Pierre Poilievre announces bid for Conservative Party leadership


Ottawa-area MP Pierre Poilievre has announced he will officially seek the leadership of the federal Conservative Party.

Conservative MP Pierre Poilievre, shown during question period in Ottawa, is entering the race to become leader of the party. (Adrian Wyld/The Canadian Press)

Ottawa-area MP Pierre Poilievre has announced he will officially seek the leadership of the federal Conservative Party.

Poilievre made the announcement in a video he shared via Twitter on Saturday evening that also takes aim at Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.

“Trudeau thinks he’s your boss. He’s got it backwards. You are the boss. That’s why I’m running for prime minister,” he said in the video.

Poilievre, 42, becomes the first candidate seeking to replace Erin O’Toole, who was voted out as leader earlier this week.

Born in Calgary, Poilievre has been MP for the Ottawa riding of Carleton since 2004, and held a number of cabinet positions under then Prime Minister Stephen Harper.

In his video, Poilievre criticizes the government’s spending, saying “they’re spending more than any time since World War II, so they control more of what you earn and you control less.”

Poilievre, who has served as the party’s finance critic, has frequently criticized the Liberals for policies he says have fuelled inflation, which reached a 30-year high in December.

Poilievre also makes a tacit reference to the ongoing protests over vaccine mandates and other public health measures that started in Ottawa last week, but have since spread to other cities, including Toronto and Quebec City.

“The Trudeau government has attacked small businesses, truckers and other hard-working Canadians,” Poilievre says in the video.

The protests originally started as a movement against the mandate for cross-border commercial drivers to be vaccinated, but has since grown into a wider protest against public health measures.

Poilievre is one of a number of Conservative politicians who have greeted the protesters in Ottawa in person, an issue that seems to have the party divided.

Already garnering endorsements

Poilievre gained a number of endorsements minutes after announcing his candidacy on Saturday.

In reply to his tweet, former cabinet minister John Baird got behind his onetime caucus colleague, writing that Poilievre “has the brains and the backbone and will make a great Prime Minister. I am beyond thrilled to endorse him!”

A number of MPs have also started to endorse Poilievre, including Ontario’s Melissa Lantsman, who was elected in the fall.

“No question — Pierre is the answer to a strong & united Conservative Party,” Lantsman said in a tweet.

Alberta MP John Barlow was also quick to back Poilievre.

“He understands the issues facing western Canadians,” Barlow said in a video posted on Twitter.

Here’s a list of MPs who have so far endorsed Poilievre:

  • Dan Albas.
  • Michael Barrett.
  • Barlow.
  • James Bezan.
  • Lantsman.
  • Philip Lawrence.
  • Jamie Schmale.
  • Jake Stewart.
  • Corey Tochor.
  • Bob Zimmer.

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