Conservative MP Pierre Poilievre has launched a campaign for the Conservative leadership.

In a video posted Saturday evening, Poilievre announced his intent to become his party’s leader and eventually Canada’s prime minister.

“I’m running for prime minister to give you back control of your life,” Poilievre said. “Trudeau thinks he’s your boss. He’s got it backwards. You are the boss. That’s why I’m running for Prime Minister to put you back in charge of your life.”

Poilievre, a longtime MP from the Ontario riding of Carleton, listed a number of issues facing the country as reasons for why he decided to enter the race – including the growing inflation crisis and heavy-handed government measures during the pandemic.

“Together, we will make Canadians the freest people on earth with freedom to build a business without red tape or heavy tax,” Poilievre said. 

“Freedom from the invisible thief of inflation. Freedom to raise your kids with your values. Freedom to make your own health and vaccine choices. Freedom to speak without fear and freedom to worship God in your own way.”

Poilievre becomes the first candidate to announce a leadership candidacy after the Conservative caucus voted to eject Erin O’Toole as leader of the party earlier in the week.

O’Toole faced criticism for his waffling support of the Truckers for Freedom convoy – changing his mind about supporting the national movement in a matter of days.

Like many in the Conservative caucus, Poilievre has been a vocal supporter of the convoy and supported the lawful truckers standing up against vaccine mandates and other public health restrictions.

“People flying evil confederate or Nazi flags or disrespecting monuments are individually responsible for reprehensible acts,” Poilievre tweeted in January. 

“They do not represent the thousands of lawful truckers who are actually part of the protest and are peacefully championing their livelihoods & freedoms.” 

Soon after announcing, a number of prominent Conservative MPs tweeted endorsements for O’Toole, including Melissa Lantsman, Michael Barrett and former leadership candidate Marilyn Gladu.

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