The newest party in parliament. Mad Max. Alt-right politics. What is the People’s Party really about?
Time for a bit of a history lesson. Today, in my ongoing series about the Canadian election, we’re looking at the newest Canadian political party, the People’s Party of Canada.
Maxime Bernier, leader of the People’s Party and MP for Beaurice in Quebec
The PPC is lead by one, Maxime Bernier, ” the Albertan from Quebec.” Bernier is known for his staunch conservative views and is called ” Mad Max” for his outspoken views. He served as the Minister of Industry and Minister of Foreign Affairs under Harper and later the Minister of State. He’s also known for being involved in an infamous scandal where his former girlfriend, who was associated with biker gangs, stole sensitive government documents from him during when he was the Minister of Industry. It was a big political scandal at the time under the Harper government and Bernier became the laughingstock of parliament.
But Bernier was still popular in his riding winning 62% of the vote and he later ran for leadership of the Conservative Party. He won 49% of the vote against Andrew Scheer’s 51% and he came close to becoming the leader of the Conservative Party of Canada.
Fed up with losing and still desiring a position in power as he had been desiring all his political career, Bernier decided to step up. On August 23, 2018, Bernier stepped down from the Conservative Party and announced he was going make to a Pan-Canadian political party. He resigned because he felt the Conservative Party had become “morally and intellectually corrupt to reform” and he decided just like Thanos to do it himself.
He felt like they were too afraid to talk about avoid important but controversial issues of concern to Canadians and to articulate any coherent philosophy to support their points. In a National Post op-ed, Bernier stating that his real motive is to reverse what he believe is the “public choice dynamic” in the Canadian political system that leads to vote-buying and pandering by the main political parties. He was criticized by many in his own party and by former Prime Ministers Brian Mulroney and Stephen Harper. He later backed away from this view.
On September 14, 2018, Bernier announced the creation of the People’s Party of Canada. He branded it as “smart populism. Bernier defines the are based on principles of freedom, responsibility, fairness, and respect, that speak for “all Canadians” and which do not appease special interest groups.
The party has widely been called conservative, libertarian, alt-right, classic liberal and many other definition. I would classify it as a right wing libertarian populist party in my view. The party is definitely more to the right than the mainstream Canadian Conservatives.
So, what are the party’s policies in the upcoming election?
-Ending corporate welfare
-dismantling the current supply management system for farmers ( particularly for dairy ones) over a number of years so they can adjust. This is ironic given Bernier’s riding has lots of dairy farmers who depend upon this system for their livelihood. But they promise to offer “compensation” in order to keep low prices for Canadians and for the farmers. (Source: Wikipedia)
-Reform the healthcare system by allowing for more private care and creating a more mixed universal healthcare system. According to the party themselves: “The party’s platform argues that “it is up to the provinces to implement reforms in line with the more efficient and less costly mixed universal systems of other developed countries. Throwing more federal money at the problem is not the right approach.”. This also includes getting rid of the Canadian Health Transfer and with “transfer of tax points of equivalent value to the provinces and territories” by giving up the GST revenue collected by the federal government while creating a temporary program “to compensate poorer provinces” disadvantage from the replacement. The party will create the conditions for provincial and territorial governments to innovate while maintaining the Canada Health Act. This honestly sounds like the idea of the States where healthcare is taken care by the individual states instead of the Federal government. But the government still maintains a fair amount of power over it. ( Source: Wikipedia)
-Heavily reduce Canada’s presence at the United Nations. This may even include withdrawing from it completely to avoid the “UN’s Globalism” The party platform argues that foreign polices should be “focused on the security and prosperity of Canadians, not an ideological approach that compromises our interests”.
It supports multilateralism, non-interventionism, free trade and humanitarianism. However, it plans not plans to not get involved in foreign conflicts “unless we have a compelling strategic interest in doing so”. Bernier also seeks to stop Canada’s developmental aid to the United Nations if he’s elected. He sees it as threatening “our sovereignty”, accept free trade agreements that protect Canada economy “from the threat of potentially hostile foreign investors”.
The party plans immigration reform, such as limiting immigration to no more than 150,000 people by removing the parents and grandparents class from family reunification, focusing on economic immigration through the reform of the immigration point system, making temporary foreign workers noncompetitive with “Canadian workers” and banning birth tourism. They intends for all immigrants to undergo in-person interviews with immigration officials to determine whether their values and ideas accord with Canadian “societal norms“. The party would declare the border a port of entry to make deportation easier, build border fences at popular ports of entry crossings for migrants, rely on private sponsorship instead of government support for funding new refugees but prioritize those who “belonging to persecuted groups bared from neighbouring countries” and sexual minorities. (Source, Wikipedia)
The party platform supports multiculturalism, diversity, integration, the concept of Canadian identity, which they define as “First Nations and Inuit, two official languages, a multiethnic population, and very different regional cultures“, and Canadian values. Some of the examples that they have listed are “equality between men and women“, “separation of state and religion”, “tolerance and pluralism“. The party classified Justin Trudeau’s comments calling Canada “the first post-national state, with no core identity” as a form as “extreme multiculturalism”. The opposes Official Multiculturalism because it “encourages immigrants to keep the values and culture they left behind instead of integrating into Canadian society and adopting Canadian values and culture” which leads them to scrapping it and cancel all funding that promotes the concept.
The party’s platform states that “it is an undisputed fact that the world’s climate has always changed and will continue to change” but reject what it calls “climate change alarmism”. The party plans to withdraw from the global climate change fight, abolish subsidies for green technology, scrap “the Liberal government’s carbon tax” but allow the private sector and provinces to address climate issues, and “invest [in] mitigation strategies” if it occurs.The party’s main focus would be on “implementing practical solutions to make Canada’s air, water and soil cleaner”. ( Source, Wikipedia)
The party platform argues that “The government of Canada has an obligation to honour the nation’s sacred commitment to our military men and women and make sure our veterans receive the support they deserve.” They plan to “enshrine in legislation the country’s obligations to our veterans in a Military Covenant,” reinstate the fair disability pension and reemphasize the legislative guarantee of the “Benefit of doubt” standard in the Pension Act, review the New Veterans Charter to determine which policies and programs should be retained, simplify the system and make it easier to navigate.
Some other polcies as proposed by the party are:
- Counter anti-oil and anti-pipeline propaganda from radical environmentalists and foreign foundations.
- Repeal Bill C-48.
- Repeal Bill C-69.
- Approve pipelines projects using a streamlined process.
- Find a private buyer for Trans Mountain.
- Reassert federal jurisdiction over pipelines construction by invoking section 92(10) of our Constitution, whereby Parliament can declare any project to be for the general advantage of Canada.
- Restrict the definition of hate speech in the Criminal Code to expression which explicitly advocates the use of force against identifiable groups or persons based on protected criteria such as religion, race, ethnicity, sex, or sexual orientation.
- Repeal any existing legislation or regulation curtailing free speech on the internet and prevent the reinstatement of section 13 of the Canadian Human Rights Act.
- Repeal C-16 and M-103.
- Ensure that Canadians can exercise their freedom of conscience to its fullest extent as it is intended under the Charter and are not discriminated against because of their moral convictions.
- Withhold federal funding from any post-secondary institution shown to be violating the freedom of expression of its students or faculty.
- Withdraw from the Paris Accord and abandon unrealistic greenhouse gas emission reduction targets.
- Stop sending billions of dollars to developing countries to help them reduce their emissions.
- Abolish the Liberal government’s carbon tax and leave it to provincial governments to adopt programs to reduce emissions if they want to.
- Abolish subsidies for green technology and let private players develop profitable and efficient alternatives.
- Invest in mitigation strategies if problems arise as a result of any natural climate change.
- Prioritize implementing practical solutions to make Canada’s air, water and soil cleaner, including bringing clean drinking water to remote First Nations communities.
- and compensate them for the lost value of their quotas.
- Allow Canada’s dairy, egg and poultry farmers to thrive and sell their products internationally
- Reassert the authority and leadership of the federal government on internal trade.
- Use section 91(2) of the Constitution, which gives Ottawa exclusive power to regulate matters of international and interprovincial trade, to force provinces to apply the principle of mutual recognition where applicable. This principle means that if a worker, product or service meets regulatory standards in one province, then other provinces will trust that they meet their own standards.
- Appoint a Minister of Internal Trade whose sole responsibility will be to conduct studies, raise public awareness, counteract the influence of special interests that benefit from interprovincial barriers, and put pressure on provincial governments to get rid of them.
- Replace the Firearms Act and supporting legislation with new legislation that will prioritize effective measures to improve public safety and fight crime in Canada.
- Replace the costly and burdensome licensing system with an efficient lifetime certification system for firearms owners following mandatory vetting, safety training and testing. To avoid criminalizing legal gun owners and guarantee their property rights, this system will legalize simple possession of firearms for certified Canadians as long as they use their firearms lawfully and don’t commit some other crime which would disqualify them from firearms ownership.
- Require that all firearms categories be based on function, not on looks or arbitrary political whims, and remove ineffective restrictions which unfairly target sport shooters, but have no deterrent effect on criminals.
- Mandate that all future changes to firearms regulation be completed through Parliament only. This means that neither the RCMP nor cabinet will be able to move the legal goalposts for legal firearms owners without the approval of Parliament.
- Reduce the total amount of equalization payments to provinces, and make sure that only the provinces with the greatest needs benefit from it.
- Establish a parliamentary committee to review and make recommendations on a new formula that will avoid the welfare trap and provide poorer provinces with the right incentives to adopt pro-growth economic policies and reduce their dependence on federal money.
- Ensure that the new formula respects our Constitution, makes provincial governments more responsible for their policy decisions, and is fair for citizens of all provinces
Does the People’s Party of Canada and Maxime Bernier stand a chance of winning? HELL NO. Maxime Bernier is the only technical member of parliament for the party and the party is too new. They are at a great disadvantage despite having riding associations in every single riding and having nominated 302 candidates. But the party is too right wing even for right wing Canadians. No mainstream Conservative would likely vote for them or advocate for getting rid of official multiculturalism. They may hold similar views on immigration and gun laws, but they diverge on alot of issues.
Canada is not as susceptible to far left and far right forces with fascism and communism never taking off here. But Canada is not immune to right wing populism. The recent elections of Doug Ford in Ontario and Jason Kenney in Alberta shows how right wing populism has risen in Canada. But it’s a more tame form than that of the United States and Europe. But Canada is still not immune. And Maxime Bernier and Andrew Scheer show that. People that are anti-abortion, xenophobic, anti-Semitic, vaccine skeptics, Islamophobic, climate change deniers and right wing gun nuts. It’s brought out all the crazy, right wing bigots that already existed in Canada and is giving them a platform to preach their hateful and wrong views.
Andrew Scheer is nowhere near as bad as Bernier. But he can also enable these people by embracing views and policies of those like Donald Trump ( for example, recognizing Jerusalem as the capital of Israel). Bernier has no chance in hell becoming prime minister and I think he’ll lose his seat when he’s elected. The best case scenario would be to get 5%-10% of the vote nationally in the election but that’s wishful thinking. It’s more possible that they’ll get to 2% to 5% of the nationally. That’s still at least 50,000 votes in Canada and that is concerning for me. They have the potential to grow and I think if they went with an Anglophone leader, they will have much more success in the future, as it broadens the appeal of the party.
Because of the people running for the party in the election and the policies Bernier is advocating for, DO NOT VOTE FOR HIM. His party is full of racists, liars, bigots and everything wrong with Canada. Alt-right politics and far right wing populism has no place in Canada. His campaign is nothing positive and is all negative
So, that was the People’s Party of Canada in a nutshell. Up next, I’m going to talking about the Greens, a much better and friendly party. Till next time.