Inflation, taxes and cryptocurrency: Poilievre takes aim at Liberals in first question period as Opposition leader

Pierre Poilievre honed in on inflation, housing and tax increases during his first question period as leader of the official Opposition. He also fielded several retorts about his past comment that Canadians can “opt-out of inflation” with cryptocurrency.

After nearly 20 seconds of applause from his party, Poilievre launched into his first question Tuesday and called on the government to cancel scheduled “tax increases.” This set the content and tone for most of the followup questions from Conservative MPs.

Minister of Tourism and Associate Minister of Finance Randy Boissonnault responded, first congratulating Poilievre on his first question in his new role and then contrasting the federal government’s plan “to support Canadians who need it most” with “the vision of the Conservative Party and members who don’t care about Canadians.”

The new leader of the federal Conservative Party of Canada won’t have the chance to spar with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau until Thursday, when Trudeau returns from the 77th United Nations General Assembly in New York City.

“Our hope on this side of the aisle is that the Conservative Party will support us to get these measures to people,” said Boissonnault, referring to the one-time Canada Housing Benefit top-up, temporary GST rebate hike and new dental benefit for children under 12.

For the most part, Boissonnault responded to numerous similar queries from Conservative MPs by highlighting the new affordability measures tabled in the House of Commons. But as the session wore on, Boissonnault threw a few barbs Poilievre’s way.

Conservative co-deputy leader Tim Uppal commented that the current high cost of living is “caused by this government’s out-of-control spending, high-risk economic policies and painful interest rate hikes.”