As the farmer who spreads manure over his fields, Canada’s federal opposition leader lays it on for his party’s right-wing supporters. It is why Pierre Poilievre would feel at home with the right-wing C.D. Howe Institute in Toronto. While there would be no doubt that Clarence Decatur Howe helped Canada’s Mackenzie-King liberals launch Trans-Canada Airlines (Air Canada) and get through the Second World War, the institute named after him caters to the business interests to whom the MIT trained Howe paid homage.
What was incongruous in Poilievre’s address to the institute recently was his posturing as a man of the people. He does not know those whom he pretends to hold dear. He might have left the business people in the audience in the dark about how he would do it, yet, he promised them a pared down government that would cut government spending.
He made it clear—to the delight of his audience—that he is on-side with free-market capitalism. He was, as usual, down on the economics of the Trudeau government. He told the audience, hopefully to some surprise, that life in Canada today is a “living hell for working class Canadians.” He forgot to point to the food industry people in the audience as part of the reason that the current demands on food banks were exceeding the food banks’ capabilities to satisfy.
It was surprising though that he made his usual spurious attack on the liberal government’s carbon tax. He accused the institute supporters who pay the tax of carelessly passing it on to the working class. Since the tax is not a tax in the usual sense of the word, it is returned in its entirety to the working class to provide them with some lessening of the pain of the prices effected. Poilievre promised the business people that he will quickly put an end to that nonsense, should he become prime minister.
He further told the business people that a government under his direction will put an emphasis on accelerating access to Canada’s mineral wealth. That is the same hollow promise you can hear in any party’s platform.
Copyright 2023 © Peter Lowry
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