Mellor Hall was packed to the doors Monday night (Nov. 13) as supporters of federal Conservative leader Pierre Poilievre gathered to hear him speak of the party’s common-sense approach to leading the country if he is elected prime minister in the next election.
The enthusiastic crowd stood shoulder to shoulder and loudly cheered as Poilievre laid out his plans to implement policies that he promised would lead to lower prices, bigger paycheques, safer streets, and homes Canadians can afford after eight years of Liberal Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s leadership.
The visit to the Cowichan Valley is part of Poilievre’s “Bring it Home” tour that he is taking across the country.
“The high housing costs, and the worst inflation and interest hikes that Canadians have seen in over a generation are the direct result of Trudeau and the NDP,” Poilievre said in an interview with the Citizen before the rally.
“It was not like this before [Trudeau’s years as prime minister] and it won’t be like this after he’s gone. My plan is to lower prices, cut the carbon tax, inflation and the deficit and lower income taxes so people are paying less and bringing home more money.”
Poilievre said he would deliver home building targets across the country and remove taxes on the industry so more people can have “real roofs over their heads”.
“As well, I’d get people off of drugs by banning hard drugs and put more funding into treatment and recovery programs,” he said.
As for concerns many people in the Cowichan Valley and along the shores of the Salish Sea have about shipping vessels waiting for their turn to offload or load up at Vancouver’s port, Poilievre said he would make the Vancouver Port Authority, which operates the port, work properly.
Repeated calls have been made by local governments, community groups and First Nations who are concerned about the environmental impacts of the anchored shipping vessels, as well as the noise and light pollution they create, for the federal government to deal with the issue.
Poilievre said Vancouver’s port is one of the worst run ports in the world, with ships stuck waiting out at sea instead of dropping off and picking up loads at the port in a timely manner. He blamed bad management, and he said he would see that the red tape is cut to deal with it and get goods to market.
“That would also see more affordable goods and more good-paying jobs,” he said.
“The members of management at the Vancouver Port Authority would have to follow strict performance standards or be fired. I would not allow failure and have management members keep their jobs. They either deliver or be shown the door.”
The Cowichan-Malahat-Langford riding hasn’t produced a Conservative MP for some time, although Conservative candidate Alana DeLong did come a distant second in the last federal election in 2021.
Poilievre said he feels strongly that the Conservative Party and the people of the Cowichan Valley share many of the same concerns and values, and the Conservative candidate in the riding will do well in the next election.
“We share the belief that government serves the people rather than the other way around,” he said.
“The Cowichan Valley and the Conservatives want safer streets, affordable living, and a common-sense approach. The NDP betrayed the people to work for Trudeau, and they have together quadrupled the carbon tax, increased crime and chaos, drugs and disorder and now they even want to ban hunting rifles, which is a long-standing tradition in the Cowichan Valley.”
Poilievre said things will only change for the better when Trudeau and the NDP are fired by the people in the next election.