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'Canada is not broken': Trudeau goes hard at Poilievre in speech to Liberals


Prime Minister Justin Trudeau went hard after his Conservative rival in a speech to Liberals on Wednesday night, taking aim directly at Pierre Poilievre's declaration that Canada "is broken."

"Canada is not broken," Trudeau said to a crowd of more than 2,000 Liberal Party members at their first in-person national Christmas party since pre-pandemic times.

"Mr. Poilievre might choose to undermine our democracy by amplifying conspiracy theories. He might decide to run away from journalists when they ask him tough questions. That's how he brands himself. That's his choice. But, when he says that Canada is broken, that's where we draw the line," Trudeau said to applause.

"Let me be very clear for the record: Canada is not broken," said the prime minister, going on to cite examples of Canadians helping to rebuild post-Fiona, and women being able to re-enter the workforce because child-care fees are on the decline.

This line of attack was in response to Poilievre's assertion during remarks ahead of a media availability in November with reporters in Vancouver that "it feels like everything is broken in this country right now."

In his approximately 20-minute speech, the prime minister sought to both rally Liberals around the progress the federal government has made over the last several years, as well as imploring the party faithful that despite Poilievre's "reckless" leadership, Conservatives are "not our enemies."

While noting it has been a particularly difficult year for many, from "global inflation," to the "illegal occupation"—referencing last winter's "Freedom Convoy" protests—the prime minister implored Liberals to remember what they are fighting for.

"We're going to get through these tough times because we're going to do it together. And this is important: when we say we're building a stronger future for everyone, we mean all Canadians, no matter who you voted for," said the prime minister.

In his speech, Trudeau also seized on this week's Mississauga-Lakeshore federal byelection win, which saw former Ontario finance minister Charles Sousa elected. 

The prime minister attributed his victory—holding on to a Liberal seat—both to Sousa running on a "positive message" and to Poilievre's absence from the campaign.

"This was a competitive race, and the very first since Pierre Poilievre became leader. But, where was the leader of the Conservative Party? He didn't show up … He was supposed to be this great campaigner and he didn't show up, not even once."

Trudeau posited that this was because his team didn't want him to wear the loss. In remarks to his caucus earlier in the day, Poilievre didn't address the byelection result. 

"Trust me, as leader, you wear everything, win or lose," Trudeau said. 




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