thumb-2024-03-01-jamil-jivani This article is more than 1 month old

Pierre Poilievre’s Newly Elected Conservative MP Attacks Doug Ford’s Government in Bizarre Victory Speech

Newly elected Conservative MP Jamil Jivani denounces former employer as ‘liberal elites’ after by-election win

Pierre Poilievre’s newly elected Conservative MP took a victory lap Monday night by using the opportunity bash his former employer, Ontario Premier Doug Ford’s conservative government, as “liberal elites.”

Jamil Jivani, a right-wing political activist turned media personality, was elected in a long-awaited by-election held in the safe Conservative riding of Durham, previously held by former Conservative leader Erin O’Toole.

Before seeking public office, Jivani’s résumé included a special advocacy position created by Doug Ford’s government to advise Ontario’s Ministry of Education — a job that ended in drama and name-calling with Jivani publicly feuding with his ex-boss.

During his by-election victory speech in Durham, Jivani railed against “liberal elites,” a group he insisted that goes beyond the Liberal Party of Canada.

According to Jivani, “liberal elites” is an inclusive term that can refer to managers at telecommunications companies, as well as Doug Ford’s Ministry of Education:

“And when I say ‘liberal elites’ I am talking about Justin Trudeau and the Liberal Party — but not just them. I am also talking about the liberal elites who run big banks and big telecommunications companies driving up the cost of everything. I am also talking about the liberal elites who run the Ontario Ministry of Education in this province.”

In 2022, Jivani publicly quit his job as Ontario’s “advocate for community opportunities” in protest of Ontario’s COVID-19 public health rules, calling Education Minister Stephen Lecce “incompetent” on his way out of the door.

“Education is one of the most important government offices in Ontario,” Jivani said in a 2022 social media post. “Yet it continues to be led by an incompetent minister, Stephen Lecce, who refuses to adequately acknowledge the harmful impact of his decisions on the most vulnerable children.”

In an “exit memo,” Jivani blasted Ford’s government for shutting down schools during the COVID-19 pandemic and bringing in “vaccine passports and mandates,” suggesting these had negative implications for “diversity and inclusion.”

Jivani’s resignation letter would go on to criticize Ford’s government for failing to provide him with communications staffers to respond to “smears” and “attacks” from “unethical” reporters in the “mainstream media.”

“Corporate mainstream media outlets have their own partisan narratives and agendas, which often lead to journalists providing unfair or dishonest news coverage of conservatives,” Jivani wrote.

Despite his criticisms of the corporate mainstream media, Jivani was moonlighting as a talk radio host for Bell Media at the same time as he held his government job.

That job also ended in controversy after he was fired in January 2022.

In a Statement of Claim for a wrongful dismissal lawsuit, Jivani alleged Bell Media fired him for holding dissenting views on the company’s “diversity and inclusion” policies after being confronted for broadcasting “problematic” views on-air.

Bell Media’s Statement of Defence alleges Jivani displayed “open disdain for the company’s efforts to promote diversity, equity and inclusion,” citing Jivani’s alleged “discriminatory comments” about the “2sLGBTQ+ community” and “skepticism over the validity of trans- and other gender identities.”

Bell also alleged it had “serious concerns” about Jivani’s on-air promotion of anti-vaccine messages:

“Bell also had serious concerns that the Plaintiff invited guests to his show who espoused ‘anti-vax’ views and spread false information about the necessity and efficacy of vaccines and alternative therapies such as hydroxychloroquine. The Plaintiff allowed these guests to espouse such views without challenging such views or offering a balancing counterpoint.”

Jivani was later hired as the President of the Canada Strong and Free Network, a right-wing political organization previously known as the Manning Centre.

During his time as president, CSFN made headlines after accepting sponsorships from a prominent anti-vaccine group.

Jivani departed the organization on friendly terms in April 2023 to run for office under Pierre Poilievre’s Conservatives.


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Luke LeBrun
Luke LeBrun is the Editor of PressProgress. His reporting focuses on the federal political scene, right-wing politics as well as issues in technology, media and culture.

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