Ex-Tory finance critic says he left role after MPs tried to ‘muzzle’ Poilievre criticism – National

Former Conservative finance critic Ed Fast says he stepped down from the role earlier this week to “speak freely” after some of his fellow MPs tried to “muzzle” his criticism of leadership candidate Pierre Poilievre.

In an email sent through Jean Charest’s leadership campaign, which Fast is co-chairing, the longtime Abbotsford MP said Poilievre’s supporters in the Conservative caucus told Fast to “just shut up” after he criticized Poilievre’s pledge to fire the Bank of Canada governor over high inflation.

“Some of the MPs who tried to muzzle me don’t even agree with Pierre’s policies themselves,” Fast wrote in the email. “But still, they wanted me to keep my mouth shut. I refused.”

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Tory finance critic Ed Fast steps down after criticizing Poilievre’s attacks on central bank

He said he then asked Interim Leader Candice Bergen to relieve him of his duties as shadow finance minister “so that I can speak freely about the risky and wrong-headed policies being promoted” by Poilievre.

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“That wasn’t my first choice,” Fast wrote. “But I can’t do my job and stand up for Canada if Pierre and his team won’t allow me to exercise my right to free speech.”

In an interview with Global News late Friday, Fast made sure to underscore that Bergen did not pressure him to resign and was not part of any efforts to silence him.

“This matter had…

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