Published April 18, 2024

Labour leader urges unions to expose Poilievre's working-class overtures as 'fraud'

By Stephanie Taylor
Conservative Leader Pierre Poilievre rises during question period, Tuesday, April 16, 2024 in Ottawa. The head of Canada's largest labour organization is calling Poilievre a "fraud" for portraying himself as a friend of the working class. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld

Conservative Leader Pierre Poilievre is a "fraud" for portraying himself as a friend of the working class, the head of the country's largest labour organization said Thursday, urging unions to do everything they can to expose him before the next federal election.

Canadian Labour Congress President Bea Bruske delivered her call to arms as union leaders gathered in Ottawa to plot strategy ahead of the vote, which must happen before October 2025.

"We must do everything in our power to expose Mr. Pierre Poilievre for the fraud that he is," Bruske said.

"We must be under no illusions."

Canada's three main political parties are already battling for blue-collar votes: both NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau were to address the meeting later Thursday.

The speeches come in the wake of a federal budget that increases taxes on the wealthy and includes funding for NDP priorities like pharmacare and dental care.

Poilievre was not invited to speak at the gathering.

While polls suggest Poilievre's affordability message is resonating with workers, Bruske said his history of supporting back-to-work legislation and advocating for employees to be allowed to opt out of unions and makes him hostile to labour.

"Whatever he claims today, Mr. Poilievre has a consistent 20-year record as an anti-worker politician and I ask you, have you ever, ever, anywhere in Canada see him walk a picket line," she said.

New Democrats have pointed out the same when it comes to the Conservative leader.

For his part, Poilievre has said spent the past two-years crisscrossing the country pitching himself as the leader who understands the pain and anxieties working-class Canadians are feeling in the current affordability crisis.

He's taken his vow to "axe" the federal carbon price on fuel to NDP-held ridings across British Columbia, including on Vancouver Island, and to northern Ontario, where the Liberals also hold seats.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published April 18, 2024.

What do you think of this article?

Have a breaking story?

Share it with us!
Share Your Story

What Barrie's talking about!

From breaking news to the best slice of pizza in town! Get everything Barrie’s talking about delivered right to your inbox every day. Don’t worry, we won’t spam you. We promise :)
Subscription Form
Consent Info

By submitting this form, you are consenting to receive marketing emails from: Central Ontario Broadcasting, 431 Huronia Rd, Barrie, Ontario, CA, You can revoke your consent to receive emails at any time by using the SafeUnsubscribe® link, found at the bottom of every email. Emails are serviced by Constant Contact

Related Stories