PORT HAWKESBURY: The leader of the People’s Party of Canada (PPC) says he wants to build his presence in Cape Breton.
Following a meet and greet at the Harbourview Motel on Granville Street in Port Hawkesbury, Maxime Bernier told reporters he was delighted with the enthusiastic turnout, as their goal with his Maritime tour is to meet people and build their organization in Atlantic Canada.
“To be ready for the next election,” Bernier said. “I’m very pleased, I had great questions, (there were) good people here, and they’re ready to be part of our organization; that’s the goal of the tour, building the organization, finding candidates for the next election, and I can tell you we have time and we will be ready.”
Rather than focusing on specific targets for the next election, the PPC leader suggested he’s more concerned over consistent growth, something that’s already occurring, as the Central Nova PPC candidate went from 938 votes in 2019 to 1,445 in 2021, while the candidate in Cape Breton-Canso also increased from 925 to 1,649 votes.
“We will need hard work from our volunteers on the ground, we have three years to build the party here,” Bernier said. “From the 1.6 per cent of the vote that we had in 2019 to the five per cent in the last election, our goal is to have candidates elected at the next election.”
As for challenges Cape Bretoners and Nova Scotians alike face, he said first and foremost is the economy.
“People asked me about the inflation, 6.7 per cent, and that’s a hidden tax,” Bernier said. “The way to fight that is to have a balanced budget, no more deficit, and lowering taxes to Canadians.”
Bernier suggested small businesses must also be able to export their products all across the country without tariffs.
“Our position for small businesses is a flat tax, as I said before, we don’t want to give more money to big corporations,” Bernier said. “We’re against corporate welfare, we can save a lot of money there, and lowering taxes to every business, that will help them to have more money in their pockets.”
The PPC leaer explained what he’s hearing here in Nova Scotia is no different from what he’s hearing in Montréal, Toronto, or Vancouver.
“After two years of lockdowns, stay at home orders and COVID-hysteria, people are ready and what they want is more freedom,” Bernier said. “And they want the government to respect that and the government wasn’t respecting Canadians and respecting our Charter of Rights.”
Speaking on the litigation he and former Newfoundland Premier Brain Peckford are bringing forth this September against the federal government, Bernier said their argument lies within the Charter of Rights.
“I’m not vaccinated, I decided that it’s my personal choice, I cannot travel across the country by air, by plane or by boat,” Bernier said. “That’s against our Charter of Rights, that’s discrimination; every Canadian must be able to freely travel across our country.”
And if they don’t win, Bernier said they’re going to appeal because it’s a segregation that you don’t see in any other countries around the world.
“As a national leader, I must be able to travel across the country, so it will be very difficult for me to go to Western Canada,” Bernier said. “As you may know I live in Montréal and coming here by car, I’m three weeks on the road, I like it, it’s okay, but I cannot do that and then go to Vancouver, that would be too long.”
Something that isn’t fair to Bernier is that every other established leader is able to travel across the country.
The PPC leader suggested if his party was able to play a role in a minority government, or if he became prime minister, he wouldn’t provide subsidies to provincial governments to help them impose restrictions that are unconstitutional and unmoral.
As for foreign aid, Bernier asserted Canada could save a lot of money by putting the country first.
“I understand Canadians are generous and they are ready to help other countries when there is a humanitarian crisis or an environmental disaster,” Bernier said. “We will be there, but it’s not our role to build roads or fight for change, let’s bring that money back home to help Canadians first.”
Bernier said the country needs a federal government that works for Canadians and not one that’s working to promote socialist policies like the United Nations and the World Economic Forum.
“We don’t believe in their mission, their mission is to impose their socialist views on us,” Bernier said. “We believe that Canada is a sovereign country, and we must be independent.”
For the PPC, Bernirer suggested they’re doing politics based on principles, which is a huge difference than the other political parties.
“We are fighting for Canadians,” he added. “For freedoms.”