The leader of the People’s Party of Canada made it over to Vancouver Island this weekend to speak to supporters about what’s next for the party.
Maxime Bernier met with about 100 people at Nanaimo’s ABCB First Aid and Safety Training – the business on Terminal Avenue with the Freedom Convoy mural – on Sunday, Aug. 14.
The PPC, though it failed to win a seat in the 2021 federal election, tripled its vote count and its share of the popular vote from the 2019 election.
“Despite most federal health restrictions being suspended by the Trudeau government, Bernier will continue to publicly address major political issues ignored by the current government or the ineffective opposition, such as digital identity, inflation, the continuation of the health emergency, the important C-11 censorship bill, globalization, etc.,” noted a press release from the PPC.
The Nanaimo event was a town-hall-style discussion, and Bernier said afterward that many of the concerns he heard were in line with what he’s been hearing nationwide. He said while some people still want to talk about COVID-19 and the public health mandates, many PPC voters are also worried about the economy and inflation. During the event he heard some concerns about globalization and reminded people that the World Economic Forum doesn’t have the power to impose policies on Canadians.
“Justin Trudeau believes in that philosophy and freely is implementing legislation in line with the goals of the World Economic Forum and the UN,” Bernier said. “We won’t listen to them. We will build our own policies here in Canada for Canadians and defend our sovereignty.”
Bernier, who ran unsuccessfully for the Conservative Party of Canada’s leadership before starting the PPC, talked a little bit about the CPC’s current leadership race. He wouldn’t speculate on where perceived divisions in that party might lead, but said the PPC won’t merge and will be satisfied with growing “step by step” on its own.
“When I [spoke] about the Conservative Party today it was just to show our people here that we are doing politics differently,” Bernier said. “We don’t do any polling and we don’t mind about what [voters] think today. We think that we have the best ideas.”
Stephen Welton, who ran for the PPC in Nanaimo-Ladysmith in 2021, was also at Sunday’s event and confirmed that he will be running again in the next federal election. Bernier said another purpose of his summer leader’s tour is to help identify “first-rate candidates” in other places as he said the PPC has no plans to target specific ridings and wants to put forward a candidate in every riding.
“It’s important to us, because we want to give the opportunity for every Canadian to be able to vote for their values,” he said.
Before arriving in Nanaimo, Bernier held an event in Sooke earlier in the day Sunday.