People are ‘hurting,’ Poilievre says as O’Toole slams ‘F Trudeau’ flags

Conservative leader Pierre Poilievre doesn’t like “anger” and he doesn’t like profanity-laden flags about Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, he told reporters on Friday.

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But that anger is because people are “suffering,” he said, as a result of life-threatening struggles and leaders “talking down to them.”

comes on the heels of his remarks a substack post His predecessor, former Conservative leader Erin O’Toole, published on Friday morning. In the piece, O’Toole called out “political stunts” and “aggressive rhetoric” which he said are permeating politics today.


O’Toole pointed to the widely used “F— Trudeau” flags, which were a mainstay at the “Freedom Convoy” protests earlier this year, as evidence of the issue.

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“I say this as someone who ran against Justin Trudeau in the last general election and who is very critical of his record in government. But as I told my children during that national campaign, Mr. Trudeau My political opponents were not my enemies,” O’Toole wrote.

“These flags and the hyper-aggressive rhetoric that often accompanies them is slowly normalizing anger and damaging our democracy.”

Many of the people who fly these flags, he said, “claim to be conservatives.”

O’Toole wrote, “It might also be an opportune time to tell them that these flags are the opposite of what it means to be Orthodox.”

When a reporter pressed Poilievre on his predecessor’s comments, the conservative leader said he had “never seen so much hurt and so much pain and suffering in our population in (his) nearly two decades in politics.”

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“I don’t like flags, and I don’t like anger,” said Poilievre.

“But I think we have to ask ourselves: Why are people so angry? Like, why are people so angry? And the answer is they’re hurting.

Poiliev conceded that people could be asked to “be more civil”, but said it was the responsibility of politicians to “really try to solve the problems that have upset and angered people and made them suffer so badly”. Kind of hurt.”

“It’s our job to turn that hurt into hope, to turn that into something better,” he said.

Meanwhile, Marco Mendicino, Canada’s Minister of Public Safety, warned over the summer that the increasing frequency of harassment against Canadian public figures poses a “threat to democracy” that needs to be taken seriously.

His comments came shortly after Deputy Premier Chrystia Freeland was verbally attacked in Alberta. In June, Mendicino also revealed that members of Parliament in Canada would be getting panic buttons amid a rise in death threats, intimidation and verbal harassment.

was asked to reflect on this growing trend in a year-end interview with Granthshala nationalTrudeau said that “there are going to be people who disagree with any position that we take.”

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He said, “You can no longer govern for eight years, and do important things, as we have done, and alienate everybody all the time.”

The pushback, Trudeau said, tells him Canada needs “more good people” to get involved in politics — but growing anger is making that increasingly difficult.

“It’s hard to persuade people to get involved in politics now,” Trudeau said. “It is hard to find good candidates. It is hard to persuade people to step up and represent their communities.

Both Poilievre and Trudeau have alternately pointed to the other’s role in fueling the anger of Canadians.

Poilievre said Friday that the profanity-laden flags are an expression of Canadians’ frustrations – including with the political leadership – and that Canada needs “a prime minister who really brings people together.”

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Speaking to a roomful of Liberal Party members in mid-December, Trudeau pulled no punches in criticizing the Conservative leader.

“Mr. Trudeau said, Poilievre can choose to undermine our democracy by raising conspiracy theories… It is his choice.

“But when he says Canada is broken, that’s where we draw the line.”

In his recent critique, O’Toole suggested that the reasons for the polarization are “many” and “most are unlikely to change.”

“But the real risk to our democracy stems from the growing complacency of the majority. Canadians are getting used to this high degree of polarization in our country,” O’Toole said.

“Many people just shrug and ignore the rise in offensive language, the plethora of social media and the waning of informed debate. This tone of division and mistrust is slowly becoming the new normal in politics.

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