, 10.26.2022 01:04 PM

My latest: Poilievre’s good week

Pierre Poilievre had a good week. Nay, a very good week.

And he didn’t even have to do anything to get it.

The application of the Emergencies Act. The rise in interest rates. And a trip to London.

Events, dear boy, events: long-ago British Prime Minister Harold Macmillan was asked by a journalist about his biggest political challenges. “Events, dear boy, events,” was Macmillan’s pithy reply.

Events cut both ways, however. What’s bad for Liberal Justin Trudeau is, most days, good for Conservative Pierre Poilievre. And those three events have arguably nudged the freshly-minted Tory leader closer to power.

Let’s look at each.  First, the Bank Canada.

On Wednesday, Canada’s central bankers stepped back from the abyss, somewhat, and raised key interest rates by 0.5 percentage points.  That’s better than what some had been expecting, which was .75 per cent.

But, still.  It’s the sixth interest rate hike in 2022.  The so-called policy rate is now 3.75 per cent – the highest it’s been since 2008.  And the Bank of Canada is all but promising that more interest rate hikes are coming – their size to be determined by “how inflation and inflation expectations are responding.”

For most Canadians, that sounds decidedly ominous.  It means that, if inflation isn’t presently hurting you, interest rates will.  Because the cost of borrowing for anything – to buy a house or a car, to use a credit card – is going up and up.

Inflation, and rising interest rates, both help Pierre Poilievre.  For months, he’s been hammering away at the Bank of Canada’s fiscal policy.  At the start, his rhetoric was overheated – and his swipes at Bank of Canada officials, who can’t defend themselves, was unfair.

Now, Poilievre looks prescient.  If the central bankers don’t do enough, the cost of living will get worse.  If they do too much, we could be pushed into a recession. Either way, the Tory leader can’t lose.

The second “event” that assists Poilievre is the inquiry into the use of the Emergencies Act, presided over by Justice Paul Rouleau.

Rouleau has ruled the inquiry with professionalism and restraint.  But the inquiry is more likely to be remembered as a lot of blame-shifting by the people who let the Ottawa occupation go on for weeks.

Police agencies, in particular, look terrible.  After previously nudging the government into applying the Emergencies Act, the police – from the RCMP to the OPP – are now claiming they didn’t.  The record suggests otherwise.

For Poilievre, this also amounts to a win.  While he got far too close to the “freedom convoy” types – whose leaders are now facing criminal prosecution for multiple serious charges – Poilievre’s earlier insistence that the Act was overkill may end up being seen as true.

The inquiry may well find that the Trudeau government used a legislative sledgehammer to kill a housefly.  And Poilievre, again, would be vindicated.

The third event happened in the pages of this newspaper: my colleague Brian Lilley’s revelation that taxpayers shelled out $6,000 a night for Prime Minister Justin Trudeau – or Governor-General Mary Simon, we’re not sure who – to stay at London’s Corinthia Hotel.

Trudeau and Simon were in London for the funeral of the Queen, as they should have been.  But, by any reasonable standard, $6,000 a night is outrageous. Given that U.S. President Joe Biden stayed at his country’s embassy for the funeral – costing American taxpayers little to nothing – makes Trudeau and Simon’s profligacy completely unacceptable.

At a time of surging inflation, and rising cost of borrowing, $6,000 a night looks very, very bad.  As Tory ethics critic Michael Barrett told Lilley:

“At a time when Canadians are being forced to choose between heating their homes and feeding their families, this type of excess is shocking. Prime Minister Trudeau should explain to Canadians why he is living a lifestyle of luxury at their expense.”

Three recent events, all unhelpful to Justin Trudeau.  And therefore all quite helpful to Pierre Poilievre.

Sometimes, in politics, you don’t need to do anything – just stand there and reap the rewards.

For Pierre Poilievre, this has been one of those weeks.


  1. Douglas W says:

    Poilievre, sharp in Question Period.
    Pretty good at retail politics.

    Getting good strategic advice from his inner circle.
    Caucus, disciplined.

    Tougher days ahead for Team Justin.

  2. Doug says:

    High interest rates mean many years of austerity ahead, likely 90’s style. The Liberals’ Santa Claus strategy will grind to a hault

  3. Gilbert says:

    $6000 a night is outrageous. I don’t understand why the room is so expensive. Does the room have a jacuzzi, bar and amazing view?

    • Gilbert,

      You see, that’s the problem: it would never, ever, occur to this genius not to stick taxpayers for 6K. This guy thinks it’s perfectly normal for taxpayers to pay his bills. The more the merrier! After all, the old man only left them 12 million. That gang must be really hard up. Quick Jagmeet, support this one while you’re at it — or at least make excuses for him…pathetic.

    • Doug says:

      Especially with the sinking pound and UK economy.

      Warren has experience with countering the “I’m entitled to my entitlements” problem. What strategy does Simon have in this case?

  4. western view says:

    Advice to Pierre Poilievre:

    Your main adversaries, the Liberal and NDP, are suffering from a serious case of self inflicted GSWs. It’s becoming comical to see the bobbing and weaving of Jagmeet Singh, pretending that he knows more than Poilievre about interest rates, and the manipulation of them by the BOC to curb inflation. Singh’s follow up of nonsense is to continue to prop up the Liberals if the EA Inquiry concludes the Act was a “bad decision”. Lots of bad decisions it seems.
    And then there is Justin Trudeau, blabbing into every microphone about testimony from OPS and OPP officials at the EA Inquiry. (Most of which is failing to produce much evidence to support the suspension of civil liberties and freezing of assets.) We got a hint of the Blame Doug Ford narrative being developed by the release of a phone transcription between Trudeau and Mayor Watson.

    In a fair world, MSM will come around to admitting that Poilievre knows more about fiscal policy than most people on Parliament Hill. And who knows, if the BOC continues to misread inflation and drags Canada into a deep deep recession, wanting a new Bank of Canada Governor might become main stream thinking.

    • WV,

      Hate to break it to you that the BOC’s mandate is solely on monetary policy and it is now concurrently held with government as per the recent agreement.

      • Doug says:

        The BoC’s new mandate also includes targeting employment:

        While the Philips curve can be used to justify a dual mandate, i.e. that employment declines as interest rates rise, it also sets central banks up for conflict. Governments obviously have a bias towards fuller employment and other loose monetary policies that set them up for re-election. If central banks have to consider the employment implications of their actions, they risk becoming enablers of government policy. This creates a positive feedback loop where stimulative monetary measures drive government and private sector employment to the point where central banks feel obligated to maintain stimulus. When the dust settles on the economic turmoil, I wouldn’t be surprised to see extensive central bank mandate reviews with possible caps on the amount of government debt that they can hold. In 2020, both NL and AB faced no bid markets for their debt. The BoC intervened. Perhaps they should have been left on their own to enact radical austerity to eliminate their borrowing requirements,. he same could be said for the European countries that couldn’t sell their debt after the GFC.

      • western view says:

        The current mandate, renewed for 2022-2026 specifies an inflation target of 2%, within a range of 1-3%.

        It is proper to provide “independent” latitude to the BOC while it struggles to keep inflation within the agreed upon range without political meddling. (Funny though, nobody seems too concerned about Jagmeet Singh criticizing the hike in interest rates.)
        It is also proper to hold the BOC Governor to account if things get far worse before they get better. There shouldn’t be a single Government employee who is beyond scrutiny, and especially those who continue to heap financial misery on defenceless Canadians due to a lack of expertise and timing.

    • Martin Dixon says:

      “In a fair world, MSM will come around to admitting that Poilievre knows more about fiscal policy than most people on Parliament Hill.”

      I wouldn’t hold your breath. This article alone will have them scrambling.

  5. Peter Williams says:

    “After previously nudging the government into applying the EA, the police … are now claiming they didn’t. The record suggests otherwise.”

    Whom to believe? Trudeau and his ministers? Or senior police officers?

    Mr Kinsella’s commentary quoted above, suggests the senior police officers are, to put it bluntly, lying.

    Since they are lying at a public enquiry shouldn’t they be fired?

    • Peter,

      Anyone who thinks Madame will be fired anytime soon is dreaming.

      • Peter Williams says:


        Either Trudeau’s ministers are lying, or senior police officials are lying.

        We used to have a country where the media would eviscerate politicians or senior police officers who lied. And keep at it until they resigned.

        But now it seems lying has become an acceptable norm.

        It’s like the Soviet Union. There is no news in Pravda, and no truth in Izvestia.

        • Peter,

          It’s not just the dress code that has gone to hell in a handbasket. Couple all of the above with dumbing down and quite deliberate lowering of expectations and you seriously wonder how each subsequent generation will cope adequately, much less survive.

  6. Fred J Pertanson says:

    A couple of edits:

    “cost…to use a credit card – is going up and up”. Not exactly. They are already around 23%, no sign of them moving up (although I will grant you that the move to allow businesses to charge credit card transaction fees is outrageous).

    ” the police – from the RCMP to the OPP – are now claiming they didn’t. The record suggests otherwise”. Seems to me that the record does not suggest otherwise. Can you elaborate?

    Otherwise, I agree with your article. Cheers!

  7. Freebs says:

    The election is a long ways off, people will forget about this. Unfortunately.

  8. western view says:

    Re: $6000/night lodgings

    To play the devils advocate, there is a general consensus that Trudeau was the tone deaf person to stay in a $6000/night suite. C/W a butler. It’s certainly possible as it meets the Trudeau profile of maxing the government credit card for personal luxury.
    But. Maybe we are being set up here? The PMO is not revealing who used the expensive suite, and barely trying to defend who did. If I can use Kinsella house money, my bet would take the long odds of the Gee-Gee hosing the taxpayers. Her trip to Dubai was littered with a ludicrous expense account, so a taste for high living as been revealed. Stay tuned.

    • western view says:

      I’m glad I was betting with Kinsella house money. The Office of the Governor General has confirmed that the Gee Gee didn’t stay in the $6000/night suite.
      That pretty much swings the needle back toward the Prime Spendthrift.

  9. Robert White says:

    Adam Zivo revealed Trudeau’s family grocery bill of $76,213.00 for the current year 2021/22 window on Monday in the National Post.

    My monthly grocery bill is under $150.00 per month and I don’t have a famous Montreal chef making my meals or buying my groceries at La Bottega [read trendy place to shop in downtown Ottawa].

    I doubt Mr. Poilievre’s yearly grocery bill is anywhere near $76,213.00 per year and I’m pretty sure he has to buy his own groceries MoM.

    What really defines Trudeau’s profligacy is the Federal Budget on renovations of the Parliamentary precinct which is the most expensive renovation of any government asset in the entire history of Canada as a nation. On the same budget Trudeau & Freeland received Cost-of-Living increases of 8% whereas provincial counterparts are losing market share in comparison YoY.

    As one that is abjectly poor I, for one, find Trudeau’s behaviour to be completely tone deaf beyond all former prime ministers throughout the historiography including the Mulroney era of brown bag black money cash grabs from Airbus deals.

    And Dr. Iffy Macklam needs to go back to school to get a real doctorate from a real school instead of the degree mill he bought his from.

    Lastly, when it comes to the cost of living Poilievre has an easy win to power all due to Trudeau’s profligacy and spendthrift drunken sailor on shore leave spending.


  10. EsterHazyWasALoser says:

    Incompetence in the public service has, alas, become not only the expected norm, but acceptable and tolerated. My take on the inquiry has been that the OPS were very poorly led (and let’s not forget that there was a reason Sloly was not picked for the Chief’s position in Toronto). IMHO, the other police services realized the problems the OPS had, and were not willing to become involved until things got more organized. With respect to who said what about the decision to imply the Act, I’ll wait until I see some documentation. I have always thought JT would stick around for another election, but now I’m not so sure. Considering how bad things look in Ottawa right now for the Feds, all Pierre has to do is keep his power dry and he’ll look fine. A final thought, it is not up to the bureaucrats to make political decisions, that is the responsibility of elected politicians. Something to remember.

  11. PJH says:

    I take back all those nasty things I said about Bev Oda’s orange juice. Anyone who has travelled to London knows that it is an incredibly expensive city, esp. for hotel accomodation…..but $6000 a night is in Arab oil potentate territory. I often wonder if the minion who books the “L’Etat c’est moi” ‘s bedchambers whilst overseas, if they have not been spoiled themselves with the Dom Perignon tastes o’ the Dauphin. After you’ve tasted the finer things, its tough to go back to tourii class. Somehow, I suspect M. Chretien never stayed in such plush digs, such was his respect for the Canadian taxpayer. M. Chretien you are missed. PS….Dont think that weasel PP will be staying in any London econo box B&B either if and when{{shudder}} he becomes PM….

  12. the salamander says:

    Interesting comments..
    My background suggests reminds me to take a hard look at the company one keeps.. It also suggests ‘Character’ is a key Attribute. I’m very very aware of Mr Poilievre’s backtrail & spoor. Have been alert to him for many years

    I see him as an ‘emptyman’ – & short on character

    Reading Ted Morton’s gushing Op-Ed – PostMedia today had me laughing. The gist of it was Poilievre, the Great uniter.. or unitor ! Deary Me ! I see him as quite the divider.. busy as beavers are Jenni Byrne, the full weight of the CPC ‘war chest’ star troopers.. while Mr Poilievre’s abandoned Carleton Riding must be aghast as his marching band storms Stornaway in his victory march. Huzzah ! Maybe..

    The ‘Shadow Prime Minister – Pierre 4 PM
    Great White Hope & NEW Smartest Guy In The Room ?

  13. Jim Keegan says:

    Disgusting beyond words that the Globe and Mail and the CBC refuse to run the $6,000 per night hotel suite story. Most of the media in this country have been bought off, plain and simple.

  14. PJH says:

    The digs in question…. https://www.corinthia.com/london/

    Y’all just know he stayed in the “Actors Penthouse”…..:)

  15. Gilbert says:

    Former BC Premier Bill Vander Zalm writes in one of his books that while he was premier, he asked his staff to book him less expensive accommodation when he travelled. He wrote that all he needed was a comfortable room with a big bed. He also wrote that his ministers and aides were unhappy with him because it meant that they also had to downgrade. That’s what I call respect for the taxpayer.

  16. Warren,

    Thought of the week:

    Tick, tock. Credit Suisse. Tick, tock. Clients pull 12.9 billion Swiss Francs. Tick, tock. Capital outflows. Tick, tock. Liquidity Crisis. Tick, tock. Bank runs. Boom!

    Apparently, it’s catching.

  17. Gilbert,

    I can’t attest that this is true but I heard that in Harper’s PMO that the staff daily meal allowance while on government business or time clock required going to McDonald’s for meals. And knowing Harper, he also practiced what he imposed on others.

    I remember well where Harper repeatedly stayed when in Quebec City: it was comfortable and adequate. Nothing more. I’m the last guy in Canada who should say this but HimselfTM has made me sorely miss Harper and his ethics.

    • Douglas W says:

      Harper was an unlikeable guy. But he ran a competent government.

      He and his senior ministers knew their files. Same could not be said for this current bunch.

      • Douglas,

        Like you said, the example flows from the top. Our current Prime Minister seemingly hasn’t learned much on how to handle that job at the very least adequately. Frankly, in foreign capitals he seems to be considered as an embarrassment, joke or at the very best, an afterthought. And the collective is not wrong in their judgment of both his aptitudes and relevance. Need proof? Do the letters IPEF ring a bell? Exactly.

  18. Warren,

    Ipsos has the CPC up 5. If that’s right, the current trend is continuing. Léger, for its part, has us up only 2. If they are in the money, then CPC support is soft. A flashing yellow warning sign, if you will.

    They can’t both be right.

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