|Birth||3 June 1979, Calgary, Alberta, Canada|
|Politics||Conservative Party of Canada|
Pierre Marcel Poilievre PC MP (/ˌpɔːliˈɛv/ pawl-ee-EV; born June 3, 1979) is a Canadian politician who has served as a member of Parliament (MP) since 2004. A member of the Conservative Party, he currently represents the Ottawa-area riding of Carleton. Poilievre previously served as minister for democratic reform from 2013 to 2015 and minister of employment and social development in 2015.
Poilievre studied at the University of Calgary, earning a Bachelor of Arts degree in International Relations. He then worked as an advisor to Canadian Alliance leader Stockwell Day. Poilievre was first elected to the House of Commons following the 2004 federal election in the riding of Nepean—Carleton, and won re-election three times. In 2015, he won in the re-established riding of Carleton and was re-elected in the same riding twice more. Having served as the Shadow Minister for Finance and the National Capital Commission from 2017 to 2021, Poilievre became the Opposition critic for jobs and industry in February 2021 before regaining his old position in November 2021. Poilievre is running in the 2022 Conservative Party of Canada leadership election; he subsequently stepped down as Shadow Minister for Finance.
Poilievre's biological mother was 16 years old when she gave birth to him and is of Irish descent. Poilievre's biological maternal grandfather, whom he first met as an adult, was Irish Canadian. Poilievre was adopted at birth by schoolteachers Marlene and Donald Poilievre. Poilievre was raised in Calgary and attended Janet Johnstone School, Robert Warren School, Henry Wise Wood High School, and the University of Calgary. He was active in the Reform Party of Canada, and at the age of 16, Poilievre sold Reform Party memberships for Jason Kenney.
At the University of Calgary, Poilievre studied international relations, following a period of study in commerce. He graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree. As a second year student, in 1999, he submitted an essay to Magna International's "As Prime Minister, I Would..." essay contest. His essay, titled "Building Canada Through Freedom", focused on the subject of individual freedom and among other things, argued for a two-term limit for all members of Parliament. As a finalist, Poilievre won $10,000 with the essay being published in the book that collected the essays @Stake—"As Prime Minister, I Would..."
Before moving to Ottawa, Poilievre founded a company called 3D Contact Inc., with partner Jonathan Denis, that focused on providing political communications, polling and research services. Poilievre worked for the organization called Campaign to Draft Stockwell Day who were seeking to recruit Stockwell Day to run for leadership of the Canadian Alliance and then on Day's leadership campaign. Several years later, after Day's tenure as Leader of the Official Opposition, Poilievre worked for Day as an advisor.
38th Parliament (2004–2006)
With preparations being made for the 2004 Canadian federal election, the 24-year old Manordale resident Poilievre won the Conservative Party nomination in the riding of Nepean—Carleton to contest incumbent David Pratt of the Liberal Party of Canada. Though Pratt was a two-term incumbent and cabinet minister, the election was projected to be close between the two. Poilievre was given the nickname "Skippy" early in his political career. Poilievre won his riding and his Conservative Party formed the Official Opposition to a Liberal Party minority government. Poilievre entered the 38th Canadian Parliament at the age of 25 along with Andrew Scheer as the youngest members of the Conservative caucus.
Poilievre took up the cause of the Queensway Carleton Hospital which was in the midst of an expansion project while facing provincial funding reductions for operations and an increase in rent as its lease with the National Capital Commission was set to expire in 2013. Seeking to eliminate the rent the hospital paid, Poilievre introduced, on June 20, 2005, a private member bill C-414, titled An Act to prevent the Government of Canada from charging rent to non-profit hospitals. The bill was defeated in a vote of 165-111 but with Nepean—Carleton MPP John Baird they advocated the hospital only pay a $1 per year rent and implemented that once Baird became President of the Treasury Board the next year.
Poilievre also sponsored private member bill C-383, introduced on May 11, 2005, to create a means to recall Members of Parliament through a petition, and bill C-456, on November 24, 2005, to insert parental responsibility into the Criminal Code by making it an offence for a parent to contribute through negligence, inappropriate action or lack of appropriate action to behaviour that results in their child committing an offence.
In November 2005, Poilievre filed a complaint with the Ethics Commissioner of Canada against Pontiac MP David Smith, relating to his family's business being awarded contract for work with Public Services and Procurement Canada. While Ethics Commissioner Bernard Shapiro investigated the case, he determined there was no conflict of interest involved.
39th Parliament (2006–2008)
Poilievre won reelection in the 2006 Canadian federal election with over 50% of the vote. The Conservative Party formed a minority government. Entering the 39th Canadian Parliament at the age of 26, he still remained the youngest MP in the House of Commons. Prime Minister Stephen Harper appointed Poilievre to act as Parliamentary Secretary to the President of the Treasury Board, who was his fellow Neapan-area Conservative MP John Baird. Poilievre's parliamentary work included overseeing the drafting and adoption of the Federal Accountability Act. He voted in favour on the motion to introduce legislation to re-instate an opposite-sex only definition of marriage and requested Finance Minister Jim Flaherty withhold money spent on sex reassignment surgery from Canada Health Transfer payments. Poilievre was an advocate for the construction of the Vimy Memorial Bridge (then known as the Strandherd Bridge) over the Rideau River, and secured the federal portion of the funding by re-purposing $35 million of transit funds for the bridge.
Poilievre received criticism for uncivil behaviour, such as making a rude gesture in the House of Commons, and using unparliamentary language. The Liberal Party threatened a lawsuit against him in relation to making inaccurate public statements concerning the sponsorship scandal. Addressing the prime minister's apology on behalf of the Canadian government for the Canadian Indian residential school system, Poilievre made remarks to CFRA News Talk Radio regarding the financial compensation and the residential school survivors, for which he would later apologize. Poilievre stated that he did not think Canada was "getting value for all this money", instead "we need to engender the values of hard work and independence and self-reliance." 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."
40th Parliament (2008–2011)
In the 2008 Canadian federal election Poilievre, now a Barrhaven resident, was again re-elected with over 50% of the vote in his Nepean–Carleton riding with his party forming another minority government. For the 40th Canadian Parliament, Prime Minister Stephen Harper appointed Poilievre as Parliamentary Secretary to the Prime Minister. After the prime minister decided Canada would boycott the Durban Review Conference due to concerns of anti-Semitic rhetoric, Poilievre and Liberal Party MP Irwin Cotler were sent to Geneva, Switzerland, to attend the alternative Conference Against Racism, Discrimination, and Persecution. Poilievre went on to Poland for the March of the Living. He was assigned to be a member of the Special Panel on Employment Insurance tasked by Harper and Liberal Party leader Michael Ignatieff to address resulting impacts of 2008 financial crisis with compromise that would avoid election. He was also assigned to the Information, Privacy and Ethics Committee where he expressed concern over camera surveillance, like Google Street View, and called for CEO of Google Eric Schmidt to testify.
Poilievre became referred to as the Conservative Party's "attack dog". He came into conflict with Cotler over Conservative Party flyers addressing antisemitism, used parliamentary privilege to avoid libel to accuse journalist Tom Zytaruk of doctoring the Chuck Cadman-tapes, and used unparliamentary language in referring to former Liberal leader Stéphane Dion's Green Shift plan as Michael Ignatieff's "tar baby". Following the 2009 Liberal Party of Canada leadership election he sent a letter to the Commissioner of Canada Elections alleging contraventions of federal regulations concerning fundraising. In 2010, a police probe was triggered after Poilievre drove through a Parliament Hill screening gate without waiting for the RCMP to permit his entry and open the gate. Instead, Poilievre pressed the entrance button himself and drove his vehicle through. After Poilievre was identified as the driver and the incident was reported on in the media, he apologized.
41st Parliament (2011–2015)
As in 2006 and 2008, Poilievre won re-election in Nepean–Carleton with over 50% of the vote. For this 41st Canadian Parliament, the Conservative Party formed a majority government and Prime Minister Harper appointed Poilievre as Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Transport, Infrastructure and Communities (Denis Lebel) and for the Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario (assisting Gary Goodyear and Steven Fletcher). In that role, he handled parliamentary duties and public announcements on certain issues from those departments. Poilievre took exception to the Quebec branch of the Public Service Alliance of Canada union endorsing the Parti Québécois in the 2012 Quebec provincial election because the political party also advocated for Quebec sovereignty which many members of the union did not agree but had to pay union dues anyway. He began advocating for bill that would making paying union dues optional which culminated with the adoption of Conservative Russ Hiebert's private members bill C-377, An Act to Amend the Income Tax Act (labour organizations).
Minister of State for Democratic Reform
Harper shuffled his cabinet, adding several new members, including Poilievre to replace Tim Uppal as minister of state for democratic reform. With the 2011 Canadian federal election voter suppression scandal concluding, the Canadian Senate expenses scandal enfolding, and the Senate Reform Act (to allow each province to recommend senate candidates and impose a maximum 9 year term limit) paused at second reading to hear from the Supreme Court of Canada as to its constitutionality, this position was seen by the media as being one of toughest in the cabinet and consequential to the Conservative Party. After the Supreme Court unanimously ruled that the Senate Reform Act would require substantial provincial consent, and Harper ruled out the use of a national referendum, reform efforts were abandoned. After Justin Trudeau, leader of the Liberal Party which controlled the second most senate seats, began unilaterally implementing his senate reform plan of making senators independent with a non-partisan appointment process, Poilievre dismissed the measures maintaining senators should be elected.
On February 4, 2014, as Minister of State Poilievre introduced Bill C-23, known as the Fair Elections Act, into the House of Commons. Among other provisions, the bill expanded the types of identification 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, former-auditor general Sheila Fraser, and dozens of Canadian and international 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." The bill was passed and received royal assent.
Also as minister of state, Poilievre introduced Bill C-50, known as the Citizen Voting Act, into the House of Commons on December 2014. The bill was the government's response to a Ontario Superior Court's ruling, which would be appealed to the Supreme Court as Frank v Canada (AG), which had determined the disfranchisement of expatriates who have lived abroad for more than five years was unconstitutional. Bill C-50 instead proposed to insert additional documentation requirements for expatriates to be able to vote. However, it was not adopted before the end of the Parliament in August 2015.
Also during this time, on October 22, 2014, Poilievre was present during the shootings at Parliament Hill. 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 Lester B. Pearson Building, Poilievre brought along his spear as a memento.
Minister of Employment and Social Development
In a small cabinet shuffle, instigated by the decision of Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird to not seek re-election, the prime minister promoted Poilievre, on February 9, 2015, to a ministerial position. He replaced Jason Kenney as minister of employment and social development and took on Baird's role as minister responsible for the National Capital Commission while keeping his duties as the minister responsible for democratic reform. Also at that time, the National Capital Commission was pursuing the development of the Memorial to the Victims of Communism – Canada, a Land of Refuge and trying to decide where to locate it; Poilievre advocated for the site adjacent to the Supreme Court of Canada building.
In July 2015, 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 claimed that "if the Liberals and NDP were to take office they would take the benefits away and raise taxes." 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. As the government spent approximately $4,800 related to the event, it was essentially "a de facto non-monetary contribution" to the Conservative party. The commissioner ruled that this was a campaign finance violation, as Poilievre had "knowingly circumvent[ed] 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.
With several higher profile cabinet ministers, such as John Baird, Peter MacKay, James Moore, and Shelly Glover not seeking reelection, Poilievre took a more visible position assisting Harper and the Conservative Party for the October 2015 federal election.
42nd Parliament (2015–2019)
Locally, Nepean was carved out of his riding in the 2012 Canadian federal electoral redistribution, so Poilievre moved from Barrhaven to Greely to seek election in the more rural Carleton riding. With high profile constitutional lawyer Deborah Coyne running for the Green Party and Liberal Party popularity increasing in his riding, the Carleton election was expected to be more close but still a safe seat for the Conservatives. Poilievre won the seat with 46% of the vote but his Conservative Party would only win enough seats to form the Official Opposition to a Liberal Party majority government.
Following Harper's resignation, interim party leader Rona Ambrose made Poilievre the Conservative Party critic on issues relating to the Treasury Board until October 2016 when she moved him to critic on issues relating to Employment, Labour and Work Opportunity. In August 2017, new party leader Andrew Scheer selected Poilievre to be critic of the Minister of Finance, with Tom Kmiec as deputy critic. In that role Poilievre introduced his third private member's bill (Bill C-395) which sought to amend the Federal–Provincial Arrangements Act in such a way that it would eliminate personal income taxes and payroll taxes that apply to persons with disabilities. Though it gained the support of the New Democratic Party, the bill was defeated at consider of 2nd Reading with both the Liberal Party and Bloc Québécois/Québec debout voting against. During this parliament, Poilievre travelled to Dieppe as part of a Canadian delegation to commemorate the 75th anniversary ceremonies of the Dieppe Raid. In the lead-up to the next election, Poilievre used all the House of Commons time allotted for debating the 2019 Canadian federal budget to deliver one 4-day long speech to promote the SNC-Lavalin affair.
43rd–44th Parliaments (2019–present)
Poilievre was again re-elected in 2019, this time by a wider margin of the vote compared to his 2015 victory.
After Scheer's resignation as party leader, Poilievre was initially considered to be one of the front-runners to win the subsequent leadership election. Poilievre considered a bid and started to assemble a campaign team, though he announced he would not run on January 23, 2020, citing family reasons.
Scheer's successor, Erin O'Toole, kept Poilievre as finance critic until February 10, 2021, when he was replaced with Ed Fast. Poilievre then became critic for jobs and industry, though he only held this position for a short time as he regained his old position as finance critic on November 9, 2021. Poilievre won re-election in Carleton in the 2021 federal election.
2022 leadership campaign
On February 5, 2022, three days after the Conservative caucus ousted O'Toole as leader through a leadership review, Poilievre implicitly declared his intention to run in the 2022 leadership election, stating "I'm running for Prime Minister". Political commentators and journalists have described Poilievre as the frontrunner in the leadership race.
Poilievre's campaign has been described as being centered on freedom and reducing the cost of living. He stated he wants to make Canada the "freest country in the world".
Poilievre argues that large budget deficits are the reason for inflation. Poilievre supports normalizing cryptocurrencies including Bitcoin. He stated he wants to make Canada the "blockchain capital of the world" and believes the federal government is "ruining" the Canadian dollar.
Poilievre supports defunding the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC).
Poilievre has criticized the Bank of Canada, accusing it of being "financially illiterate". Poilievre has accused the bank's governor, Tiff Macklem, of being Liberal Prime Minister Justin Trudeau's "personal ATM" in terms of printing money to fund deficit spending. Poilievre stated that a government led by him would fire Macklem, audit the bank, and ban the bank's potential digital currency.
Environment and energy
Poilievre pledges to repeal the Liberal government's carbon tax if the Conservatives form government under him. Poilievre is in favour of using green technology and placing targets to reduce carbon-related emissions.
Poilievre favours repealing two bills that he describes as "anti-energy": Bill C-48 (a law prohibiting oil tankers of a certain size from docking along the north coast of British Columbia) and Bill C-69 (a law assessing Canada's environment).
Poilievre opposes re-establishing the long-gun registry, and opposes the May 1, 2020 Order in Council that banned over 1,500 models of firearms. He also opposes Bill C-71, which enabled the Government of Quebec to request a copy of all records in the Canadian Firearms Registry for all non-restricted firearms registered to residents of Quebec up to April 3, 2015.
In terms of abortion, Poilievre is pro-choice. He stated that a government led by him would not seek to reopen the abortion debate.
Poilievre voted against the legalization of same-sex marriage in 2005, like most Conservative MPs, though he later reversed his previous position and in 2020, called gay marriage a "success". Poilievre voted in favour of banning conversion therapy in a free vote.
During the spring and summer of 2020, Poilievre was critical of what he perceived as the Trudeau government's misplaced trust in the Communist Party of China, who cancelled the CanSino vaccine contract with Canada. Poilievre insisted that Canada should create its own vaccines supply, and make purchase agreements with more trustworthy governments.
Poilievre announced his support of those in the Canada convoy protest who were protesting peacefully, while denouncing the individuals who were promoting extremism.
After moving to Ottawa, Poilievre dated Conservative political advisor Jenni Byrne until 2011. In January 2018, Poilievre married Anaida Galindo, a Senate aide, in a ceremony in Portugal. Their first child, Valentina Alejandra Poilievre Galindo, was born on October 17, 2018. On September 12, 2021, Poilievre welcomed his second child, Cruz Alejandro Poilievre.
Poilievre is bilingual, speaking fluent English and French. Poilievre has a large social media following on platforms such as Twitter and YouTube.
|Carleton2021 Canadian federal election:|
|New Democratic||Kevin Hua||8,164||11.5||+2.16|
|Total valid votes||70,873|
|Total rejected ballots||447||0.63|
|Source: Elections Canada|
|Carleton2019 Canadian federal election:|
|New Democratic||Kevin Hua||6,479||9.34||+3.21||$2,169.60|
|Total valid votes/expense limit||69,359||100|
|Total rejected ballots||408||0.60||+0.27|
|Source: Elections Canada|
|Carleton2015 Canadian federal election:|
|New Democratic||KC Larocque||3,632||6.13||-7.22||$17,692.44|
|Total valid votes/expense limit||59,239||100.00||$206,141.87|
|Total rejected ballots||196||0.33||–|
|2011 Canadian federal election: Nepean–Carleton|
|New Democratic||Ric Dagenais||12,955||16.24|
|Total valid votes||79,795|
|2008 Canadian federal election: Nepean–Carleton|
|New Democratic||Phil Brown||6,946||9.7|
|Total valid votes||71,490|
|2006 Canadian federal election: Nepean–Carleton|
|New Democratic||Laurel Gibbons||8,274||11.5|
|Total valid votes||72,089|
|2004 Canadian federal election: Nepean–Carleton|
|New Democratic||Phil Brown||6,072||9.1|
|Total valid votes||66,848|