Poilievre under fire for misleading email

Polievre’s supposedly inflated numbers; Tech companies not thrilled about Bill-96; the most—and least—popular premiers in Canada, and more
Conservative Finance Critic Pierre Poilievre responds to the federal economic and fiscal update on Parliament Hill in Ottawa on Monday, Dec. 16, 2019. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick

Pierre Poilievre’s opponents tell the Post that a misleading email—titled “Membership status: incomplete”—panicked members into buying a second membership on Poilievre’s portal, which inflated Poilievre’s membership numbers. Poilievre’s campaign says that’s not true and the whole thing is a mixup.

Look out: In the Globe, John Ibbitson argues that Poilievre should not listen to those who will urge him to moderate his message in the hopes of broadening his appeal. He points to a slick one-take video that Poilievre filmed walking through the mess at Toronto Pearson International Airport, which Liberal spinner Scott Reid observed shows that Poilievre has loads of game, and Liberals had better start reckoning with him. Ibbitson points out that Poilievre is connecting.

Pierre Poilievre doesn’t have to pivot to be more like Doug Ford. He already is like Doug Ford in the only way that matters: his ability to empathize with the economic insecurity of voters. Talking heads obsess over Mr. Poilievre’s appeal to angry populists with crazy conspiracy theories: his promise to fire the governor of the Bank of Canada, his opposition to vaccine mandates, his criticism of the World Economic Forum. But that’s not why he has sold what appears to be a record number of Conservative Party memberships. His message taps into more than the party’s populist base. It appeals to everyone who fears the increasing unpredictability of these times and who doesn’t see their fear reflected in the words and actions of politicians.

Mandates going: Speaking of the mess at Pearson, the Liberals announced Tuesday a suspension of vaccine mandates for federal employees and for train and plane passengers as of June 20, CBC reports. Canadians entering the country from abroad will still be required to meet entry requirements and masks will remain mandatory on planes and trains. Visitors to Canada will have to be fully vaccinated to enter the country, or meet the requirements of an exemption.

Fully? The government is planning to change its definition of “fully vaccinated” to reflect the waning effectiveness of vaccines over time, Global reports.

Unimpressed: In the Toronto Sun, Brian Lilley writes that the Liberals would have got rid of mandates sooner if they had listened to Theresa Tam, but they were guided by political science, not medical science.

Inflationary measures: Chrystia Freeland will deliver what’s being flagged as a “significant” speech on inflation and affordability on Bay Street on Thursday, the Star’s Heather Scoffield writes.

The Star has learned that she’ll have a $7-billion (or so) list in hand that spells out exactly how federal programs are ramping up to help those who are particularly exposed to the harms of inflation. Old Age Security, the Canada Child Benefit, the Canada Workers Benefit, the Canada Housing Benefit — they’ve all been enriched, and they’re coming our way soon.

Unacceptable: In QP Tuesday, Justin Trudeau denounced the attendance of a Canadian official at a party at the Russian embassy as “absolutely unacceptable,” Global reports. Global Affairs Minister Melanie Joly said Sunday that she only found out that someone attended through media reports.

Last bottles exchanged: The New York Times has a breezy item on the end of the whisky war over Hans Island.

Conspiratorial: Abacus Data has a disturbing survey showing how many Canadians believe in false and outlandish conspiracy theories about COVID-19.

Resign! The CPC says Marco Mendicino should resign because of his comments about the decision to invoke the Emergencies Act, CTV reports.

Vice-regal expense: Gov. Gen. Mary Simon and 29 fellow passengers racked up a nearly $100,000 catering bill on a government aircraft during a recent week-long trip to the Middle East, the Post reports.

False tip: Police face more questions about a false bomb tip that led to the arrest of two Sikh rally organizers near Parliament Hill on Saturday, CP reports. Radio Canada reports that the French message warning about the bomb threat took eight minutes (translation).

Tim Houston is the most popular premier in Canada, according to an Angus Reid survey, and Heather Stefanson is the least.

Pause 96: Francois Legault remains popular, but not with tech companies, who asked him Tuesday to put the brakes on Bill 96, which would give immigrants only six months to learn French, CP reports. And Quebec Jewish leaders say they fear an exodus of young Jews, the Gazette reports.

Pox: Montreal is the epicentre of the North American outbreak of the Monkey Pox, Le Journal de Montréal reports, with 126 cases (translation).

New powers: Ottawa is seeking new powers over critical infrastructure to protect Canadians from cyberthreats, Global reports.

Challenging reports: Toronto police is warning its employees that “challenging” days are ahead as the force prepares for the release of race-based statistics on use of force and strip-searching, the Star reports.

Enough: Don Martin has had enough of Trudeau, he writes in a lively broadside for CTV. Trudeau is “too woke, too precious, preachy in tone, exceedingly smug, lacking in leadership, fading in celebrity, slow to act, short-sighted in vision and generally getting more irritating with every breathlessly whispered public pronouncement.”

Into Klondike: Justin Ling has something of a debunking of some of the hype around the “Klondike papers.”

— Stephen Maher