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Federal Conservative leader Poilievre to hold Nanaimo rally, Campbell River fundraiser this week

He’ll be in Nanaimo Monday for a rally, in Campbell River on Thursday for a fundraiser.
Conservative Party Leader Pierre Poilievre speaks during a rally in Ottawa, on Sunday, March 24, 2024. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Spencer Colby

Federal Conservative Leader Pierre Poilievre is making two stops on Vancouver Island this week, with a rally in Nanaimo and a fundraiser in Campbell River.

Monday’s “Axe the Tax” rally at the Vancouver Island Conference Centre in Nanaimo marked Poilievre’s first public visit to Vancouver Island this year.

Poilievre appealed for people to attend his rally in an automated call sent to some Island-area phone numbers last week.

“It’s April Fool’s Day soon and with Trudeau and the NDP — the joke’s on you with more tax hikes coming April 1,” he said in the recording.

The carbon tax in B.C., which is administered by the provincial government, increased to $80 a tonne from $65 on Monday.

It’s expected to raise the price of gas by around three cents per litre.

Poilievre told the Times Colonist last November that he’s planning to return to the Island “many more times” before the next federal election, which must be called on or before Oct. 20, 2025.

So far, the Conservatives have nominated two candidate for Vancouver Island.

Filmmaker Aaron Gunn, who was rejected as a candidate for the B.C. Liberal — now renamed BC United — leadership election in 2021, was nominated as the Conservative candidate for North Island-Powell River in December.

Nanaimo lawyer Tamara Kronis is the Conservative candidate for Nanaimo-Ladysmith.

Conservative Party spokesperson Sarah Fischer confirmed to the Times Colonist Monday that Kronis became the party’s official candidate on March 6.

Kronis lost to the New Democratic Party’s Lisa Marie Barron in the 2021 federal election by about 1,000 votes in a tight three-way race between the NDP, Conservatives and the Greens.

On Thursday, Poilievre will return to Vancouver Island for a fundraising dinner at the Shelter Point Distillery in Campbell River, after a stop on the Lower Mainland.

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