Debunking Poilievre’s Tweets Part 1


Poilevre cartoon from Twitter
Pierre Poilievre — aka Skippy — tweets a lot. A lot. Not quite in the Donald-Trump-tweeting-on-the-toilet range, but close. And he often repeat-tweets his angry, bumper-sticker slogans that are little more than libertarian micro rages. They are big on emotion but empty on substance. no details, facts, or anything even vaguely resembling a coherent platform that would benefit Canadians.

His Twitter profile lists him as “Member of Parliament for Carleton and candidate for Prime Minister of Canada” which is pretty arrogant, given that he’s not even been elected as party leader yet. And even if he is, he won’t get a chance at the PM’s chair until 2025. Assuming the party lets him wear that hat long enough.

But facts, eh? What do they matter to libertarians when you can broadcast outrage and anger? Apparently not much, at least to Skippy. I can’t help thinking when I read his tweets that he’s either not very bright and doesn’t understand what he tweets about, or he’s deliberately stirring up anger and divisiveness to get attention. Very much like Donald Trump in both cases.

Here is a small sample from some of his 2022 tweets. His tweets are presented in italics, my responses follow in roman text. See if you can spot 1) His lack of knowledge about the subject; 2) Blatant lies; 3) Disinformation; 4) Vapid libertarian piffle; 5) Hubris.

Feb. 5: I’m running for Prime Minister to give you back control of your life. Mask and vaccination mandates didn’t cause loss of control. And no, you are NOT running for PM: you are running for party leadership and the federal election isn’t until 2025.
Control of whose life? Not the workers or low-wage earners. Or anyone on social assistance. Skippy has been staunchly anti-union since he was elected and in 2012 he published a screed calling for “deeper cuts to social programs in Canada,” to “cut welfare programs, employee wages, and government jobs,” while privatizing the “major symbols of the remaining government influence on the economy.”

One comment noted in response to a similar Poilievre tweet says it all:

Honestly, it’s like Pierre is running for President of student council and promising pizza every Thursday and no homework on weekends.

Mar. 24: Justin Trudeau is an NDP prime minister. He bears no resemblance to fiscally-minded Liberals from a bygone era. This socialist coalition wants to push the most radical & extreme economic agenda, maybe ever, in Canadian history.
Trudeau is a Liberal (Skippy often confuses the two parties) and Canada is a socialist nation. Socialism provides us with public libraries, public schools, public parks, public roads, public transit, public utilities, public courts, public healthcare, public police services, as well as the laws about pollution, health and safety, workers’ rights, child labour, and our Charter.
There is a long history of coalition governments in Canada and their agenda is neither radical nor extreme, unless you consider making life better and healthcare more accessible to Canadians as radical. Cooperation, collaboration, and bipartisanship seem alien concepts to Skippy.

Mar. 24: Congratulations to @JohnBarlowMP who championed PEI potato farmers after the Liberal government banned their exports. PEI Liberal MPs did nothing. Thankfully, farmers can count on John.
Claptrap. The USDA and Canadian officials jointly agreed to suspend exports of Canadian potatoes in Nov. 2021 after potato wart disease (a harmless fungus that disfigures potatoes so that they are unmarketable) was discovered in two fields of PEI potatoes (it is not found in the USA). Stopping exports was decided by the scientists and bureaucrats on both sides of the border after consultation and research. Exports resumed in March 2022 with the agreement of both nations.
The self-aggrandizing of a Con MP from a distant province had nothing to do with either decision. See this Twitter post and this CBC news story for the FACTS.

Mar. 25: Thank you to the great Michael Barrett for his courageous fight to end vaccine mandates and restore freedom. End all the mandates and give people back control of their lives.
See above. Pro-pandemic/pro-disease protestors are more concerned about their convenience and selfishness than the welfare of their fellow humans. They don’t deserve to be praised. They aren’t heroes.

Mar. 27: I will put you back in control of your life by making Canada the world’s freest country.
See above and my earlier post for my comments on his “freest country” piffle. This is his version of “Make America Great Again” and equally as vacuous.

Mar. 28: Give people back control of their money. Keep crypto legal and let it thrive.
Mar. 28: You’ll never believe how this London shawarma shop owner outsmarted government to beat inflation. Today, I’m buying lunch from him—and bringing my #Bitcoin wallet.
Cryptocurrency has been described as a heavily-manipulated fool’s game and Ponzi scheme. Governments should regulate it as they do banks to protect investors, not give it free rein to con or scam them.
Crypto is already legal for trade in ETFs on the TSE (see here for details) and is not illegal to buy individually. Using an alternate currency does not affect inflation, and your choice in currency form has absolutely nothing to do with “outsmarting” anyone, aside from the potential to become a tax dodger or criminal.

While not entirely about cryptocurrencies (NFTs are included), I recommend watching Dan Olson’s lengthy YouTube documentary  — described as an “impassioned 13-part essay on cryptocurrency and its many failings” — for an in-depth explanation of how both crypto and NFTs function. And fail.

Inflation is NOT simply caused by government spending, as Skippy seems to think. In a recent new release, he said:

I would reverse JustinFlation with common sense policy, including: axing the carbon tax, phasing out inflationary deficits by ending wasteful spending and cancelling new promises and removing the gatekeepers to make more of what cash buys — energy, food and housing.

But economists say his notion of what causes inflation is flawed and simplistic. A CBC story noted:

Jean-Paul Lam, an economics professor at the University of Waterloo and a former assistant chief economist at the Bank of Canada, said government spending is one of many factors pushing prices up — but it’s a relatively modest one.
Economic support programs related to the pandemic are a significant reason the federal deficit is so large now; the deficit was projected at $53 billion in the latest budget. But that doesn’t come close to explaining the rate of inflation we’re seeing now, he added.
“This is a minor factor … I don’t think the fiscal position of the government, although it has deteriorated significantly over the last two years, is a key factor to inflation right now,” he said.

The real cause for inflation, the story notes, is “mostly the result of global supply chain issues and geopolitical tensions — things over which Canada has little influence. The Russia-Ukraine war has affected energy and food prices. Supply chain issues — especially in China, thanks to pandemic restrictions — are major factors,”
Skippy likes blaming the Liberals because it resonates with his rightwing base, but he really just wants to justify massive cuts to services, programs, funding, and the support Canadians depend on. That’s always been the Conservative way.
Mar. 30: Dollarama has now become FiveDollarama. More #JustinFlation in action.

The decision of a for-profit corporation to raise prices has nothing to do with the government. It’s the same with gasoline and grocery prices: corporations are inflating prices to make more money for their shareholders and CEOs. Blame unrestrained capitalism, not the Liberals when prices rise.
Dollarama is a very profitable US-based corporation so it’s doing what all the other corporations are doing: raising consumer prices to make even more money. The Liberals have NOTHING to do with this:

The company reported a profit of $220 million or 74 cents per diluted share for the quarter ended Jan. 30 compared with a profit of $173.9 million or 56 cents per diluted share a year earlier.Sales totalled $1.22 billion, up from $1.1 billion in the same quarter last year, helped by an increase in the number of stores and a 5.7 per cent uptick in comparable store sales.

Dollarama’s CEO has also done well by the pandemic:

Dollarama founder Larry Rossy’s compensation surged 125 per cent to $3.74-million last year, according to a regulatory filing ahead of the discount retailer’s annual meeting in June. The 71-year-old CEO’s total compensation was up from $1.66-million in 2012 and $2.4-million in 2011. His salary increased 46 per cent to $750,000. He also received option-based awards valued at nearly $2.3-million and a $701,250 bonus.

Maybe the CEO’s egregious salary and bonuses have something to do with the prices increases. But Skippy will still blame Trudeau.

Apr. 1: We need sound money again—and also the freedom for buyers and sellers to choose #bitcoin and other technology.
Canada’s dollar is not only sound, but Morgan Stanely predicted this year it would reach its highest value against the US dollar since 2014. The story from Nov. 2021 noted, “Canada’s Dollar remained the top performer among major currencies on Thursday and by a comfortable margin too…” Bitcoin, on the other hand, “has had one of the more volatile trading histories.” Cryptocurrencies are subject to many scams and cons.

Apr. 1: I will scrap the Trudeau-Brown-Charest carbon tax & give you back control of your life.
Skippy’s challengers for the leadership role, Brown and Charest, have nothing to do with the carbon tax, but have expressed some understanding of how it works and why it may benefit Canadians. Skippy has an ideological headlock on the notion it’s bad because his opponents for the party leadership disagree. It’s very Trumpian to pretend his own party members align with the Liberals, though.

Apr. 2: Since Justin Trudeau took office, housing prices have doubled. $434,000 to $868,000. And now they say it’s going to get worse. Become a member, to vote for me, to start building houses and stop #JustinFlation.
Housing prices have nothing to do with the federal government and are part of a market dynamic that is the essence of capitalism (albeit often a predatory form).
Is Skippy suggesting Ottawa control how much sellers can charge? Or buyers can pay? That’s very authoritarian. And very gatekeeper-ish of him.
Joining his team means giving your money to his campaign, but will do nothing to stop inflation.
PS. Governments DON’T build houses. They may provide incentives to builders, but only if the provinces agree. The Constitution Act of 1867 gave legislative power over property and civil rights to the provinces. The feds can’t act arbitrarily in these matters.

Truth will win...Apr. 3: I will open “The Arctic Gateway”, by granting fast approvals for oil exports from the Port of Churchill. Remove gatekeepers. Open the gateway.
Disingenuous codswallop. The port of Churchill was closed in late 2021 for two years to allow for an extensive upgrade of its rail network. This decision was not made by the federal government, but by the Arctic Gateway Group (AGG), which is an organization of “29 Indigenous and a dozen non-Indigenous communities that own and operate the rail line from The Pas to Churchill and the grain terminal at Canada’s only deep-water Arctic port.” This is “100 percent local community and Indigenous ownership.” Not federal.
The feds provided $40 million for the project,  Without the upgraded rail line, there’s nowhere for goods to go even if they get unloaded at Churchill. See the Western Producer for the story.

Apr. 5: Freedom is on the move. Now end federal mandates – get rid of them all.
Putting people at risk because you’re not mature enough to wear a mask in public or get vaccinated is not freedom: it’s a selfish, irresponsible act. But very rightwing. And the feds cannot change provincial mandates, nor mandates of other nations. Freedom never budged no matter how Skippy rants about it being lost.

Apr. 5: Start making more of what cash buys: energy, food, and houses.
The federal government makes NONE of these items, nor does it buy them for Canadians. Private suppliers and corporations make them, and they make them and price them according to the rules of supply and demand. Consumers buy them. You cannot dictate that more food suddenly appears in stores or more houses crop up overnight. Skippy seems confused about how capitalism works. So exactly who is he ordering to make these items?

Apr. 5: For most people, driving isn’t optional. This money doesn’t belong to the government. It belongs to people!
This was tweeted in response to Ontario proposing to temporarily reduce the gas tax. But the feds do not have any jurisdiction over how provinces tax gasoline. The whole federal-provincial jurisdiction thing seems beyond Skippy’s grasp.

Apr. 7: Trudeau thinks he’s your boss. But he’s got it all backwards – you’re his boss. So let’s bring back common ‘cents’ to Ottawa, stop #JustinFlation, and put you back in control of your life.
Aside from the unfounded allegation at the start, there is no logical connection between these statements. What are common “cents” in policy terms? And what do they have to do with inflation? And how do they affect personal freedom? Inflation is not a government policy: it’s the result of market forces on the economy. Skippy is merely sloganeering.

Apr. 8: Jean Charest repeats Liberal lies about truckers. No surprise. After all, Jean Charest is Liberal.
Just another attack on Skippy’s opponents in the leadership race. Skippy loved the insurrectionist truckers and the havoc they created in Ottawa; he cannot tolerate anyone revealing their sources of funding, nor the racism, and the disinformation behind their assault on our democracy.
And Charest is a Conservative. Skippy can’t even keep his parties right.

Apr. 9: Highly skilled new Canadians want to earn bigger paycheques & do the jobs they’re trained for. Remove gatekeepers that block them. Give Canada more doctors, engineers & skilled professionals.
This should frighten every Canadian. Skippy’s offhand comment about bigger paycheques for doctors suggests he would scrap our public healthcare system and retreat to an American-style, for-profit system that would shut out many Canadians and bankrupt them for treatment.
Be afraid. Be very afraid: instituting for-profit healthcare in Canada and dismantling our public healthcare system has long been a libertarian/Conservative wet dream.
He also refers constantly to the unidentified but obviously very powerful “gatekeepers” — which sounds cultish in a Stargate-was-real-aliens-among-us sort of way.

Apr. 9: As PM, I’d adopt @DanAlbas bill to remove taxes on Bitcoin & crypto donations to charities.
Skippy just wants everyone to buy into the unregulated world of crypto instead of having the government regulate and control it so Canadians don’t get scammed. It’s a fool’s game.
Donors get a tax credit for all charitable donations. I am not aware that the federal government taxes any donations. Besides, how many charities even take crypto donations?

Apr. 9: Join, to vote for me, to give Canadians back control of their money & unleash Canadian generosity.
Donating money to Skippy’s campaign will not do anything more than lighten your wallet. But even if he wins, he won’t get a chance at running for PM until 2025 so he can’t change anything now.
And what proof can he show that giving people “control” of their own money (control they already have) will make them donate to charities instead of spending it on a new iPhone or device? If you do join the party, at least consider voting for someone not as wingnutty or economically quacky as Skippy.

Apr. 10: The typical home price doubled since Trudeau came to office – $464,000 to $868,000. The NDP/Liberal coalition budget does nothing to remove the gatekeepers blocking new supply.
Absolute twaddle. Housing is primarily a provincial concern (affordable housing in much of Ontario is an upper-tier/county responsibility). Provinces set the rules for growth, planning, and building codes; municipalities set development charges and zoning. No level of government sets housing prices, nor controls the stock of houses. Some provinces have controls over how much stock can be built and where (density and zoning restrictions), and a few municipalities have that control, too. But the feds don’t.
There are no “gatekeepers” in Ottawa who control Canada’s housing market.

Apr. 11: Big city gatekeepers—like Vancouver City Hall—are destroying the home ownership dreams of working class youth. Enough. If they want more federal money, these big city politicians will need to approve more home building.
There’s his ignorance of federal-provincial jurisdictions again. Technically, the feds cannot even give municipalities money directly, and have to work through provincial counterparts for any sort of funding initiative. But owning new homes in the suburbs is not everyone’s dream. Nor is it affordable for many Canadians.
Where is his platform for controlling rents, adding new rental stock, or improving public transit to make commuting more affordable and less damaging to the environment? Right: nowhere.
Vancouver is also subject to provincial legislation and cannot change the prices of houses on an open market. And if you have no available land, where do you build homes? Vancouver can’t just wave a magic wand and suddenly there are hectares of housing-ready, serviced land to build on. Private developers buy the property, then build on it. Municipalities don’t make land appear from thin air.

Apr. 11: British Columbians are ready to take back control of their lives.
Apr. 12: Join, vote, so we can make Canada the freest country on earth.
See my comments above and my earlier post on his sloganeering and his libertarian myth of freedom,
Canada is already ranked the sixth freest nation in the world (scoring 8.85 out of 10) by two rightwing organizations. They give us a “personal freedom” score of 9.4 out of 10. Yet Skippy keeps saying we’re oppressed.

Apr. 12: If we choose a leader who champions a gun registry—like Jean Charest—we lose rural, northern & western seats we need to win government.
Skippy frequently rails against Bill C-68, the Canadian Firearms Registry legislation, despite it being ancient (it was passed in 1995). The Conservatives passed Bill C-19 back in 2011 to “remove the requirement to register non-restricted firearms.” The registry was created in response to rising gun violence. Like the NRA, Skippy has nothing to say on reducing gun violence, however. Maybe gun violence is one of those freedoms he’ll give us.

Apr. 12: Let’s give Canadians back control of their lives.
Skippy uses that phrase a LOT in his tweets. Control from what or who is never really described. Skippy has a set of stock phrases he repeats, much like Trump’s “make America great again” — twaddle, but slogans have long proven effective among people too lazy or unfocused to pay attention to actual details, facts and lengthy explanations.

Continued in Part 2… (and don’t forget to read my previous posts on Poilievre’s libertarian “freedom” myth and his quacky economics.)

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