Poilievre will do 'anything to win,' must condemn Alex Jones endorsement: Trudeau

PM ups attacks on Poilievre

As the Liberals try to reverse their political fortunes with the latest federal budget, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau ratcheted up attacks against his Conservative opponent on Wednesday, tying him to a far-right American figure. 

Polls suggest the Liberal budget released last week has yet to resonate — but Trudeau suggested it's still more of a plan than what Poilievre has on offer, other than trying to exploit public anxieties. 

During a stop to promote the budget in Oakville, Ont., Trudeau was asked about Poilievre's recent appearance alongside anti-carbon price activists in Atlantic Canada who were waving expletive-laden flags bearing the prime minister's name. 

Every leader has to decide how they are going to operate, Trudeau said. 

"Are they a kind of leader that is going to exacerbate divisions, fears and polarization in our country, make personal attacks and welcome the support of conspiracy theorists and extremists? Because that's exactly what Pierre Poilievre continues to do."

A spokesman for the Conservative leader said Poilievre "made a brief, impromptu stop" when he noticed the protesters during a drive between events in the region on Tuesday. 

Sebastian Skamski said Poilievre greeted them because he saw it was an "anti-carbon tax protest" and because of his vocal opposition to the federal consumer carbon price. 

During his event, Trudeau also pointed out that Poilievre has done nothing to reject the endorsement of notorious right-wing commentator Alex Jones. 

Jones was ordered to pay nearly $1 billion in damages to the families of the victims of the deadly 2012 Sandy Hook school shooting, which he long portrayed as a hoax. 

"This is the kind of man who's saying Pierre Poilievre has the right ideas to bring the country toward the right, towards conspiracy theories, towards extremism, towards polarization," Trudeau said. 

"The fact that he continues to encourage the kind of divisive approaches to Canada that I don't think Canadians want to see really shows that he will do anything to win, anything to torque up negativity and fear." 

In response to Trudeau's remarks about Jones, Skamski said "we do not follow" him "or listen to what he has to say."

"Common sense Conservatives are listening to the priorities of the millions of Canadians that want to axe the tax, build the homes, fix the budget and stop the crime," he added.

"It is the endorsement of hard-working, everyday Canadians that Conservatives are working to earn. Unlike Justin Trudeau, we're not paying attention to what some American is saying."

Trudeau's Liberals have spent the better part of the past year badly trailing Poilievre's Conservatives. 

Ahead of a federal election that must happen no later than October 2025, the Liberals are using their latest budget to address what they see as primary reasons younger Canadians are turning to the Tories.  

It is heavily focused on measures intended to ease the rising cost of living and a housing crisis that has left millennial and gen-Z Canadians squeezed out of the market.

Trudeau and Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland are selling the spending plan as one that is about offering fairness to young people by requiring the wealthiest Canadians and businesses to pay more tax on their profits.

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