Canada Politics

Stephen Harper slammed for appointing Pierre Poilievre to cabinet

Canada Politics

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Pierre Poilievre

For the most part, political analysts are lauding the Harper government for introducing eight new cabinet ministers in to the ministry on Monday.

The likes of Michelle Rempel, Kellie Leitch and Chris Alexander have impressed the punditry.

There's one new cabinet minister, however, that's not getting the same 'welcome.'

Some call him 'Pipsqueak', others call him 'Skippy' — his real name is Pierre Poilievre and he's Canada's new Minister of State for Democratic Reform.

It's not a surprise, that Poilievre was promoted to Cabinet, on Monday.

[ Related: Twittersphere mocks Stephen Harper during cabinet shuffle announcement ]

The 34 year old MP from Ontario has been a loyal foot soldier for the Harper government. Over the past several months, he's been the Conservative Party's 'attack dog' standing up for them in the House and in television interviews for Senate misdeeds.

But he is, what some would call, 'controversial.'

Here is Sun News columnist and Liberal insider Warren Kinsella's take on Poilievre:

Pipsqueak, who Harper actually named minister of state for democratic reform, is in fact one of the most despicable, loathsome politicians to ever grace the national stage. He is a pestilence made flesh.

A refresher: Pipsqueak is the Conservative MP who famously joked about “tar babies” in the House of Commons, a derogatory term to describe blacks. He is the MP who attacked Harper for compensating aboriginal residential schools victims, opining that what those lazy natives needed was “hard work.” He is the MP who told his fellow MPs “f--- you guys,” and then later said he would “confiscate” the tape of the occasion.

The NDP even went after him, specifically, in a statement they released on Tuesday.

"Pierre Poilievre’s appointment as minister of state for Democratic Reform shows the rest of caucus exactly what it takes to get ahead in Conservative Ottawa. Forget about competence or working with other parties – to become a minister for Stephen Harper, you must leave the truth behind and embrace mean-spirited attacks," they wrote.

"Canadians deserve ministers who work for them, not for their party.

"Ministers willing to work with all Canadians, not just those who agree with them. Ministers who are respectful and competent, not hyper-partisan pit bulls who specialize in mean-spirited, unfounded attacks."

[ Related: Harper government enemies list: what’s the big deal? ]

It is a little perplexing that Harper would tap Poilievre for this file.

Democratic Reform will be a very important file over the next two years – Poilievre will have to be the lead man on Senate reform and electoral reform. You would have thought that the Prime Minister would want somebody a little more experience and a little more tact in that role.

On Monday, Poilievre —who first became an MP at the age of 25 — seemed anxious to get started in new role tackling the Senate controversies.

"People are demanding action on this because they’re angry with the current Senate," he told the Ottawa Citizen.

"Hopefully we can find a way to make some changes so that this kind of outrage that we’ve witnessed won’t happen again."

Here's an oldie but a goody: A Rick Mercer clip from 2009:

(Photo courtesy of the Canadian Press)

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