OTTAWA RECAP: Trudeau back in Ottawa, carbon tax, threatening tweets, Gerretsen’s meltdown

Find out what you missed in Parliament. Today, Conservative Leader Pierre Poilievre and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau went head-to-head as the prime minister came back from his trips abroad, and a Liberal MP had a meltdown over a Conservative’s use of the words ‘partners in crime.’

OTTAWA RECAP: Trudeau back in Ottawa, carbon tax, threatening tweets, Gerretsen’s meltdown
Credit: CPAC
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Earlier this week, rumours of a potential removal of ArriveCAN emerged in the news, signalling the app was likely to be made optional starting on September 30, 2022. The issue was finally touched on in Parliament when Conservative member of Parliament Arnold Viersen introduced a petition demanding the end of the ArriveCAN and all other COVID-19 related measures. 

“Petitioners are calling on the government and the minister of transport to end all federally-regulated COVID-19 vaccine mandates and restrictions,” Viersen stated. 

He also pointed out the fact that the vast majority of industrialized nations around the globe have lifted theirs, and rhetorically asked why the Canadian government still hasn't followed suit. 

“Currently the government has only suspended some of the mandates but thanks to the opposition pressure, they will be getting rid of the ArriveCAN app and the border mandates,” he said. Viersen seemingly implied that the election of Pierre Poilievre during the Conservative Party’s leadership race pressured the government into removing, or hinting at a removal, of multiple COVID-19 measures. 

The government still hasn't officially announced it would be lifting the ArriveCAN app, but the state-funded CBC reported that a source confirmed Trudeau decided the app’s end is near.

“The federal government has decided to drop the vaccination requirement for people entering Canada, end random COVID-19 testing at airports and make the use of the ArriveCan app optional by the end of this month, a senior government source told CBC News,” they explained

Newly-elected Conservative Party of Canada Leader Pierre Poilievre had the chance to go head-to-head with Canada’s scandal-plagued Liberal prime minister, as Trudeau was back in Ottawa for the first time since Parliament returned to session.

His presence certainly did not go unnoticed, as the two clashed more than once, including a lengthy exchange. 

Poilievre attacked Trudeau primarily in regards to his carbon tax. 

"Trudeau has basically admitted that his carbon tax does not work,” he began by saying, “and therefore he needs to triple it!” 

“According to the Liberal premier of Newfoundland-and-Labrador, the forthcoming hike in the carbon tax will mean that the total cost for a Newfoundland senior living in the countryside on their heating bill will have been 80%,” he said. “Canadians cannot afford that. But just for clarity, if you are a Newfoundland senior, how much will your home heating bill rise as a result of the forthcoming hike in the Liberal carbon tax?”

As anticipated by anyone who regularly watches House of Commons proceedings, Trudeau did not answer the question. 

The exchange became more heated as it continued. Trudeau also attacked Poilievre over his suggestion that Canadians should invest in cryptocurrency. 

“If Canadians had followed the advice of the leader of the Opposition, and invested in volatile cryptocurrencies in an attempt to opt-out of inflation, they would have lost half of their savings,” Trudeau claimed. 

Conservatives definitely spoke at length about the Liberal carbon tax more than once in today’s session. 

While the newly-elected Conservative Leader Poilievre blasted Trudeau over this measure during their personal exchange, he also touched on the tax prior to the prime minister even entering the room. 

While Poilievre gave a 13-minute speech during discussions over Bill C-31, which is what the Liberals call the Cost of Living Relief Act, he spoke about what he explained were the negative impacts of a carbon tax. 

Poilievre also spoke about housing affordability, and suggested lowering all taxes. 

Moving on from monetary policies and economic ideas onto freedom of speech and violence issues, Conservative MP Garnett Genuis spoke about a recent incident that occurred on Twitter. 

Indeed, on September 21, 2022, Genuis made a humorous statement, mimicking the prime minister by singing a parody of Bohemian Rhapsody while debating the Liberals. 

“Mr. Smith is an accredited member of the Parliamentary Press Gallery, and the gallery has its own policies and it’s own policies,” Genuis said, before asking the PPG to revoke his accreditation.

“The press gallery also has responsibilities, and I’d like to see the gallery take swift actions to revoke Mr. Smith’s privileges.”

Reporter Dale Smith had stated the following on Twitter, the day before: 

Genius tries to includes lyrics from “Bohemian Rhapsody” in his question, and I cannot adequate tell you how lame it is. When horses are this lame, you shoot them. 

Putting aside the flagrant grammatical mistake in his first sentence, Smith’s comments were out-of-line according to the Conservative MP. 

No action has been taken yet by the PPG. 

Finally, before the question period even began, Liberal MP Mark Gerretsen had a meltdown following the use of an idiom by Conservative MP Michael Barrett. 

After being asked if he would begin showing courage by a New Democrat in regards to the tax increase, Barrett stated that the NDP and the Liberals “are partners in crime,” without having the chance to explain how they were so, since he was interrupted by Gerretsen. 

Gerretsen then raised his voice gradually, to the point where he was yelling and interrupted the House Leader. 


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