What to expect from Pierre Poilievre


When Parliament resumes, Canadians will be able to see newly appointed Conservative leader Pierre Poilievre take on Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.

In this episode of the Editor’s Edition, Public Policy Forum’s Sean Speer and Yahoo Finance Canada’s Alicja Siekierska discuss what to expect from the new opposition leader in the House of Commons. Speer says many are used to Poilievre playing a “prosecutorial role” in Parliament, but Poilievre’s next challenge will be to build on his support base and try to reach new and different voters.

“I think it would be in Mr. Poilievre’s interest to continue on that path and to go beyond the kind of fighting personality that I think a lot of people associate with him,” Speer said.

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video transcript

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Sean Spear: He will do what he has been doing for some time, which is almost a prosecutor’s role in Parliament. You know, viewers familiar with Poilievre will know that he likes to confuse it with the Prime Minister in Parliament.

And you know that in many ways his kind of personal profile, which would be higher than that of most national politicians, stems in large part from his kind of combative approach to Parliament. And I don’t think that’s going to change anytime soon.

what could change a little [? Alicia, ?] is Poilievre’s message and orientation. He gained leadership by being practically who he was for most of his career, which is a pretty down-to-earth Conservative politician by some margin. And you know, that resonated with the core conservative voters.

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Mr Poilievre’s challenge now will be to build on the extraordinary base of support he has within the Conservative Party. And try to reach new and different voters who will ultimately decide if he becomes the next prime minister.

And in that sense [? Alicia, ?] I think his speech at the party conference on the evening of the leadership and then his speech a few days later to the parliamentary group where he really carried a message of social mobility that is somehow rooted in his own life experience.

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This is someone who was adopted by a teenage mother. And you know, within a single generation, he’s now the official leader of the opposition and ready to possibly become prime minister of a G7 country. I think it’s a strong message. One that would resonate with a lot of people and would represent a kind of slightly different tone and focus than what people are used to.

So I think it would be in Mr. Poilievre’s interest to continue on that path and go beyond the kind of combative personality that I think a lot of people associate with him.

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