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Don Martin: What will change if Poilievre's Conservatives win a majority in the next election?

If there’s any fun to be had in contemplating a future with Conservative Leader Pierre Poilievre, it’s what will change should he win a majority government.

A major rewind in federal policies is already taking shape.

This was foreshadowed ahead of last week’s surprising Supreme Court decision to declare big chunks of the federal Impact Assessment Act to be an unconstitutional infringement on Alberta’s jurisdiction.

Ahead of that judgment, I contacted my usual list of Alberta suspects to gauge the level of outrage that would erupt across the province should the top court validate a bill that was dubbed the No More Pipelines Act by territorial provincial politicians.

In short, most of them yawned.

The reason? They predicted the imminent election of Poilievre as prime minister would mean the entire act would be scrubbed, perhaps along with emissions caps on greenhouse gases, the West Coast tanker moratorium and other developmental speedbumps.

In what could be an overly optimistic view, they’re already looking beyond Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to their white Conservative knight riding over the horizon to rescue Canadians from over-reaching Liberal ministers.

A Poilievre rescue from the Impact Assessment Act may yet be necessary given the federal cabinet’s stated determination to tweak the legislation and reimpose their assessments on areas where it does claim jurisdiction.

The feds can still delay interprovincial pipelines or power transmission lines. And the Supreme Court has already ruled the feds have the right to cap greenhouse gas emissions, a power that the Liberals fully intend to use.

But there’s much, much more a Poilievre government could unwind from the legislative accomplishments of Liberal-NDP rule.

A taste of that emerged last week when the Liberals, despite having had three years of consultation and planning, decided they couldn’t proceed with the buyback of 2,000 models of legal firearms it suddenly declared illegal in 2020.

No reason was given for a second long delay in the buyback program. But the new deadline to surrender the guns is now set for Oct. 30, 2025. That’s less than two weeks after the next scheduled election when, many gunowners undoubtedly believe, a Conservative sheriff will be in office and unlikely to proceed with the full list of banned firearms.


This Conservative trashing of the Liberal legacy isn’t exactly being planned by stealth.

As he’s vowed a thousand times, Poilievre’s first item of business will be to eliminate Trudeau’s carbon tax, an increasingly popular idea that could become the ballot box issue in the Liberal strongholds of Atlantic Canada.

Now, Poilievre will have to stomp carefully on all this environmental protection legislation. Voters will not tolerate empty planks on the Conservative platform where serious measures to combat climate change should be nailed down.

Treating the alarming shift in national and global weather patterns as merely a pollution problem that can be cleaned up with a few new technologies will not win over the mainstream urban voters Conservatives need to form a majority government to enact dramatic change.

And they’ll need a particularly strong mandate to take down all the other Liberal sacred cows on their hit list: Defunding the CBC, toughening bail release conditions, repealing online media legislation and taking on the bloated government bureaucracy.

But with the Liberals seemingly bent on continuing their own destruction, leaving Poilievre free of attack ads to successfully define himself as the no-more-glasses common man’s advocate, a new reality is setting in.

Far from fretting and fearing what the Liberals will do for the rest of their NDP partnership in office, the prism is shifting to what the Conservatives will undo if they win the next election.

The great Liberal policy rewind is spooling up on the horizon.

That’s the bottom line.



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