Hundreds join Pierre Poilievre for 'Axe the Tax' rally in Halifax

Conservative Leader Pierre Poilievre speaks to supporters at a rally in Halifax on Sunday. (Jeorge Sadi/CBC - image credit)
Conservative Leader Pierre Poilievre speaks to supporters at a rally in Halifax on Sunday. (Jeorge Sadi/CBC - image credit)

Hundreds attended a St. Patrick's Day rally with Conservative Party of Canada Leader Pierre Poilievre in Halifax on Sunday.

At the start of the event, Poilievre took a sip of Guinness while highlighting that federal taxes on liquor are set to increase by two per cent on April 1, alongside a 3.3 cent a litre carbon tax increase on fuel in Nova Scotia.

"On April Fools' Day with Justin Trudeau and the NDP, the joke is on you — a 23 per cent carbon tax hike," he said.

The current carbon-tax rate on gasoline in Nova Scotia is 14.31 cents per litre. Adding 3.3 cents represents an increase of 23 per cent.

Nova Scotia Premier Tim Houston recently asked the federal government to cancel the carbon tax increase.

But federal Environment Minister Steven Guilbeault pushed back this week while in Bridgewater, N.S., calling it the most effective measure against climate change. The Liberals have argued most Canadians receive more money back through the rebates than they pay through the carbon tax.

Canadian families will get between $760 and $2,160 in carbon price rebates this year as the carbon price itself gets hiked another $15 per tonne.

Housing, economy, public safety 

Poilievre also spoke about building homes, balancing the budget, resource development, public safety and military spending during his 45-minute speech. Many in attendance at the rally voiced concern about the cost of living, particularly with the carbon tax set to rise.

"For me it's everyday expenses, heating my home, the groceries that I buy and I drive a car to work every day as well," said Bernadette MacPherson, who lives in Bedford. "My commute is only about 20 minutes per day. But that adds up."

Rahul Tiwari lives in Dartmouth and immigrated to Canada from India about a decade ago. He said inflation and the cost of housing are issues that brought him to the rally.

"As the years pass by, I see that it is not as before," said Tiwari. "It's all lip service, drama, fiction, not action."

Janice Beare said discussions of gender in schools and the cost of housing were of concern to her.

"The poor young people, they haven't got any hope," she said.

Beare said there needs to be more media attention on Trudeau and the current government, using examples such as the cost of the ArriveCan app and the prime minister's vacation to Jamaica.

"If people really knew what was going on I don't think they would vote him back in," Beare said. "I think as soon as he [Poilievre] is elected, the country's going to breathe a sigh of relief that someone who knows about money and common sense is going to start making changes."