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Conservative leader Poilievre rallies B.C. crowd against carbon tax

Opposition leader talks taxes and monetary policy at Nanaimo’s Vancouver Island Conference Centre
Pierre Poilievre holds a rally on Monday, April 1, at the Vancouver Island Conference Centre. (Greg Sakaki/News Bulletin)

The federal Conservative Party leader rallied in Nanaimo, promising to “axe the tax” the day a carbon tax increase came into effect nationwide.

Pierre Poilievre held a rally Monday, April 1, at the Vancouver Island Conference Centre, panning the carbon tax increase and its impacts on motorists filling up on the pump, and predicting it will cause other goods and services to become more expensive, too.

Poilievre said if the Conservative Party forms the next government, it will better support Canadian oil and gas production.

“Our better way is to view our energy and resources as a strength and not a weakness to our country…” he said. “We’re going to repeal Trudeau’s anti-development and unconstitutional [Canada Energy Regulator Act], we’re going to grant rapid permits to natural gas, we’re going to cool that gas down to -160 C, put it on a ship to Asia to shut down dirty coal fire over there, send it off to Europe to break European dependence on Putin and turn dollars for dictators into paycheques for our people.”

Meanwhile, as carbon tax protests dotted the country, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says premiers would rather complain and “make political hay” out of his federal carbon pricing program than present an alternative to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Trudeau made the remarks after Newfoundland and Labrador Premier Andrew Furey wrote a letter urging him to convene an “emergency meeting of leaders” to discuss options.

He says the increase will also mean larger rebates, which families are set to receive beginning April 15 to help offset the higher cost of fuel. He also points to the costs climate change has imposed on Canadians through disasters such as wildfires or floods.

READ ALSO: Carbon price protests taken to highways across Canada

In Nanaimo Poilievre covered a range of topics, from monetary policy, agriculture and guns to housing, drug addiction and crime.

He said the federal Liberal Party, with support of the New Democratic Party, subscribes to a “radical ideology” of seeking to control every aspect of Canadians’ lives.

“They want to control your money, your speech, your kids, your land, your livelihood,” he said. “Everything has to be in their control and under their thumb. That puts them on top and you on the bottom and that is not by accident.”

He said his party shares the common-sense views and values of Canadians working as teachers, farmers, electricians and servers to improve their lives and their children’s lives.

“These extraordinary people have the common wisdom, the common virtue and the common sense to decide for themselves,” he said. “It is the common sense of the common people united for our common home.”

Poilievre was introduced by Aaron Gunn, who is the Conservative candidate for North Island-Powell River, and by Tamara Kronis, the Conservative candidate for Nanaimo-Ladysmith.

—with a file from Canadian Press

READ ALSO: Poilievre visits Nanaimo to pan April Fool’s Day carbon tax increase

About the Author: Greg Sakaki

I have been in the community newspaper business for two decades, all of those years with Black Press Media.
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