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

Just Posted

Vaping a growing problem in Sooke school district

Island’s chief medical officer raises the alarm

Island Health issues safer drug-use tips ahead of music festival season

Health authority aims to reduce overdose risks at festivals

Fate of accused in Saanich couple’s 1987 killings in jury’s hands

William Talbott’s lawyer says DNA doesn’t prove murder

Victoria woman accesses healing Burn Fund resources 45 years after injury

Stasi Manser was burned when she was five years old and now works as an adult burn survivor advocate

Brentwood Bay fruit stand plundered on first day of season

Leeanne and Jack Guthrie dismayed to find money and fruit stolen from roadside stand

VIDEO: Killer whale steals fisherman’s catch off North Coast

Fishing duel results in eager orca snagging salmon in Prince Rupert

PHOTOS: North Island home gutted in fire deemed ‘suspicious’

No injuries reported; firefighters prevented blaze from spreading

Child killed after being hit in driveway on Vancouver Island

The driver of the vehicle remained at the crash scene and is fully cooperating

Eating sandwiches, putting on makeup behind the wheel could land you a fine

RCMP say if you cause an accident while eating you could be penalized

Cat badly hurt in animal trap was likely stuck for days, B.C. owner says

Blu, a three-year-old house cat, suffered severe damage to his hind leg after being stuck in trap for days

Vancouver Island woman assaulted after confronting thief

RCMP warn residents to call for police assistance

POLL: Do you think the penalty should be increased for tossing a burning cigarette from a vehicle?

With grasslands and forests around Vancouver Island and across B.C. reaching tinder… Continue reading

40 cats surrendered in apparent hoarding at B.C. home

Officers found the cats living among piles of garbage and feces, suffering from fleas

Campers hailed heroes in rock face rescue at Vancouver Island provincial park

The campers quickly noticed the man in distress and jumped into the river to swim across.

Most Read