Canada faces huge debts as the economy recovers from the pandemic. People’s Party of Canada Leader Maxime Bernier traveled to Prince George on Friday evening to present details of his plan to put the country back in the dark.
For starters, it would end all COVID-19 wage subsidy programs for businesses and individuals and allow businesses to operate without pandemic restrictions.
“Any promises that other establishment parties will make, I will cut them because we are broke, and we need to balance the budget immediately, in four years,” said Bernier. “And unlike (Conservative leader Erin) O’Toole, it’s easy to balance the budget if you have the courage to convince yourself. I know there are entrepreneurs in this country who just want to work, so if we open up the economy, we won’t need all of these programs.
Speaking from the bandstand at Lheidli T’enneh Memorial Park, Bernier targeted the CBC, which draws its budget from federal grants.
“We can save a billion dollars over there by cutting the CBC,” Bernier said, eliciting cheers from the crowd of about 400 people gathered in the park.
Foreign aid programs, immigration and Canada’s role in United Nations treaties would also change drastically under a PPC government.
“All the money that we give to African countries to fight climate change, we will not do it,” said Bernier. “Do you really believe that the African dictatorship is using money to fight climate change? So we can save $ 5 billion there.
“We know the UN is a dysfunctional organization because there are around 133 countries that are members of the UN and a large majority of them are communist countries or countries under dictatorship. We, the countries of Western civilization, are a huge minority, which is why the UN is a socialist organization that unites to impose its views on us. “
Bernier would also remove Canada from the World Health Organization and eliminate corporate welfare tax incentives, which he said would save the country an additional $ 5-10 billion.
“Do you really believe it’s right to tax a small business here and force this entrepreneur to pay taxes and after that we give it to Bombardier, GM or SNC Lavelin – more corporate welfare,” did he declare. “We will have a corporate tax system that is fair to everyone. We are not a globalist organization and we don’t know what to deal with the globalists, we want more of our own sovereignty.
He says Canada’s current immigration rate of 400,000 new people each year is unsustainable and should be reduced to 150,000 per year, with more emphasis on finding skilled workers.
“We want to help real refugees where their lives are in danger in another country, not those who cross the border in my province of Quebec with Gucci (clothing), saying their life is in danger in New York State” , said Bernier. “They’re crossing our border illegally, and that’s OK for Trudeau and OK for O’Toole. We need an immigration system that will be respected by us and by others around the world. This is not respected at the moment.
Bernier was almost an hour late for the rally, having driven from Fort St. John with Ryan Dyck, the PPC candidate for Prince George-Peace River Northern Rockies. While awaiting their arrival, Jeremy Gustafson took advantage of his extended stage time to present himself as the party’s Cariboo-Prince George candidate. The former Campbell River film production crew member recently abandoned his studio-sized condominium in Vancouver and now lives in his riding of Horsefly.
The Francophone leaders’ first debate on Thursday did not include Bernier, as his party won just 1.6% of the popular vote in the 2019 election. That did not meet the minimum requirement of four percent for participate in the debate and it was also determined that he did not have at least four percent national support in public poll averages five days after the election was called.
But Bernier says polls show the PPC’s popularity is growing and has between five and seven percent of national support, ahead of the Green Party’s three percent. He is asking the 300,000 people who voted for his party in 2019 to each try to convince 10 other voters to give the party a chance on September 20, which he says would be enough for a 16% turnout in parliament.
“It took 20 years and six elections for the Green Party of Canada to win over 1.6% of the vote; we did it our first year, ”he said. “We have a full slate of 312 candidates across the country and all of these candidates are ready to fight for our country.”
With recent polls showing a close race between Liberals and Conservatives, Bernier rejected O’Toole’s argument that a vote for the PPC would reduce the odds of defeating the Liberals because it would split the vote. He said the country’s two most popular parties lean towards leftist policies and that a Conservative government would be no different from Trudeau’s Liberals.
“Canadians are smart and they can see that if they vote for the Conservatives it is like voting for the Liberals,” said Bernier. “It will be the same – climate change, the lack of balanced budgets, no pipelines and the equalization formula which is not fair right now. You are giving a lot of money to the eastern provinces and we must change this equalization policy to be fair to everyone by being less generous.
Bernier told a crowd of about 400 people the story of a CBC reporter who contacted Bernier’s election team last week and asked for the sexual orientation / racial identity of the 312 PPC candidates on the ballot. vote for the September 20 election. The same questions were put to the other parties. Two days later, when asked again for Bernier’s answer, he said he didn’t know and didn’t care.
“Who cares, there is no racial policy with us,” said Bernier. “Our candidates are with us because they share, like you and me, our values. They want to put our country first. It is not important, the color of the skin. But it is awakened culture, it is everywhere.
The PPC would abolish the Indian Act, which Bernier said established systemic racism, as a first step in addressing property rights and the fundamental right of First Nations communities to have clean drinking water.
In his 50-minute speech, Bernier said his party was the only one since the start of the pandemic in March 2020 to voice objections to COVID-19 lockdowns and their crippling effect on the economy. This sparked the end of the lockdown movement, which he admits was not popular but necessary to defend small stores and business owners who lose their livelihoods while large stores like Wal-Mart continued to keep their doors open.
Bernier, 58, is against the vaccination passport adopted by some provinces and is satisfied with his decision not to be vaccinated. He says Canadians should have the freedom to make that choice.
“If I have COVID, my chance of dying from COVID is 0.5% and my chance of surviving from COVID is 99.5%,” he said. “So for me, I’m taking a risk, it’s not a big risk, and I’m happy with my decision.
“We are for the freedom of choice. I respect people who have decided to be vaccinated or who have decided to wear a mask. Everyone should have freedom. But when it comes to the vaccine, they have to have the right information and informed consent, and I’m not sure our federal Canadians have the right information to decide whether they want the vaccine or not.
Bernier criticizes closures since the start of the pandemic and was arrested in June in St-Pierre-Jolys, Man., For attending a rally in violation of health restrictions
“When Trudeau said that these Canadians (who are not vaccinated) are putting their children and other children at risk, that is a lie,” he said. “It’s segregation. It’s a lie because we have the science on our side and we know that anyone, vaccinated and unvaccinated Canadians, can have COVID-19 and spread COVID-19. So they divided us for nothing. I am no more dangerous than a vaccinated person. Anyone can spread the virus. ”
Bernier, a former minister in the Harper government, wanted to visit Prince George during his campaign to show voters in the two traditionally Conservative ridings that there is a legitimate alternative to incumbent MPs Bob Zimmer and Todd Doherty.
“It’s a strong Conservative riding and the Conservatives are no longer Conservatives,” Bernier said. “I think our candidate Ryan is very lucky because people are fed up with the same thing. This is about change and we are the only party fighting for true conservative values.
“People know it’s not about me, it’s about our country and getting our freedom back. I love to run, and now I do a sprint, but a common sense revolution is more of a marathon.
Bernier was in Saskatoon on Thursday and will visit Vancouver on Sunday.