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Canada’s Conservative Party Picks Populists in Efforts to Topple Trudeau’s Liberal Party According to Reuters

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© Reuters. Leadership candidate Pierre Poilievre and his wife Anaida Poilievre attend the Conservative Party leadership election of Canada in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada September 10, 2022. REUTERS / Blair Gable

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By Steve Scherer

OTTAWA (Reuters) – Canada’s Conservative Party on Saturday selected Pierre Poilievre, a veteran MP who has promoted bitcoin as a way to fight inflation, to lead the party’s drive to topple the Liberals and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.

Poilievre, 43, won the leadership in the first round of ranked voting, in which more than 400,000 members voted. Poilievre becomes the sixth Conservative Party leader since 2015, a period in which they lost three elections to Trudeau.

Poilievre defeated his main competitor Jean Charest, a former prime minister of Quebec, and three others in a campaign that failed Trudeau and the central bank governor for failing to rein in soaring inflation. .

Poilievre said in his victory speech: “Starting tonight the journey to replace an old government that costs you more and gives you less with a new government that puts you first – wages, pensions your location, your home, your country.

The party downplayed the event, which had been scheduled for months, following the queen’s death on Thursday, beginning with a minute of silence in her honor. Earlier, on Saturday, Canada honored King Charles in a solemn ceremony.

As a member of the Commonwealth of Nations of the former British Empire, the monarch is the official head of state of Canada.

Poilievre first sat in parliament in 2004, days after his 25th birthday, representing a suburban area that includes parts of Ottawa. He served as minister of democratic reform, and then minister of employment and social development until Trudeau, 50, took office in 2015.

While the New Conservative leader is popular in Ottawa, where he has frequently stood in parliament to criticize Trudeau and his government, he will now have to bolster his profile with the rest of Canada.

He should have plenty of time. Trudeau’s support from the New Democrats means an election could come as late as 2025. Pollsters say Poilievre will be a formidable opponent, especially if Trudeau runs for office. forth.

“These are two people who know exactly how to push each other’s buttons, and know exactly how to get inside,” said Shachi Kurl, president of polling firm Angus Reid Institute, in Poilievre and Trudeau. under each other’s skin.

In February, Poilievre supported protesters who blocked border crossings and paralyzed downtown Ottawa for three weeks to protest Trudeau and his COVID-19 vaccine policies ta.

Poilievre also made firing Bank of Canada Governor Tiff Macklem one of his main campaign promises, blaming the central bank’s pandemic bond purchases for inciting price increases. .

The former leader of the Conservative party, ousted in February, has tried to move the party toward the center of politics and refuse to take on the protesters entirely.

Poilievre “represents … the profound soul of the Conservative Party today,” Kurl said.

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