Pierre Poilievre: he’s just not ready

His refusal to act as a leader should concern us

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cartoon of Pierre Poilievre
ILLUSTRATION: Alyssa Umbal / The Peak

By: Kaja Antic, Staff Writer

There’s still a significant amount of time before the next Canadian federal election in October 2025. However, conversations surrounding the nation’s future leadership have been heating up, specifically since the Conservative Party of Canada elected member of parliament Pierre Poilievre as their party leader in September 2022. With polls showing growing affinity for the Conservatives across the country, the ability of its party leader should be called into question. Next year’s election will have major implications for the future of climate action and 2SLGBTQIA+ rights. Preventing a Conservative majority government should be a priority for everyone capable of voting.

Poilievre has made national headlines throughout his term as official Opposition leader, with the most recent incident being his ejection from the House of Commons after calling Liberal Prime Minister Justin Trudeau a “wacko” during the question period on April 30. His propensity for playground insults outweighs any dedication to actual policy that benefits Canadians — which should make the population wonder if he is fit for any form of leadership at all. The Liberal Party is certainly not perfect. Trudeau’s term as Prime Minister has seen numerous flaws and scandals, yet Poilievre treats the potential of a national leadership position as if he’s a grade four student running for class president. He gets support across the nation as he feeds into their often bigoted and discriminatory “anti-wokeness” agendas, while leaning into Canadian patriotism that has had harmful ramifications for decades. But it’s not just his love for buzzwords that’s concerning; anyone who values concrete policies should take note of just how little Poilievre has promised to do for the country.

Despite his enthusiasm, Poilievre lacks effective policy plans regarding urgent concerns like climate change. He once commented that “Canada can do nothing by itself to solve” climate change “if greenhouse gases are a problem” — note the “if.” While the rest of the world rallies for solutions to one of humanity’s most pressing issues, the Conservative party shows no interest in even attempting to distance Canada from oil and gas. If you care about climate change at all, you should be wary of a leader that’s shown nothing but contempt for climate policies.

As the election season draws closer in Canada, it’s important to recognize we don’t need a career political whiner as the country’s leader for years to come. 

Poilievre also caters to the reactionary conservative market, a sector increasingly gaining popularity across the country. During his campaign for Conservative leadership, he took a stance against the World Economic Forum (WEF), adhering to the largely-debunked “Great Reset” conspiracy theory, which claims the WEF is creating various levels of social order — including “orchestrating the COVID-19 pandemic.” While the WEF has claimed it wants to use the pandemic as a starting point for creating a “more equitable capitalism,” conspiracists have taken this as an opportunity to target climate action and vaccines. His constant catering to right-wing reactionaries shows how little he cares about Canada as a whole — and how weak his policies actually are.

Poilievre has also been an open critic of 2SLGBTQIA+ activism and school inclusion. He wished Canada’s 2SLGBTQIA+ community a happy pride month last year, yet claims trans-inclusive measures in schools are imposing “radical gender ideology” and says trans women should be excluded from so-called “female spaces.” It’s time we move past transphobia and recognize that peer-reviewed literature has supported inclusive healthcare and education for decades. While his party approves policies looking to restrict gender-affirming healthcare, he claims the Prime Minister is trying to distract Canadians from the failings of the Liberal Party such as the housing crisis — a crisis the Conservatives have no concrete solution for, aside from unsurprisingly blaming Trudeau. Meanwhile, the Liberal Party has at least proposed new investments in affordable housing and increased residential property GST rebates. 

As the election season draws closer in Canada, it’s important to recognize we don’t need a career political whiner as the country’s leader for years to come. Whenever you may think a Poilievre headline seems well thought out, remember the petulant child blaming everything on his opponent, and feeding the mouths of far-right extremists. Do you really want someone who emboldens conspiracy theorists and shrugs off climate change running the country? Pierre Poilievre is just not ready to face any significant responsibility. If he can’t even alter his language slightly to adhere to parliamentary policy, what damage could he do as Canada’s leader? A recent poll has shown the Conservatives are in the lead at 41%, and might win if a vote were held today. Whether you consider yourself political or not, know that your vote matters. We need a leader who will fight for all Canadians, not just radical extremists.

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