Robert Bogunovic (left) and Locke Duncan at the People’s Party of Canada event in Chilliwack on April 27 where Bogunovic was chosen as the candidate for Chilliwack-Hope in the Oct. 21 federal election. (Submitted)

Candidate chosen for People’s Party of Canada in Chilliwack-Hope

Robert Bogunovic a teacher opposed to paying union dues because of the ‘the grand Marxist agenda’

With a federal election less than six months away, riding associations across the country are getting together to find and choose candidates.

Chilliwack-Hope Member of Parliament Mark Strahl has confirmed he will stand for re-election for the Conservatives in the Oct. 21 vote.

Up until this week, Strahl had no confirmed opponents lined up. But on April 27, local members of the upstart People’s Party of Canada (PPC) gathered at a Sardis restaurant to choose Robert Bogunovic as the first PPC candidate for Chilliwack-Hope.

• READ MORE: Bernier’s People’s Party of Canada arrives in the Fraser Valley

This is the first time the region has seen a party farther to the right on the political spectrum than the Conservatives, who have held the seat handily for decades.

Bogunovic stood for nomination as did Locke Duncan. Bogunovic won with 16 of the 26 ballots cast over Duncan, who was described as “a hard working blue collar individual that hasn’t voted in over 20 years,” by local riding association CEO Yale Gibson.

Bogunovic is a high school social studies teacher in the Chilliwack school district, a deacon in his church, and is a founding member of the PPC and the executive board in Chilliwack-Hope.

“His experience has provided him with a great understanding of both sides of every major issue facing Canada today,” Gibson wrote via email.

Bogunovic was in the news last summer when the Labour Relations Board ruled that he could not get out of paying union dues as a teacher because of his belief that a Marxist conspiracy is taking over Western civilization. He asked for a religious exemption to paying dues claiming that trade unionism “is a major part of the grand Marxist agenda.”

The LRB rejected his application, finding that his opposition to unions was political rather than religious. He subsequently appealed, but that appeal was also rejected.

• READ MORE: Chilliwack teacher’s request to opt out of union on religious grounds rejected

• READ MORE: Appeal rejected for Chilliwack teacher who objects to union dues on religious grounds

The upstart PPC led by Maxime Bernier was formed just last fall after Bernier resigned from the Conservative Party, following his loss to Andrew Scheer in the leadership race.

There are just two candidates firmly in place in Chilliwack-Hope with Strahl running for re-election, and now Bogunovic for the PPC.

In the last election in 2015, the federal Liberals under candidate Louis De Jaeger received 33.8 per cent of the vote behind Strahl’s 42.3 per cent. Since then, however, De Jaeger stepped away from the Liberals last month in the wake of the SNC-Lavalin affair and the expulsion of Jody Wilson-Raybould and Jane Philpott.

• READ MORE: Chilliwack-Hope Liberal candidate leaves party over SNC Lavalin affair

“Although we are disappointed with his decision, we do need to move on and find a credible candidate for Chilliwack-Hope,” riding president Greg Nelmes said via email. “The Liberal Party of Canada remains a big tent party appealing to a broad spectrum of Canadians. The values of the Liberals are strong and progressive and represent real, positive change that supports the middle class and all those struggling to join it.”

As for the Green Party, local riding association president Ron Evans said they are seeking a candidate.

“We currently have one contender and expect our nominations to close in mid-May,” Evans said.

Tracey O’Hara with the local NDP electoral district association said the party is holding a nomination meeting in early June to choose a candidate.

Nationally, the latest polling numbers from Nanos show the Conservatives at 34.9 per cent, followed by the Liberals at 32 per cent, the NDP at 16.5 percent, the Greens at 9 per cent, the Bloc Quebecois at 4.1 per cent, and the PPC at 0.5 per cent.


@PeeJayAitch
paul.henderson@theprogress.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

Fleeing helicopter that landed in Chilliwack part of major cross-border drug bust: documents

The helicopter eventually landed at a rural property near Chilliwack

Vedder Rotary trail network in Chilliwack will be closed for five days on the south side

The upgrade will take until Friday so trail users asked to take alternate routes

Chilliwack encouraged to commemorate liberation of Holland

Planning already underway to mark the 75th anniversary of the event

UPDATE: RCMP confirm body of missing Chilliwack senior found

Ethel ‘Grace’ Baranyk had severe dementia

RCMP urge caution for back to school drivers

Police are asking drivers to slow down and watch for pedestrians

VIDEO: RCMP officer killed in the line of duty remembered ‘through the laughter of children’

Sarah Beckett Memorial Playground opens with ceremony in Langford

Border crossings across Lower Mainland seeing lengthy delays

Sumas, Peace Arch and Surrey-Blaine border crossings seeing long wait times

Thousands cycle to conquer cancer

The 11th annual Ride to Conquer Cancer took place Saturday morning, Aug. 24 in Surrey, B.C.

PHOTOS: Brazil military begins operations to fight Amazon fires

Amazon fires have become a global issue, escalating tensions between Brazil and European countries

Racist confrontation in Richmond parking lot caught on camera

Woman can be heard yelling racial slurs, swear words at woman in apparent parking dispute

Groups ready campaign to help young voters identify ‘fake news’ in election

The media literacy campaign to focus on identifying misinformation and suspicious sources online

Big rally in northern B.C. draws attention to continuing lumber crisis

Mayor Joan Atkinson says about 400 workers have been directly affected by the closure of the Canfor mill

Orangeville Northmen take Minto Cup at Langley Events Centre

Swept best-of-five series 3-0 over Victoria Shamrocks

Expanded support to help B.C. youth from care attend university still falling short

Inadequate support, limited awareness and eligibility restrictions some of the existing challenges

Most Read