Skip to main content
Open this photo in gallery:

Candidate Pierre Poilievre at the Conservative Party of Canada English leadership debate in Edmonton on May 11.Jeff McIntosh/The Canadian Press

I’m with Conservative leadership hopeful Pierre Poilievre: fire the gatekeepers. Banish them from Canada. As Mr. Poilievre says, it’s time to make this country the “freest on earth,” and the only way to do that is through an incoherent collection of restrictions on certain individuals, groups or institutions, such as banning the Bank of Canada from developing a digital currency. And by firing its governor. That’s the type of political meddling that only the freest countries in the world entertain, and Mr. Poilievre is the man to lead this wayward flock to graze on his field of dreams.

The worst of the gatekeepers, as we all know, are the lifelong politicians: the men and women who have never stepped foot in the real world except to pose for cheesy photo-ops and maybe to find someone to clean their income properties. They are the ones who joined political parties before they could vote, who have been living off taxpayers since they were barely old enough to rent a car, and who earned a generous public pension at the ripe old age of 31, when many Canadians nowadays can barely afford to move out of their parents’ home.

These gatekeepers like to pretend they don’t have extraordinary influence and control over the lives of Canadians, which is a good way to garner populist support and thus acquire greater influence and control over the lives of Canadians. Mr. Poilievre, who I’ll assume has toiled in Canada’s cruel and unforgiving mines for years (cryptocurrency mines count, yes?), is clearly the antithesis of the permanently on-the-public-teat type, because it’s possible he once raked leaves for a neighbour as a child and therefore earned a few private-sector dollars.

Mr. Poilievre has said for months that he will remove the gatekeepers who have massively increased the price you pay at the gas pump (I guess that means he will lead a coup against Russian President Vladimir Putin) and banish the gatekeepers who have inflated the price of goods and services (thus vanquishing war, disease, and a decade’s-worth of supply chain vulnerabilities in a single instant). But perhaps more critically, he has vowed to take on the gatekeepers who enable others to impede the freedoms of everyday Canadians – the politicians and law-enforcement personnel who stand idly by as groups of chaos actors occupy territory in the name of political protest. As he said in February, 2020, when protesters blocked railways in opposition to the Coastal GasLink pipeline: “These blockaders are taking away the freedom of other people to move their goods and themselves where they want to go and that is wrong and the government has laws and tools in place to combat it.”

Now, I haven’t checked to see if Mr. Poilievre still stands by this position, but surely he would have the exact same view if another group of protesters impeded the free movement of their fellow Canadians and, say, blocked border crossings to act out some sort of political tantrum. Mr. Poilievre is nothing but decidedly non-partisan and fair on these matters.

There is one group of gatekeepers that Mr. Poilievre will not take on, and that is those who uphold Canada’s system of supply management, which controls the supply of milk, eggs and poultry that is produced in this country. Though supply management means that Canadians pay more for these products, and though Mr. Poilievre surely understands what it’s like to put cheese back on the shelf when the price gets too high, he has a good reason for standing down to this important voting bloc: namely, that dismantling supply management would be hard, and as he has said, probably very expensive. Thus, it’s better that Canadians carry the cost of artificially high dairy in perpetuity, and not ask that our leaders take on too many stressful challenges.

The thing I like about Pierre Poilievre is that he says the things I’m thinking after I’ve stayed up all night drinking Red Bulls and watching Related Videos on YouTube. He will stand up to the Bill Gateses and Klaus Schwabs of the world, and ban ministers in his freest government ever from attending any World Economic Forum events (though they are still permitted to serve as his campaign co-chair). Mr. Poilievre understands the plight of the working man because he is the working man, with calluses on the sides of his pinkies where he rests his phone while texting. And really, is that so different from the hands of the truckers, the oil-rig workers, the brick masons he claims to represent? Are his Italian loafers so different from their steel-toe boots? Does his brow not bead with sweat after a hard day’s work when maintenance hasn’t gotten around to fixing the A/C?

Mr. Poilievre will take on the laptop class, the political lifers, the bankers, the guys behind the colossally bad Matrix 4, your mother-in-law, and whomever else you perceive as holding you back from experiencing greater joy or success in your life. Down with the will-say-anything lifelong politician; vote for Pierre Poilievre.

Keep your Opinions sharp and informed. Get the Opinion newsletter. Sign up today.

Follow related authors and topics

Authors and topics you follow will be added to your personal news feed in Following.

Interact with The Globe