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Poilievre promises 'common-sense Conservative government'

The Conservative leader’s Sudbury stop was filled with chants of ‘Axe the Tax’, promising to scrap the carbon tax and to “make life more affordable” for Canadians
Conservative Leader Pierre Poilievre made a stop in Sudbury on Jan. 13 as part of his Northern Ontario “Axe the tax” tour. Poilievre spoke at a press conference under his new billboard, located at Lorne and Walnut Streets.

Conservative leader Pierre Poilievre got a real taste of Northern Ontario as he spent the weekend touring the five major cities, making a Sudbury stop for a press conference under his new billboard at Lorne and Walnut Streets, followed by a rally for supporters at the Holiday Inn on Regent Street. 

Speaking from the tailgate of a pickup truck, Poilievre was flanked by supporters including local Conservative candidates Charles Humphrey and Dr. Ian Symington as he addressed the media. 

Conservative Leader Pierre Poilievre made a stop in Sudbury on Jan. 13 as part of his Northern Ontario “Axe the tax” tour. Poilievre spoke at a press conference under his new billboard, located at Lorne and Walnut Streets. . Jenny Lamothe

Beginning his prepared remarks to the chants of “axe the tax,” the leader of the official opposition joked he was hoping to get a tan in Sudbury, “but it’s not going that well, not as well as a if I had a free trip to Jamaica” a reference to the Prime Minister’s recent trip to Jamaica, which the federal Conservatives are calling into question. 

(The Prime Minister's Office said in a statement that the federal ethics commissioner was consulted "on these details prior to the travel to ensure that the rules were followed.")

Poilievre then said Trudeau “wants to raise the carbon tax by 300 per cent to 61 cents a litre, forcing seniors to choose between eating and heating, taxing our farmers who make the food, the truckers who ship the food and therefore all who buy the food.”

The carbon tax price will rise by $15 each year starting in 2023 until it hits $170 per tonne in 2030, while the rebates Canadians get in turn will also rise, and shift from annual to quarterly payments. 

But Poilievre said Trudeau was “not worth the cost of gas. He's not worth the cost of food. He's not worth the cost of homes. He's not worth the cost,” adding, “Canada needs a new common sense prime minister.” 

With echoes of former Ontario PC Premier Mike Harris, Poilievre said a “common-sense Conservative government” will streamline and speed up the approval of hydroelectric dams, clean green nuclear power, carbon capture and storage technology offshore tidal power in the Atlantic provinces.

“And we're going to mine the minerals of electrification,” said Poilievre. “We will repeal C-69 so that we can approve mines in a way that protects our environment and consults First Nations but gets decisions made and brings home clean green mining and energy production to our country and our people.” 

Poilievre has campaigned heavily on scrapping carbon pricing, and in Sudbury tonight latched onto a report from the parliamentary budget office which stated that 60 per cent of Canadians pay more in carbon taxes than they get back in rebates, which Poilievre said is “exactly the opposite” of what citizens were told. 

“It is a rip off,” he said. “Everything Trudeau said about the carbon tax was a lie.”

In an interview with another outlet, Canada's Parliamentary budget officer Yves Giroux said people were picking and choosing which parts of his report to discuss.

"Looking at the big picture, the overall picture, is highly preferable,” said Giroux. “Anything we do with respect to addressing or trying to curb climate change will have costs. It's either a cost to the carbon tax or regulations to reduce the use of fossil fuel. Regulations also have a cost. Doing nothing would also have costs."

Poilievre also spoke to changes his government would make at a federal level regarding the opioid crisis, as well as the criminal justice system. 

“Bringing jail and not bail for repeat violent offenders,” he said. “Giving treatment, not more decriminalized and taxpayer subsidized drugs so that we can bring our loved ones home drug-free.” 

He also stated he would “stop Trudeau’s plan to ban your hunting rifle,” likely a reference to Bill C-21 and a controversial amendment that was withdrawn by the government in February. The amendment was tabled in a committee meeting in November, and faced questions about how far it would have expanded the scope of weapons that are prohibited in Canada. It is no longer a part of Bill C-21. 

Poilievre said “Justin Trudeau wants to protect turkeys from hunters, I want to protect Canadians from criminals.” 

Poilievre then arrived to a 150-person standing ovation at the follow-up rally. Introduced by Parry Sound Muskoka MP, Scott Aitchison, Poilievre introduced the new “merch” available on their Conservative website, including an “Axe the Tax” shirt, as well as one that reads “How do you like them apples?”

Poilievre was referring to a video of him eating an apple while chiding a local journalist that went viral in late October. He added, “an apple a day will keep the woke journalists away.” 

He asked the crowd, “Who’s ready to axe the tax?” To wild applause, followed by “Who’s ready to build homes they can afford?” and  “Who’s ready to keep their hunting rifles,” which also garnered great support from the crowd. 

“Who’s ready to make common sense, common again,” he asked, and received another standing ovation. 

Poilievre was headed to Sault Ste. Marie after his stop in Sudbury. He was in Thunder Bay on Friday, Jan. 12, and stopped in Timmins and North Bay before heading to the Nickel City. 

Jenny Lamothe is a reporter with 


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Jenny Lamothe

About the Author: Jenny Lamothe

Jenny Lamothe is a reporter with She covers the diverse communities of Sudbury, especially the vulnerable or marginalized.
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