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Federal Conservative Party Leader Pierre Poilievre is considered a master communicator by many. And there is little question his rhetoric and attendant messages have a piercing effect, strongly resonating with many Canadians.

He’s become particularly adept at packaging thoughts around a particular theme in short videos that are perfect for our social-media age. The concept has been copied by many political leaders across the country.

And yet, while Mr. Poilievre’s videos are doubtlessly effective, albeit over-the-top cheesy, they are often also misleading to the point of being fabulously deceitful. This would include his latest, set in a Toronto subway station.

As he walks purposefully toward the camera, Mr. Poilievre jabs his index finger toward the viewer: “You had a destination, that destination was a home.” He goes on to say that for many Canadians, finding an affordable home in a safe neighbourhood is no longer possible thanks to – yes, you guessed it – eight years of Justin Trudeau and the federal Liberals.

Even as he says this, Mr. Poilievre knows it isn’t true. The policies of the Trudeau government have had little discernable effect on house prices in Canada, which have been on the ascent for decades as a result of both worldwide trends and decisions by rich investors to prey upon desirable markets such as Vancouver and Toronto. Canadian house prices are the result of the same supply-and-demand principles that Mr. Poilievre’s Conservatives so religiously subscribe to.

“Housing costs have doubled over the last eight years, as government gatekeepers block builders from providing you with [a] roof overhead,” Mr. Poilievre goes on in his video.

Ah, yes, Mr. Poilievre’s famous gatekeepers, which would have to include, one supposes, those of a conservative persuasion, given that high housing prices exist across virtually the entire country, in provinces run by people like Danielle Smith and Doug Ford. Get rid of the gatekeepers and all will be fine, Mr. Poilievre tells us.

But it is a lie. And he knows it.

B.C. is getting rid of the supposed gatekeepers. The provincial government has ordered cities and municipalities to rezone single-family neighbourhoods to allow for tens of thousands of multiunit housing projects, while simultaneously acknowledging this onslaught of new construction will do nothing for affordability. The market sets the price, and as hundreds of thousands of new immigrants arrive in Canada every year, demand will always be high – and so will prices.

Mr. Poilievre moves on to exploit the misery of many Canadians. “Hopelessness sends people into the streets. Drug addicts are dying of overdoses as governments give up on treating them and instead give them more of the poisons that are killing them in the first place,” he says.

Of the many egregious statements made by the federal Conservative Leader in his video, this might be the most outlandish and despicable of them all. Governments are not giving drug addicts the same poisoned drugs that are killing them. (He is referring to B.C. here, and its safer-supply drug program.) They are giving addicts clean drugs so they don’t buy the fentanyl-laced narcotics being sold on the street that are killing them. They have introduced this policy at the recommendation of drug and addiction experts who have studied the problem for decades. And yet here, their expertise is being condemned by someone whose only career has been as a mostly incendiary, conflict-chasing politician.

Yet you can just see a non-informed Canadian watching the video and shaking their head in fury, as Mr. Poilievre goes on about governments feeding addicts the same poisonous drugs that are killing them. This is precisely the type of performance politics fuelling the polarization that Mr. Poilievre’s predecessor, Erin O’Toole, warned about this week in his farewell address in the House of Commons.

Mr. Poilievre continues on with his torturous train metaphor in his two-minutes-plus diatribe: People had a “destination” and “bought a ticket” only to have their plans derailed by the dastardly Mr. Trudeau, whose eight years in power have been a “train wreck.”

The narrative shifts briefly to people being “stuck in the ditch,” instead of going off the rails, which the Conservative Leader’s message does numerous times.

“You worked hard. You earned your ticket. You did your part. Now, we just need a new driver who can bring you home to the destination.”

That would be him, I suppose?

What Mr. Poilievre is doing is no different than what Donald Trump did in 2016: make outlandish claims that aren’t true, and pledges that he has no honest hope of fulfilling. Yet, people bought the false hope and empty promises Mr. Trump was selling.

Mr. Poilievre is hoping Canadians will, too.

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