OTTAWA-Conservative MP Ed Fast was removed from his duties as a financial critic hours after he claimed that Pierre Poilievre’s promise to fire the central bank governor if elected would hurt the party’s credibility.
“The Honorable Ed Fast has informed me today that he will step down as Conservative Shadow Minister responsible for Finance,” acting party leader Candice Bergen said in a brief statement on the evening. .
Ms. does not specify. Bergen the events of the morning, but he recalled that Mr. Fast had publicly expressed his support for one of the party’s leadership career candidates, Jean Charest, and that he wanted to offer “more focused support for this group.
In a scrum on joining the Conservative caucus on Wednesday, Fast said Poilievre was causing his own party to “lose credibility.”
Called to confirm that he was speaking on the issue as co-chair of Jean Charest’s campaign, he instead indicated that he was speaking “as a spokesperson for finance”.
Mr Fast also said he was “deeply disturbed” that the leadership candidate was willing to “interfere” with the “essential” freedoms of one of the country’s major financial institutions.
“The central bank has served us well, though not perfectly, in recent years, but has served us well in controlling inflation,” he said. Central banks around the world have struggled with the same challenges as our central bank and I don’t think it’s wise to attack the central bank governor when the real problem is government borrowing and federal spending. “
For several hours, the Conservative Party refused to respond to requests from The Canadian Press to clarify whether Ed Fast was indeed speaking on behalf of the party as he claimed.
Last week, during the first official leadership debate, Pierre Poilievre, who is considered the leader, caused a stir by announcing that he would fire Governor Tiff Macklem because the country’s inflation rate is reaching height not seen in decades.
Again on Wednesday, Statistics Canada announced that its consumer price index continued to rise in April, with inflation rising by 6.8% compared to a year ago. This is the strongest inflation since January 1991, when it was 6.9%.
In a written statement sent to The Canadian Press prior to the announcement of the interim leader, Pierre Poilievre reiterated that the Governor of the Bank of Canada had “failed” in his “mission” to keep inflation at 2%.
“He preferred to print money for Trudeau’s expenses,” wrote Mr. Poilievre.
The candidate also attacked Mr. Fast by emphasizing extensive blows to the fact he also militate for the Charest camp.
“Ed Fast and Jean Charest have no problem firing a waitress or a welder because they’re not doing their job, but they’re not going to do the same for a big banker whose failures cost Canadians,” he said.
Pierre Poilievre’s comments led Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to defend the independence of the Bank of Canada the day after the debate.
The institution is “highly known around the world”, he asserted, praising its “rigor”, its “professionalism” and its “independence from political schemes”.
Mr. Poilievre also held a press conference outside the Bank of Canada building in Ottawa in recent weeks, where he denounced the institution’s “so -called experts” that he also considered himself “financially unscrupulous. can read “.
The fire of action
Among candidate Poilievre, Ontario MP Marilyn Gladu, who supports him and leads his campaign in Ontario, declined to say on Wednesday whether showing the door to Governor Macklem was a good idea, in simple criticism that “in the heat of‘ action, everyone has an idea ’.
Is he worried that an important person in the party could damage the credibility of the political party?
“No. I don’t think so, he replied. In fact, the more excited and angry the liberal media is about Pierre Poilievre, the more I know they are worried that he has won.”
MP Gérard Deltell, who is a critic for innovation, science and industry and also supports Jean Charest, reiterated immediately in French after Ed Fast that “you have to be careful when directly attacking institutions” and reminded that “the name our protagonist is Justin. Trudeau “.
“We must also keep in mind that the Bank of Canada is an independent institution and that it must have its leeway, which is not perfect. We recognize that there has been too much done about it. That being said, does it deserve the ultimate sanction ? This is not an opinion I share.
In recent weeks, Mr. Poilievre has also regarded cryptocurrencies as “a cure for inflation,” which gave him the label “irresponsible” by former Quebec Premier Jean Charest. , one of his career opponents.