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Conservatives will work ’all summer long’ to rewrite budget, Poilievre says

Conservative leader calls on prime minister to cancel summer vacation to amend budget bill

Pierre Poilievre.

Conservative Leader Pierre Poilievre speaks to reporters after the tabling of the Federal Budget in the in the House of Commons on Parliament Hill in Ottawa, on Tuesday, March 28, 2023. On Thursday, Poilievre said he and his party are prepared to fight C-47, the government's budget bill, all summer.

Photo: La Presse canadienne / Justin Tang


Conservative Leader Pierre Poilievre says his party is willing to work through the summer to drastically change the Liberal government's budget bill and is calling on Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to revoke the budget and table a new one.

I'm calling on [Trudeau] to do the honourable thing, to put aside his pride and his personal ego and cancel this budget, Poilievre said in a news conference Thursday.

He should also cancel his summer vacation. Conservatives are prepared to work all summer long to rewrite a budget that balances budgets in order to bring down inflation and interest rates, and that cancels all increases in taxes.

Poilievre repeated many of the points he made in a long speech in the House of Commons Wednesday night (new window) and in his remarks earlier this week (new window). He said household debt levels in Canada, rebounding inflation and rising interest rates since the budget was introduced in March make amendments necessary.

The Bank of Canada raised its benchmark interest rate to 4.75 per cent on Wednesday (new window). Statistics Canada reported a slight bump in inflation in April (new window), with the Consumer Price Index hitting 4.4 per cent compared to 4.3 in March.

WATCH | 'Cancel this budget,' Poilievre tells Trudeau

Poilievre added in French that Conservative senators will continue his party's fight against Bill C-47, the Budget Implementation Act, when the bill reaches the upper chamber. The bill is currently at third reading in the House of Commons.

I'm going to inherit this mess as prime minister, but I'm going to do everything I can as leader of the opposition to mitigate it and make sure that we save the homes and the financial future of our people, Poilievre said.

Could [Trudeau] not cancel his summer vacation to fight the inflation that he has caused in our country? Could he not put the mortgage payments of ordinary Canadians ahead of his tan or his surfing lessons? I think he could.

The House of Commons usually rises over the summer and is set (new window) to suspend its work on June 23 until Sept. 18.

Government House leader rejects call to change budget

Responding to Poilievre's demand Thursday, Government House leader Mark Holland defended the budget bill and said the Conservative leader hasn't been specific enough in his criticism.

He's not saying what he would cut. He's saying that he doesn't support the measures in the budget. Well, what doesn't he support? Holland told a news conference.

Does he not support dental care? Does he not support the grocery rebate? Does he not support support for workers or students? Does he not support the vast preponderance of what's in the budget, which is for health care and for changing to a new economy?

WATCH | House leader questions Poilievre's bid to block budget

Holland rejected Poilievre's proposal to work through the summer amending the budget bill.

I hear the leader of the opposition saying that he's ready to work through the summer, but on what? He has said that he wants a new budget, but it's not up to us. We've already presented a budget — and by the way, it's supported by the House of Commons, Holland said.

Holland also criticized Poilievre's position on climate change, including Poilievre's proposal to revoke the carbon tax. He pointed to the forest fires burning across Canada (new window) as proof that human-driven climate change is already threatening Canadians.

It is rich, as we literally breathe the evidence of climate change in our lungs, in these chambers, that he is talking about tossing out action on climate change, Holland said.