Thursday, September 2, 2021

People's Party hopes to run full slate in 2021

'I won't change': Maxime Bernier confident about PPC's chances with same platform | CTV News - Jackie Dunham:

August 17, 2021 - " After 15 years in politics and more than his fair share of controversies, Maxime Bernier ... [t]he 58-year-old leader of the libertarian-leaning People’s Party of Canada [PPC] appears to be just as determined to promote his ideal vision for the country, as he was when he made his political debut as a cabinet minister under Stephen Harper in 2006. 'I believe in a smaller government that will respect people… that will respect the Constitution. That’s why I’m in politics. That’s why I decided to be in politics,' Bernier told during a phone interview in late July....

"The corporate lawyer-turned-MP from Quebec was forced to defend his past support for separatism in the late '90s ... resigned as foreign affairs minister in 2008 ... and went ... to nearly winning the Conservative Party leadership race in 2017 with more than 49 per cent of the vote.... [H]owever, Bernier split with his long-time party in dramatic fashion – describing the Conservatives as 'too intellectually and morally corrupt to be reformed' – and founded his own. 

"The party was formed in September 2018.... 'This party stands for individual freedom, personal responsibility, respect, and fairness, and all our policies are in line with these four principles,' Bernier said. These policies include phasing out the supply management system for the country’s dairy farmers; reducing equalization payments to provinces; reducing government interventions in the free market; lowering the number of immigrants and refugees accepted to Canada; withdrawing from the Paris Climate Accord; restricting the definition of hate speech in the Criminal Code; and withdrawing from all United Nations commitments. If these platform pledges sound familiar, it’s because they’re the same ones championed by the PPC during the 2019 federal election.... [T]he leader explained that remaining loyal to their core principles is what distinguishes the PPC from their opponents....

"[T]here is one new addition to Bernier’s campaign ahead of the election in 2021 and that’s his vow to fight against COVID-19 lockdowns. For the past few months, the PPC leader has toured Canada as part of his 'Mad Max Summer 2021 Pre-Election Tour' to share his opposition to government-imposed lockdowns and vaccine passports.

"In June, Manitoba RCMP arrested and charged Bernier under the Public Health Act for allegedly gathering at an outdoor public place and for failing to self-isolate when he arrived in the province. Bernier called the incident 'political repression' and said he was arrested so that he wouldn’t be able to attend a larger rally he had planned for the next day in Winnipeg. 'I was the only one to receive a ticket and I was the only one that was arrested,' he said. 'I was in jail, handcuffed, and put in jail like a criminal for a non-crime after a political gathering just to be sure that I won’t be able to do the rally in Winnipeg. So that’s Canada in 2021.'  His court case has been adjourned until late August.

"And while Bernier said he’s against lockdowns and vaccine passports – he thinks they will create two classes of citizens – he’s not opposed to masks or COVID-19 vaccines for others. 'I’m not anti-mask. I’m not anti-vaccine. I said publicly that we believe in freedom. We believe in freedom of choice, every Canadian must be able to decide if they want the vaccine or not,' he said....

"Bernier’s message appears to be resonating in Western Canada where he said they’re enjoying a 'bit more support,' according to a poll by Abacus Data that came out in early July, than in other parts of the country. However, he stressed that the PPC is appealing to voters across Canada and not just former Conservatives.... 'We have more than 200 candidates selected up until now, our goal is to have a full slate of candidates,' he said. 'I think this time, we'll be able to have 338 candidates. We want to give the opportunity to every Canadian to be able to vote for the PPC'....       

 "The PPC leader said during the last election, Canadians told him that they didn’t vote for him because they didn’t want to split the conservative vote and allow the Liberals to win. This time, however, he said voters, especially in B.C. and Alberta, are approaching him and telling him they’re not worried about that this time. 'I said "Why?" They said "Because we know that Erin O'Toole won't win and I don't want to waste my vote,"' Bernier said."

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