Mr. Poilievre has a long history in Parliament and the Conservative Party, first being elected MP for Carleton, in Ottawa, Ont., in 2004 at the age of 25. He held various portfolios in the government of Stephen Harper and is one of the strongest and most effective critics of Justin Trudeau and the Liberals in this Parliament.
Winning 68 per cent of the points necessary on the first ballot cast by CPC members, there is no doubt his was a convincing victory, and that Mr. Poilievre has a mandate from the CPC membership to take on and defeat Justin Trudeau’s Liberals in the next federal election.
We in Canada’s National Firearms Association took note of and were struck by Mr. Poilievre’s campaign, which incorporated many references to and celebrations of Canadian values and traditional rights and freedoms. The incorporation into his campaign of Prime Minister John Diefenbaker’s famous pledge in the House of Commons debates on the 1960 Canadian Bill of Rights, “I am Canadian,” resonated loudly during his leadership campaign and offered a stark rebuke to current mainstream Liberal thought and policy of attacking, stripping and limiting the rights and freedoms of Canadians.
“I am Canadian, a free Canadian, free to speak without fear, free to worship God in my own way, free to stand for what I think right, free to oppose what I believe wrong, free to choose those who govern my country. This heritage of freedom I pledge to uphold for myself and all mankind.”
A very refreshing and provocative reminder and celebration of Canadian rights and freedoms, which has resulted in the usual attacks and derision from the mainstream media and the Liberals.
I know a great many of you reading this will have signed up for CPC memberships and voted in this campaign in order to lay the ground-work for and to make an investment in a Conservative government serious about pursuing fundamental firearms law reform and re-establishing the rights and freedoms of Canadians.
It appears that we have been heard. All the CPC leadership contenders spoke to the firearms issue in support of rights and freedoms. Some more strongly than others, to be sure, but the current Liberal firearms agenda was almost universally rejected by Conservatives. Voters made it known that the end of the confiscatory Liberal civil disarmament agenda was not up for debate. It will be done. No half measures or confusion.
I recall another time, over 15 years ago, when the Conservative government of Stephen Harper was first elected. Those of us fighting the Liberal gun laws back then could scarcely believe that after 13 years of Liberal governments, it had happened. Thirteen years of uninterrupted Liberal rule from 1994 until 2006, unrelenting attacks on the rights and freedoms of Canadians.
We were told at the time, with full confidence by mainstream media and pundits, that it would never happen. “Stephen Harper will never be prime minister” was the popular refrain by the experts, those in the know, and the chattering classes. His history as a Reform Party organizer and Member of Parliament were used as proof that he was too extreme and too divisive to ever be-come prime minister of Canada.
And then he did, and the rest is history. A political paradigm shift occurred in 2006 that changed Canada forever. I suspect that it’s happening again; a sorely needed and long over-due political upheaval is coming that ejects an old, corrupt and incompetent Liberal government.
Deja vu, I think.
I know many readers of CFJ have had problems with the CPC, especially during the last federal election. I heard them on the campaign trail, at the gun shows and by email. I especially heard them after the then-CPC leader Erin O’Toole backtracked and flip flopped on some core Conservative policies late in the election campaign to stave off attacks by the Liberals, losing an election he should have won in doing so.
Maxime Bernier and his People’s Party of Canada benefitted from the mile-high Belgian waffle the CPC election campaign eventually turned into. I also know that many of you are PPC supporters because of that party’s and Mr. Bernier’s principled stands and policies on many of the serious issues that face Canadians today.
Shortly, you are going to be asked to make a decision on your vote once again. Canada’s National Firearms Association cannot tell you who to vote for. Just like the last time, you are going to have to look at the candidates, their records, the parties and their policies and decide just how the rights and culture of Canadians are going to be protected and advanced in the face of the Liberal civil disarmament onslaught.
I am hoping the lines are clearer, the road forward less strewn with pot-holes and debris, the momentum for change irresistible and undeniable.
If everyone does their part.
Blair Hagen, Executive VP-Communication