Pierre’s Speech to Caucus

I wanted to take a moment to share our leader’s speech from our caucus retreat this past weekend with you. Pierre did a great job outlining our priorities and our approach as Parliament opens for 2023 this upcoming week. 

The full video of his speech can be viewed here.

What’s happening in our country? Seriously. Look around you. Crime is raging out of control in our streets. Our people are desperate that they’ll have to lose their homes because of rising inflation and interest rates the government promised would never happen. People are losing loved ones at record rates to violent crime and drug overdoses. And families who’ve been locked down for two years because of COVID are now locked down at airports when they try to get away for a small vacation.

Everything feels broken – oh, I’ve just offended Justin Trudeau. He gets very angry when I talk about these problems. He thinks that if we don’t speak about them out loud that Canadians will forget that they exist. He said this to me in a very angry speech right before Christmas where he told 2000 liberal lobbyists and political staffers and consultants who had paid $500 to listen to him speak, that Canadians have never had it so good.

And you know what? For the people in that room, he’s absolutely right. They have never had it so good. The thousands dollar a day consultants at McKinsey have never had it so good. In fact, the consulting contracts that he’s given out have gone up 100% in the eight years since he took office. Justin, these people are very grateful to you. That’s why they are donating so much to your party. 

The lobbyists whose contracts have also increased by 100%. Justin, they’ve never had it so good either. All of the political staffers around the Hill that are giving out these contracts to their long-term friends, they’ve never had it so good either. And with your $6,000 a night hotel rooms, you’ve never had it so good yourself, Justin.

But let me tell you something, Justin. There is pain in the faces you do not see. There is suffering in the voices you do not hear. And there is distress and even chaos in the places you do not go. If you don’t believe me, come with me over to the local grocery store in East End Ottawa, where I was last night, where a 60-year-old plus cook came up to me with tears in his eyes to tell me he has to delay his retirement. But, you know, the thing that really broke him? That he can no longer afford the very ingredients to cook at home that he works with in his job at work. 

Justin, if you don’t believe me, come to Northern Ontario and ask the elderly woman who lives in the cold because your carbon tax has made it too expensive for her to heat her home.

If you don’t believe me, Justin, come speak to the students who live in homeless shelters while they go to school. Because the average rent for a one bedroom apartment in Toronto after eight years of your leadership is $2500 a month. That’s more than a 100% increase since you took office. And you’ve done absolutely nothing to incentivize the construction of new and affordable homes for our young people.

If you don’t believe me, Justin, go to the food banks, where 1.5 million people go to eat in a given month and stay around long enough, you might hear from some of the people who come to the food bank asking for help, getting medical assistance in dying, not because they’re sick, but because they’re too poor and too miserable after eight years of your leadership to go on living like this. 

If you don’t believe me, Justin, go talk to the families of the 30,000 people who have lost a loved one to drug overdoses after you favoured policies that flooded our streets with heroin and fentanyl and you tied the hands of our police and prevented them from doing anything about it after you failed to hold the scumbag corporations who brought these drugs to our streets accountable. Companies like McKinsey, Mr. Trudeau, companies to whom you continue to give $100 million worth of contracts.

Mr. Trudeau, if you don’t believe me, go to the now permanent encampments that have taken over large parts of formerly prosperous and bustling communities in our cities like Vancouver, Toronto and Peterborough. You don’t believe me? Take a trip to the city transit, Mr. Trudeau, in Toronto, where 40 homeless people are forced to spend the night because your policies have made it impossible for them to get home.

Where crime now rages out of control and women say they are afraid to even get on the train. June 17th, the TTC, a woman in her twenties died of her injuries after she was set on fire. December 8th, a fatal stabbing on line-two train at Hyde Park Station left a 31 year old woman dead and injured. The suspect was wielding an ice pick. 

You don’t believe me, Mr. Trudeau? Get on one of those trains and talk to the people who will tell you the story of a woman who was stabbed in the head and face on a Spadina streetcar just south of Bloor Street. She was taken to hospital with life altering injuries. These are not one-off stories, Justin. 

Crime is up 32% since you took office. Violent gang crime up 92% after eight years in office. You are responsible for the criminal code, for the borders that bring in the illegal guns. You are responsible for our national police force. And after eight years, you have given us Canadian cities that are turning into crime zones.

This is your record. Mr. Trudeau. Meanwhile, illegal border crossings have exploded, crossings that were almost unheard of when you took office. This is eight years. You told us that better was always possible. And yet everything is worse, and you blame everyone else. And we know what you will do this session of parliament. You will divide to distract. You’ll try to make people afraid of each other because you think that if an average Canadian is afraid of his neighbour, he’ll forget that he can’t feed himself or pay the rent.

You’ll try to take all the responsibility off of yourself and to put it on others. You’ll claim you have nothing to do with any of these files, as though as the Federal Prime Minister, you’re not responsible for the Federal Criminal Code. As a federal Prime minister, you’re not responsible for the chaotic federal airports that as a federal prime minister, you’re not responsible for the half trillion dollars of federal debt that you have added that led to a 40-year high in inflation.

If you’re not responsible for any of these things, if you can’t do anything about it, then why don’t you get out of the way and let someone lead who can? 

Leadership means turning to the hurt that Trudeau has caused into the hope that Canadians need and deserve. Canadians are good, decent, hardworking people. They deserve better than this, and better is what they will get.

A Poilievre government will cap government spending, cut the waste, and fire the high-priced consultants so that we can put the money back in the pockets of our people. We’ll toughen corruption laws to expose the insiders who are getting rich by making everyone else poor. We will, instead of tripling, tripling and tripling the carbon tax as Trudeau plans, we will axe the tax and we will use technology instead of taxes to protect our environment.

We will remove the gatekeepers so that our brilliant immigrants can again work as doctors and nurses and have big, powerful inflation proof paychecks. We will remove the gatekeepers that stand in the way of our small businesses creating jobs and opportunities. We will remove the gatekeepers so that our First Nations can take back control of their lives and their resources and generate massive opportunities for their young people to build skills, to fund water systems that work and to take care of their people and take control of their lives.

We will divert money that’s being wasted, targeting law abiding hunters and anglers, and instead use that money to reinforce our borders and keep the smuggled guns out. And we will use that money to provide real treatment and recovery to save the lives of our friends, our neighbours, our brothers and sisters who are suffering with addiction.

We will close the illegal border crossings and get rid of the backlog that holds back 1.1 million immigrants and allow families to be reunited, jobs to be filled and refugees to be rescued from danger. We will restore the hope that Justin Trudeau and his government have destroyed over the last eight years. We will once again make this a country where hard work pays off, where people keep more of every dollar they earn so that they can get ahead.

We will remember that a dollar in the hands of the person who earned it is always better spent than in the hands of the politician or bureaucrat who taxed it.

You know, we will restore the hope and the promise that is Canada. You know, we all grew up here, told that no matter where we started, if we worked hard, we could do anything. And I remember that when I was a kid, you know, my folks adopted me from a 16 year old unwed mother. They were a couple of teachers. We grew up in a normal South End Calgary suburban neighbourhood, but they always taught me that it didn’t matter where I came from, it mattered where I was going. It didn’t matter who I knew. It mattered what I could do. That is the country to which my wife came as a refugee. That is the country I want my children to inherit.

That is the country that we are going to restore for every single Canadian. A country where people are free. Free to earn a living and share the proceeds with their families, free to walk safely in their streets, free to have a secure retirement that they’ve worked for all their lives. A Canada where people take back control of their lives in the freest country on earth.

Now, ladies and gentlemen, let’s get to work. Let’s bring it home. Thank you.