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EDITORIAL: Wait before making decision on Tory leader

The question is whether Pierre Poilievre can appeal to a broader range of Canadians
Conservative leader Pierre Poilievre addresses the Conservative caucus for the first time as leader during a meeting in Ottawa on Monday, Sept. 12, 2022. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick

The federal Conservative Party of Canada has selected Pierre Poilievre as its new leader, a decision welcomed by the majority of Conservative Party members but viewed with trepidation by others.

As the leader of the party, Poilievre will set the direction of the federal Conservatives.

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Poilievre has spoken passionately about his goals of reducing the cost of living and making Canada the “freest country in the world.”

He has also addressed concerns about inflation and rising prices.

“Canadians are hurting and it is our job to transform that hurt into hope,“ he said. “That is my mission.”

This mission is embraced by many within his party. In the Sept. 10 party leadership vote, Poilievre received close to 70 per cent of the party’s total points. This shows a unified support for the leader from within the party.

Poilievre appeals to the party base. The question is whether he can appeal to a broader range of Canadians.

Some outside of the Conservative Party have described Poilievre as a libertarian or a populist — terms which are not traditionally seen as positive qualities in Canada.

For those inside the Conservative Party and for those outside of this party, it would be wise to take time to observe before making judgements about the party and the new leader.

The next Canadian federal election will be held on or before Oct. 20, 2025. This is a lot of time for Poilievre to define himself as a leader and potentially the next Prime Minister of Canada.

This is the time to see if Poilievre remains committed to the issues he addressed earlier. It is also the time to see if his tone is one that can appeal to Canadians who might not traditionally vote Conservative. And it is the time to determine if he can be a voice uniting Canadians who have at times been divided or polarized.

The Conservatives have chosen their leader. This is the time to watch Poilievre before choosing to embrace or reject him and his party.

– Black Press

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