Conservative Canadians’ latest choice to take on the country’s liberal leader Justin Trudeau is a bitcoin-lover who plans to turn Canada into the “blockchain capital of the world.”
Pierre Poilievre was chosen as the latest Conservative party leader in a 400,000-member vote on Saturday, reports Reuters.
The 43-year-old, who’s promised to tackle the issue of rampant inflation in Canada, is historically pro-bitcoin. Back in March, the Ottawa native said that a government with him at the helm would work to “normalize cryptocurrencies like bitcoin and ethereum” and to “decentralize” the economy while cutting back the influence of central bankers.
“Canada needs less financial control for politicians and bankers and more financial freedom for the people,” Poilievre told CBC back in March. “That includes freedom to own and use crypto, tokens, smart contracts and decentralized finance,” (our emphasis).
Poilievre was particularly critical of Justin Trudeau’s approach to the economy during the COVID-19 pandemic, claiming that printing $400 million “out of thin air” was to blame for record levels of inflation.
He also vowed, if elected, to “keep bitcoin legal” and would resist any calls for a China-style crackdown.
Government says Poilievre owning bitcoin isn’t a conflict of interest
In May, it was revealed that Poilievre also held a number of digital assets, specifically in a Canadian-based crypto ETF.
Despite his opponents warning of a conflict of interest and claiming that to encourage Canadians to invest in something as volatile as bitcoin was reckless, Poilievre found backing from the country’s Office of Ethics.
In an email, the office said that “interest in bitcoin does not prevent you from commenting on cryptocurrencies in general, participating in debates, and voting on public policies related to the regulation of cryptocurrencies,” (via CTV).
The Conservative leader was also cleared to hold conversations with other MPs regarding bitcoin laws and policies.
Speaking after his recent election victory, Poilievre said: “Tonight begins the journey to replace an old government that costs you more and delivers you less with a new government that puts you first – your paycheck, your retirement, your home, your country.”