People’s Party of Canada leader Maxime Bernier speaks to supporters at a fundraiser in Chilliwack on Feb. 23. (Jenna Hauck/ The Progress) People’s Party of Canada leader Maxime Bernier. (Jenna Hauck/ The Progress)

Maxime Bernier slams supply management in Chilliwack

Among other topics addressed, PPC leader calls dairy industry a ‘cartel’ using a ‘socialist system’

Maxime Bernier prides himself as someone who does politics differently, decrying “political correctness,” unwaveringly standing by his principles and policies no matter the audience.

So it may not have come as a surprise to the 35-or-so People’s Party of Canada (PPC) supporters who attended a fundraiser in Chilliwack on Saturday, that the former Conservative Party leadership candidate slammed the “cartel” that is Canadian dairy farmers.

“Supply management… people know it is a bad system,” Bernier told the crownd of approximately 35 who attended his event at the Coast Hotel on Feb. 23. “It is a socialist system started by Pierre Elliott Trudeau, started more than 45 years ago, and the Conservatives and the NDP and the Liberals they want to keep that system.

“We need to abolish that and every Canadian family would save around $800 a year.”

Bernier used his harsh criticism of supply management – maybe intentionally spoken in a community where dairy farming is dominant – as an example of how the PPC does politics differently.

• PHOTOS: Maxime Bernier makes stop in Chilliwack for fundraiser event

“We have a vision,” he said. “For me, if only 10 per cent of the population agrees with some of our ideas, I will speak about it because we know we have the right ideas. It is based on western civilization ideas of freedom and personal responsibility.”

Bernier said despite the youth of the PPC, created as it was just five months ago after his failed bid for the Conservative leadership, they have 36,000 member and plans to run candidates in all 338 ridings in Canada in the federal election this October.

• RELATED: Maxime Bernier tears strip off Conservatives, Scheer as he quits federal party

• RELATED: Maverick MP Maxime Bernier launches new party as The People’s Party of Canada

His talk in the Fraser Valley came just two days before Monday’s federal byelection in three ridings, Burnaby South, Outremont and York-Simcoe, where candidates finished fourth (with 10.6 per cent), sixth (2.1 per cent), and sixth (1.9 per cent) respectively.

At the meeting, Bernier suggested anything more than one per cent would be a big success given how young the party is.

“We are creating a political movement and people are coming and hearing our vision, our ideas,” he said.

He encouraged those in attendance to help out raising money, and also to speak to colleagues about finding candidates, which he hopes will be in place across the country by May.

The main focus of Bernier’s talk to the group of supporters was about how the PPC is differentiated from the three main federal parties. He focused on a populist approach, decrying the others, mainly his former party the Conservatives, as pandering to special interests and telling the public what they want to hear.

He said that in an editorial board interview with the Toronto Sun, Conservative Party of Canada (CPC) leader Andrew Scheer told the newspaper that the CPC leader is a “centrist, pragmatic political party with lots of ideas for lots of people.”

“So if you translate that for me: no principles. A political party that tries to please everybody that will tell you what you want to hear to have your vote.”

Bernier spoke about the SNC Lavalin affair, claiming that the company is “too big to fail” for all the three main parties in Ottawa.

• RELATED: Q&A with federal Liberal Minister of Infrastructure and Communities

“I’m tired of that,” he said, to great applause. “Nobody is above the law, big small, medium-sized corporations.”

He also criticized foreign aid and spending money to combat climate change. He criticized equalization payments and he promoted pipeline construction.

On immigration, Bernier said 49 per cent of Canadians want fewer immigrants and the PPC proposes going back to the average immigration rates under Stephen Harper’s tenure.

“I’m a proud Canadian and I don’t want the challenges that some countries in Europe are having with integration of the immigrants with their population.”

Over and over he emphasized how the major political parties are too much alike, and how the PPC is different.

“On immigration they are the same,” he said. “Climate change, they are the same. On the equalization formula, they don’t want to discuss about that.”

Bernier told the small crowd that the PPC is growing, but they need to raise more money, the need to get their message out to be a real alternative in the October election.

“We are building something great. We are making history right now.”

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


@PeeJayAitch
paul.henderson@theprogress.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

 

People’s Party of Canada leader Maxime Bernier speaks to supporters at a fundraiser in Chilliwack on Feb. 23. (Jenna Hauck/ The Progress) People’s Party of Canada leader Maxime Bernier. (Jenna Hauck/ The Progress)

Just Posted

Latest plan is to fly trapped fish by helicopter over Big Bar slide

Multi-pronged plan set in motion to freesalmon blocked by landslide in the Fraser River

Light trucks are being converted to gas and propane in City of Chilliwack fleet

It came to light when tenders for certain trucks were deemed non-compliant without propane option

Family of missing Chilliwack senior with dementia frustrated with situation, heartened by community support

Nine days since Grace was last seen the question remains: ‘How can an 86-year-old just disappear?’

One-day delay for trial of Chilliwack pastor facing child porn charges

Main Street Church’s former executive pastor John Vermeer set for seven-day trial

Rail group to bring plan to Abbotsford council

Group is calling for plans to run trains on rail line between Chilliwack and Surrey

VIDEO: Young couple found dead in northern B.C. had been shot, police say

Chynna Noelle Deese of the U.S. and Lucas Robertson Fowler of Australia were found along Highway 97

Hazmat incident closes down Lower Mainland street

One person is believed to be dead, police said

VIDEO: Man found dead near B.C. teens’ truck could be linked to a double homicide

RCMP said they are looking for Kam McLeod, 19, and Bryer Schmegelsky, 18, of Port Alberni

Unsealed record suggests U.S. man convicted of murdering Vancouver Island couple left DNA on zip tie in 1987

William Talbott is set to be sentenced Wednesday in the murders of Jay Cook and Tanya Van Cuylenborg

Okanagan Air Cadet challenges gender-exclusive haircut policy

Haircut regulation inspires challenge around gender identity

Pride flags stolen from Lower Mainland church

Went missing sometime Friday night, says Maple Ridge reverend

VIDEO: Bystander training gains traction as tool to prevent sexual harassment, violence

Julia Gartley was sexually assaulted after an event, and no one stepped in to help

Two brands of ice cream sandwiches recalled due to presence of metal

The Canadian Food Inspection Agency issued a recall on Iceberg and Originale Augustin brands

Sexual assaults, extortion on the rise even as crime rates stay low: Stats Canada

Rates of police-reported sexual assault rose for the fourth year in a row

Most Read