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A Canadian Right-Winger Pits the ‘Have-Nots’ Against the ‘Have-Yachts’

Pierre Poilievre, challenging Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, vows to lead a conservative revolution in a famously liberal country.

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Poilievre leaves an August campaign rally in London, Ont.

Poilievre leaves an August campaign rally in London, Ont.

Photographer: Christopher Katsarov Luna/Bloomberg

Pickup trucks pack the parking lot of the Best Western Lamplighter Inn. On an August evening in London, Ont., the hotel’s ballroom is standing room only. The Conservative Party rally is attracting rugged folks, many from outlying hamlets: farmers, health-care workers, bus drivers, pensioners, and a handful of students.

Pierre Poilievre wades into the crowd of 700, which erupts into cheers. He’s campaigning to take over Canada’s right wing and remove Liberal Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. He expresses outrage over struggling single mothers who add water to their children’s milk, 35-year-old men unable to afford rent and living in their parents’ basements, the Bank of Canada’s printing of money, taxes on fertilizer and energy, the cost of gasoline, and the mask and vaccine mandates still prevalent in Canada. He blames Trudeau for each, especially rising prices, which he labels “Justin-flation.”