Conservative party leader Pierre Poilievre has been outspoken in his criticism of Canada’s legacy media, which is frequently accused of having a bias against Conservatives.
True North has compiled the top five exchanges Poilievre had with reporters in 2023.
5. Canadian Press journalist skewered over outlet’s CBC ties
Poilievre slammed a Canadian Press reporter in April at an Edmonton press conference after she asked a question about CBC funding.
The Conservative leader responded to the question by asking her if she was in a conflict of interest, saying the state broadcaster is the wire’s biggest client. “Have you checked with the ethics commissioner on whether you’re in a conflict of interest in asking about CBC funding, given that it’s the principal source of money for (the Canadian Press)?”
The reporter responded by saying she would “check” with her editors.
Poilievre then added that the CBC negatively impacts all media and is a “biased propaganda arm of the Liberal party.” He said that, for example, the Canadian Press must favourably report on the CBC to keep its large, taxpayer-funded client happy.
4. “Are you serious?”: Poilievre baffled by CTV reporter on violent crime
Poilievre lambasted a CTV News Parliamentary Press Gallery reporter in May after he asked if the issue of violent crimes committed by criminals on bail was the fault of society not providing things like proper social services, instead of it being caused by flaws in the bail system.
Poilievre responded by fervently asking “are you serious?” Adding “are you honestly saying that it’s society’s fault if a repeat violent offender commits 60 or 70 offences?”
“I think (the) criminal is to blame for his own actions,” said Poilievre “He is personally responsible. We’re not talking about some kid who made a mistake when he was 19, we’re talking about people who do 60, 70 violent offences.”
The CTV News journalist followed up by asking Poilievre “but why are they criminals?” To which Poilievre replied, “because they do crime.”
“I think we’ve solved the riddle here.”
3. Oblivious journalist gets caught trying to smear Poilievre
Poilievre scorned a Prince Edward Island journalist this August after she asked at a press conference if he was trying to court the far-right vote through “dog whistles.”
Poilievre responded by repeatedly asking her who had claimed he was trying to court the far-right, she said, “a number of different experts.” But when asked to name an expert, she couldn’t.
The Conservative leader hence told her, “your question seems to be based on a false premise. You can’t even tell me who these experts are. It sounds like it’s just a CBC smear job.”
Poilievre added that Canadians are attracted to him because he has “a common-sense agenda to axe the carbon tax, bring home powerful paychecks, clear the way to build affordable homes, to put people in housing that they can afford.”
“Justin Trudeau’s supporters are so desperate to distract from that because his political career is falling apart, so we’re seeing an attempt here to distract, and protect Justin Trudeau.”
2. Poilievre trips up reporter over false accusation
Poilievre turned the tables on a Canadian Press journalist, who accused him of spreading misinformation about the Canada-U.S. border explosion by implying he had falsely called it terrorism. Poilievre had not called the explosion terrorism.
“Actually, you’re wrong,” said Poilievre, who went on to grill the reporter’s employer. “(The Canadian Press), just for everyone’s knowledge, did have to make three corrections for falsehoods that they put into a single article. I think that might be unprecedented, I’m actually thinking about checking with the Guinness Book of World Records.”
He added, “what I said, and I was right, was that there were media reports of a terror related event. By your admission, there were media reports of a terror related event. And that media report, according to CTV, unless you’re questioning their integrity now, came from security officials in the Trudeau government.”
“So do you think that CTV was irresponsible in putting out that tweet?”
Poilievre finished off by saying, “I just hope you’re not going to print something that you have to apologize for again.”
1. Apple-munching Poilievre wipes the floor with reporter
Poilievre casually challenged questions posed by the editor of the Castanet, a local Okanagan paper, while eating an apple during a fall interview at an orchard. Among other things, the reporter asked Poilievre for supposedly taking “the populist pathway” and using pages from “the Donald Trump book.”
Poilievre asked several times for the reporter to give him examples of the right-wing populist playbook which he was using, but he could not provide any.
The reporter eventually gave up, saying “okay, then forget that, why should Canadians trust you with their vote?” To which Poilievre said, “Common sense. Common sense, for a change,” while continuing to enjoy his apple.
The exchange went viral, receiving over 1.5 million views on X (formerly Twitter), and receiving reactions from prominent American figures including Elon Musk and Megyn Kelly.