The most annoying politician in Canada is back

Conservative Shadow Minister for Finance Pierre Poilievre is why we hate-watch CPAC.

Conservative MP Pierre Poilievre is possibly the most annoying politician in Canada — certainly in the Rest of Canada, as haters of Simon Jolie-Barrette may argue. The Calgary-born MP was largely out of the political picture for most of 2021 after his “shadow minister” file shifted from finance to the lower profile jobs and industry. But following the federal election in September, Conservative leader Erin O’Toole  handed Poilievre his old opposition gig back.

With Parliament back in session, the lightly greased, bespectacled nuisance has returned to our TV screens, begrudgingly admitting he’s double-vaxxed in a press conference on Tuesday and trying to roast the Liberals over inflation in question period over the following days. 

The most annoying politician in Canada is back

His nasal intonations, minor theatrical gestures and constant cringey Trudeau burns (he coined #Justinflation this week) feel simultaneously rooted in old-school political discourse and contemporary soundbite hell. It’s why CPAC has become a destination for hate-watching, and considering how much Poilievre seems to enjoy pontificating on camera and in the House of Commons, he’s eating up a fair amount of air time.

Voters in Ottawa’s Carleton riding elected Pierre Poilievre six times.

For a little history, Poilievre has been an MP since 2004, when he was 25 years old. He’s worked closely with a rogue’s gallery of Conservatives, from Stockwell Day to Jason Kenney to Stephen Harper. Despite his everything, he is perennially popular in his Ottawa riding of Carleton, winning six terms — he won the recent election with 49.9% of the vote.

Aside from being an outspoken and particularly irritating Conservative, possibly the worst thing Poilievre has ever said was about the notion of compensating Indigenous Canadians for the horrors of residential school, back in 2008.  He said that he didn’t think Canada was “getting value for all this money,” and that “we need to engender the values of hard work and independence and self-reliance” instead. He apologized in Parliament the next day. But still, that’s a strong indicator of his views on reconciliation, among other things.

As painful as it may be, we’d all be well-advised to keep an eye on this man.

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