May 19, 2024
Tory MP Pierre Poilievre Scolded Over ‘Little Potato’ Dig At Trudeau In House Of Commons
Conservative MP Pierre Poilievre speaks in the House of Commons on Nov. 21, 2018.
Conservative MP Pierre Poilievre speaks in the House of Commons on Nov. 21, 2018.

A Conservative MP has been told to stop referring to the prime minister as “little potato” in the House of Commons.

Pierre Poilievre earned the light scolding from House Speaker Geoff Regan in question period Wednesday. It was the third day in a row the Tory finance critic invoked the unusual nickname.

“When leaders in China dismissed this prime minister as quote ‘little potato,’ he thought they meant it as a compliment,” Poilievre said before being cut off by Regan.

Poilievre was referencing how Prime Minister Justin Trudeau picked up the moniker during his first official visit to China in 2016. Then-International Trade Minister Chrystia Freeland explained to CNBC at the time that Trudeau’s name sounds similar to the Mandarin word for potato. The “little” part is because the prime minister’s father, Pierre, was “senior potato,” she said.

And though Freeland called it a “fond” nickname years ago, Regan said the Tory MP was indirectly insulting the prime minister. Conservatives promptly let the Speaker know they disagreed with his call.

Poilievre reiterated his party’s demand that, in light of China’s ban on canola shipments and imprisonment of Canadian citizens — seen as retaliation for the detention of Huawei executive Meng Wanzhou — Trudeau scrap funding to the country’s Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank. The Liberal government has committed $256 million over five years to fund infrastructure projects in Asia.


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(5) Kenney plans to campaign against Trudeau, but not with government-funded ads