People’s Party of Canada candidate Jennifer Clarke, left and party leader Maxime Bernier speak at town hall at the Nanaimo Yacht Club earlier this month. (Nicholas Pescod/NEWS BULLETIN)

People’s Party of Canada still looking for people in Greater Victoria

Party founded by former Tory minister Maxime Bernier offers populist message

The People’s Party of Canada appears as a party in theory but not in practice across Greater Victoria, with the next federal election only six months away.

Former federal minister Maxime Bernier, who founded the People’s Party of Canada after failing to secure the federal Conservative leadership in September 2017, promised that the party would run candidates in all 338 federal ridings when Canadians head to the polls on Oct. 21, 2019.

Since its formal founding in September 2018, the party has contested three of four federal byelections held between December 2018 and February 2019. Its best showing came on Feb. 25, 2019, when Laura-Lynn Thompson won 10.65 per cent of the vote during the Burnaby South byelection that earned federal New Democratic leader Jagmeet Singh a seat in the House of Commons.

Jennifer Clarke, a former school board trustee candidate, is representing the party in a byelection scheduled for May 6 in the riding of Nanaimo-Ladysmith.

RELATED: People’s Party of Canada chooses B.C. women as its first candidates

Bernier, the party’s only sitting Member of Parliament, has toured that riding with Clarke, and plans an extensive swing through British Columbia next month to drum up support for the party.

According to Elections Canada, it has formally established 29 electoral district associations in B.C., which has 42 ridings, but none in the four ridings in Greater Victoria: Cowichan-Malahat-Langford, Esquimalt-Saanich-Sooke, Saanich Gulf Islands, and Victoria.

The bulk of the party’s established electoral district association are on British Columbia’s mainland, with associations in suburban Vancouver, the Fraser Valley, the Okanagan Valley and the Cariboo. Vancouver Island footholds are the ridings of Nanamio-Ladysmith and North Island-Powell River.

While the mere existence of these associations says nothing about the party’s membership strength and infrastructure in those ridings, their general absence in Greater Victoria raises questions about interest in the People’s Party and its populist message.

Officially, the party is still finalizing its platform. The party’s website asks would-be voters to check the policies, which Bernier had proposed during his run for the Conservative leadership. “The PPC’s platform will be mostly based on the same policies,” it reads in largely confirming the perception that PPC is a party for one.

RELATED: Maxime Bernier slams supply management in B.C. dairy country

Broadly, Bernier’s message combines elements of social conservatism with libertarian ideas on economic issues. Bernier has also called on the Canadian government to restrict immigration in echoing populist figures in both North America and Europe like U.S. President Donald Trump and several mainly eastern and central European leaders.

The Saanich News contacted national party headquarters, as well as the Twitter accounts of Esquimalt-Saanich-Sooke and Victoria for comment.

The party’s website lacked contact information for Cowichan-Malahat-Langford, while the Twitter account for Saanich Gulf Island appears out of service.


Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

wolfgang.depner@saanichnews.com

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Man who bound, murdered Langford teen still a risk to public: parole board

Kimberly Proctor’s killer is still ‘mismanaging emotions,’ has had ‘temper tantrums’

North Saanich artist brightens pandemic with whimsical signs

Artist Anna Trelford decorates her fence with signs that riff on COVID-19 pandemic

Traffic redirected after crash on McKenzie Avenue

Saanich Police responded to Thursday evening collision

West Shore RCMP, ICBC target speeders and aggressive drivers

Hotspots include Sooke Road, Veterans Memorial Parkway and Colwood Corners

Mission prison COVID-19 outbreak ends, 9 new cases in B.C.

New positive test at Port Coquitlam care home

POLL: Do you agree with the provincial government’s decision to increase the minimum wage?

B.C.’s lowest-paid workers will be getting a few more dollars to try… Continue reading

VIDEO: Humpback whales put on quite a show

The ‘playful’ pod lingered by a Campbell River tour operator’s boat for quite some time

Getting hitched at historic B.C. gold rush town still on table during COVID-19 pandemic

Micro-weddings, online visits, offered at Barkerville Historic Town and Park

Stolen gargoyle returns to its perch on central Vancouver Island yard

Petey, a concrete gargoyle statue, was returned by Nanaimo RCMP after being found by city crew

Revelstoke woman finds welcoming letter on her Alberta-registered truck

There have been multiple reports online of vandalism to vehicles with Alberta licence plates

Spirit bear possibly spotted in West Kootenay

A local resident spotted the white-coloured bear while on an evening trail run near Castlegar on May 27

B.C. businesses ‘can’t shoulder burden’ of COVID-19 sick pay

Trudeau’s plan should be tied to federal emergency aid

B.C. teacher reprimanded for sharing homophobic and sexist memes, making racist comments

Klaus Hardy Breslauer was accused of making a laundry list of concerning decisions as a science teacher

Most Read