In an attack against new Conservative Party leader Pierre Poilievre, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said Canada needs responsible leadership, not dog whistle and irresponsible politics.
Trudeau delivered the remarks Monday at a three-day retreat held at the Algonquin in Saint Andrews, N.B. It came after the prime minister congratulated Poilievre on his leadership win.
Trudeau said now is not the time for politicians to “exploit fears and to pit people one against the other.”
“Buzzwords, dog whistles and careless attacks don’t add up to a plan for Canadians,” he said. “Attacking the institutions that make our society fair, safe and free is not responsible leadership.”
Trudeau’s comments come after pointed attacks from Poilievre during the campaign, calling the Bank of Canada an “ATM” for Liberal spending.
He said if he becomes prime minister, he plans to fire bank governor Tiff Macklem.
Poilievre also blamed Trudeau for Canada’s high inflation, saying it is a direct result of the prime minister’s spending during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Last winter, Poilievre advised Canadians to invest in Bitcoin so they could “opt-out” of inflation.
“Telling people they can opt out of inflation by investing their savings in volatile cryptocurrencies is not responsible leadership,” said Trudeau.
“Anyone who followed that advice would have seen their life savings destroyed.”
Trudeau said he doesn’t regret his decision regarding pandemic spending.
“it was the right thing to do; it was the smart thing to do,” he said.