Poilievre fires up ‘freedom’-loving people in Truro

Pierre Poilievre’s ability to draw large crowds isn’t restricted to western or central Canada.

Despite sunny skies and warm weather, the Conservative leadership candidate was able to attract several hundred supporters to an event at a Truro, N.S., hotel this morning.

The eastern Ontario MP, who is outpacing his opponents in both polling and fundraising, stuck to the same messaging he used during the recent English-language leadership debate.

He spoke early and often about “freedom” — how, in his view, it’s been stolen from Canadians by a sinister and conniving Trudeau government; and how, among Conservative leadership hopefuls, he’s the only one who can restore it.

Poilievre also discussed pocketbook issues, housing affordability, energy independence, and his well-documented and completely irrational desire to “fire” the governor of the Bank of Canada.

The soundbites flew fast and furious over the course of his 35-minute speech.

“We don’t need bigger government,” he said about federal spending. “We need bigger paycheques.”

On inflation — or, as he called it, “Justinflation” — the leadership candidate quipped: “This is a transfer from the have-nots to the have-yachts.”

Simplistic slogans like these may not solve the country’s problems, but they’re clearly popular with Poilievre’s supporters.

And so, throughout his remarks, he focused his attention on what he’d like to dismantle rather than on what he hopes to build.

This willingness to be an enthusiastic and unapologetic disruptor went over well in Truro and may be precisely why he’s gaining so many converts.

Indeed, the loudest cheers came when Poilievre promised to take a wrecking ball to the CBC, the Canada Infrastructure Bank, and the proposed Online Streaming Act.

Among those in attendance at the event were former Mulroney cabinet minister Elmer MacKay, father of 2020 Conservative leadership runner-up Peter MacKay.

“I just met up with Peter this morning,” Poilievre said. “We had a coffee together and he’s doing very well.”

Also on hand were local Conservative MP Stephen Ellis, who introduced and officially endorsed Poilievre, as well as former Tory MP Scott Armstrong, independent MLA Elizabeth Smith-McCrossin, and several other right-leaning political figures from the area.

Poilievre’s visit to Truro was part of a four-stop swing through Nova Scotia. Two of his top leadership rivals — Jean Charest and Leslyn Lewis — drew substantially smaller crowds at events in metro Halifax last month.

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