Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has pledged to run for prime minister again and fired shots at conservative opposition leader Pierre Poilievre — to which Poilievre has responded.
Trudeau gave a 30-minute keynote speech, addressing delegates on the first day of the Liberal Party of Canada’s national convention in Ottawa, on Thursday
This was the Liberals’ first in-person convention since 2018.
“We care about equality. We care about reconciliation. We care about justice. It has never been more clear that everything is interwoven,” Trudeau began. “But again, conservative politicians just don’t get that. They don’t connect the dots. They either say investing in Canadians is a waste of money or that our policies are ‘too woke.’ Too ‘woke?’ Hey, Pierre Poilievre, it’s time for you to wake up.”
The liberal crowd at the convention broke out in resounding cheers and applause.
“Wake up to the fact that a gender balance cabinet is a good thing and that women fully participating in the workforce is a good thing — not something to snub when he gets a shoutout from the president of the US in our House of Commons,” said Trudeau in the impassioned speech.
This was about US President Joe Biden congratulating the US and Canada on having 50% women in the cabinet in March for the first time in history. Most MPs stood up to applaud this, but some stayed put. Biden addressed this immediately, adding, “Even if you don’t agree, guys, I’d stand up.”
OMG — after Biden says “both of us have cabinets that are both 50 percent women for the first time in history,” he seems to address some Canadian men who weren’t applauding and says, “even if you don’t agree, guys, I’d stand up.” pic.twitter.com/ZNi1hkVO50
— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) March 24, 2023
Trudeau continued, “Wake up to the fact that under our government, fewer persons with disabilities are facing poverty, and in fact, Canada’s poverty rates have been cut in half since 2015. Wake up to the fact that more moms are building careers because we’ve made childcare more affordable. Wake up to the fact that more moms are building careers because we’ve made childcare more affordable.”
The prime minister said Canadians’ questions are “pretty far removed” from the ones he hears from the Conservative party. “Canadians want to talk about childcare and dental care. They want to talk about building a cleaner, better future.”
Trudeau called Poilievre and his party “brokenist” and accused them of wanting to tear things down.
“We want to provide dental care for families — [Poilievre] says no. We’re bringing an EV battery Gigafactory plant to Canada and creating thousands of jobs — he says no. We put a price on pollution while giving money back to families — he says no. We want to protect and promote our two official languages — he says no.”
Then, the prime minister moved on to defend CBC, which Poilievre has, several times in the past, proposed should be defunded.
Trudeau also took a potshot at Poilievre’s asking Elon Musk to label CBC’s Twitter account “government-funded,” which he did in a letter tweeted on April 11 this year.
We must protect Canadians against disinformation and manipulation by state media.
That is why I’m asking @Twitter @elonmusk to accurately label CBC as “government-funded media”.
It is a fact. And Canadians deserve the facts. pic.twitter.com/V1GRFHIcvz
— Pierre Poilievre (@PierrePoilievre) April 11, 2023
“Let’s be honest, it just doesn’t look very serious to have the leader of the official opposition exchanging memes with billionaires in the US to undermine Canadian independent institutions,” Trudeau said.
In a tweet on Friday morning, just hours after the convention, Poilievre said on Twitter, “Justin says I need to get woke. I say we need to bring home common sense.”
Justin says I need to get woke.
I say we need to Bring Home Common Sense. pic.twitter.com/ZHYQhYu1tp
— Pierre Poilievre (@PierrePoilievre) May 5, 2023
Attached to the tweet is a vlog-style video filmed by the Conservative Party of Canada (CPC) leader in a car.
“Justin, I hate to keep coming back at you with these videos. But you won’t debate me in person in the House of Commons. You keep running out the back door, skipping the debates altogether,” Poilievre argued.
“So this is my only chance. You do have words for me when I’m not around, like at your Liberal party convention where you criticize me for not being woke. You said that people need to wake up and accept your woke ways. Well, let’s define what your woke ways are,” he said.
“You believe that we should ban hunting rifles and legalize crack cocaine and heroin as you’ve done in partnership with BC’s NDP — that’s woke, and it’s not working.”
Poilievre is referring to Health Canada granting BC exemption from the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act. The regulation kicked in on January 31 this year and is valid until January 31, 2026.
“Under this exemption, adults (18 years and older) in BC are not arrested or charged for possessing small amounts of certain illegal drugs for personal use,” states the BC government’s official website.
These illegal drugs include opioids, crack and powder cocaine, methamphetamine, and MDMA. Adults found in personal possession of these drugs (adding up to 2.5 grams or less) will not be subject to criminal charges. The drugs won’t be seized either.
The provincial government has outlined its reasons for this move, stating, “Substance use is a public health issue, not a criminal one. Shame and fear of criminalization can drive people to use drugs alone, and using toxic drugs alone can be fatal. Decriminalization will help reduce stigma and encourage people who use drugs to seek lifesaving services and care.”
Then, Poilievre addressed the Liberals’ plan to increase the carbon tax and said it would result in higher heat and grocery bills.
“You burn jet fuel, travelling to at least five luxurious global index destinations and everyone else’s expense. That’s woke — it’s making everyone else broke,” he continued. “Because you’re woke, everyone else is broke. Because you’re out of touch, everyone else is out of money. I’m exactly the opposite,” he added.
Are you ready for another year of these political rap battles? Because it looks like they’re far from over.