Conservative Party leader Pierre Poilievre urged Toronto’s residents to vote for a mayoral candidate who will “fire the city hall gatekeepers” in this month’s byelection. 

In a press conference in front of Toronto’s city hall, Poilievre spoke about Canada’s growing homelessness problem and sky-high home prices, in light of the Bank of Canada raising its interest rate to 4.75% earlier this week. 

Poilievre warned that Canadians would suffer from interest rate increases, as Canadians who signed variable-rate mortgages when the interest rate was low will see their mortgage dues increase, causing a “massive mortgage meltdown.”

If elected Prime Minister, Poilievre promises to pressure municipalities like the City of Toronto to increase the rate of residential building approvals by a minimum of 15%, or risk the municipality having their federal infrastructure money stripped from them. 

“Let me make this message clear to mayoral candidates. When I’m Prime Minister, unlike Trudeau, I’m not going to give you money to block housing construction,” said Poilievre. 

True North asked Poilievre whether any candidates have caught his eye as being worthy of Toronto’s mayoralty. The Conservative leader did not name a preferred candidate, but urged Torontonians to vote for someone who will “fire the gatekeepers.”

“I’m not going to name a particular name [candidate], but I would say to Torontonians is vote for someone who will fire the city hall gatekeepers so that we can speed up housing construction,” said Poilievre. 

“So vote for someone who will allow us to build millions and millions of homes so that Canadians can put a roof over their heads.”

Poilievre warned mayoral candidates that federal infrastructure money to municipalities will be dependent on the number of homes built unlike the Liberal government’s policy.

“And I’m making it clear to all the mayoral candidates that I’m not going to do what Trudeau does and give you billions of dollars to block home building. I’m going to require that cities build more homes or they’re going to lose federal infrastructure money.”