People's Party of Canada leader wraps up Okanagan tour with Summerland stop | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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People's Party of Canada leader wraps up Okanagan tour with Summerland stop

The Canadian version of alt-right politics was clearly articulated during Maxime Bernier's visit to Summerland yesterday, Aug. 18.

The leader of the People’s Party of Canada was touring the Okanagan this week to criticize fertilizer regulations, however only a small fraction of the presentation in Summerland focused on that topic.

More than 50 people gathered at a local church for the event. He also visited Armstrong and Kelowna during his visit to the Okanagan this week.

Bernier shared a long list of things he hopes to change. He believes equalization payments are unfair, RCMP surveillance is overreaching, too many people are immigrating to Canada, the Royal Family shouldn’t be part of Canada’s system of governance, the Conservative Party of Canada doesn’t hold true conservative values, COVID mandates are draconian measures, there’s not enough political will to develop the oil and gas industry, and only two genders should be recognized.

Society is becoming too socialist was the gist of his message.

Maxime Bernier, leader of the People's Party of Canada, speaks to supporters in Summerland on Aug. 18, 2022.
Maxime Bernier, leader of the People's Party of Canada, speaks to supporters in Summerland on Aug. 18, 2022.

Bernier said Pierre Poilievre – who is on track to becoming the next leader of the CPC – is not truly conservative, his messaging sticks too closely to a script, and he isn’t taking enough questions during the leadership campaign.

One person in attendance said Poilievre may be afraid to take questions because he’s part of "the globalist agenda."

“(Poilievre)’s gotta be afraid someone’s gonna say, ‘I saw you at the World Economic Forum,’” said the attendee.

“Yeah, ya know, they are global elites…” Bernier responded, before saying he too has been accused of being a globalist.

Another supporter asked Bernier about developing Crown land into subdivisions.

“We don’t need to build higher in the urban, we need to build wider, because if we only go higher, it’s not free Canada. A young boy cannot fix a wagon wheel if he has no backyard. We need to have backyards,” the supporter said. “When loggers log a valley close to a village, they plant trees – it’s foolish! They need to plant (a) field and have an urban life with a backyard.”

Bernier said he liked what the man said, however the response did not mention Crown land. Instead he claimed Poilievre wants denser cities, and then said there are too many immigrants. He believes in capping the number of immigrants to Canada at 150,000 per year.

A revenant in attendance – not from the host church – asked Bernier if he’s atheist and for his position on abortion.

Bernier said he is Catholic and pro-life. He said the PPC does not have a position on abortion, but said late-term abortion is murder, and that the majority of his candidates are pro-life. However, he said the PPC is the only party that wants to reopen the debate on the subject.

He also mentioned that he doesn’t want the federal government to financially support events like Chinese New Year.

READ MORE: Okanagan Conservative MP who supported Maxime Bernier in 2017 tight-lipped this time

Before leaving the CPC, Bernier was Canada’s Minister of Foreign Affairs and served two other positions on the cabinet of former Prime Minister Stephen Harper. He also nearly won the 2017 CPC leadership contest, finishing a close second to Andrew Scheer.

Bernier’s fallout with the CPC began shortly after Scheer took over, after he published a series of tweets to argue Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s claim that “diversity is our strength.”

He spoke about the phone call with Scheer that followed.

“'Maxime, we cannot say what you said like that. Next time you want to do a tweet about it, can you send a draft of your tweet to our PR department,'” Bernier said he was told by Scheer. “'We are putting out (a) focus group and we know what words to use that would be more acceptable.'”

He claims he doesn’t regret defecting from the CPC despite winning zero seats in the two elections the PCP has run in.

“Yes it’s a tough time for us,” Bernier admits, but he believes momentum is building.

Bernier commended his PPC candidates for helping to build the party's popular support over the past two elections, as none of them had any chance of winning, he admitted. 

In the dwindling fight against COVID restrictions, he asked supporters who travel internationally to return to Canada without using the ArriveCan app, and to challenge any tickets they face.

"I'm pretty sure you won't have to pay it," Bernier reassured his supporters. 

Bernier is planning to travel outside of Canada in the coming months, and said he hopes for a ticket when he returns home without the ArriveCan app. He claims to have been fined a total of $15,000 for hosting rallies across Canada while COVID restrictions were in place, and says he is challenging them all.

Bernier said he's optimistic about the PPC's future. He said the party has never run a deficit and is hoping to spend $4 million in the next election, which would be nearly triple that spent in 2021.

To contact a reporter for this story, email Dan Walton or call 250-488-3065 or email the editor. You can also submit photos, videos or news tips to the newsroom and be entered to win a monthly prize draw.

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