The Parliamentary Press Gallery Dinner is an annual event hosted by the parliamentary press gallery in which journalists and politicians dine together and make various speeches.
Saturday night’s dinner however proved to be highly political as prime minister Justin Trudeau took the stand and attacked his political opponent, Conservative Party leader Pierre Poilievre.
Conservative Party leader Pierre Poilievre decided to skip the event, which is now considered by many to be an elitist outing in which a politician’s presence is inappropriate.
After all, experts emphasize the importance of a healthy degree of separation between journalists and politicians. Critics say it is unhealthy for the nature of their coverage to be dining together and laughing alongside one another.
Despite this, journalists at the dinner laughed along with the prime minister’s misinformed jabs at Poilievre.
Trudeau said Poilievre would have shown up if he was told the press gallery was “occupying the venue”, referring to Poilievre’s support of the freedom convoy protest.
Trudeau did not say anything about the ongoing committee investigation into his use of the Emergencies Act, which new evidence increasingly shows was unwarranted.
Trudeau also mocked Poilievre’s desire to use plain language in communicating with Canadians.
“He said he’s a believer in using simple Anglo-Saxon words. I didn’t get it either, but I’m told it sounds much better in the original German”, Trudeau said to a room of laughing journalists.
Trudeau also attacked Poilievre on his stance on Bitcoin: “Surely one of the two of us should be thinking about monetary policy”, Trudeau said, despite the fact that his government created the largest deficit in Canadian history and unrelenting inflation that has harmed Canadians’ purchasing power.
In 2019, Trudeau was also widely criticized for admitting on-air at the press gallery dinner that the mainstream media’s coverage of his liberal government was tainted by over $600 million in media subsidies.