Pierre Poilievre

Conservative Party of Canada Liberal Party of Canada New Democratic Party
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Pierre Poilievre

Pierre Poilievre.jpg
Shadow Minister for Finance
Assumed office
August 30, 2017
LeaderAndrew Scheer
Erin O'Toole
ShadowingBill Morneau
Chrystia Freeland
Preceded byGérard Deltell
Minister of Employment and Social Development
In office
February 9, 2015 – November 4, 2015
Prime MinisterStephen Harper
Preceded byJason Kenney
Succeeded byJean-Yves Duclos
Minister of State for Democratic Reform
In office
July 15, 2013 – November 4, 2015
Prime MinisterStephen Harper
Preceded byTim Uppal
Succeeded byMaryam Monsef
Member of the Canadian Parliament
for Carleton
Nepean—Carleton (2004–2015)
Assumed office
June 28, 2004
Preceded byDavid Pratt
Personal details
Born (1979-06-03) June 3, 1979 (age 41)
Calgary, Alberta, Canada
Political partyConservative
Spouse(s)Anaida Poilievre
Children1
ResidenceNepean, Ottawa, Ontario
Alma materUniversity of Calgary
ProfessionPolitician
Websitewww.pierremp.ca

Pierre Marcel Poilievre PC MP (born June 3, 1979) is a Canadian politician who served as minister of state for democratic reform from 2013 to 2015 and minister of employment and social development in 2015.[1] He is currently a member of Parliament (MP), representing the suburban Ottawa riding of Carleton and has served as the Opposition critic for finance and for the National Capital Commission since 2017. A member of the Conservative Party, Poilievre was first elected to the House of Commons in 2004 in the riding of Nepean—Carleton, winning re-election three times. In 2015, Poilievre ran in the re-established riding of Carleton and was re-elected in the same riding in 2019.

Background

Poilievre was adopted at birth by schoolteachers of Franco-Albertan heritage.[2] His birth mother was the daughter of Irish immigrants.[3] He studied international relations at the University of Calgary,[4] following a period of study in commerce at the same institution. He holds a bachelor of arts degree from the University of Calgary.[5][6]

Poilievre has done policy work for Canadian Alliance MPs Stockwell Day and Jason Kenney, and prior to running for office himself; worked as a full-time assistant to Day. He also worked for Magna International, focusing on communications, and has done public relations work.

In 1999, writing as Pierre Marcel Poilievre, he contributed an essay, "Building Canada Through Freedom" to the book @Stake—"As Prime Minister, I Would...", a collection of essays from Magna International's "As Prime Minister" awards program. In his essay he argued, among other things, for a two-term limit for all members of Parliament. He did not win the competition and is now in his sixth term as an MP. At the time, he was editorially described as being in the second year of a commerce program at the University of Calgary. His self-description was as "a political junkie with a passion for public debating and a special interest in international relations".[7]

Politics

38th–40th Parliaments

In 2004, Poilievre stood as Conservative candidate in the riding of Nepean—Carleton. He defeated Liberal cabinet minister David Pratt by 3,736 votes. In 2006, Poilievre was re-elected with 55% of the vote, beating Liberal candidate Michael Gaffney by 19,401 votes. He has been re-elected in 2008 and 2011 with similar majorities. He was appointed as parliamentary secretary to various ministers including the president of the Treasury Board and the prime minister.

Federal Accountability Act

As Parliamentary Secretary to Treasury Board, Poilievre took credit for redrafting Canada's whistleblower protection laws.[8] and worked with Minister John Baird to pass the Federal Accountability Act through the House of Commons. The Public Servants Disclosure Protection Act was enacted to provide a process for public sector employees when disclosing abuses and wrongdoings within the federal government and protection of these employees from reprisals. The Federal Accountability Act received Royal Assent on December 12, 2006.[9]

Children's Fitness Tax Credit

Poilievre proposed a sports tax credit to then Opposition-leader Stephen Harper[citation needed]. The sports tax credit became a central plank in the Conservative Party's 2006 election platform.[10] The tax credit came into effect January 1, 2007. The tax credit allowed parents to claim $500 per year for dependent children under the age of 16. Parents that have children with disabilities are eligible for the tax credit until their child reaches the age of 18. This credit has since been eliminated.[11]

Queensway Carleton Hospital

In the summer of 2006, Poilievre and Minister John Baird helped secure a $1 per year rent for the Queensway Carleton Hospital from the National Capital Commission. Before the brokered agreement, the QCH was paying the NCC $23,000 per year in rent. The lease of the hospital was to expire in 2013,[12] and the rent was set to increase substantially.[13]

Strandherd-Armstrong Bridge

Poilievre advocated for the construction of the Strandherd-Armstrong bridge which spans the Rideau river.[14] The eight-lane bridge links Riverside South with Barrhaven.[15] Poilievre secured one-third of the project's funding and acquired the neighbouring airport land needed to complete the Limebank Road expansion, tapping into funds already committed by former MP David Pratt for transportation projects in this riding.[16]

Construction began on July 27, 2010. The event was locally publicised, with politicians of all levels and parties involved attending the ground breaking.[17]

The bridge was originally scheduled to be completed in 2012,[18] but in 2012 the original contractor, ConCreate USL, went into receivership.[19] The bridge opened in July 2014.

Charitable work

As a member of Parliament, Poilievre has been involved with a variety of charities. For his 30th birthday, Poilievre co-hosted an event with Ottawa Police Chief Vernon White to help raise funds for Harvest House Ministries and Project S.T.E.P.[20] Both charities do work within the greater Ottawa community to treat substance abuse and prevent addiction. In 2005, Poilievre helped raise $40,000 to help rebuild the Manotick legion after it was destroyed by fire in June of that year.[21]

Residential schools compensation

On June 11, 2008, Prime Minister Stephen Harper released a public apology on behalf of the Canadian government for the residential schools, and provided $4 billion worth of funding for residential school survivors. Earlier that day, Poilievre made remarks to CFRA News Talk Radio regarding the compensation and the residential school survivors, for which he would later apologize.[22] Poilievre stated that he didn't think Canada was "getting value for all this money", instead "we need to engender the values of hard work and independence and self-reliance."[23] Poilievre apologized in Parliament the next day, saying, "Mr. Speaker, I rise today to offer a full apology to aboriginal people, to the House and to all Canadians. Yesterday, on a day when the House and all Canadians were celebrating a new beginning, I made remarks that were hurtful and wrong. I accept responsibility for them, and I apologize."[24]

Religious persecution

On February 13, 2009, Poilievre stood in the House of Commons to make a statement concerning incidents of alleged anti-Semitism at York University. Poilievre stated his belief that Canadians must address anti-Semitism on college and university campuses.

"Mr. Speaker, our Conservative government condemns the latest anti-Semitic outburst at York University. This week, chants of 'Zionism is racism' were heard, and one person was called a 'dirty Jew'.

Sadly, incidents like these have become far too prevalent on college and university campuses across Canada. I am reminded of the violent left-wing mob that shouted anti-Semitic curses at a former Israeli prime minister and prevented him from speaking at Concordia University in 2002.

I fear there is a rise among the extreme left of a new anti-Semitism. We see it in the instances that I mentioned. It lies below the surface of the public discourse waiting, waiting for us to let our guard down, waiting for the outrage to subside, waiting for the right time to flourish. We must confront it, fight it, and defeat it."[25]

Poilievre was sent by Prime Minister Stephen Harper to Geneva, Switzerland in April 2009 to attend the Conference Against Racism, Discrimination, and Persecution. This conference was held at the same time as the Durban Review Conference, which had been criticized by the Prime Minister as full of "anti-Semitic rhetoric". During the same trip, Poilievre traveled to Poland to participate in the International March of the Living Mission, a tour of Nazi concentration camps to commemorate the memory of the victims of the Holocaust.[26]

Carbon tax

Poilievre is opposed to a national carbon tax. In May 2009 Poilievre was accused of having insensitively used the term "tar baby" in the House of Commons in reference to a policy of carbon taxation from which Poilievre suggested that Liberal leader Michael Ignatieff would try to distance himself.[27] Poilievre repeated the term later in the same question period.[27] A number of opposition MPs demanded Poilievre make amends for the use of the term.[28] Poilievre argued that he did not know that the term had racist undertones and was using the term in the sense of its common definition as a sticky and hard to handle issue.[27] Over the previous years, the term itself had been used by a number of prominent Canadian public figures to indicate a sticky situation.[28]

41st Parliament

Following the 2011 election, Poilievre was appointed parliamentary secretary to the minister of transport, infrastructure and communities and for the Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario.[29]

On July 15, 2013, the prime minister appointed Pierre Poilievre to Cabinet as minister of state for democratic reform following a Cabinet shuffle.[1][29]

On February 9, 2015, Poilievre was appointed minister of employment and social development, replacing Jason Kenney.[30][29]

National sovereignty

Poilievre criticized the Public Service Alliance of Canada when it was revealed that the regional sectors of that union endorsed the sovereigntist Parti Québécois in the 2012 Quebec provincial election. Poilievre remarked,

“I accept the results of the election,” said Poilievre. “But I can’t accept a union representing public servants working for the government of Canada which forcefully takes money out of the pockets of Canada’s public servants to support parties that want to break up the country. How can it be in the interests of public servants to support the breakup of Canada?”[31]

Poilievre has also supported Conservative MP Russ Hiebert's private members bill C-377, An Act to Amend the Income Tax Act (labour organizations). The legislation advocates for an increased schedule and scope of disclosure for every Canadian labour union.

Fair Elections Act

Poilievre introduced Bill C-23, known as the Fair Elections Act, into the House of Commons on February 4, 2014.[32] The bill expanded the types of ID which were accepted in order to vote, and eliminated the vouching system, whereby a voter can vote without an ID and have an acquaintance 'vouch' for them. The bill was opposed by former-chief electoral officer Jean-Pierre Kingsley,[33] former-auditor general Sheila Fraser,[34] and dozens of Canadian[35] and international[36] political experts — Poilievre stepped up his attacks on Marc Mayrand, the chief electoral officer of Elections Canada at the time, by accusing him of wanting "more power, a bigger budget and less accountability."[37] In the same appearance before the Senate Standing Committee on Legal and Constitutional Affairs, Poilievre went on to accuse Mayrand of "fighting to retain this power, making some incredible claims and inventing some novel legal principles to do it." The bill was passed and has received royal assent.

2014 Ottawa shootings

On October 22, 2014, Poilievre was present at Parliament Hill during the attack on the House of Commons by a terrorist. He, along with the prime minister and many other MPs, barricaded themselves in the Conservative caucus meeting room. He was one of a number of MPs who broke down flag poles and fashioned them into spears to ward off the assailant should he force his way inside. Later, when he and fellow Conservative ministers and MPs met at the Foreign Office, Poilievre brought along his spear as a memento.[38]

Canada Elections Act violation

In July 2015, while acting in his capacity as a Cabinet minister, Poilievre announced an expansion of a child care benefit program. During the announcement, he wore a Conservative Party of Canada shirt, stated that the payments were from "our Conservative government," and claiming that "if the Liberals and NDP were to take office they would take the benefits away and raise taxes."[39] Later in 2017, the elections commissioner determined that the occasion was akin to a Conservative party campaign event, rather than a Government of Canada announcement.[40] As the government spent approximately $4,800 related to the event, it was essentially "a de facto non-monetary contribution" to the Conservative party.[39]

The commissioner ruled that this was a campaign finance violation, as Poilievre "knowingly circumvent the prohibition on contributions to a registered party by ineligible contributors." Poilievre was ordered to post a link to the ruling on his social media.[41]

42nd Parliament

Poilievre was re-elected in the newly re-drawn riding of Carleton in 2015, although his margin ahead of the Liberal candidate was closer than in previous elections, at less than 2000 votes. He was the only Conservative MP elected in the Ottawa area.

In early 2016, Colin Jayantha Perera, a constituent of Poilievre's who had end-stage kidney failure, had arranged for his nephew, a matching donor, to visit Canada from Sri Lanka to donate him a kidney.[42][43] However, the visitor visa of Perera's nephew was denied.[42] Perera then approached Poilievre, who then asked then-immigration minister, John McCallum, for a rarely-granted minister's permit to let the nephew visit for the operation, which was granted.[43]

Conservative Party Leader Andrew Scheer named Poilievre the party's finance critic as part of its shadow cabinet.[44]

43rd Parliament

Poilievre was again re-elected in 2019, with a similar percentage of the vote to his 2015 victory.

After Scheer's resignation as party leader, Poilievre was initially considered to be one of the frontrunners to win the subsequent leadership election, although he eventually chose not to run.[45] He retained his post as the party's finance critic in new leader Erin O'Toole's shadow cabinet.[46]

Personal life

In January 2018, Poilievre married Anaida Galindo, a Senate aide, in a ceremony in Portugal.[47] On October 17, 2018 the couple welcomed their first child Valentina Alejandra Poilievre Galindo.[48] The couple live in the Ottawa suburb of Greely, Ontario.[49]

Electoral history

2019 Canadian federal election
Party Candidate Votes % ±% Expenditures
Conservative Pierre Poilievre 32,147 46.35 -0.51
Liberal Chris Rodgers 26,518 38.23 -5.51
New Democratic Kevin Hua 6,479 9.34 +3.21
Green Gordon Kubanek 3,423 4.94 +1.68
People's Alain Musende 792 1.14 +1.14
Total valid votes/Expense limit 69,359 100.0  
Total rejected ballots 408 0.60 +0.27
Turnout 67,767 77.18 -3.77
Eligible voters 87,807
Conservative hold Swing
Source: Elections Canada[50][51]
2015 Canadian federal election: Carleton
Party Candidate Votes % ±% Expenditures
Conservative Pierre Poilievre 27,762 46.86 -14.81
Liberal Chris Rodgers 25,913 43.74 +22.88
New Democratic KC Larocque 3,632 6.13 -7.22
Green Deborah Coyne 1,932 3.25 -0.86
Total valid votes/Expense limit 59,239 100.0   $204,911.88
Total rejected ballots 196
Turnout 59,435 81.0%
Eligible voters 73,418
Conservative hold Swing -18.7%
2011 Canadian federal election: Nepean–Carleton
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Conservative Pierre Poilievre 43,428 54.42
Liberal Ryan Keon 20,146 25.25
New Democratic Ric Dagenais 12,955 16.24
Green Jean-Luc Cooke 3,266 4.09
Total valid votes 79,795
Turnout  %
2008 Canadian federal election: Nepean–Carleton
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Conservative Pierre Poilievre 39,921 55.8
Liberal Ed Mahfouz 16,743 23.4
Green Lori Gadzala 7,880 11.0
New Democratic Phil Brown 6,946 9.7
Total valid votes 71,490
Turnout 69.4  %
2006 Canadian federal election: Nepean–Carleton
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Conservative Pierre Poilievre 39,512 55.0
Liberal Michael Gaffney 20,111 28.0
New Democratic Laurel Gibbons 8,274 11.5
Green Lori Gadzala 3,976 5.5
Total valid votes 72,089
Turnout 75.8  %
2004 Canadian federal election: Nepean–Carleton
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Conservative Pierre Poilievre 30,420 45.7
Liberal David Pratt 26,684 40.1
New Democratic Phil Brown 6,072 9.1
Green Chris Walker 2,886 4.3
Marijuana Brad Powers 561 0.8
Total valid votes 66,848
Turnout 75.1  %

References

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  2. ^ https://ottawacitizen.com/Minister+Nepean+Carleton/7453041/story.html
  3. ^ https://m.facebook.com/PierrePoilievreMP/photos/a.10150817173997379/10154493422377379/?type=3
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  5. ^ "bio". Archived from the original on 2013-12-25.
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  30. ^ "Pierre Poilievre takes charge of one key to Conservative election win".
  31. ^ "After PSAC endorsement of PQ, Poilievre to push for right to opt out of union dues". Archived from the original on 2012-09-11.
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  43. ^ a b McCooey, Paula. "'I am so proud of Canada': Feds OK visit by kidney donor". www.ottawasun.com. Retrieved 10 March 2016.
  44. ^ Poilierve, Pierre (March 27, 2018). "Canadian MPs accepted $620K worth of free travel from third parties, foreign entities in 2017". CBC News. Retrieved December 17, 2019.
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  47. ^ Polilievre, Pierre (November 5, 2018). "Pierre Poilievre: From smart aleck to smart fellow". Maclean's. [December 12, 2019 Archived] Check |archive-url= value (help) from the original on December 12, 2019.
  48. ^ https://ottawacitizen.com/news/local-news/mp-pierre-poilievre-announces-birth-of-baby-girl
  49. ^ https://pierremp.ca/about-mp-pierre-poilievre/
  50. ^ "List of confirmed candidates". Elections Canada. Retrieved 3 October 2019.
  51. ^ "Election Night Results". Elections Canada. Retrieved 26 October 2019.