Federal Conservative Party leadership Pierre Poilievre. (Image capture via @PierrePoilievre on Twitter.)Federal Conservative Party leadership Pierre Poilievre. (Image capture via @PierrePoilievre on Twitter.)

1,200 greet Poilievre, who promises to sell off some federal buildings

A candidate for the leadership of federal Conservative Party told a crowd of 1,200 he would end the federal carbon tax, reduce foreign dependence on oil and gas, and sell off 15 per cent of federal government buildings to create more affordable housing.

Pierre Poilievre, the MP for Carleton, stopped by the Ciocairo Club in Tecumseh Monday night for a meet-and-greet that attracted what organizers claimed was the largest Conservative Party gathering in the region in recent memory.  The leadership campaign had scheduled it as an RSVP'd event, but the turnout was so large, the Ciociaro Club had to open another section of the banquet room to safely accommodate more people.

Poilievre was introduced by Essex MP Chris Lewis, the current Conservative Shadow Minister of Labour.

The Carleton MP applauded Lewis' work, calling him a "great champion" for the Essex County community regarding his intentions on bringing tax fairness for trades workers. Following the last federal election, Lewis stated his priorities would be to secure the economic future of Essex and end divisive politics.

"Our welders, our plumbers, our pipefitters, they are the backbone of this nation and our tax system should honour and treat them with respect," he said.

Poilievre, one of the first candidates to announce an intention to run for the CPC leadership, also promised to end COVID-19 vaccine mandates and get rid of what he called a $1-billion "slush fund" set up by the Liberals under Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.

"Instead of creating cash, let's start creating more of the stuff cash buys. Let's build more cars, let's grow more food, let's construct more homes and let's build Canadian pipelines," Poilievre said causing the crowd to erupt with cheers. "We're going to do that by honouring the hardworking people who get out of bed every morning."

He also touched on a subject many are concerned about right now, stating his intentions to raise the affordable housing stock.

"I will use Canada's federal infrastructure money to incentivize our mayors to speed up building permits and I'm going to sell off 15 per cent of the 37,000 federal buildings that are largely being under-utilized so that we can convert into affordable housing." Poilievre said.

There are currently five candidates that have been approved by the Conservative Party to run for the leadership. They are Poilievre, Parry Sound-Muskoka MP Scott Aitchison, independent York Centre MPP Roman Baber, former Quebec Premier and federal PC Party leader Jean Charest, and Haldimand-Norfolk MP Leslyn Lewis. Six others have declared their candidacy and are awaiting federal party approval, including Brampton Mayor and former Ontario PC Leader Patrick Brown.

The leadership election is scheduled to take place in September.

-With files from Ruby Sweeney


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