Former Canadian prime minister Stephen Harper extended congratulations to Conservative Leader Pierre Poilievre following a successful three-day national party convention that began on Sept. 7.
“Hope is what Canadians need now more than ever. Hope is something that you feel, but it’s hard to picture it. So let me paint a picture for you,” said Mr. Poilievre.
He said hope is “students laughing walking down safe streets to class,” and “the distant drumming of hammers driving nails through Canadian lumber and to [build] yet another beautiful new Canadian home.”
Mr. Poilievre said hope is “shopkeepers sweeping clean storefronts at the end of another day,” “seniors heading home with a carful of groceries” and money to spare, and kids asking for 10 more minutes of street hockey before bed.
“And then quiet. And the young couple sits on their front porch, soaking in the summer warmth, a Canadian flag hanging gently but proudly from the front of their house. With a cold drink in one hand and a paycheque in the other,” Mr. Poilievre continued.
“They look into each other’s eyes, in a way that can only say, ‘The hard work paid off. The sacrifices were worth it. Because, finally, we’re home.’”
Mr. Poilievre responded to the former prime minister with a social media post on Sept. 10 that said, “Thank you Prime Minister Harper for leaving Canada with low inflation and even lower taxes.”
His speech focused on restoring a country plagued by high cost of living, inflation, and housing and affordability issues. His promises included expediting credentials for skilled immigrants, offering cities incentives to build more homes, and supporting natural resources.
Mr. Poilievre also vowed to scrap ArriveCan, the mandatory COVID-19 traveller vaccine registration program implemented for a period of time during the COVID pandemic.
“A common-sense Conservative government that frees hardworking people to earn powerful paycheques that buy affordable food, gas, and homes in safe communities,” or “Trudeau’s costly coalition,” said Mr. Poilievre, comparing a Tory government with the coalition between the NDP and the Liberals under Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.
The crowd broke out in applause when Mr. Poilievre said he would “axe the tax,” specifically the Trudeau government’s carbon tax, and defund the CBC.