Canada’s newly elected Conservative Party leader, Pierre Poilievre, is a Bitcoin enthusiast—and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is not a fan.
Speaking in St. Andrews, New Brunswick, on Monday, Trudeau criticized his new political rival for his “irresponsibility” in promoting cryptocurrencies to his followers.
“Telling people they can opt out of inflation by investing their savings in volatile cryptocurrencies is not responsible leadership,” he said. “By the way, anyone who followed that advice would have seen their life savings destroyed.”
We’ve made every effort to work with all Parliamentarians over the years, and we’ll continue to do so. But we’ll also call out questionable, reckless economic ideas – because Canadians deserve responsible leadership.
— Justin Trudeau (@JustinTrudeau) September 13, 2022
Trudeau doubled down on this line of attack over Twitter, calling Poilievre’s support a “questionable, reckless economic idea.” Many Bitcoiners—including former Kraken executive Dan Held—naturally weren’t fond of the comment.
Poilievre was elected as Canada’s next Conservative leader on Saturday in a landslide victory, scoring over 68% of the party vote. His runner-up, Jean Charest, only won about 16% of the vote.
The Conservative leader ran a campaign largely focused, fiscal responsibility, and reducing inflation, especially as it relates to increases in the money supply. It’s a common refrain from Bitcoin supporters, which tend to gravitate to the cryptocurrency as a “hard money” alternative due to its fixed supply.
Poilievre has been very public about his views on Bitcoin since the start of his campaign, making appearances on well-known Bitcoin podcasts. Because Bitcoin has a fixed supply of 21 million coins that will ever be mined, it has earned a reputation as “digital gold” and a long-term inflation hedge.
“Government is ruining the Canadian dollar, so Canadians should have the freedom to use other money, such as Bitcoin,” Poilievre said during a rally in March. Later that same day, the MP tweeted a donation link, calling on supporters to take back control from “bankers and politicians” and to make Canada the “blockchain capital of the world.”
But despite its “digital gold” narrative, Bitcoin and the rest of the crypto market has moved closely with tech stocks for years. So while economies grapple with record high inflation in 2022, Bitcoin is now down 69% from its all-time high of nearly $69,000, which it logged in November of last year.
That dramatic drop in price has opened up Poilievre to political attacks from his opponents over his support of Bitcoin. Both conservative and liberal opponents have also attacked Poilievre’s support for Canada’s “Freedom Convoy” protestors.
The group, which organized in protest of COVID-19 vaccine mandates, raised nearly $1 million in Bitcoin to support its cause. “Fighting against life-saving vaccines is not responsible leadership,” Trudeau tweeted today.