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What to expect from Pierre Poilievre

With Parliament back in session, Canadians will be able to see newly minted Conservative Leader Pierre Poilievre square off against Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.

On this episode of Editor's Edition, the Public Policy Forum’s Sean Speer and Yahoo Finance Canada's Alicja Siekierska discuss what to expect out of the new opposition leader in the House of Commons. Speer says that while many are used to Poilievre playing a “prosecutorial role” in parliament, Poilievre's next challenge will be to build on his base of support and try to reach new and different voters.

“I think it would be in Mr. Poilievre’s interest to continue down that line and expand beyond the kind of combative persona that I think a lot of people tend to associate with him,” Speer said.

Video Transcript


SEAN SPEER: He's gonna do what he's done for some time, which is, you know, kind of carry out almost a prosecutorial role in the Parliament. You know, viewers who are familiar with Poilievre will know that he likes to mix it up with the prime minister in Parliament.

And you know, in many ways, his kind of personal profile which would be higher than most national politicians stems in large part from his kind of combative approach in Parliament. And I don't think that is gonna change any time soon.

What might change a bit, [? Alicia, ?] is Poilievre's message and orientation. He won the leadership by effectively being who he's been for most of his career, which is a pretty down the line Conservative politician with a bit of an edge. And you know, that resonated a lot with core Conservative voters.

The challenge for Mr. Poilievre will be now to build on the extraordinary base of support that he has within the Conservative Party. And try to reach new and different voters, who will ultimately determine if he's the next prime minister.

And in that sense, [? Alicia, ?] I think his speech to the party convention the night of the leadership and then his speech a couple of days later to the Parliamentary caucus, in which he really espoused a message of social mobility, kind of rooted in his own life experience.

This is someone who was adopted from a teenage mother. And within a single generation, you know, is now the official opposition leader and poised to potentially become the prime minister of a G7 country. I think it's a powerful message. One that would resonate with a lot of people, and would represent a kind of slightly different tone and focus than people are accustomed to.

So I think it would be in Mr. Poilievre's interest to continue down that line and expand beyond the kind of combative persona that I think a lot of people tend to associate with him.