Of immigrant descent to a marriage of two, Anaida Poilievre a separate conservative wife


The Poilievres ‘eloped’ to southern Portugal, planning a wedding in a country they had never visited

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Pierre Poilievre was an MP and former cabinet minister, Anaida Galindo a valued parliamentary aide. They met and fell in love on the Hill.

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When the couple tied the knot in 2017, the wedding might well have been a political affair in its own right, its guest list filled with lawmakers and behind-the-scenes agents.

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In fact, only two people showed up – the bride and the groom.

The Poilievres “eloped” to southern Portugal, planning a wedding in a country they had never visited, aided by a local wedding planner and photographer.

  1. Pierre Poilievre kisses his wife, Anaida, after winning his seat in the Ottawa riding of Carlton in the October 21, 2019 federal election.

    Andrew Potter: What if Poilievre really valued his family more than his job?

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    Pierre Poilievre elected new leader of the Conservative Party of Canada

“It was the best decision we could have made,” Anaida wrote in a 2019 article for Pretty and Smart Co., the online women’s magazine she co-founded. “We wanted to make sure our special day was really just about us and our commitment to each other.”

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The unorthodox nuptials were perhaps a signal to the world that this was no ordinary conservative political bride, but one with her own unique character – and the potential to be an asset to the party. as he strives to shake the liberal grip on power.

Anaida solidified that image on Saturday night in a spirited speech introducing her husband – and herself – after winning the Conservative leadership race.

She spoke about her roots in Venezuela, her migration to a new country and her difficult upbringing in Montreal, painting a portrait of the type of salt-of-the-earth Canadian that Poilievre seems to consider her natural constituency.

“My dad, he went from being a suit and a bank manager to jumping in the back of a van to pick up fruits and vegetables, because that’s what he had to do to feed his family,” said said Anaida. “There is no greater dignity than providing for your own family.”

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She described a childhood where the Galindos lived “paycheck” and filling up on gas was not a luxury but a necessity to keep working, tying her own biography perfectly to the platform-centric inflation of her husband.

Poilievre, the wife, could not be reached for comment on Sunday. But in this address to party loyalists, she said her family immigrated from Venezuela in 1996 when she was eight, fleeing a country wracked by political unrest and economic chaos. Soon after, Hugo Chavez came to power and launched the left-wing “Bolivarian Revolution”.

The Galindos lived in working class eastern Montreal. Her father eventually started his own small business, Anaida said.

She was just a year into her communications degree at the University of Ottawa and just 20 in 2008 when she started working for members of the Senate, according to her Linkedin profile.

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“It was a beautiful accident,” she said last year in a profile on Pretty and Smart Co. “I never intended to work in a political environment. Politics found me and that’s fine with me.

In 2013, Senator Claude Carignan, then Leader of the Government in the Upper House, hired the trilingual immigrant as a foreign affairs adviser.

“She was smart, very smart, political, had good relationships with people, emotional intelligence,” Carignan recalled on Sunday. “People liked her, she was easy to work with…She’s a nice person. You can’t hate Anaïda.

The young politico then went to work for Tory MPs as the romance with Poilievre blossomed, eventually leading to marriage and two children.

Despite their different backgrounds, Anaida told the party convention, she and the populist conservative have similar values.

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This shared worldview means they even watch bitcoin guru Robert Breedlove’s podcasts “late into the night once we get the kids to bed,” Poilievre revealed earlier this year.

And on a few occasions, when her husband ran for party leader, she participated in real political politics. In a video posted to Twitter, she responds to a voter who wonders why Poilievre’s name appears on the website of the World Economic Forum, a favorite whipping boy of far-right populist conservatives. Taking the person’s hand in hers, Anaida said they had demanded an explanation from the organization, which cited the fact that she had once published an article by the MP.

A blog she wrote for Pretty and Smart Co. in early 2020, however, was arguably unaware of her husband’s later criticism of vaccination mandates and the government’s alleged overreach on COVID- 19. She urged people to stay home in these early stages of the pandemic, saying “just be proactive, listen to the experts and heed the call for self-quarantine for all”.

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Indeed, Anaida suggested in this profile that no one is about to tell her what to think, stressing the importance for women to be “emotionally, financially and intellectually independent”.

Intellectual independence is “having your own mind. Read, learn, learn. Have an opinion, your own opinion,” she told the magazine.

To that end, Anaida said she enjoys watching documentaries, reading news reports and researching “random things”, but admitted she couldn’t commit to consuming an entire book – “I’m kinda ADD .”

Carignan is confident her former aide will help her husband as he struggles to translate his internal conservative success to the wider electorate. Not only does Anaida understand Quebecers and their way of thinking, but she is a leading new Canadian figure in a federal party that struggles to connect with this demographic, the senator noted.

“When you’re in politics, you need a spouse who will support you and be fully involved with you in your project,” he said. “If someone says that Pierre is against immigration, this type of attack cannot work when we know that his wife is a refugee.”



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