Pierre Poilievre tells MPs Canada really 'feels broken,' despite what Trudeau says

ONTARIO — Conservative Leader Pierre Poilievre doubled down on his belief that "everything feels broken" Friday, as he laced into Prime Minister Justin Trudeau for suggesting otherwise.

Poilievre addressed Tory MPs at the start of their two-day caucus retreat ahead of the return of the House of Commons next week, beginning with the question: "What's happening in our country?"

He spent his speech listing off ways he believes Canadians are hurting — from high prices at the grocery store to crime that he characterized as out of control — and areas where he believes the government is failing. He cited the recent holiday travel chaos as an example of that.

"Everything feels broken," said Poilievre. "Oh — I just offended Justin Trudeau. He gets very angry when I talk about these problems."

He pointed to Trudeau's comments at the annual Liberal holiday party last month, where the prime minister countered the Conservative leader's message by telling his own supporters, "Canada is not broken."

Poilievre charged in Friday's speech that Trudeau is not able to see the ways people are suffering in the way that he does, and he said the problems are Trudeau's fault alone.

"You told us that better was always possible," said Poilievre. "And yet everything is worse."

Poilievre focused on crime, telling his MPs that cities across the country are becoming "crime zones" under Trudeau's watch and suggesting he is not taking the necessary action to reduce violence.

"If you can't do anything about it, then why don't you get out of the way and let someone lead who can?" he said, to cheers and applause from the caucus.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Jan. 27, 2023.

Stephanie Taylor, The Canadian Press