Canada’s Conservative Party has elected pro-crypto politician Pierre Poilievre as its new leader.
Poilievre, who supported the protests against vaccination by a cohort of truckers in Ottawa this year, has repeatedly lambasted the Liberal Government’s overreach into individuals’ affairs. He has vowed to put control of Canadians’ money back in their own hands, blaming the central bank for the country’s high inflation.
Poilievre is a supporter of cryptocurrencies and has said that should he be elected as Prime Minister, he would help untangle the web of regulation currently governing cryptocurrencies through consultation with provincial authorities, seeing crypto as a way to escape the country’s inflation. He demonstrated his support for cryptocurrencies by buying a shwarma in an Ontario restaurant using crypto.
During the protest, police froze transactions involving 253 cryptocurrency addresses as Prime Minister Justin Trudeau invoked emergency powers to disperse the protesters.
Poilievre targets central bank
Poilievre won the election on Saturday with 68% of party members’ votes after criticizing the country’s establishment class for suffocating individual rights. He promised to help those barely making ends meet if elected as prime minister.
But his approach to blaming the central bank for inflation is misplaced, opines one professor from McGill University in Montreal. Inflation in Canada is primarily due to the residue of supply-chain issues experienced during the Covid-19 pandemic, latent demand from consumers following the easing of restrictions, and Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. The central bank raised interest rates by 3% on Sep. 7, 2022, to tame inflation.
Still, it seems like Poilievre is unlikely to get off the crypto train any time soon. Much of his political clout has come through support from those distrustful of governmental institutions, a philosophy that fueled the creation of bitcoin following the 2008 financial crisis.
In Feb. 2022, at the height of the trucker protest, the Toronto Star reported that Greg Foss, who raised $830,000 worth of bitcoin for the protest, was in frequent conversation with Poilievre regarding “sound money.”
Poilievre also appeared on a podcast by Robert Breedlove, a crypto enthusiast that likens central bank policies to slavery.
Is Poilievre’s political ideology necessary for crypto to flourish?
Needless to say, Trudeau’s Liberal Party believes that Poilievre’s adopted American political ideology would damage the country’s economy, health, and safety. And, one could argue, is not entirely necessary for cryptocurrency uptake, as a report released by the central bank in June 2022 testified.
The report revealed that the number of bitcoin holders in Canada tripled from 2020 to 2021. It also emphasized the importance of global regulatory coordination to prevent criminals from exploiting loopholes. The Bank of Canada has also appointed an official to oversee regulatory efforts around stablecoins, while the Canadian Securities Administrators have mandated that all crypto companies seeking to do business in Canada agree to abide by anti-money laundering, cybersecurity, and Know-Your-Customer rules.
For now, it seems unlikely that the Liberal Party would be overturned, despite Trudeau’s oversight of a minority government. Another party, the New Democrats, with leftist leanings, said it would help establish Liberal Party rule, provided Trudeau continued to roll out policies to benefit the most vulnerable Canadians.
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