Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and newly elected Conservative Party Leader Pierre Poilievre both met with their respective caucuses on Monday, and both had a few choice words for each other.
Poilievre challenged Trudeau to refrain from raising taxes and Trudeau criticizing Poilievre’s use of whistles and divisive rhetoric.
It has been two days since Poilieve sailed to victory in the first round to become leader of the Conservative party. He met with the Conservative national caucus on Monday morning, including MPs and senators, to deliver his inaugural speech as party leader.
Trudeau is currently in New Brunswick for a three-day retreat with the Liberal caucus before the House of Commons resumes sitting next week.
BUZZWORDS, DOGWHISTLES AND RESPONSIBLE LEADERSHIP
Speaking at the retreat, Trudeau first congratulated Poilievre on his victory before making pointed comments about Poilievre’s economic views.
“We have done everything we can to work with all parliamentarians, and we will continue to do so,” he said on Monday. “But that doesn’t mean we won’t launch highly questionable and irresponsible economic ideas. What Canadians need is responsible leadership.
He mentioned that Poilevre has previously championed cryptocurrency, which has suffered huge market losses over the past year, as a way for Canadians to avoid inflation.
“Telling people they can ‘opt out of inflation’ by investing their savings in volatile cryptocurrencies is not responsible leadership,” Trudeau said.
“When Conservative politicians say we should fight inflation with more pollution, this team will remind them that climate change is real and real people are being affected by the floods and wildfires it makes worse.”
Trudeau also denounced Poileivre’s “buzzwords, whistles and reckless attacks”, saying the Conservative leadership’s methods “are not a plan for Canadians”.
“Attacking the institutions that make our society fair, safe and free is not responsible leadership. Fighting vaccines that have saved millions of lives? That is not responsible leadership. saved jobs, businesses and families during the pandemic? That is not responsible leadership.
He also strongly rejected Poilievre’s framing of government spending, saying “it was the smart thing to do.”
“I’ve heard Mr. Poilievre talk about how much we’ve wasted on Canadians over the past two years. Let me be very clear. Being there for workers, for families, for seniors, for young people, for businesses, was the right thing to do. »
NO COMPROMISE, NO NEW TAX INCREASE
After entering the room to thunderous applause, Poilevre gave his first speech as party leader.
“Canadians are hurting and it’s our job to turn that pain into hope, and that’s my mission,” he said.
He also had some scathing words for Trudeau, listing a variety of tax increases as well as the national carbon price, which he said will lead to “higher grocery prices” and a greater burden on Canadians.
He said he was “dropping a challenge to Justin Trudeau today.”
“If you really understand the suffering of Canadians, Mr. Prime Minister, if you understand that people cannot fill up their cars with gas, feed their families or afford a house, if you really care, pledge today that there will be no new tax increases for workers and seniors. None.”
He criticized plans to raise the national carbon price, saying it “didn’t work”.
Toward the end of his speech, he reiterated his rejection of tax increases, rephrasing his remarks as “to the Prime Minister and his radical and enlightened coalition with the NDP.”
“Here is my pledge,” he said. “As Conservatives, we are always happy to work with any party to collaborate and expand and advance the interests of Canadians. We are. But there will be no compromise on this point: the Conservatives will not support any new tax hikes, and we will fight tooth and nail to prevent the coalition from introducing any.