The Conservative Party of Canada is presently crushing Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s Liberals in the polls. The Liberal Party’s celebration last month of a veteran Waffen-SS Nazi in Parliament likely didn’t help.
Facing the prospect of a dramatic sea change, it appears some within the northern nation’s left-leaning state-subsidized media are eager to paint ascendant CPC leader Pierre Poilievre as a Trumpist figure. Poilievre has once again demonstrated that reporters are going to have to up their game if they’re to land a punch ahead of the 2025 election.
The Conservative leader spoke last week to Don Urquhart of the Times Chronicle in the Town of Oliver, British Columbia, after first meeting with fruit growers from the area. He discussed some of the ways he’d eliminate bureaucratic red tape and statist obstacles to a better life for Canadians, apple farmers included.
“We’re no longer going to accept that this or that gatekeeping bureaucracy stands in the way of obvious common-sense solutions,” said Poilievre. “And when people come to me, say, ‘Yeah, but this or that clerk or bureaucracy is not going to be happy.’ That’s life, right? There’s going to be a lot of vested interests and bureaucracies that are gonna be very unhappy when I’m prime minister.”
At one stage in the interview, the reporter attempted to play on a thematic groove routinely deepened by Canadian state media and Toronto’s union paper, saying, “In terms of your sort of strategy, currently, you’re obviously taking the populist pathway.”
Between chomps from his apple, Poilievre asked, “What does that mean?”
Urquhart laughed nervously, then responded, “Well, appealing to people’s more emotional levels, I would guess. I mean, certainly … you tap very strong ideological language quite frequently.”
“Like what?” asked Poilievre, apparently keen not to deal in abstractions.
“The left wing, you know, this and that, right wing. … That type,” said Urquhart.
“I haven’t really talked about left or right. I don’t really believe in that,” said Poilievre.
Urquhart remained committed to conveying the essence of his accusation: “Anyways … a lot of people would say that you’re simply taking a page out of the Donald Trump book.”
“Right, like which people would say that?” said the conservative.
“Well, I’m sure a great many Canadians, but …”
“Like who?” Poilievre said again.
“I don’t know who. … I’m sure there’s some out there,” said Urquhart. “But anyways, the point of this, the point of this question is, I mean, why should Canadians trust you with their vote given not just the sort of ideological inclination in terms of taking the page out of Donald Trump’s book —”
“What are you talking about? What page?” asked Poilievre. “Give me the page.”
“In terms of turning things quite dramatically in terms of Trudeau and the left wing and all of this, I mean. You make quite a, you know, it’s quite a play that you make on it,” continued Urquhart.
Poilievre, finished both with his apple and Urquhart’s tortured attempt at calling to mind a parallel to former President Donald Trump, responded, “I don’t know what your question is.”
The reporter managed to find the right words when later writing up the interview: “When asked why Canadians should trust him with their votes given his demonstrable track record of flip-flopping on key issues and what some consider his use of polarizing ideologically-infused rhetoric suggesting he simply takes pages out of the Donald Trump populist playbook, Poilievre became acerbic.”
The leader of the CPC ultimately told Urquhart that Canadians should trust him with their votes because of “common sense. … We’re going to make common sense common in this country. We don’t have any common sense in the current government.”
“I’m going to cut spending, cut waste so that we can balance the budget and bring down inflation and interest rates. If you want to be able to pay your mortgage again, if you want to be able to afford rent, then you have to vote for [Pierre Poilievre], because I’m the only one with a common-sense plan that will bring back the buying power of your paycheck,” added the conservative.
Pierre Poilievre gives a masterclass on how to handle a left-wing journalist. And he eats an apple while he’s doing it. pic.twitter.com/SX81lvQOAN
— Ian Miles Cheong (@stillgray) October 17, 2023
A September Ipsos poll showed the Conservatives leading the Liberals 39% to 30%, reported Reuters. 60% of Canadians polled want Trudeau to step down.
Angus Reid Institute polling put the Conservatives at 39% and the Liberals at 27% — enough for Poilievre’s party to form a majority government come the next election.
Darrell Bricker, CEO of Ipsos Public Affairs, said, “Pierre Poilievre is doing an amazing job of selling himself to Canadians. … [L]ike there’s Poilievre mania. It’s really just a desire for change.”