July 13, 2024
What's a debate if you don't hear from the opposite side?
Bernier and his party are never likely to make a breakthrough if he is denied a spot in the televised leaders’ debate.
Bernier and his party are never likely to make a breakthrough if he is denied a spot in the televised leaders’ debate.

OTTAWA — Reading the electoral platform of Maxime Bernier’s People’s Party induces a slight throbbing about the temples.

From his call for a “Canadian values” test for immigrants to lowering the number of newcomers accepted to “between 100,000 and 150,000” from the estimated 330,000 this year, Bernier has proven himself to be a cynical opportunist.

This, after all, is the man who admonished his Conservative party leadership rival, Kellie Leitch, for proposing similar policies during a televised debate just two years ago.

“She said in the campaign that we must look at our immigration system in Canada (but) as you know, we’re not like in the U.S., we don’t have the same problem with illegal immigrants. I don’t know why Ms. Leitch is playing a karaoke version of Donald Trump in Canada. … We are open to immigration,” he said.

As a former industry minister, Bernier knows well that Canada increasingly relies on immigration for labour force growth — that a rapidly aging population requires the hundreds of thousands of highly educated newcomers (often better qualified than those born in Canada) to drive our economy.

But he also knows that more than a third of Canadians have negative views of immigration. He scorched the earth behind him as he left the Conservative party he came within a whisker of leading. Now, his political future rests on a tour of Canada’s church basements, belting out karaoke versions of Trump’s greatest hits — “My Way,” “Don’t Worry (about climate change), Be Happy,” etc.

It’s unlikely to end well. Most opinion polls have the People’s Party tracking between three and five per cent nationally. A poll in Bernier’s own southeast Quebec constituency suggests he’s neck and neck with the Conservative candidate in a riding he has won with no less than 50 per cent of the vote in every election since 2006. No other PP candidate is given much hope of winning by pollsters doing more granular constituency level surveys.


See Also:

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(2) ‘Significant and clear’ threat: What Canada’s spy chief says about China behind closed doors

(3) ‘CONVENIENT’: There’s Widespread Skepticism Towards Video Of Crazy Racist Lady Who Just Happens To Have “Vote Andrew Scheer” Sign

(4) Liberals to dragoon telecos in bid for re-election

(5) City’s explanation of SNC-Lavalin bid doesn’t wash with public