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

Faulty janitorial equipment likely caused Saanich school fire

Saturday morning fire damaged roof of Strawberry Vale Elementary

Greater Victoria records highest unemployment in history with 11 per cent

Past peak was 7.8 per cent more than a decade ago, according to South Island Prosperity Partnership

Garth Homer Society in Saanich turns lemons into lemonade with online programs

Victoria disability organization sets up online programs and learning tools in wake of COVID-19

Human behaviour likely to deter birds from Esquimalt Lagoon, survey suggests

More Great Blue Herons spotted, fewer mallard ducks seen

Sidney’s Mary Winspear Centre to host a trio of acts

Aaron Pritchett, Alex Cuba and Valdy will each play four shows

Islanders want BC Ferries to follow order that lets residents board before tourists

For ferry-dependent communities, ferries are often the sole practical lifeline to work, school or medical appointments.

Beverly Hills 90210 star’s family selling Vancouver Island Beach Resort

You can own Jason Priestley’s Terrace Beach Resort in Ucluelet for less than $5 million

Genetic detectives begin work to trace spread of COVID-19 in Canada

The kinds of genetic technology being used for this project did not exist when SARS hit Canada in 2003

Sports fishers protest Fraser River Chinook closures

Public Fishery Alliance wants hatchery fish open for harvest

B.C. Ferries increasing passenger capacity after COVID-19 restrictions

Transport Canada 50-per-cent limit being phased out, no current plans to provide masks

Shellfish industry get funds to clean up at Island sites and beyond

Businesses can apply to cover half of costs to clean up so-called ‘ghost gear’

Amber Alert for two Quebec girls cancelled after bodies found

Romy Carpentier, 6, Norah Carpentier, 11, and their father, Martin Carpentier, missing since Wednesday

B.C. man prepares to be first to receive double-hand transplant in Canada

After the surgery, transplant patients face a long recovery

Most Read