| Pierre Poilievre has been chosen as the next leader of the Conservative Party of Canada.|
Pierre Poilievre has been chosen as the next leader of the Conservative Party of Canada.
The veteran Conservative was the clear choice in a first ballot victory, claiming 68.15 per cent of the electoral points among more than 400,000 votes cast by the party’s membership following a seven month race.
Poilievre is the first to win the leadership on a first ballot since Stephen Harper won in 2004 in the party’s first leadership race, and he becomes the party’s third leader in the last six years.
The announcement was made before more than 1,000 party faithful who gathered in downtown Ottawa under a more sombre atmosphere than initially planned, in reflection of the country’s mourning after the death of the Queen on Thursday.
Poilievre replaces former leader Erin O’Toole, who was voted out by his caucus in early February, triggering the current race. O’Toole himself appeared by video to deliver thanks and emphasized to the crowd the importance of unity in the party. He said he was honoured to lead, but for “too short” of a time.
Poilievre, who ran a populist campaign around the theme of “freedom,” will now face the task of uniting the party behind him as Conservatives look return the party to government after being shut out by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s Liberals for the past three elections.
Throughout the race Poilievre attracted crowds by the thousands with his stances against inflation, COVID-19 vaccine mandates and all things Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.
Who is Pierre Poilievre
At 43, Poilievre was first elected in 2004 as one the youngest MPs in the House of Commons, where he represents the Ottawa-area riding now called Carleton.
He entered the leadership contest beloved by many of the party’s grassroots and revered as one of the party’s highest-profile MPs and most effective performers in Parliament.
The MP rose to prominence after the Conservatives defeated the Liberals in 2006. In 2008, Harper named him to serve as his parliamentary secretary and it was through that role the young Poilievre earned his reputation as being an attack dog whose style irked critics as being overly aggressive and, at times, immature.
In 2013, Poilievre was appointed to serve as democratic reform minister. In that government’s dying days of 2015 before it fell to the Liberals, he briefly served as employment minister.
Poilievre is married with two young kids. His wife Anaida, whom he wed in 2017, works on Parliament Hill as a political staffer.
Before he was elected as an MP, he grew up running in Conservative circles, coming to Ottawa in 2002 as a political staffer for former Canadian Alliance leader Stockwell Day and grew up campaigning for the likes of leaders such as Jason Kenney.
Poilievre was raised in Calgary and was adopted by his parents. He has said the reason he became interested in politics is because of an injury that left him unable to keep playing competitive sports as a teen.
In the years since the Conservatives lost power, Poilievre served as the party’s finance critic, honing his economic messages against government spending and deficits, which he delivered more loudly once the COVID-19 pandemic hit and inflation surged.
Leadership ambitions had been on Poilievre’s mind for at least a couple of years.
He considered running the last time the party was picking a leader in 2020, but ultimately decided against it just days before his campaign was supposed to launch.
The Canadian Press 9/10/2022