Pierre Poilievre: A look at the Conservative candidate's key promises

·2 min read

OTTAWA — For Pierre Poilievre, it's all about freedom. The 43-year-old member of Parliament, first elected in 2004, is running for leadership of the Conservative Party of Canada — though he's said from the beginning that he's running for prime minister. His platform is about offering people all kinds of freedoms, from the freedom to choose against getting vaccinated for COVID-19 to the freedom from having to pay higher prices at the checkout line.

Here's a closer look at his key policy pledges:

— On energy: Poilievre has promised to cancel Ottawa's carbon price on consumer goods and build more pipelines. He says Canada would rely on technology to tackle its greenhouse-gas emissions, but hasn't provided further detail.

— On government spending: He promises to enact a "Pay-As-You-Go Law" that would cap federal spending at its budgeted amount and force it to find savings when something new is added. Poilievre says emergencies such as natural disasters and pandemics would be exempt from his rule, but new spending projects would require officials to look at existing budgets and to find what can be cut or changed to curb spending.

— On free speech: Poilievre says a government led by him would promote free speech on university campuses by withholding federal funding to institutions that don't commit to doing so. He also promises to appoint a former judge as a "free speech guardian" to probe any alleged violations.

— On the Bank of Canada: He vows to adopt a bill first introduced by former Conservative leader Andrew Scheer, who's now helping on his campaign, that would subject the central bank to the federal auditor general. Poilievre also promises to ban its proposed digital currency. And he's received pushback for a promise to fire Tiff Macklem as the Bank of Canada governor over the country's high rate of inflation.

— On housing: Poilievre says he'd force cities such as Toronto and Vancouver to increase new home building by 15 per cent, under threat of losing federal funding, in an effort to bring down housing prices. He's also promising a slate of other measures, including paying an extra $10,000 to municipalities for every new home that is built, and converting federal properties into affordable housing.

— On immigration: He promises to incentivize provincial governments to ensure licensing bodies rule on newcomers' applications within 60 days. Poilievre also says he would provide more study loans to those immigrating to Canada who need extra training to meet licensing requirements.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Sept. 5, 2022.

Stephanie Taylor, The Canadian Press