(Bloomberg) — A staunch supporter of the trucker protest that has taken over the downtown of Canada’s capital city is seeking to lead the country’s Conservative Party.
Pierre Poilievre, a 42-year-old finance critic from the Ottawa area, said in a Twitter post on Saturday he is running for prime minister to replace Justin Trudeau and “restore freedom.”
Poilievre is deeply popular with the Conservatives’ base and announced his candidacy days after the Tories ousted their leader, Erin O’Toole, after he failed to stem internal dissent that had been building since last year’s election defeat.
This advertisement has not loaded yet, but your article continues below.
Hundreds of truckers and other protesters have occupied Ottawa’s streets for a week to oppose vaccine mandates. Poilievre has embraced the demonstrations, meeting with protesters in person and defending their right to free speech. Poilievre said he stands for freedom “to make your own health and vaccine choices,” adding in a video that governments have gotten “big and bossy.”
“Using Covid as a political opportunity, the Trudeau government has attacked small businesses, truckers and other hardworking Canadians,” Poilievre said in the video posted on Twitter. “They target law-abiding hunters and farmers and while letting gangsters and gun smugglers run free.”
©2022 Bloomberg L.P.
Financial Post Top Stories
Sign up to receive the daily top stories from the Financial Post, a division of Postmedia Network Inc.
By clicking on the sign up button you consent to receive the above newsletter from Postmedia Network Inc. You may unsubscribe any time by clicking on the unsubscribe link at the bottom of our emails. Postmedia Network Inc. | 365 Bloor Street East, Toronto, Ontario, M4W 3L4 | 416-383-2300