Prairie inhabitants react to Polivre’s victory

In a windy shopping mall parking lot in Saskatoon on September 12th, it wasn’t hard to find people celebrating Pierre Polivre as the new leader of the Conservative Party of Canada.

Looking ahead to the upcoming federal election, Sean Hutchinson said, “I will definitely vote for him. Anything to get Trudeau out.”

Tyson Parchoma was a little more specific.

“I believe it’s the best chance for him to get back to work and come back as a country,” Percoma said. There should be. [United] ” he said.

The two men reflect some of the disillusionment with the resources industry in western Canada, which many blame federal policies for stifling economic growth.

But even here, it wasn’t a slam-dunk for Polivre.

“What I’d like to hear is details about what he plans to do,” said Dion Engel. “He’ll say, oh, we’re going to bring inflation down. How? Let me know, so I can decide if I want to vote for you.”

After Polivre’s victory on September 10, the prime ministers of Saskatchewan and Alberta tweeted their congratulations to the new Conservative Party leader.

“Congratulations to my friend @PierrePoilievre On being elected Leader of the Conservative Party of Canada and Leader of His Majesty’s Loyal Opposition’, Prime Minister of Alberta Written by Jason Kenny.

This is another sign of the rather warm relationship between the Conservatives and the State of Prairie. She holds all 14 of her seats in Congress in Saskatchewan and 30 of her 34 seats in Alberta. In Manitoba, Tories occupy half of her 14 seats.

Daniel Westlake, an assistant professor of political science at the University of Saskatchewan, said Polivre’s election would not significantly change Conservative support in the region.

“The reality is that the Conservative Party is in a very good position in western Canada, whoever the leader is,” Westlake said in an interview.

The challenge, he said, is for the party to move into places like suburban Ontario and the Lower Mainland of British Columbia.

“They basically have to find a way to get the support of voters who vote Liberal in places like suburban Ontario, but who are compelling Conservatives and could have voted Conservative. [June] State elections,” said Westlake.

“Those voters certainly exist,” he added. “Horseback riding in and around the Windsor area, working-class horsebackers turned Conservative in the Ontario elections.”


Opposition to Mr Polivre’s victory came shortly after he was announced as the new leader of the Tories, with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau saying on September 12:

Trade unions, including the Civil Service Union of Canada and the Canadian Labor Conference (CLC), also issued statements condemning Polivre.

“Mr Polivre is loud about inflation, but we cannot expect him to put pressure on companies to raise wages for workers to meet rapid inflation,” said Via Brusque, president of CLC, in a press release. said in “Pierre Polivre cannot be trusted to fix our broken health care system, help struggling families, or stand up for workers.”

Poilievre focused much of his leadership campaign on economic challenges facing ordinary Canadians, such as home prices and inflation hovering near 8%.

Westlake said the deal between the Liberals and the NDP could put the next federal election around three years away, and by then things could be very different.

“Until we see the election and see what the outcome is, we will never know if it will work,” he said.

But for people like Lori who don’t want to take their last name, Polivre is a breath of fresh air.

“I absolutely love him,” she said. “He is very eloquent and explains things well. …The problem is he understands what is happening in Canada and what needs to happen.”

Doug Lett


Doug Lett is a Saskatoon-based reporter.