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Photo: Cole Burston The Canadian Press A data analysis shows great inconsistency in the language that Pierre Poilievre uses in the House of Commons, depending on the role he occupies there.

Sandrine Vieira and Boris Proulx in Ottawa

February 17, 2024

  • Canada

Since his election as Conservative leader, Pierre Poilievre, who grew up in an English-speaking environment in Calgary, has claimed his French-speaking heritage on several occasions.

However, a data analysis carried out by Le Devoir shows great inconsistency in the language he uses in the House of Commons, in depending on the role he occupies there. After the defeat of the Conservative Party of Canada in 2015, its interventions in French before the House of Commons dropped drastically.

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The proportion of his interventions in French constantly increased during his first years in Parliament, going from 11% to 17% between 2004 and 2011.

During the 41st legislature (2011-2015), during which he was Minister of Democratic Reform and then Minister of Employment and Social Development, Pierre Poilievre made up to a third (28%) of all his interventions in French.

His use of French dropped radically upon his return to the opposition, after the election of Justin Trudeau: less than 3% of his 1,192 interventions were made in the language of Molière between 2015 and 2019.

His use of French regained vigor in the following years, as his ambitions to occupy the post of prime minister grew. Since the last federal election in 2021, Poilievre has used French in approximately 20% of his speeches.

Teilor Stone

By Teilor Stone

Teilor Stone has been a reporter on the news desk since 2013. Before that she wrote about young adolescence and family dynamics for Styles and was the legal affairs correspondent for the Metro desk. Before joining Thesaxon , Teilor Stone worked as a staff writer at the Village Voice and a freelancer for Newsday, The Wall Street Journal, GQ and Mirabella. To get in touch, contact me through my teilor@nizhtimes.com 1-800-268-7116