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People's Party of Canada

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People's Party of Canada

Parti populaire du Canada
LeaderMaxime Bernier[1]
FounderMaxime Bernier
FoundedSeptember 14, 2018
Split fromConservative Party of Canada
Headquarters205–290 St-Joseph Blvd
Gatineau, QC J8Y 3Y3
Membership (2019)Increase 40,000[2]
Classical liberalism[4]
Political positionRight-wing[8][5]
Colours     Purple navy      Red
0 / 105
House of Commons
1 / 338

The People's Party of Canada (PPC; French: Parti populaire du Canada) or simply the People's Party is a federal political party in Canada. The party was formed by Maxime Bernier, on September 14, 2018, shortly after his resignation from the Conservative party. The party has been referred to as conservative,[9] libertarian,[5] populist,[10] classical liberal,[11] and right-wing.[12] The PPC has formed electoral district associations (EDAs) in all of Canada's 338 ridings and plans to run a full slate of candidates in the 2019 Canadian federal election.

Bernier, a former cabinet minister and leadership candidate for the Conservative Party of Canada, is the party's only Member of Parliament, having represented the riding of Beauce since 2006.



Other logo of the PPC, used in some places on the website and in some party-branded apparel.

The People's Party of Canada was formed a few weeks after the resignation of Maxime Bernier, a former Conservative Party leadership candidate and cabinet minister from the Conservative Party of Canada. In his resignation speech, Bernier stated his reasons for leaving: "I've come to realize this party is too intellectually and morally corrupt to be reformed" and mentioned issues such as political correctness, corporate welfare, equalization reform and supply management, where he felt that the Conservative party abandoned their principles under leader Andrew Scheer, to whom Bernier finished runner-up in the 2017 Conservative Party leadership election.[13] In a National Post op-ed, Bernier stated that his motive for forming the party was to reverse the public choice dynamic in the Canadian political system resulting in vote-buying and pandering by prominent political parties in Canada. He reiterated his belief that the Conservative Party cannot be reformed to end this practice and that a new political party is required.[14]

Bernier was accused by prominent Conservative politicians such as former Prime Ministers Stephen Harper[15] and Brian Mulroney[16] of trying to divide the political right. He responded to Power & Politics that he wanted to focus on the disaffected voters, stating that "there is 20 per cent of the population who do not even bother to vote" and cited the political rise of French President Emmanuel Macron as an example.[17][18][19] Bernier later cited the breakthrough of the People's Alliance of New Brunswick in the 2018 New Brunswick election and the Coalition Avenir Québec win in 2018 Quebec elections as examples of voters disdaining traditional parties and a desire for change by wanting to vote for new parties.[18][20]

Prior to his resignation from the Conservative Party, Bernier had begun re-establishing contact with individuals who supported his 2017 Conservative leadership bid; they believed he had the necessary support to register a party with Elections Canada.[21] Le Devoir reported that members of seven Conservative constituency associations defected to the party.[22] A few days after announcing the party name, Libertarian Party leader Tim Moen, who previously offered the leadership to Bernier stated that he was open to the idea of a merger with the People's Party which could accelerate the party's fundraising efforts and nominated candidates.[23] However, Bernier reaffirmed he has no interest in a merger, when asked by Global News.[24] When asked about organizing the party, he mentioned that he will use tools that did not exist in the past, such as the use of social media.[25][26][27]

Bernier plans to run candidates in all of Canada's 338 federal ridings in the 2019 federal elections.[28] The party's registration documents were officially submitted to Elections Canada on October 10.[29] In addition, he stated that EDAs will be in place by December 31, 2018, and the EDAs would start focusing on finding candidates starting in January 2019.[27] On November 1, the party revealed that it had over 30,000 "founding members".[30] In November 2018, Minister of Democratic Institutions Karina Gould said that Maxime Bernier would qualify for debates hosted by the Leaders' Debates Commission if the party nominated candidates in 90% of ridings.[31][32]

The party held rallies in Vancouver, Calgary, Toronto, Ottawa–Gatineau,[33] Winnipeg,[34] Saskatoon,[35] and Quebec City.[36] In 2019, it held rallies in Saint John and Halifax.[37] On December 21, 2018, the party established EDAs in all 338 electoral districts.[38]


The party received its eligibility status on November 11, 2018, and was registered by Elections Canada on January 19, 2019, after nominating candidates for by-elections in Outremont, York-Simcoe, Burnaby South which were called for February 25, 2019, and Nanaimo—Ladysmith.[39][40][41] In the February 25th by-elections, the party received 10.9% of the vote in Burnaby South and 1.5% in each of York—Simcoe and Outremont.[42]

Bernier told the National Post that the party would start candidate nominations for the October general election after the by-elections.[43] On March 25, 2019, Bernier announced in a press conference that the party has opened an online search for candidates until April 23, with candidate selection meetings to follow between May 7 and May 13.[44][45] In an interview on Power Play, he said that the party plans to have their first convention on June 1 to 2.[46] The party held their conference on August 18 - August 19 where "roughly 500 party officials took part in door knocking workshops, traditional media and social media training, debate training and mock debate."[47]

During the same March 2019 conference, the party told journalists that they noticed coverage was becoming too critical. [48][49]In August 2019, Wilfrid Laurier University professor David Millard Haskell,[50] argued that the media was biased towards the party by distorting the platform, reporting different audience numbers, ignoring the fact that their candidates were from "all races, ethnicities, and religions" and "the national media" not reporting an incident that militant protesters threatened "violence" against the party.[51]

In April 2019, Vancouver Quadra district association president Angelo Isidorou resigned stating the party was an "utter free for all" and had been "hijacked by egomaniacs". Resignations have also occurred over accusations that the party has been infiltrated by "racist, homophobic, xenophobic and hateful influences".[52]

In July 2019, the entire People's Party of Canada board in a Winnipeg riding resigned, claiming the upstart party is being taken over by "racists", "anti-Semites" and "conspiracy theorists". The resignation letter from the former executive in the Elmwood—Transcona riding says they cannot sit by as bigoted views hold prominence in public discussions about the party.[53][54][55]

Principles and policies

French logo for the PPC

Bernier stated that his party is "a coalition of people who are disenchanted with traditional politicians who say one thing one day and the other the next".[25] He mentioned that his platform will be based around the principles of freedom, responsibility, fairness and respect.[8][56] Bernier has stated that these principles are non-negotiable[57], but members will have input on policies as they are refined[58]; a candidate questionnaire ask potential candidates about polices that want in the platform.[59] He has also stated that the party is neither left-wing or right-wing, but the difference between being free and not free.[60] In addition to these principles, Bernier says the party will advocate for "smart populism", which he defines it as "populism without emotions" , speaking for "all Canadians" and not appeasing "special interest groups".[61][62] He later told Vassy Kapelos that his party will debate discussions that "the leadership and the caucus" did not want to have when he was a party member.[63] but also stated that "people who espouse racist, antisemitic or xenophobic positions “are not welcome” in his party."[64] The party has been referred to as conservative,[65] libertarian,[5] populist,[66] classical liberal,[67] and right-wing.[12]

Currently, the People's Party of Canada platform will be gradually unveiled over the coming weeks, but for topics that are not covered yet it will follow the platform that Bernier ran on during his 2017 Conservative leadership campaign.[68] Bernier stated that the platform "will be built on facts."[69] Prominent platform planks include ending corporate welfare and phrasing supply management " over a number of years to allow farmers to adapt", through compensation yet "save Canadians billions of dollars annually" through lower prices. Following the launch of the party, Bernier stated in a TV interview with BNN Bloomberg that the telecom industry deregulation, increasing airline competition, reducing tax brackets, and having a discussion around the privatization of Canada Post which were key components of his original 2017 Conservative leadership platform; which he have an interest in.[70] He said that social conservatism policies such as abortion and gender identity would not be part of the party platform.[71]

Health Care

The party's platform argues that "it is up to the provinces to implement reforms in line with the more efficient and less costly mixed universal systems of other developed countries. Throwing more federal money at the problem is not the right approach." They plan to replace the Canada Health Transfer with "a permanent transfer of tax points of equivalent value to the provinces and territories" by giving up the GST revenue collected by the federal government and "establish a temporary program to compensate poorer provinces" disadvantage from the replacement. The party create the conditions for provincial and territorial governments to innovate will maintaining the Canada Health Act.[72]

Foreign Affairs

The party platform argues that foreign polices should be "focused on the security and prosperity of Canadians, not an ideological approach that compromises our interests". It plans to "work closely with our allies to maintain a peaceful international order, but will not get involved in foreign conflicts unless we have a compelling strategic interest in doing so.", withdraw from all UN commitments it it see as threatening "our sovereignty', and reduce "presence in UN institutions to a minimum.", "liberalize trade with as many countries as possible, while ensuring our security and protecting our economy from the threat of potentially hostile foreign investors.", "phasing out development aid", but "focus Canadian international assistance exclusively on emergency humanitarian action".[73][74]


The party's platform states that "it is an undisputed fact that the world's climate has always changed and will continue to change" [75] but reject what it calls “climate change alarmism.”[76] [77] The party plans to "abandon unrealistic greenhouse gas emission reduction targets", withdraw from the global fight, abolish subsidies for green technology, scrap "the Liberal government’s carbon tax" while prioritizing to the provinces, the private sector through "his broader economic polices"[78] and "investing mitigation strategies" if it occurs.[79][80]The party main focus would focus mainly on "implementing practical solutions to make Canada’s air, water and soil cleaner" [81][82]


The party advocate for possible changes to the system for immigration reform such limiting immigration to no more than 150,000 people by removing the parents and grandparents class from family reunification, focusing on economic immigration through the reform of the immigration point system , limiting temporary foreign workers to positions where "they cannot compete with Canadian workers" and making "birth tourism illegal". [83][84][85] In addition, they intends for all immigrants to undergo in-person interviews with immigration officials to determine whether their values and ideas accord with Canadian "societal norms".[86][87] The party would declare the border a port of entry to make deportation easier, build border fences at popular ports of entry crossings for migrants, rely on private sponsorship for funding new refugees rather than government support but prioritize on those who "belonging to persecuted groups who have nowhere to go in neighbouring countries" or "sexual minorities".[88]


The party platform supports a version of multiculturalism which it prescribe as keeping "some aspects of the culture of their country of origin." or "They became Canadian, but with a distinct flavour." It opposes Official Multiculturalism because encourages immigrants to keep the values and culture they left behind instead of integrating into Canadian society and adopting Canadian values and culture". The party classify "Canadian Values" as "democracy; individual rights and freedoms, including freedom of religious belief and freedom to criticize religion; equality between men and women; the equal treatment of all citizens regardless of ethnicity, religion, or sexual orientation; the rule of law; separation of state and religion; tolerance and pluralism; and loyalty to the wider society instead of to one’s clan or tribe." It describe Trudeau calling Canada "the first post-national state, with no core identity" as a form as "extreme multiculturalism". The party argues that Canada "is and has always been a diverse country. We have First Nations and Inuit, two official languages, a multiethnic population, and very different regional cultures." It vowed to scrap the Canadian Multiculturalism Act if elected, cancel all funding that promotes the concept and promote integration into "Canadian Society."[89][90]


The party platform argues that "The government of Canada has an obligation to honour the nation’s sacred commitment to our military men and women and make sure our veterans receive the support they deserve." They plan to "recognize and respect of veterans, enshrine in legislation the country’s obligations to our veterans in a Military Covenant," "reinstate the fair disability pension" and r"eemphasize the legislative guarantee of the “Benefit of doubt” standard in the Pension Act," "Instigate a line-by-line review of the New Veterans Charter" to determine which policies and programs should be retained, simplify the system and make it easier to navigate. [47][91]

Electoral results

Electoral results
Election Leader Candidates Votes % Seats +/− Position Government
2019 Maxime Bernier
0 / 338
0 / 338
Steady Steady

See also



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External links