Trudeau mocks Poilievre’s absence at annual Parliamentary Press Gallery dinner – National

Conservative leader Pierre Poilievre did not attend the press gallery dinner on Saturday night, but he was nonetheless at the center of a long political tradition of throwing light jabs at political rivals during speeches during the event.

The traditionally annual event sees politicians and journalists who work on Parliament Hill come together for an evening of laughs at each other’s expense, but it was halted for two years due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau began digging into Poilievre suggesting the Conservative leader would have come if the press gallery had told him they were « occupying » the venue – a reference to his support for the « Freedom Convoy » protest.

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Poilievre declined a dinner invitation in the same way as his former boss and predecessor as party leader, Stephen Harper.

Harper also skipped the black tie event when he was in office, but attended when he was Leader of the Opposition and showed his funny bone.

While many of the jabs were indeed mild, some wavered between humor and insult.

Trudeau mentioned, for example, Poilievre’s comments on a podcast hosted by controversial commentator Jordan Peterson about using plain language.

“He said he believed in using simple Anglo-Saxon words,” Trudeau recalled. « I didn’t get it either, but I’m told it sounds much better in the German original. »

Click to play video: 'Andrew Scheer kicks Jagmeet Singh for 'disappearing' from Ottawa at press gallery dinner'

Andrew Scheer slams Jagmeet Singh for ‘disappearing’ from Ottawa at press gallery dinner

At the time, Tory MP Garnett Genuis came to the defense of Poilievre, who was a leadership candidate, saying he insisted on using “shorter and more precise” words in an effort to provide clarity.

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Trudeau also accused the Leader of the Opposition of giving bad advice when he suggested that Canadians could opt out of inflation by using digital currency.

« Certainly one of us should be thinking about monetary policy, » he said in one of many bitcoin jokes that night.

All of the party leaders who gave speeches took turns addressing the Conservatives, including NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh, who said many politicians have used the pandemic as an opportunity to take on new projects.

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He had a baby, Trudeau grew a beard and Poilievre took control of the People’s Party of Canada, Jagmeet joked. He was referring to the right-wing party led by Maxime Bernier, a former Conservative minister.

They also poked fun at themselves: Singh promised to leak ‘secret details’ of his deal with the ruling Liberals and Bloc Québécois leader Yves-François Blanchet told reporters he would miss them after Quebec’s declaration of independence.

Trudeau also shot himself. He said he had learned over the years to avoid having to apologize for his missteps.

You all remember the scandal at the Finnish embassy, ​​he said. Oh no, wait, no one remembers ‘because I got my hair cut this weekend,’ he said.

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The joke got one of the biggest laughs of the night.

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