Pierre Poilievre

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The Honourable
Pierre Poilievre
Pierre Poilievre.jpg
Minister of State for Democratic Reform
Incumbent
Assumed office
July 15, 2013
Prime Minister Stephen Harper
Preceded by Tim Uppal
Member of the Canadian Parliament
for Nepean—Carleton
Incumbent
Assumed office
2004
Preceded by David Pratt
Personal details
Born ( 1979-06-03) June 3, 1979 (age 35)
Calgary, Alberta
Political party Conservative
Residence Ottawa
Profession Politician
Website http://www.PierreMP.ca

Pierre Poilievre, PC, MP (/ˈpɑː.lə.vər/ PAW-lə-vər by preference, though in general usage, the name is usually rendered PWAH-lee-EVR, closer to its French pronunciation; born June 3, 1979) is a Canadian politician and Minister of State (Democratic Reform).[1] He is currently a member of the Canadian House of Commons representing the suburban Ottawa riding of Nepean-Carleton. First elected in 2004, Poilievre was re-elected in 2006 and 2008. Poilievre received the second highest vote total of any candidate in the 2008 election.

Background[edit]

Poilievre was born in Calgary, Alberta; Poilievre is Franco-Albertan in origin. He studied international relations at the University of Calgary,[2] following a period of study in commerce at the same institution. He holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Calgary.[3][4] While there he made close friends and alliances with his lifelong political mentors Tom Flanagan, Ted Morton and Barry Cooper of the "Calgary School", and met Stephen Harper also.

When Poilievre was running for election in 2004, he stated that he was co-owner of a political research company called 3D Contact Inc.. According to the company profile, these 'contacts' were Stephen Harper, Ted Morton and Stockwell Day. His partner was Jonathan Denis, who later became Minister of Housing in the Alberta government.

Poilievre also has done policy work for Canadian Alliance MPs Stockwell Day and Jason Kenney, and prior to running for office himself; worked as a full-time assistant to Day. He also worked for Magna International, focusing on communications, and has done public relations work.

In 1999, writing as Pierre Marcel Poilievre, he contributed an essay, "Building Canada Through Freedom" to the book @Stake—"As Prime Minister, I Would...", a collection of essays from Magna International's "As Prime Minister" awards program. In his essay he argued, among other things, for a two-term limit for all Members of Parliament. He did not win the competition and is now in his fourth term as an MP. At the time, he was editorially described as being in the second year of a Commerce program at the University of Calgary. His self-description was as "a political junkie with a passion for public debating and a special interest in international relations".[5]

Politics[edit]

In 2004, Poilievre stood as Conservative candidate in the riding of Nepean—Carleton. He defeated Liberal cabinet minister David Pratt by almost 3,736 votes. In 2006, Poilievre was re-elected with 55% of the vote, beating Liberal candidate Michael Gaffney by 19,401 votes. He has been re-elected in 2008 and 2011 with similar majorities. Since 2006, he has been appointed as Parliamentary Secretary to various ministers including John Baird, the President of the Treasury Board and to Prime Minister Stephen Harper.

Following the 2011 election Poilievre was appointed Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Transport, Infrastructure and Communities and for the Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario

On July 15, 2013, Pierre Poilievre was appointed to Cabinet by Prime Minister Stephen Harper as Minister of state for democratic reform after a recent Cabinet shuffle.[1]

Federal Accountability Act[edit]

As Parliamentary Secretary to Treasury Board, Polievre redrafted Canada’s whistleblower protection laws.[6] and worked with Minister John Baird to pass the Federal Accountability Act through the Canadian House of Commons. The Public Servants Disclosure Protection Act was enacted to provide a process for public sector employees when disclosing abuses and wrongdoings within the federal government and protection of these employees from reprisals. The Federal Accountability Act received Royal Assent on December 12, 2006.[7] This act has been criticized for falling far short of the Conservative Party's pre-election promises [1] and effectively giving supervisors of whistleblowers continuing power over them, intimidating them from revealing all they know. [2]

Children's Fitness Tax Credit[edit]

Poilievre proposed a sports tax credit to then Opposition-leader Stephen Harper[citation needed]. The sports tax credit became a central plank in the Conservative Party's 2006 election platform.[8] The tax credit came into effect January 1, 2007. The tax credit allows parents to claim $500 per year for dependent children under the age of 16. Disabled children are eligible for the tax credit until the age of 18.[9]

Queensway Carleton Hospital[edit]

In the summer of 2006, Poilievre and Minister John Baird helped secure a $1 per year rent for the Queensway Carleton Hospital from the National Capital Commission. Before the brokered agreement, the QCH was paying the NCC $23,000 per year in rent. The lease of the hospital was to expire in 2013,[10] and the rent was set to increase substantially.[11]

Strandherd-Armstrong Bridge[edit]

Poilievre has actively advocated for the construction of the Strandherd-Armstrong bridge which is planned to span the Rideau river.[12] The eight-lane bridge will link Riverside South with Barrhaven[13] Poilievre secured one-third of the project's funding and acquired the neighbouring airport land needed to complete the Limebank Road expansion, tapping into funds already committed by former MP David Pratt for transportation projects in this riding.[14]

Construction began on July 27, 2010. The event was locally publicised, with politicians of all levels and parties involved attending the ground breaking.[15]

The bridge was originally scheduled to be completed in 2012,[16] but in 2012 the original contractor, ConCreate USL, went into receivership.[17] The bridge opened in July 2014.

Charitable work[edit]

As a member of Parliament, Poilievre has been known for his involvement with a variety of charities. For his 30th birthday, Poilievre co-hosted an event with Ottawa Police Chief Vernon White to help raise funds for Harvest House Ministries and Project S.T.E.P.[18] Both charities do work within the greater Ottawa community to treat substance abuse and prevent addiction. Poilievre has also secured $1 million in funding for the city of Ottawa's drug treatment initiative.[19] In 2005, Poilievre helped raise $40,000 to help rebuild the Manotick legion after it was destroyed by fire in June of that year.[20]

Union Dues and Union Disclosures[edit]

Poilievre has been a vocal critic of unions and the Public Service Alliance of Canada in particular, advocating that union members be given the ability to opt-out of union dues. This came after the regional sectors of that union endorsed the separatist Parti Québécois in the 2011 Quebec provincial election. Poilievre remarked,

“I accept the results of the election,” said Poilievre. “But I can’t accept a union representing public servants working for the government of Canada which forcefully takes money out of the pockets of Canada’s public servants to support parties that want to break up the country. How can it be in the interests of public servants to support the breakup of Canada?”[21]

Poilievre has also supported Conservative MP Russ Hiebert's private members bill C-377, An Act to Amend the Income Tax Act (labour organizations). The legislation advocates for an increased schedule and scope of disclosure for every Canadian labour union.

Foul language in the Commons[edit]

In June 2006, Poilievre used foul language in a committee meeting,[22] and made unparliamentary gestures.[23][24] Poilievre later apologized for making gestures within the Commons.[25]

Accusations of terrorism against Liberals[edit]

In February 2007, Poilievre suggested that there were members of Liberal caucus who wanted to legalize Hezbollah.[26]

"Tar Baby"[edit]

In May 2009 Poilievre was accused of having insensitively used the term "tar baby" in the House of Commons in reference to a policy of carbon taxation from which Poilievre suggested that Liberal leader Michael Ignatieff would try to distance himself. Poilievre repeated the term in a prepared reply to a question from a member of his own party on taxation. A number of Opposition MPs demanded Poilievre make amends for the use of the term.[citation needed] Media coverage of the dispute noted that Poilievre was "the latest in a long line of politicians to take flak for uttering the words.”[27] Poilieve argued that the term was commonly used for "issues that stick to one."[28] Over the previous years, the term itself had been used by a number of prominent Canadian public figures to indicate a sticky situation.[27]

Deliberate security breach[edit]

In October 2010, Poilievre allegedly got impatient waiting at a Parliament Hill checkpoint and pressed a button to open the security gate and drove his car through without being identified and without having his vehicle inspected. He later apologized.[29] [30]

Criticism of aboriginal work ethic[edit]

In June 2008, Poilievre suggested that aboriginals need to learn the value of hard work more than they need financial compensation. Poilievre went on to question the merits of funding within the INAC framework and the value for money received by Canadians.[31] His comments were made the same day as Prime Minister Stephen Harper's public apology on behalf of the Canadian government for the residential schools.[31] Poilievre's comments were objected to by colleagues from both the Conservative and Liberal caucuses, with members of the latter calling for his resignation.[32][33] The day after his appearance on the radio program, Poilievre apologized for his statement in the House of Commons.[33]

Bill C-23, Fair Elections Act[edit]

Main article: Fair Elections Act

Poilievre introduced Bill C-23, known as the Fair Elections Act, into the House of Commons on February 4, 2014.[34] The bill immediately received tremendous amounts of criticism, in part because of provisions that could make it more difficult for many citizens to vote. After a number of weeks in which many other experts expressed their concern and criticisms — including former Chief Electoral Officer Jean-Pierre Kingsley,[35] former Auditor General Sheila Fraser,[36] and literally dozens of Canadian[37] and international[38] political experts — Poilievre stepped up his attacks on Marc Mayrand, the Chief Electoral Officer of Elections Canada, by accusing him of wanting "more power, a bigger budget and less accountability."[39] In the same appearance before the Senate Standing Committee on Legal and Constitutional Affairs, Poilievre went on to accuse Mayrand of "fighting to retain this power, making some incredible claims and inventing some novel legal principles to do it." (The Senate committee is "pre-studying" the bill, which is still before the House Standing Committee on Procedure and House Affairs.)

2014 Ottawa Shootings[edit]

On 22 October 2014, Poilievre was present at Parliament Hill during the attack on the House of Commons by Michael Zehaf-Bibeau. 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 follow Conservative ministers and MPs met at the Foreign Office, Poilievre brought along his spear as a memento.[40]

Electoral history[edit]

Canadian federal election, 2011
Party Candidate Votes % ∆%
Conservative Pierre Poilievre 43,428 54.42
Liberal Ryan Keon 20,146 25.25
New Democratic Ric Dagenais 12,955 16.24
Green Jean-Luc Cooke 3,266 4.09
Total valid votes 79,795
Turnout  %
Canadian federal election, 2008
Party Candidate Votes % ∆%
Conservative Pierre Poilievre 39,921 55.8
Liberal Ed Mahfouz 16,743 23.4
Green Lori Gadzala 7,880 11.0
New Democratic Phil Brown 6,946 9.7
Total valid votes 71,490
Turnout 69.4  %
Canadian federal election, 2006
Party Candidate Votes % ∆%
Conservative Pierre Poilievre 39,512 55.0
Liberal Michael Gaffney 20,111 28.0
New Democratic Laurel Gibbons 8,274 11.5
Green Lori Gadzala 3,976 5.5
Total valid votes 72,089
Turnout 75.8  %
Canadian federal election, 2004
Party Candidate Votes % ∆%
Conservative Pierre Poilievre 30,420 45.7
Liberal David Pratt 26,684 40.1
New Democratic Phil Brown 6,072 9.1
Green Chris Walker 2,886 4.3
Marijuana Brad Powers 561 0.8
Total valid votes 66,848
Turnout 75.1  %

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "A full list of the new and old faces in Stephen Harper's cabinet". The Globe and Mail (Toronto). 15 October 2013. 
  2. ^ Parliamentary biography of Pierre Poilievre; www.pm.gc.ca.
  3. ^ "bio". 
  4. ^ "Prime Minister Harper makes changes to federal portfolios". 
  5. ^ @Stake—"As Prime Minister, I Would...". Magna International Inc., 1999, p. 57.
  6. ^ "Tories consider U.S.-style bounty for waste-busting whistleblowers". 
  7. ^ "Bill C-2". 
  8. ^ "Stand Up For Canada". 
  9. ^ "Children's Fitness Tax Credit". 
  10. ^ Ottawa Citizen (July 29, 2006). "Queensway hospital gets break on rent". Ottawa Citizen. 
  11. ^ CBC Ottawa (July 31, 2006). "Queensway hospital gets break on rent". CBC. 
  12. ^ "Strandherd-Armstrong Bridge – Project Overview". 
  13. ^ "Canada-Ontario Partnership to Help Build the Strandherd Armstrong Bridge in Nepean Carleton". June 8, 2009. 
  14. ^ "Poilievre victorious in Nepean-Carleton". Ottawa Citizen. October 15, 2008. 
  15. ^ "Work begins on long-awaited Strandherd-Armstrong bridge project". Ottawa Citizen. July 27, 2010. 
  16. ^ "Detailed overview of the Strandherd-Armstrong Bridge project". City of Ottawa. 
  17. ^ "Strandherd-Armstrong bridge work to resume". CBC News. 6 June 2012. Retrieved 1 November 2012. 
  18. ^ "Project S.T.E.P.". 
  19. ^ "Feds pump $1 million into Ottawa drug prevention, treatment". 
  20. ^ "Manotick Directory: Royal Canadian Legion of Manotick, South Carleton Branch 314". 
  21. ^ "After PSAC endorsement of PQ, Poilievre to push for right to opt out of union dues". 
  22. ^ "Political Notebook, June 9, 2006". 
  23. ^ CTV (June 14, 2006). "Harper urged to apologize for MPs' rude gestures". CTV. 
  24. ^ "Political Notebook, June 14, 2006". 
  25. ^ "Hansard June 14, 2006". 
  26. ^ "The Toronto Star - Partial transcript of Poilievre interview: February 27, 2007". The Star. February 27, 2007. Retrieved May 22, 2010. 
  27. ^ a b Crawford, A (2009-05-29). "No apology". Canadian Broadcasting Corporation. Retrieved 2011-05-03. 
  28. ^ "Tory MP under fire for 'tar baby' comment". CTV News. 2009-05-29. Retrieved 2011-05-03. 
  29. ^ "Conservative MP blows by Hill security check". The Star (Toronto). October 8, 2010. Retrieved May 5, 2011. 
  30. ^ "At least Pierre Poilievre didn’t throw a shoe at Mounties". Globe and Mail (Toronto). October 8, 2010. Retrieved May 5, 2011. 
  31. ^ a b CTV.ca News Staff. "Tory MP under fire over comments about natives". CTV.ca. Retrieved 2008-06-12. 
  32. ^ Liberal.ca. "Conservative MP Pierre Poilievre Must be Fired for Insult to Residential School Survivors". www.liberal.ca. Archived from the original on 2008-06-13. Retrieved 2008-06-12. 
  33. ^ a b "Conservative MP says sorry for 'hurtful' remarks". CTV News. 2008-06-12. 
  34. ^ LEGISinfo. "House Government Bill C-23, An Act to amend the Canada Elections Act and other Acts and to make consequential amendments to certain Acts". Parliament of Canada. Parliament of Canada. Retrieved 9 April 2014. 
  35. ^ Raj, Althia (25 March 2014). "Jean-Pierre Kingsley: Bill C-23, Fair Elections Act, Shouldn't Pass Commons As Is". HuffingtonPost.ca. Retrieved 9 April 2014. 
  36. ^ Bergeron-Oliver, Annie (8 April 2014). "Fraser holds her own on Fair Elections Act". iPolitics.ca. Retrieved 9 April 2014. 
  37. ^ "Don’t undermine Elections Canada". NationalPost.com. 11 March 2014. Retrieved 9 April 2014. 
  38. ^ "‘We believe that this Act would prove [to] be deeply damaging for electoral integrity within Canada’". The Globe and Mail (Toronto). 19 March 2014. Retrieved 9 April 2014. 
  39. ^ "Tory cabinet minister launches astonishing personal attack on elections watchdog Marc Mayrand". NationalPost.com. 8 April 2014. Retrieved 9 April 2014. 
  40. ^ Chase, Steven. "Ottawa attack: MPs fashioned spears while Harper whisked into closet". www.theglobeandmail.com. Retrieved 24 October 2014. 

External links[edit]

28th Ministry – Cabinet of Stephen Harper
Cabinet Post (1)
Predecessor Office Successor
Tim Uppal Minister for Democratic Reform
2013–present
Incumbent
Parliament of Canada
Preceded by
David Pratt
Member of Parliament for Nepean—Carleton
2004–present
Succeeded by
Incumbent