QUEBEC CITY—During the Conservative Party of Canada’s national convention in Quebec City on Sept. 8, Conservative Leader Pierre Poilievre addressed around 3,000 supporters, painting a picture of the problems he sees with Canada under the current government and how he plans to fix them. He emphasized that Canada used to be a place where hard work could lead to success and improved prospects for future generations, but claimed that Prime Minister Justin Trudeau had broken that promise.
Poilievre’s speech was introduced by his wife, Anaida Poilievre, who grew up in Montreal. She spoke in French, highlighting her family’s immigration story and expressing gratitude for the warm welcome they received in Quebec.
Poilievre began his speech in French before transitioning seamlessly between condemning the Liberals and the NDP in English, and substituting the Bloc Québécois for the NDP when speaking in French.
In his speech, Poilievre discussed the struggles faced by Canadians under the current government, such as rising rents and the need for multiple jobs to make ends meet. He also outlined his plans for addressing these issues.
First, he promised to remove the carbon tax, which he argued was driving up food costs due to increased transportation expenses. He also advocated for a “dollar-for-dollar” law that would hold the government accountable for staying within its means and avoid inflation caused by excessive money printing.
Additionally, Poilievre pledged to shut down the Canada Infrastructure Bank (CIB), citing concerns about its efficiency. He also promised to remove Canada’s commitment to the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank, which he criticized as being controlled by communist China.
Regarding housing, Poilievre proposed implementing a new formula that would tie infrastructure funding for cities to the number of houses they allow to be built. He also expressed support for a foreign agent registration act and removing Beijing’s unofficial police stations.
The Conservative convention, which began on Sept. 7 and will end on Sept. 9, involves party delegates voting on constitutional amendments, policy resolutions, and representatives for the party’s National Council. The party hopes to win more support in Quebec, where it currently trails behind the Liberals and the Bloc Québécois.
According to recent polls, the CPC enjoys a 10 percent lead over the Liberals nationwide, with Poilievre being favored as prime minister over Trudeau by a 2-to-1 margin. However, the Liberals are seen as the more favorable choice in Quebec, making it a target for the Conservatives.
The presence of the convention in Quebec City is part of the party’s strategy to improve its standing in the province. Quebec Conservative Leader Eric Duhaime believes that the party’s clearer policies and dynamic leader will help win over Quebec voters. He pointed to the success of his own provincial party, which gained a significant increase in popular votes in the 2022 Quebec election.
Duhaime acknowledged that gaining support takes time, but remains optimistic about the party’s growth.