It takes mere seconds to realize the man is dead serious.

When he says the country is broken it is not a slogan for him.

He means what he says. He is describing what he sees. He believes it is what Canadians see and a recent poll confirms most do.

“We can’t go on like this. The situation is dire and people understand we cannot go on like this,” says federal Conservative party leader Pierre Poilievre, taking aim at the prime minister and his political pals, pointing to what is happening in this country.

“I’m the normal guy. Trudeau and the NDP are the wackos. They are the extremists. I’m the normal centrist mainstream leader, the only one running. The other guys are absolute raving wackos. They are ideological lunatics.”

Housing costs, the drugs and violent criminals on the streets, the tent encampments in cities, the ever-rising carbon tax, the list goes on.

Poilievre is here for the Calgary Stampede, here in the city where he grew up, stopping at a pleasant coffee shop a few blocks from a drug consumption site where outside the facility addicts stagger through neighbourhood streets.

An obvious question.

Why is the Trudeau-NDP government in Ottawa not listening to the working people?

“Because they don’t like the working people,” Poilievre quickly replies.

But the NDP and Liberals insist they are the friends of the workers. They want to help the workers. So they say.

“Help is the sunny side of control,” says the federal Conservative leader, who heads up a party way ahead in the polls.

“The NDP-Liberals, the radical woke socialists detest working-class families.

“They don’t like their values. They don’t like the way they live. They look down on people who drive pickup trucks, who raise their kids with traditional values. They think they know how to spend other people’s money better than those people know how to spend it themselves.”

Poilievre has a lot to say on this attitude.

“At the root of the NDP-Liberal ideology, the radical NDP-Liberal ideology of today, is a total disdain for the common people and an obsession with concentrating power and money in the hands of a so-called expert class that runs everything for everyone else because they know better and they’re much more virtuous than the rest of us.”

But still the self-styled smart set continue to cast themselves as being defenders of working people.

“What I’ve found about this radical new woke agenda is they always present themselves as the opposite of what they are, precisely the opposite of what they are,” says Poilievre.

Case in point. The apostle of sunny ways. Trudeau.

“Remember when Trudeau was going to help the middle class. Well, now the average middle-class family cannot afford a home. It’s mathematically impossible.”

The Conservative leader speaks of all those living poor, going to food banks every single month, the exact opposite of what Trudeau and his ilk promised.

“Everything is the opposite. Everything.”

Justin Trudeau
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.Photo by Christinne Muschi /THE CANADIAN PRESS

Examples from the world of addiction.

“Harm reduction. No, it’s harm production. Safe supply. Giving out heroin is not safe. It’s the opposite of safe.

“Everything they say is not only untrue but it’s the exact opposite of the truth.”

It is then Poilievre brings up the great English writer George Orwell and his great novel Nineteen Eighty-Four.

In Orwell’s dystopia, in the anti-utopia of the author’s creation, in the world of Big Brother and absolute control the Ministry of Peace was about war, the Ministry of Truth was about lies.

“They want to take from the rich and give to the poor. No, they don’t,” says Poilievre.

“Everything they have done has helped the very, very richest people at the expense of the working class. The doubling of housing costs does not hurt the super-rich, it makes them even richer.

“It hurts the working poor who can never afford a home.”

Still, there was a time when Trudeau was treated like a rock star by so many, when even in Calgary some sorts were losing their minds over the man as he was mobbed downtown by selfie-seekers.

The Conservative leader reminds us Trudeau won two seats in Calgary in 2015 where the Liberals had been shut out federal election after federal election.

“The dream is a nightmare. This is nothing like the utopia we were promised. It’s a dystopia,” says Poilievre.

“The dream he sold was a nightmare. People now want to wake up from the nightmare. That’s what I offer them.”

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