As Canada’s Conservative Party looks for its next leader, Carleton MP Pierre Poilievre appears poised to take on the role and challenge Prime Minister Justin Trudeau in the next federal election.
The 42-year-old man, raised in Calgary, attended Henry Wise Wood High School before continuing on to the University of Calgary.
On Tuesday night, more than 5,000 Poilievre supporters thronged the Equi-Plex at Spruce Meadows to see the candidate they hope to become the next party leader.
Calgary-born Poilievre delivered a message of freedom, vowing to end what he called the ‘gatekeepers’ currently in government.
Supporters stood shoulder to shoulder in the crowded venue, as outside vehicles scrambled to try to get into the field, causing a massive traffic jam.
With his mother and brother in the audience, Poilievre wasted no time talking about protecting personal freedoms and promoting cryptocurrencies should he be elected to the top spot.
‘INCLUDED IN PROBLEM’
“Poilievre is young, he is dynamic and charismatic. He is a very effective communicator because he taps into issues, I think that really appeals to millennials who are now the largest voting group in terms of demographics,” said University of Calgary political scientist Lisa Young.
Poilievre has been referred to as a ‘pitbull’ by political pundits, for his persistence in attacking the policies of the Liberal government.
Young says that is a quality trait in opposition, but Poliievre needs to broaden his approach if he is to become a leader.
“I think Polievre realized that his reputation as an opposition politician, as an effective attack dog, had the potential to haunt him, especially after he ran for elections,” Young said.
“So it’s no coincidence that his campaign was launched with the sentence, I’m running for prime minister.”
Poilievre’s visit comes as Trudeau visits Edmonton, on a 2022 Budget.
Young believes there is no correlation between the two events, with both in Alberta at the same time.
“Trudeau’s people should probably think twice about having him here at the same time as Polievre because I think it’s safe to assume that the crowd size to see the Liberal prime minister in Edmonton will be smaller than the crowd size that sees the Conservative Party leading the way in Calgary. , ”he said.
Alberta UCP MLA Devin Dreeshen and Tanya Fir have cast their support behind Poilievre.
Likewise with the Minister of Further Education Demetrios Nicolaides.
Young said there was currently no clear challenger to Poilievre, with the likes of former Quebec prime minister Jean Charest and Poilievre’s colleague Leslyn Lewis challenging him. Both have made campaign stops in Calgary.
“I think it’s probably a landslide victory for Poilievre,” he said.
Hailing from Calgary but representing eastern Canadian equestrian it is hoped that Poilievre will benefit in the leadership race.
“He is in a unique position to address the divide between east and west within the party,” Young said.
Doors opened at the Spruce Meadows Equi-Plex at 6:30 p.m., with large crowds expected.
“Total troublemaker. Alcohol aficionado. Social media specialist. Friendly travel nerd.”