Canadians' anger towards Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is the fault of Pierre Poilievre, who needs to be held accountable, according to Globe and Mail columnist Gary Mason's most recent work.
In his column, Mason argues that he can't remember a politician that has inspired as much "visible vitriol" as Trudeau, noting that the prime minister had 59 threats made against him during the 40-day federal election in 2019 when Andrew Scheer was Tory leader. In 2021, he notes that Trudeau had small rocks thrown at him at an event in Middlesex County. It was discovered shortly thereafter that it was a People's Party official who had thrown the rocks—someone not associated with the Conservatives and certainly not with Pierre Poilievre.
He notes that while this isn't a new phenomenon, it "feels different now," and that there is an "element in our society that has ramped things up, and has become emboldened, feeling that they have almost been given permission to behave in this manner."
"I also believe that certain politicians need to own some of what we are seeing," Mason writes. "Pierre Poilievre, for instance, is the clear frontrunner to become the next leader of the Conservative Party of Canada. He has been a federal cabinet minister. He is not some random dude on the internet. When he talks, people listen, and lately, they have been listening in droves to the man."
Mason wrote that Canadians are now pinning issues on Trudeau and that their anger is misplaced. Where their anger should be directed is never really explained, with Mason's only explanation being that social media generates anger.
"Yet in videos and speeches, Mr. Poilievre has blamed Justin Trudeau for almost every problem conceivable to man. He has blamed him for high gas prices, high housing costs, high grocery bills, even calling it "Justinflation." He has blamed him for a lack of jobs and for spying on people. He’s blamed him for COVID-19 lockdowns and the carnage at our airports.
Mason isn't wrong. Poilievre has laid the blame for many issues at the foot of Trudeau's Liberals. Where he is wrong is the degree to which Trudeau is actually to blame for the problems that he's listed.
Take high gas prices for example. In May, Poilievre released a video not just blaming Trudeau for gas prices, but giving specific examples of how the Trudeau Liberals were hurting Canadians at the pump. Poilievre doesn't simply chalk it up to the carbon tax—which would be reason enough, seeing that it increased to 11 cents for each litre of gasoline. Poilievre goes into specifics.
Poilievre said that taxes by federal and provincial governments have added 52 cents per litre paid directly to taxes, or a third of the full cost.
Poilievre explained that Trudeau increased gas prices at the pump by attacking Canada's energy sector, by laying out why the Canadian dollar is no longer rising with the price of energy. He also says that it's due to the Liberals' printing of hundreds of millions of dollars.
"We don't have to follow the insane money printing policies of the US. During the Harper era, we rejected this approach, and we managed to come out of the great local recession stronger and better than the Americans and without any major spikes in inflation."
"Money printing means more dollars chasing fewer goods, which drives up prices. That's why everything is getting more expensive, including the price of gas," he said in the May video.
In December and many times after, Poilievre laid out his argument for why Trudeau could be blamed for Canada's housing woes. "The more [the prime minister] spends, the more it costs," said Poilievre. "Housing prices increase from $450,000 under the last year of the Conservatives to $716,000 under the Liberals," and up 32 percent in "just over a year," he said during Question Period. If housing increases by that much under one administration, who else is there to blame?
The Trudeau Liberals have even admitted that their immigration policies that bring in 401,000 new residents per year—more than double the population of Prince Edward Island, every year—have inflamed housing crisis woes. In April, Trudeau said that "population growth in this country hasn't been matched by an equivalent growth in housing supply."
The spying accusations aren't even accusations as much as they are scandals that have been swept under the rug. In December, the Trudeau Liberals admitted to using mass surveillance to "understand the public’s responsiveness during lockdown measures."
In May, it was discovered that the military spied on Freedom Convoy protestors, as special forces operated an aircraft that was equipped with surveillance equipment, despite a directive to prohibit such activity.
The directive instructed Canadian Forces vehicles to not fly over the demonstration, but the report says that leaders ignored the directive since the plane being flown was owned by a private defense contractor.
"The amplifications provided by the RCAF through this directive did not apply to these training activities, which were contracted outside of the RCAF," National Defence spokesman Dan Le Bouthillier said to the Ottawa Citizen.
Mason says that "Mr. Poilievre may just say that that’s just politics, and some might agree," saying that a "good amount of the blame that he’s laid at Mr. Trudeau’s feet is misplaced or has been plainly dishonest."
What it actually sounds like is that Mason hasn't been paying attention to what's going on. Poilievre's attacks on Trudeau give Canadians hope that there may actually be some hope, and that their grievances with an abusive, gaslighting, scandalous government aren't going unheard.
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