Maxime Bernier has announced the name of his new federal political party.
In a speech delivered Friday, Bernier, who ran for leadership of the Conservative Party of Canada and later left. He called the party “intellectually and morally corrupt” and vowed to start his own movement.
Bernier, prior to leaving the Conservatives, received attention for tweets decrying “extreme multiculturalism,” and warned that “the cult of diversity will divide us into that have less and less in common, apart from their dependence on government in Ottawa.”
In a speech published to the People’s Party of Canada, Bernier elaborated on his vision and his reasons for choosing the party’s name.
“Today, we are taking a new and important step, with the unveiling of the name, logo and website of the new party, and the opening of our headquarter (sic) in Gatineau,” the speech’s text read.
“Why this name? Because it is time that the government put the Canadian people first when they make decisions and policies. It is time to put power back into the people’s hands.”
Bernier went on to say that Canadian politics has been “hijacked” by interest groups, cartels, lobbies, international organizations, corporate and union interests, and the interests of politicians and bureaucrats.
“This is why government never stops growing,” he said.
“Taxes and regulations never stop increasing. The Liberal government is out-of-control and out-of-touch. It has become unable to solve basic problems such as the migrant crisis and pipeline approval. We see it in the way the old parties try to attract votes and support. Not by offering solutions that appeal to all Canadians. But by pandering to various groups and dividing Canadians into little tribes that can be bought with promises, privileges and taxpayers’ money. Nobody speaks for all Canadians. Nobody speaks for the people.”
Bernier has vowed to run candidates in all 338 ridings in the 2019 general election and to be competitive everywhere. He has already raised $140,000 in donations, though he cannot yet issue tax receipts as an official party.
Also on Friday, Bernier released his party’s guiding principles to respect taxpayers, respect the constitution, equally respect all regions, provinces and territories and respect “respect our traditions, our history, and what makes Canada a unique place in the world, without trying to forcibly change it like the current Liberal government is doing.”
Speaking to CBC Friday, Bernier, who has been critical of Canada’s immigration policies and in his platform is calling for fewer refugees and family reunion immigrants while increasing the number of economic immigrants, said he will not welcome anyone who is against immigration for xenophobic reasons.
“Extreme people who are against immigration, they’re not welcome in this party. And it’s clear. I will have the privilege to choose the candidates that will run for this party and we’ll choose people who share the values of our party,” he told Power and Politics host Vassy Kapelos.
Platform released online
Bernier’s People’s Party also unveiled its platform on its website. The platform pledges to remove interprovincial trade barriers, eliminate equalization and stop federal funding for health care, instead transferring tax points to the provinces, and to support a smaller government.
The platform also vowed to scrap the capital gains and carbon taxes and cut federal income taxes, as well as ending so-called corporate welfare.
Other platform points include privatizing Canada post to eliminate its monopoly on letter mail, ending supply management, reducing fees paid to the Grain Commission of Canada, privatizing airports and ending the CRTC’s restrictions on foreign investment in the telecom industry by deregulating the sector.
Bernier’s proposed policies on foreign affairs and immigration would see Canada phasing out foreign aid that doesn’t include global health crises or emergency funding. That would mean the ending of development aid which supports job training, farming technology and infrastructure building. It would also step back on peacekeeping missions in Africa and refocus on fighting “radical Islamic terrorism.”
Bernier would stop trying to please the “foreign affairs establishment” and the United Nations, which he called “dysfunctional.” As for immigration, Bernier called for a lowering on the number of immigrants from 300,000 to 250,000, as it was under former Prime Minister Stephen Harper. He also called for a reduction in family reunification and refugee immigrants, and an increase in economic immigrants. Bernier would increase resources for CSIS, the RCMP and immigration officials to do background checks, stop relying on the UN for refugee selection and stop what he sees as a change of the “cultural character and social fabric of Canada.”