Official Opposition and Conservative Party leader Pierre Poilievre vowed to take on Colleges of Physicians and Surgeons along with any other hurdles to getting immigrant doctors rapidly licensed and practicing in Canada.
Poilievre made the comments to the Times Chronicle in Oliver after meeting this week with fruit growers from the area.
His interim solution to the doctors crisis in Canada is to push through what he terms a “blue seal” task to quickly licence the estimated 20,000 immigrant doctors in Canada.
“Many of them are prevented from ever working and they give up on getting a job as a doctor,” he says adding many of them end up taking low wage work for the rest of their lives.
“I’m proposing a simple blue sealed testing standard that would apply right across Canada, take the test, get the license get to work within 60 days,” he says.
When asked how he would handle opposition to such a plan he replied: “Push forward”. He adds, “easy street leads to a dead end. Hard roads lead to the best destinations.
“We’re no longer going to accept that this or that gatekeeping bureaucracy stands in the way of obvious common sense solutions. It is unacceptable that 20,000 doctors can’t work in Canada when we have a massive shortage.
“And when people come to me say yeah, but this or that clerk or bureaucracy is not going to be happy. That’s life, right? There’s going to be a lot of vested interests and bureaucracies that are gonna be very unhappy when I’m Prime Minister,” he says optimistically.
When asked why Canadians should trust him with their votes given his demonstrable track record of flip-flopping on key issues and what some consider his use of polarizing ideologically-infused rhetoric suggesting he simply takes pages out of the Donald Trump populist playbook, Poilievre became acerbic.
Ultimately the answer was: “Common sense.” We’re going to make common sense common in this country. We don’t have any common sense in the current government,” he said.
“I’m going to cut spending, cut waste so that we can balance the budget and bring down inflation and interest rates. If you want to be able to pay your mortgage again, if you want to be able to afford rent then you have to vote for Pierre Polly because I’m the only one with a common sense plan that will bring back the buying power of your paycheck,” he said sounding as if an election was just around the corner.
Also on the chopping block if elected will be safe supply drug programs which he claims has resulted in a dramatic rise in drug overdose deaths.
“They call it safe supply. It’s now clear that it’s just being diverted and sold to kids to profit drug dealers and pay for fentanyl,” he said.
Poilievre also pledged to sue “big pharma, the corrupt pharmaceutical companies who caused the crisis in the first place by flooding the market with oxycontin which ultimately caused the people to become addicted right across North America.”
He noted that the US have now recovered $54 billion while Canada has recovered almost nothing in Canada. “I want to recover those billions and put that money into treatment,” he says.
Among his cost cutting strategy, Poilievre would “defund” the CBC, ditch the ArriveCan app, “reduce the monstrous contracting out”.
He also pledged to “stop sending our money to foreign dictators, to terrorists and to international bureaucracies that waste it on themselves and bring that money home.”
When pressed as to what dictators and terrorists he was referring to, Poilievre singled out China and its president Xi Jinping whom he says is trying to reestablsh “some kind of imperial Silk Road dynasty.” This is being facilitated by Canada’s contribution to the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank, he says. Canada is one of 102 members of the multilateral bank focused on aiding economic development in Asia.
This could signal a very rocky relationship with the world’s second largest economy should he become Prime Minister. Calling it a “dictatorship” in Beijing he says China is dominating the current government and exercising influence against our country.
“I’m going to stand up for Canada because this is our country and our home,” he said.
Richard Cannings NDP Member of Parliament for South Okanagan - West Kootenay issued a statement on Poilievre’s Okanagan visit saying the Conservative Party leader’s talk is simply a performance act.
“Poilievre puts on a good show, but that’s all it is - a performance. He gets up and says all the right things, but then fights to save big bosses a few dollars at the expense of working people.
“Poilievre isn’t who he pretends to be. He doesn’t work for regular people; he works for rich CEOs.”
Cannings cited a number of instances over Poilievre’s 20 year career that highlight the contradictory nature of his claims including his support for a $60 billion tax giveaway to big businesses while cutting services for ordinary Canadians.
“Two times, he voted against having a minimum wage,” Cannings said adding that he’s tried to block dental care for Canadian families, despite having full coverage as an MP for almost 20 years.
“Canadians are struggling to find affordable housing and pay for grocery bills, and they deserve to have someone in Ottawa that has real solutions to their problems. And Poilievre isn’t that person - he’s proven it over a twenty-year political career.