Canadians to pressure liberal senators to allow the bill’s passage, emphasizing the importance of removing taxes on food, especially in the context of increased reliance on food banks and struggles with affordability.
Addressing concerns about rising crime rates and the justice system, Poilievre criticized Trudeau’s approach, claiming that the current system allows dangerous offenders to be released repeatedly. He called for a conservative government that would prioritize keeping repeat violent offenders behind bars to ensure the safety of Canadians.
Responding to a question about proposed legislation regarding the use of replacement workers during strikes or lockouts, Poilievre stated that the Conservatives would study the legislation before taking a position. He acknowledged the increase in strikes due to inflation and expressed support for workers fighting for pay hikes, promising a common-sense conservative government would address these issues by axing the carbon tax and reducing taxes for Canadians.
The news conference covered a range of topics, including housing affordability, the effectiveness of real estate speculation taxes and foreign buyers bans, and the role of the federal government in helping provinces connect their power grids. Poilievre outlined his party’s plans to cap spending, cut waste, and incentivize green projects to reduce emissions and lower energy costs.
Poilievre underscored the country’s potential for diverse energy sources, emphasizing the significant hydroelectric potential in provinces like Quebec and Manitoba. He also pointed out the abundance of uranium in Saskatchewan, suggesting it as a valuable resource for nuclear power. Furthermore, Poilievre mentioned the potential utilization of tidal power, presenting it as a viable option for emissions-free electricity off Canada’s shores.
In his address, Poilievre committed to streamlining the approval processes for energy projects, particularly focusing on hydroelectric dams and nuclear power initiatives. He criticized the existing double approval process for hydroelectric dams, pledging to expedite the process if provinces already maintain high environmental standards.
Expressing strong support for nuclear power, Poilievre spoke of both large-scale, can-do reactors and small modular nuclear reactors. He emphasized the need to accelerate the approval process for nuclear projects, referencing a memorandum of understanding with provinces such as Alberta, Saskatchewan, Ontario, and New Brunswick for the deployment of small modular reactors.
Poilievre’s remarks centered on the overarching goal of reducing carbon emissions in the energy sector. He highlighted the importance of base load emissions-free electricity, identifying nuclear and hydro as primary sources. The Conservative Leader advocated for a streamlined approval process to support green projects and environmentally responsible initiatives, with a particular emphasis on ensuring base load continuous emissions-free electricity.
Conservative Leader also addressed the issue of terrorism, expressing strong views on the matter. He called for a united front against terrorism and emphasized the need for Canadians to respect each other’s freedom of expression while condemning violence. Poilievre specifically condemned anti-Semitic incidents and acts of terrorism in Canada.
He called for tangible actions by the government to protect against terrorism, stating that anti-Semitism is an age-old evil that must be spoken out against daily. Poilievre went further, calling for the immediate ban of terrorist organizations in Canada and expressing concern about the alleged involvement of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), the Iranian government’s terrorist arm, in inciting terrorism on Canadian soil.
The news conference concluded with Poilievre fielding questions from various media outlets, providing insights into the Conservative Party’s positions on key issues facing the country.