‘Ground the Jet’: Poilievre Has First Joust With Trudeau in the House as Tory Leader

‘Ground the Jet’: Poilievre Has First Joust With Trudeau in the House as Tory Leader
Conservative leader Pierre Poilievre rises during Question Period in Ottawa on Sept. 20, 2022. (Adrian Wyld/The Canadian Press)
Peter Wilson

New Conservative Leader Pierre Poilievre had his first opportunity in this year’s fall sitting of Parliament to spar with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau during question period in the House of Commons on Sept. 22, where he told the prime minister to “ground the jet” and cancel planned tax hikes.

“It’s good to see the prime minister here visiting Canada to fill up the gas in his private jet, but things are bad on the ground in Canada,” said Poilievre. “Will the prime minister cancel the tax increases on gas, heating, food, and paycheques?”

Sept. 22 marked Trudeau’s first day in the House for the new session of Parliament, as he was attending Queen Elizabeth II’s funeral in London and also the United Nations General Assembly in New York City earlier this week.

Referring to the Liberal carbon tax, Poilievre said that “heating your home in January and February in Canada is not a luxury” and added that Canadians who do so shouldn’t be seen as “polluters” because of their energy consumption.

“This from a prime minister who burned more jet fuel in one month than 20 average Canadians burn in an entire year,” said Poilievre.

The National Post reported in August that Trudeau flew 26,238 kilometres in the month of July 2022 alone, which was more than his entire flying mileage in the summer of 2021.

“So will the prime minister ground the jet, park the hypocrisy, and axe the tax hikes?” Poilievre said.

Trudeau responded by criticising Poilievre’s endorsement of certain cryptocurrencies back in March, at which time Poilievre said in London, Ontario, that they could be a way to “opt-out” of inflation.

“If Canadians have 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 said.

Referring to the Liberals’ proposed inflation relief measures, Trudeau said Poilievre “has an opportunity to support these measures and get help directly to Canadians.”

The government’s inflation relief measures include a six-month doubling of the Goods and Services Tax (GST) credit and a one-time top-up of $500 to the Canada Housing Benefit for individuals forced to spend at least 30 percent of their incomes on rent.

Poilievre responded to Trudeau’s request that he support the measures by saying he “will not support tax hikes” and accused the prime minister of raising taxes “to feed his insatiable spending appetites.”

“Canadians can’t afford a bigger bite off their paycheques,” he said.