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Poilievre is polling well despite crying "terror"

​Canada's Conservative Party leader Pierre Poilievre speaks in the House of Commons.

Canada's Conservative Party leader Pierre Poilievre speaks in the House of Commons.

REUTERS/Blair Gable
Canadian Conservative Leader Pierre Poilievre jumped the gun last week, joining US Republicans in suggesting that terrorism was behind what turned out to be a tragic car accident at the Niagara Falls International Rainbow Bridge, giving Liberals a chance to bash him as a northern Republican.

The political exchange was sparked when a 56-year-old New York man set out to attend a Kiss concert, but instead ended up driving his Bentley at high speed into a barrier at the border crossing, going airborne and exploding on impact, killing him and his wife.

Fox News was quick to report that it was believed to be a terrorist attack, and Republicans were quick to link it to Biden’s border policies. On Twitter, Ted Cruz called it a terrorist attack, as did GOP presidential candidate Vivek Ramaswamy, who has called for a wall along the northern border.

In Canada’s House of Commons, before the facts were established, Poilievre asked about reports that the incident was linked to terrorism. After it became clear it had nothing to do with terrorists, the Liberals accused him of jumping to conclusions. When he was asked about it, Poilievre berated the reporter who posed the question, which commentators, including this writer, thought went too far. He also came under harsh criticism for voting against a Canada-Ukraine free trade deal and delivering a misleading explanation for the vote.

Both incidents gave Liberals the opportunity to attack him as dishonest, mean, and a Trumpy northerner, perhaps hoping for make a comeback in the polls. So far, that has not happened. The most recent poll from Nanos shows the Liberals so far behind that they are tied with the NDP, which could put pressure on the smaller party to force an early election. Seat projections show that the NDP would pick up seats if there was an election today, but that’s no guarantee since their voters might not like to see the NDP bring down Trudeau, opening a path to a Poilievre government.

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