Photo: Ryan Remiorz The Canadian Press The leader of the Conservative Party of Canada, Pierre Poilievre, during his press conference in Montreal on Tuesday
February 6, 2024
Pierre Poilievre has not changed his opinion regarding Valérie Plante: the mayor of Montreal is “incompetent”. But according to the Conservative leader, other mayors elsewhere in the country are even more incompetent than her.
While he was in Montreal on Tuesday to unveil his plan to combat car theft, Pierre Poilievre returned to comments he recently made regarding Mayor Valérie Plante and her Quebec counterpart, Bruno Marchand, whom he called “incompetent mayors” because, he claims, they block housing projects.
The Conservative leader, however, took care to clarify that Ms. Plante and Mr. Marchand were not the only mayors he had blamed. “I have [called] other mayors across the country, including Vancouver, Calgary and Toronto, incompetent,” he noted.
In English, he even specified that, in his opinion, certain mayors of other cities in Canada were even more incompetent than Valérie Plante. He cited the case of the City of Vancouver, which he accuses of having imposed significant “red tape” costs and taxes that inflate the price of each new housing unit. He also accused the City of Winnipeg of preventing the construction of 2,000 housing units next to a public transit station. He also criticized the mayor of Calgary for her regulations on fees imposed in businesses for single-use bags and reusable bags.
“Justin Trudeau is paying these incompetent mayors money to prevent [housing] from being built. That’s why after eight years of Trudeau, the cost of housing has doubled,” he said.
A Conservative government would force municipalities to increase housing construction by 15% per year in order to receive federal funds, he said. It would force big cities to build housing around future federally funded transit stations. A government led by Pierre Poilievre would sell federal buildings in order to carry out housing projects.
Last January, in the wake of Pierre Poilievre's comments on the incompetence of the mayors of Montreal and Quebec, Valérie Plante retorted that in Quebec, federal housing funding had to pass through the Quebec government before being paid to municipalities. “Common sense also means understanding the financing mechanisms specific to each province,” she said. Bruno Marchand also condemned the comments of the conservative leader. “I don’t think it’s the testimony of a statesman […] nor of a man who wants to be prime minister,” he said.
Three weeks later, Pierre Poilievre persists and signs. “It may be that politicians are offended, but to me it’s more important and it’s sadder if a single mother and seniors can’t pay their bills. »
Mayor Plante's office limited itself to saying that the administration “will always be available to welcome concrete, quantified and sustainable proposals to respond to the housing crisis.”