BARRY’S BAY: Renfrew-Nipissing-Pembroke MP Cheryl Gallant says the election of Pierre Poilievre as Conservative Party leader represents a sign of hope.
Poilievre was elected by party members for the position after taking an overwhelming majority of the votes on the first ballot of Saturday’s election.
Gallant, a Conservative member of the House, had endorsed Poilievre from the time he announced his campaign to become party leader last winter.
She says her fellow Eastern Ontario MP has charisma and is attracting young people to politics because he pays attention to cost-of-living issues.
She also likes Poilievre because he’s not afraid to challenge the ruling Liberal party.
“Whenever Pierre is in the chamber and he stands up the whole place goes quiet,” she said. “He commands a presence.”
Gallant is urging voters to not be dismayed by Poilievre’s critics either.
She continues to back him for stances that have drawn criticism from opposing parties, such as his engaging with participants of the truckers’ Freedom Convoy last winter.
“You hear the allegations – he’s like this, he’s like that,” she said. “It’s all a game of distraction. “They (the other parties) don’t want to talk about the real issues; what wakes them up in the middle of the night.”
She said Poilievre’s appeal is that he worries about Canadians who say they’re struggling to make a living. With Poilievre in charge, she says the party will work to “slam the brakes on tax increases.”