Sudbury

Maxime Bernier's People's Party of Canada arrives in northern Ontario

Canada's newest political party is putting down roots in northern Ontario. The People's Party of Canada founded by former Conservative leadership hopeful Maxime Bernier plans to run a candidate in every riding in the country in this October's election.

Sudbury riding president says they have over 100 members so far

Leader Maxime Bernier speaks at a People's Party of Canada rally in Gatineau, Quebec on Tuesday, November 20, 2018. (Patrick Doyle/The Canadian Press)

Canada's newest political party is putting down roots in northern Ontario.

The People's Party of Canada founded by former Conservative leadership hopeful Maxime Bernier plans to run a candidate in every riding in the country in this October's election, including the seven in northeastern Ontario.

Jason LaFace, the first president of the newly formed Sudbury riding association, says he's already had to deal with the perception some have of the party as a populist movement with ideological connections to U.S. President Donald Trump.  

"You know, a lot of people are like 'Oh, you guys are just like Trump,' because of our views on border security and stuff," he says.

"And our party is all about immigration. Legal immigration."

LaFace, a professional club DJ who is planning to open a cannabis edibles cafe in Sudbury, says he has worked on Liberal and Conservative campaigns in the past.

But he was drawn to Bernier's call to stop illegal migrants crossing the border and to cut foreign aid payments with the goal of investing in Canadian services and infrastructure instead.

LaFace says there are over 100 People's Party members in Sudbury and riding associations are being set up and candidates recruited across the north.

Some have suggested all the People's Party will do in the election is carve off enough Conservative votes to ensure the Liberals form government again, but LaFace calls that a "myth."

"There are some Liberal views in our party, there are some Libertarian views," he says. 

"It's good that it's a mix of everyone, but at least everybody's working together strongly and looking at what's best for Canada right now."

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Erik White

journalist

Erik White is a CBC journalist based in Sudbury. He covers a wide range of stories about northern Ontario. Connect with him on Twitter @erikjwhite. Send story ideas to erik.white@cbc.ca

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