Martin C. Barry
Laval-Les Îles Conservative candidate Tom Pentefountas unleashed a blistering attack on Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and the incumbent Liberals during a campaign launch in Chomedey last Wednesday night.
This is Pentefountas’ first foray into federal politics. He previously made two attempts to win a seat in the Quebec National Assembly, running for the defunct Action démocratique du Québec.
Former CRTC vice-chair
From 2011 to 2015, he was vice-chairman of the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission, having been appointed by former Conservative Prime Minister Stephen Harper.
Addressing the guests in fluent English and French, Pentefountas said that while campaigning door-to-door, an issue that kept being raised by those he met was immigration.
“Somebody who’s been here for many years was telling me their father worked for 50 years, he is retired, but there are people arriving by taxi with suitcases at Roxham who make more money than their father and their mother,” he said, referring to the Canada/U.S. border crossing where refugees have been streaming into Quebec.
Shots at Justin Trudeau
Explaining his party’s views on the current refugee system, Pentefountas said a Conservative government would place more emphasis on regular immigration applicants, such as families seeking reunification, who’ve followed the rules. At the same time, he took a jab at the current leader of the Liberal government.
“True asylum seekers that are leaving areas of war and destruction and bloodshed that truly need our help are being delayed because of Justin Trudeau sending out a tweet to maintain his status as an international rock star,” he said. “Well, we’re paying for that rock star image he wants to protect. And we’re tired of doing that.”
Pentefountas said the second issue he’s hearing most often about is the Trudeau government’s decriminalization of marijuana.
Attacks legalized marijuana
“It’s unbelievable – the only institution that can lose money selling drugs is the Canadian government,” he said, referring to the Liberal government’s efforts in the last four years to decriminalize and regularize the sale of pot.
“People can’t get over the fact that consuming of marijuana is being encouraged,” he said. “A psychotropic substance. This is not alcohol. This is serious business that will have unbelievable damaging effects on young people. The science is clear: in developing minds, those who are under 25 or 30, the damage caused long-term short and medium is overwhelming. We have no idea what the medical bills will be for our young people going forward.”
Pentefountas suggested the Liberal government’s marijuana decriminalization efforts have been a failure since the non-regulated marijuana sector is flourishing. “There isn’t one pusher that’s out of business,” he said.
Pushers prospering, he said
“You want to know why? His product is exceptional, his prices are better than the government’s because they’re not unionized workers, and his service is overwhelming. He’ll bring it to your house if you want. So no one is leaving their pusher to start buying pot from the government. The only people buying pot from the government are people who didn’t try it, didn’t want to try it or were worried about going to the local pusher to buy it. Ergo we have an increase in the consumption of pot in this country.”
Pentefountas said one of several reasons Justin Trudeau decided to decriminalize marijuana “was to get the youth vote. And he was successful. He got the youth vote. More young people voted in the last election than at any other time in the history of Canada.”
‘Apologizer in chief’ Trudeau
Referring to Justin Trudeau as “the apologizer in chief,” Pentefountas said, “This guy will cry and apologize for everything and anything except things of his doing. It’s time that we had honesty and integrity in government.”
Pentefountas predicted that if re-elected, the Trudeau Liberal government will end up making drastic budget cuts to compensate for the spending spree it went on since 2015. “When you create these massive debts for no reason, two things have to happen thereafter,” he said.
“One, we increase taxes. Or two, we decrease services, Or even worse, both: decrease services and increase taxes. And that’s what’s coming under Justin Trudeau in a second mandate.”
For his part, Vince Guzzo waded into the fray, criticizing the Liberal Prime Minister for his stance on Quebec’s legislation that imposed a partial ban on religious symbols – Bill 21.
“Let’s be honest: Bill 21 is a provincial jurisdiction,” he said. “All of a sudden we have a Prime Minister who’s telling us ‘I don’t want to get too many Quebecers against me, so I’m not really going to tell you that I’m going to contest it.’
“But while contesting that law would be an attack to Quebec’s sovereignty over dictating its own law, you know what it really is? It is what he’s done for the last four years: it is wasting our tax dollars.”
Senator Housakos called Justin Trudeau “the master of the photo-op” while adding that “it’s time to get to work and that’s the bottom line. It’s time to stop with the selfies, the handshakes and the parades. Unfortunately for Justin Trudeau he’s running out of time on October 21.”