Pierre Poilievre at the Saskatchewan Oil and Gas Show in Weyburn, June 1, 2022. Photo by Brian Zinchuk

WEYBURN – Pierre Poilievre is the leading candidate for the leadership of the Conservative Party of Canada. He made the effort to attend and speak at the Saskatchewan Oil and Gas Show in Weyburn on June 1. That was a key day, because the next day, party membership sales closed.

Poilievre had laid the groundwork three years ago, attending and briefly speaking at the same oil show in 2019.

He had a lot to say about energy. You can watch the speech on YouTube, below, or you can read his entire speech, verbatim, further below.

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Pierre Poilievre:

Thank you very much Saskatchewan. Great to be back home in the prairies. Of course. Andrew is right. I’m for our elected seven times in Ontario, but I’m actually born and raised in Calgary, Alberta. Yes, you got a Calgarian over there. I don’t imagine there are a lot of Stampeders fans in the crowd, though. Great way to get a boo and a Saskatchewan audience.

But my folks are actually from Saskatoon and Leoville, Saskatchewan. Our people are from a little further north of here, but Saskatchewan was always like a second home for me. Growing up, we were always on the road, coming out see grandparents aunts, uncles. We were of course from the big city in Calgary. So we got to a farm, it was like being in Disneyland, jumping on the dirt bikes and shooting the pellet guns and frankly, terrorizing as the our cousins until they sent us home. But they were the great memories, and watching that sun go down over the prairie sky really brought to me the values of freedom and hard work and independence that I share today an advocate for on the floor of the House of Commons.

A great thank you to my friend, Andrew Scheer, for his wonderful introduction. He is a champion of this province and all of Canada and thank you Andrew for all you’re doing. Appreciate it.

And, of course, your amazing premier Scott Moe. You know, in the this sea of political insanity in our country, over the last several years, it has been wonderful to have an island of common sense in the Saskatchewan government; fighting for lower taxes, lower debt, less red tape, free enterprise entrepreneurship and standing up for the people who do the work in this country. Thank you very much, Premier Moe, for inspiring all Canadians.

You know, when I first called Andrew and asked if I could add his support for leader, he said, “I have an important question for you. Do you believe in free speech?”

I said, “Yes.”

He said, “How would you like to give one?”

And that’s how I ended up here today.

Pierre Poilievre at the Saskatchewan Oil and Gas Show in Weyburn, June 1, 2022. Photo by Brian Zinchuk

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But, but freedom is really what it’s all about. When my great-grandfather came here from France, back about over 100 years ago, Prime Minister Laurier was asked what is Canada’s nationality. And, of course, he couldn’t define our country by its local population, their background or their religion, because we were already mixed up. Right? We had Scots, Irish, English, French, Asian people from Asia, and of course, most importantly, our First Peoples. So, we were never defined by any particular ethnicity or religion. Rather, he said Canada is free. And freedom is its nationality.

And so, it is today. Freedom is our nationality. It is our purpose as Canadians is what attracts people from around the world to this country. But lately, people haven’t felt so free, in this country. Big bossy government has taken your money and told you what to do. And you know what? We’re starting to see the paradise, the utopia, that Trudeau promised, unfold. Right? Remember, he said he was going to phase out the energy sector, and others around the world have attempted to do the same thing. What has been the consequence of this relentless ideological drive to attack the energy sectors of free and democratic countries like ours?

Well, we’ve seen increased market share for dirty, polluting dictators who have used the money to carry out warfare against their own citizens and against their neighbors. Imagine, if today, we had the Energy East pipeline to deliver a million barrels of Western oil to eastern Canadian ports that we could ship over to Europe to break European dependence on Putin? And then dollars would be going to our people rather than his weapons, right? That’s the reality.

And that is just the geopolitical tragedy that is unfolding. What about the working class people who have been sacrificed to this ideological agenda? You might be the single mother who’s skipping meals so your kids do not have to, because food price inflation has made your family one of the four in five that has to reduce its diet in order to afford groceries.

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Or you might be like the working guy in northern Ontario can’t gas up his truck to drive over to Thunder Bay to meet and see his dying parents one last time because diesel is now $2.50 a litre in some parts of Canada. Or you might be the 35 year old still living in your parents basement because house prices have doubled.

Now, you might say, “What is all of this have to do with our energy sector?”

Pierre Poilievre, left, in front of Panther Drilling Rig 4 at the Saskatchewan Oil and Gas Show in Weyburn, June 1, 2022. Photo by Brian Zinchuk

Well, I will acknowledge there are other causes. The massive money printing that the government has done, the deficits it has run have contributed to the inflation. But let us not underestimate what real impacts on the cost of living of working-class people, the attack on our energy jet energy sector has had over the last several years. And let me enumerate the ways.

One, back in 2014, when oil was over $100, we were nearly at parity with the American dollar. Because at that time, energy comprised a larger share of our economy, and therefore, when oil prices went up, so did our dollar. This provided a wonderful hedge for our customers. Because while oil is internationally priced, it is locally priced in our currency. So if you have a high dollar, the purchasing power of the nation is stronger. And the Canadian price at the pump of gas is lower, we have now decoupled that relationship, because energy is a smaller part of our economy. And we do not benefit in the same way as we used to, even seven years ago, from rising energy prices.

So now we have a 78 cent dollar. If we were at parity today, as we should be, gas at the pumps would be about 25 per cent cheaper. And what does that mean? Working class people are paying more. And that includes people who do not even work in the energy sector or even live in energy producing regions.

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And these people are suffering. I am meeting them every single day at my rallies. Grown men who come to me with tears in their eyes, because they have to tape up their work boots to cover the holes because they can’t replace them. Who are living in their parents basements, and who can’t afford a basic quality of life despite the fact that they work hard, and they are qualified in their fields. So, this is not just the people who work directly in the sector, but all Canadians who are suffering.

Meanwhile, we import 130,000 barrels of overseas oil every single day from dictatorships like Saudi Arabia and Nigeria and up until 2019, Russia. So, what are we going to do about it?

Ladies and gentlemen, let me tell you, there are better days ahead. This utopia that we were promised, means what the Greek origin of the word actually called it, “No Place.” This No Place is where we’ve arrived. But we’re going to go to a better place, and this is how we’re going to do it.

Let me start with our energy sector. Today, I’d like to commit to you that a Poilievre of government will repeal the No New Pipelines law, Bill C-69, to unleash our energy sector again.

Pierre Poilievre at the Saskatchewan Oil and Gas Show in Weyburn, June 1, 2022. Photo by Brian Zinchuk

We will support pipeline and other transportation infrastructure for our energy sector, including backing eastbound energy projects, including a national energy corridor. If the private sector proposes it, and we build the consensus across the country, I believe every single Canadian province can be convinced that it is better to use our own energy rather than import foreign energy and generate jobs for steel workers, for welders, for energy workers, for refinery workers right across this country.

We will support the Northern Gateway, which will see the potential of exporting energy through the Port of Churchill and around the north part of Quebec. I will immediately engage with the White House and also, with the trades unions, and the working class Democrats south of the border who want the jobs that will come with completing the Keystone pipeline, so our American friends no longer have to draw on their strategic reserves, or buy Venezuelan and Russian oil. They can buy oil from the most secure and friendly source on planet Earth, right here in Canada.

And it’s not just about the West. We love the western energy sector, but it’s the same in the east. The Newfoundland government is proposing a 400,000 barrel a day increase in its production. A Poilievre government will sign off on that increase, allow that increase to occur, and use it to fully replace the 130,000 barrels we’re importing from overseas. Within five years I will have banned dictator oil from Canada altogether.

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The way to fight climate change is not to attack the most responsible energy sector in the world. But it is to use this sector as a force of good. And we see it right here, in southern Saskatchewan, with the investments, the world-leading investments in carbon capture and storage. We have Whitecap Resources here, which reports that it is now the only carbon-negative energy producer, because it puts more carbon in the ground than it puts in the air. We should be exporting this technology around the world.

We should unleash the production of our 1,300 trillion cubic feet of natural gas, which we can ship from Newfoundland, which is the closest point in North America to Europe. And we can ship from BC, which is the closest point in North America to Asia.

It’s not just a shipping advantage we have, how do you get natural gas to shrink 600 times so it fits on a ship? How do you turn it into a liquid? You cool it down. What do we have in Canada? Cold weather. It’s our most abundant natural resource. And Andrew Scheer was telling me that last winter it was so cold out here, that he even saw some Liberals with their hands in their own pockets.

But joking aside, the engineers tell me that the liquefaction process is 25 per cent cheaper in Canada than it is in the Gulf Coast because of our cold climate. So we can liquefy it, put it on a ship, send it off to Asia to close coal-fired plants over there. Put it on a ship to Europe to break European dependence on Putin, so that the dollars go to our workers instead of to his war machine.

Pierre Poilievre, shaking hands with Dan Cugnet, show chair, at the Saskatchewan Oil and Gas Show in Weyburn, June 1, 2022. Photo by Brian Zinchuk

We should unleash the production of our uranium of which we have the greatest supply on Earth, right here in Saskatchewan. We should unleash the power of small modular nuclear reactors to clean up the grids not only of Canadian power systems, but those all around the world. We should be producing the lithium, the cobalt, the graphite, and all of the other necessities for electric cars. Ladies and gentlemen, it makes no sense to buy an electric car for the good of the environment, if it’s made in China, produced in the most polluting possible process. We could unleash the production of these minerals right here in Canada, if you could get a mine approved, within a year instead of seven years. This is the potential that we need to fulfill.

Mark Twain said that the two most important days in your life are the day you were born and the day you find out why you were born. “Why?” is the most important question we should ever ask, whenever we do anything. So why am I running for Prime Minister?

I am running for prime minister to put you back in charge of your life by making Canada the freest nation on Earth. That is my purpose. And in the words of the great Saskatchewanian, and Prime Minister, John Diefenbaker. When he signed our Bill of Rights, he said I am a Canadian, a free Canadian, free to stand for what I think right. Free to oppose what I believe wrong. Free to choose those who shall govern my country. Free to worship God in my own way. It is this heritage of freedom, I pledge to uphold for myself and for all of mankind. Thank you very much.

 

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