Pierre Poilievre's call to fire the gatekeepers is a Trump-style travesty - 2022-07-28
In 2016, Donald Trump showed the world just how powerful a simple catchphrase can be. It's safe to assume Pierre Poilievre and his political advisers were paying close attention to the rhetorical power of the former U.S. president's call to "Make America Great Again." After all, Poilievre has developed a catchphrase of his own with his now-familiar call to "Fire the Gatekeepers." Whether he's talking about global energy policy or the pileup at Pearson International Airport, Poilievre always turns to that simple political prescription. And so far, at least, it seems to be working.
Poilievre's campaign website defines these "Gatekeepers" as "the consulting class, politicians, bureaucrats, or agencies," all of whom apparently "create roadblocks for progress and charge a hefty fee for anyone who would want to build anything." In Poilievre's world, they're responsible for everything from blocked pipeline projects to soaring house prices in major markets like Toronto and Vancouver.
There's a big problem with this formulation: gatekeepers actually serve an important function in our society. They routinely (and often quietly) protect citizens from all manner of danger, whether that's corporate malfeasance or government corruption. The Walkerton E. coli outbreak, which killed seven people and made roughly half the town's 5,000 residents sick, is the most obvious example of what can happen when gatekeepers get sidelined.