Skip to content

Conservative leader Pierre Poilievre visits North Vancouver business

The Tory leader warned municipalities they must approve more growth or face financial consequences
Conservative Party of Canada leader Pierre Poilievre and South Surrey-White Rock Conservative MP Kerry-Lynne Findlay at a rally in North Vancouver, May 14, 2024. | Brent Richter / North Shore News

Conservative leader Pierre Poilievre made a campaign-style stop in North Vancouver on Tuesday.

In his 10-minute speech among supporters at aggregate hauling business Superior Stone Slinger Service, Poilievre railed against government spending and inflation and promised to crack down on drugs and crime, lower taxes, improve port security, axe the carbon tax and “build, build, build” more housing.

Some of the loudest applause he got from the largely blue-collar audience came from his promises to halt the Trudeau government’s buy-back program for firearms, and to ban MPs from “any involvement in the World Economic Forum.”

B.C.’s carbon tax was brought in by the BC Liberals in 2008, 10 years before the federal mandate for provinces to adopt their own carbon taxes came into place.

In an interview, Poilievre acknowledged that as prime minister he would not be able to unilaterally remove the provincial tax, but he said he would open that door.

“I think British Columbians are going to force their government to eliminate the tax because it’s hated and it’s not working,” he said. “I will pass a law allowing B.C. to get rid of its carbon tax. Right now, there’s a federal law that requires B.C. not only keep the tax but quadruple it over the next five-and-a-half years.”

To this point, taxing carbon pollution has been the primary government policy tool for combatting climate change.

Faced with another daunting wildfire season in B.C., Poilievre said we need better forest management and firefighting capability, but he said when it comes to curbing Canada’s carbon emissions, he would look to “technology and not taxes.”

“We need to green-light green projects like nuclear, hydroelectric, offshore tidal power, carbon capture and storage,” he said, adding that Canada should be seeking to displace coal fire electricity in Asia with natural gas exports. “That would be far more effective than simply destroying our industrial base as Trudeau is doing.”

Municipalities must build 15% more housing or face consequences, Poilievre says

On the issue of housing, Poilievre said he would give Canada’s municipalities an ultimatum: Approve 15 per cent more housing per year or face financial consequences.

“If they beat the target, they’ll get building bonuses and if they miss the target, they’ll pay fines,” he said.

In addition to selling federally owned lands to developers, Poilievre said his policies would be complementary to the new provincial laws in B.C. requiring housing targets and minimum zoning for multi-family housing.

Making federal funds subject to mandatory growth may not play as well in municipalities like West Vancouver where new density often faces steep resistance both on and off council, but Poilievre said he’s putting those council members on notice.

“Of course, they don’t (like it). That’s why I’m doing it,” he said. “If you’re talking to municipal leaders who believe that 40-year-olds should be living in 400-square-foot, flats, unable to get married and have kids or are forced to go live in tent cities, then those municipal leaders should be frankly ashamed of themselves and they should pay a very serious price.”