Skip to content

Conservative leader visits Smithers

Pierre Poilievre drew a big crowd during a stop on his Bring it Home rally

It was standing room only in one of Smithers’ biggest halls for Pierre Poilievre’s campaign-style rally on Sept. 14.

The federal Conservative Party leader made a stop on his western tour after the summer’s wildfires postponed one planned for August.

Poilievre took to the stage and started his speech by hitting hard on the government.

He talked about balancing the budget and said Canadians don’t want a costly coalition between the NDP and Liberals.

“My common sense plan, cap spending and find ways so we can balance the budget and break down inflation and interest rates, I’ll bring in a law called $1. For dollar for dollar law, it requires that every minister who brings forward a new spending idea will have to find an equal amount of savings in his department to pay for, no, we’ll run the finances the way you run your household.”

He also touched on the hot housing market in Canada and how his party proposes to solve the crunch.

“After eight years of Trudeau and NDP housing costs have doubled,” he said. “This is partly because of the deficits that drive up interest rates on mortgage holders and home builders. But it’s also because of government gatekeepers that prevent us from building right now in Canada.”

He said it takes three times longer to get a building permit in Canada than it does in the United States. Poilievre says he wants to incentivize cities to speed up the process and lower the cost of building permits.

“I’ll require that every city that wants to get federal money will have to boost building permits by 15 per cent per year compounded or I’ll pull their federal grants,” he said. “And those that beat the 15 per cent target are going to get a building bonus.”

The current Skeena-Bulkley Valley MP, Taylor Bachrach, wasted no time responding to Poilievre’s visit going on the offensive with a press release before the conservative leader even took the stage at the hotel.

“People in the Northwest remember how ten years of Poilievre and the Harper government harmed our region,” said MP Bachrach (Skeena-Bulkley Valley). “Right now, times are tough for a lot of folks, especially working people. Tough times call for workable solutions that bring people together, not the kind of extreme politics we’ve seen from his party.”

Bachrach specifically addressed housing, which, he said, is a very different problem for Northwest B.C. than urban centres.

The idea that we’ve heard from the Conservative leader is to withhold infrastructure money unless municipalities approve housing,” he said. “That does not address the challenge that Northwest communities face. The challenge in many of our communities is that the municipal infrastructure is not sufficient to support new housing.”

Poilievre also said if elected, the Conservatives will be tough on crime.

“The same violent offenders that commit a crime in the morning are released by noon to do it all over again.”

He added he plans to bring in jail, and not bail, for repeat violent offenders who will no longer be eligible for early release house arrest or bail if they have repeated prior convictions.

The Skeena-Bulkley Valley riding has been an NDP stronghold since the boundaries as we know them today were created in 2004.

Prince George—Peace River—Northern Rockies MP Bob Zimmer, who attended the Smithers rally, thinks voters who typically vote for other right-wing parties can get behind Poilievre and combine their votes to victory.

“I think conservatives from across the country, especially in Skeena-Bulkley Valley, have a lot of common values and if you’re looking to get behind a leader that really represents their values, I think here is that guy,” he said. “Pierre has finally given them a reason to come together.”

The next federal election is set to be held on or before October 25 2025.

READ MORE: Conservative leader Pierre Poilievre to host rally in Terrace


Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Marisca Bakker

About the Author: Marisca Bakker

Marisca was born and raised in Ontario and moved to Smithers almost ten years ago on a one-year contract.
Read more