For Pierre Poilievre, this weekend’s events were the best of times, while for Justin Trudeau they were the worst of times.
While Poilievre basked in the glow of high poll numbers and widespread praise at his party’s convention in Quebec City, Trudeau was in New Delhi, India, trying to stay relevant with world leaders who seemed to be ignoring Canada.
Poilievre wowed audiences and his critics with a speech that gave Canadians hope for the country’s most pressing problems. He pointed to the doubling of housing costs – both mortgage and rent payments – since Trudeau took office and highlighted the rising costs of food, fuel and energy.
“The good news is that life wasn’t like this before Trudeau and won’t be like this after his death,” Poilievre said.
“This proves we can turn the pain he caused into the hope Canadians need.”
Former Conservative Prime Minister Brian Mulroney told his son Mark via text message that he had seen many convention speeches since his first convention in 1956 and Poilievre’s speech was “probably the best.”
“Pierre’s mastery of such a large amount of information in both official languages over an hour and a half was extremely impressive,” Mulroney wrote in the message sent to X.
“The only speech that might have challenged him was that of his wife Ana.”
High praise from the former prime minister, who still holds the record for the largest majority in Canadian history.
The congress took place as Poilievre’s personal popularity was increasing in the polls. A poll by Angus Reid shows that twice as many Canadians consider him the best prime minister compared to Justin Trudeau, while a poll by Abacus Data shows Poilievre has a positive personal approval rating among Canadians.
In both polls, Poilievre and his Conservatives are also well ahead as support for the Liberals has reached its lowest point.
Trudeau’s other weekend
On the other side of the planet, Trudeau was in India for the G20 summit without anyone noticing.
Trudeau and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi have a strained relationship at best. Shortly before leaving for the summit, Trudeau’s government announced it was pausing trade talks with India without providing an explanation.
“We know that free trade negotiations are lengthy and complex, and I will say no more,” Trudeau told accompanying reporters.
Although Trudeau did not elaborate on the issue, he said he would raise foreign interference with Modi. Trudeau won’t have much time to address the issue since Modi has rejected Trudeau’s requests for a formal bilateral meeting.
While Trudeau was snubbed by Modi, Joe Biden had a bilateral meeting and Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese had one planned. Modi also held official meetings with the leaders of Italy, JapanThe Great Britain, Mauritius And Bangladesh.
“While we’re there, we’re going to have really important conversations,” Trudeau said when asked about the lack of a meeting with Modi, saying the schedule was still being worked out.
In the end, they agreed on a “pull aside,” a very informal type of meeting that can take place in hallways and, in the past, even in kitchens. It’s definitely a fringe meeting.
The Trudeau government recently launched an Indo-Pacific strategy to expand trade and influence in the region. This will be difficult when Canada barely speaks to China and relations with India are difficult.
It’s understandable that relations with Beijing have been strained given the past few years, but Canada’s alienation from the region’s two largest countries with growing economies is entirely on Trudeau.
As he did with Canadian voters, Trudeau has alienated himself from many world leaders. They’re probably as excited for change in Ottawa as convention-goers in Quebec City are this weekend.
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https://torontosun.com/opinion/columnists/lilley-poilievre-wows-crowd-in-quebec-trudeau-invisible-in-india Poilievre basks in the glow of the CPC Congress, Trudeau hides in India