Pierre Poilievre’s landslide leadership victory is a reflection of the effort he put into connecting with Canadians, says Red Deer-Mountainview Conservative MP Earl Dreeshen.
“There’s really no place in the country where he didn’t do well,” said Dreeshen about how Poilievre captured nearly all of the country’s 338 ridings and nearly reached the 70 per cent support mark from party members during the Conservative leadership vote on Saturday.
“You have to get out to all parts of the country in order to be successful and that’s what he had done. And there’s really no groups he missed either.”
Poilievre enjoyed the support of 62 out of the party’s other 118 MPs during the leadership campaign and addressed the national Conservative caucus on Monday morning for the first time since winning the party’s leadership.
In his first speech to the conservative caucus, Poilievre said he will fight Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s tax hikes and inflationary deficits to protect pay cheques and savings.
“Tonight begins the journey to replace an old government that costs you more and delivers you less, with a new government that puts you first– your paycheque, your retirement, your home and your country,” he said.
“By tackling Liberal inflation, we will put you back in control of your life and your money.”
Dreeshen said Poilievre reached out to young people, Indigenous groups, those living on fixed incomes and people struggling with interest rate increases during the campaign.
“That resonates with people and I think that’s important,” said Dreeshen who was pleased with the outcome of the leadership vote.
He said Poilievre has already put his mark on the party with his focus on the economy, including turning Canada’s resources into products, unlike the Liberal’s anti-energy policy. That paradigm shift in thinking is already happening in Europe.
“That’s kind of the new reality and it’s important for Canada to get onside. Pierre gets that.”
“It’s critical that we respect our resources, respect the land on which they are, respect our native populations that are clamouring for opportunities to produce the resources that are on their land. Things are changing,” Dreeshen said.
Poilievre was clearly popular with voters in Central Alberta.
In Dreeshen’s riding of Red Deer-Mountainview, Poilievre won 2,845 of the 3,546 votes cast, just over 80 per cent. In the riding of Red Deer-Lacombe Conservative MP Blaine Calkins, Poilievre collected 2,633 votes, about 79.5 per cent of votes cast.
Calkins also extended his congratulations to Poilievre and his decisive victory.
“I appreciate his message of hope and optimism and his keen understanding of how the current out-of-touch Liberal government’s priorities are actually making life harder for Canadians,” Calkins said in a statement.
“Conservatives know what works, which is keeping taxes low, creating more and better paying jobs, producing more goods and services and getting government out of the way of the hopes and dreams of hard working Canadians.”
Calkins said he was very much looking forward to serving in whatever capacity Poilievre asks of him as the party works hard to make life better for all Canadians.
Poilievre has already begun transitioning into his new role as leader, having just over a week to do so before the House of Commons resumes on Sept. 20.
— with files from The Canadian Press
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