Skip to content

Around 700 pack Oliver warehouse to see Conservative Leader Poilievre

Topics ranged from housing to crime to the economy

Pick-up trucks lined the streets and around 700 people jammed into an Oliver warehouse on Wednesday night to hear Conservative Leader Pierre Poilievre speak.

Oliver was his second stop on Oct. 11 after a trip to Kelowna.

The large amount of support is not a surprise with the number of Conservative representatives and voters in the Okanagan, many of whom, including MPs Dan Albas, Tracey Gray and Mel Arnold, were in attendance.

Though there is no election on the horizon, with the next date set for Oct. 20, 2025, it was full campaign-mode for the Conservative Leader.

Poilievre was at his best working the crowd when delivering one-liners and jokes that used the Prime Minister as a punch line. He still commanded attention when he started going into more arcane concepts, quoting Rudyard Kipling or economist Thomas Sewell, or for example when he delved into how the amount of Canadian currency in circulation has increased at a faster rate than the size of the nation’s economy and how that reduces how much each dollar now effectively buys.

Over the hour-long rally, Poilievre tackled a wide range of topics, some more in-depth than others, with current cause célèbre “parents rights” for example getting a single brief mention near the end of the rally but plenty of applause.

The biggest focus of the night was on more tangible topics that directly impact Canadians, from the price of common goods to housing.

Poilievre had plenty to say when it came to inflation, calling it a wealth transfer loved by the financial sector. To address it, he pitched his “Common Sense” plan to balance the government’s budget as one would a household, a familiar description for capping spending that has been used by politicians for decades.

“We’re going to create a ‘Dollar-for-Dollar’ law, which will require every minister to find one dollar of savings for every dollar of new spending,” said Poilievre.

He called out the pricetag for the ArriveCan app and promised to get rid of it, as well as the Canadian Infrastructure Bank and Canada’s part in the 109-nation Asian Infrastructure Bank which the federal government has currently frozen ties with and is investigating.

Defunding the CBC, axing the carbon tax, cutting income tax and other taxes on earning and banning attendance of the World Economic Forum were other perennial Conservative issues that received support.

Poilievre championed support for more drilling to exploit Canada’s reserves of oil and natural gas as well as building more pipelines and terminals to export those reserves to Europe and Asia.

To address the lack of housing in the nation, Poilievre repeated his plan of selling off federal land and cutting red tape.

Tying federal funding to the amount of housing that’s built was another plan he pitched to loud applause.

Crime was another big topic, with plans to strip parole and bail opportunities from repeat violent offenders and to cut safe supply while putting more funding into treatment instead.

Poilievre accused Trudeau of visiting the downtown eastside of Vancouver and deciding to export that to the rest of Canada and promised to go after the opioid companies that contributed to the epidemic. The producer of the drug Oxycontin, which Poilievre targeted by name, is in the middle of being dissolved by its owners the Sackler family after the company was sued by the United States government.

With a closure of the emergency department happening that very night in Oliver, Poilievre promised to go after the provincial NDP for letting go of doctors and nurses who refused to get vaccinated or wear masks because of what he called a “personal medical choice.”

He also called on establishing a Blue Seal certification program, like the Red Seal for trades, that would allow skilled immigrants like doctors and engineers to get their Canadian certification.

Signs were posted by unknown people at the front entrance of the rally, calling to donate and support Tamara Lich — one of the leaders of the Freedom Convoy who is facing a trial on several criminal charges. A volunteer directing attendees was also encouraging people to support her. The posters were all removed by the time the rally wrapped up.

READ MORE: Conservative Leader Pierre Poilievre talks inflation, housing in Penticton

Brennan Phillips

About the Author: Brennan Phillips

Brennan was raised in the Okanagan and is thankful every day that he gets to live and work in one of the most beautiful places in Canada.
Read more