EXCLUSIVE: Maxime Bernier talks immigration, SNC-Lavalin and China ahead of byelections
A few days ahead of Monday’s byelection, The Post Millennial had a chance to sit down with PPC party leader Maxime Bernier and discuss his party’s progress, international relations and border security.
DZSURDZSA: Let’s start local. Let’s talk about the local byelection in Burnaby South.
We’ve made it, Canada! After a long and admittedly exhausting year, we can put all things behind us as we set our sights on 2020!
2019 was a fairly eventful year for Canada, as we all know. Whether it was the buzzing election, the electrifying year of sports, or headlines made by celebrities and public figures, it’s fair to say Canada had its share of winners and losers. So here is our year-end list of the five greatest losers of 2019!
5. Maxime Bernier
Maxime Bernier, the longtime Conservative Party MP for the Quebec riding of Beauce, has had a fairly interesting year—one that’s been well documented in the public eye. After losing the bid for Conservative party leadership in 2017, Bernier founded the People’s Party of Canada, giving right-wing voters an alternative to the tradition conservatism they were familiar with.
Well, that did not work out well for Bernier, as he lost his party’s only seat in a landslide to Conservative candidate Richard Lehoux.
Projections had Bernier in a comfortable lead. The loss leaves his party unrepresented in the House, and for that, Bernier has earned a spot on this list.
4. Rachel McKinnon
Dr. Rachel McKinnon, philosophy professor, cyclist, trans woman, came to fame in 2018 when she made history by being the first trans athlete to win the women’s 2018 UCI Masters Track Cycling World Championships.
McKinnon is a vocal trans advocate who has spoken out in favour of trans women competing in women’s sports, has physically dominated biological women in her own sport of cycling, and, in 2019 took to Twitter to pen endless threads against the so-called “cotton ceiling,” the final barrier preventing trans women from being equally accepted.
3. Ron MacLean
Most of the nation mourned when the beloved Don Cherry was axed from his position at Hockey Night in Canada. The legendary sports broadcaster, whose career spanned over three decades, was cut over “controversial” comments made about the poppy.
Even Ron MacLean, who sat beside Cherry for many years and during those controversial poppy statements, nodded along to Cherry, which is probably why so many feel as though he threw Don under the bus.
MacLean attempted to explain why Grapes was fired, though watching Ron without Don next to him felt wrong to a nation so used to seeing the duo on their screen at once.
“There were steps that needed to be taken after what he said, and he didn’t want to take those steps,” said MacLean between the first and second period of the first Saturday night NHL game after Cherry’s firing.
“I sat all week long reflecting, listening to you, and I have heard you. I mean you the viewer. I’ve reflected by listening to my own heart. I’ve struggled mightily to find the words, and I’m not sure I even have them now. But they say it’s a good thing because when you can find the words it’s dead in your heart. And it’s not dead in my heart,” said MacLean in the intermission which some commented on seemed like a eulogy at a funeral.
Throwing someone under the bus is never cool. Throwing someone under the bus who helped save your career on multiple instances like Cherry did to MacLean? Nearly unforgivable, in Canada’s books.
2. Jessica Yaniv
In terms of skyrocketing from someone who was completely unknown to the general public, all the way to being public enemy number one within the span of only a few months, few can claim they’d done it better than Jessica Yaniv.
For those somehow still unfamiliar with Yaniv, her case made international headlines after news broke that Yaniv, who is a biological male and has male genitalia, sought out immigrant-own salons, attempting them to force women to wax her scrotum.
The public was immediately against her, and it just got worse for Yaniv from there. While her case was going viral, Yaniv appeared on TPM contributor and YouTube star Blaire White’s live stream to discuss allegations of sexually predatory behaviour from Yaniv towards minors. During that stream, Yaniv revealed that she had a stun gun, an illegal weapon and Canada, to which she was eventually charged.
1. Jessica Allen
Though most felt as though the firing of Don Cherry was unjust, Jess Allen from CTV’s The Social decided to rock the boat by lambasting Cherry and the importance that hockey has to Canadians.
“I’m told he’s a Canadian icon, and he’s a symbol of the great sport of hockey, which is the sport that unites us across this country, and that narrative is the one that strikes a nerve with me, because I don’t worship at the altar of hockey, I never have,” said Allen.
“Maybe it’s because of where I grew up, and going to a couple different universities. In my mind, in my experience, who does. They all tended to be white boys, who weren’t very nice, they weren’t very thoughtful they were often bullies, their parents were able to afford to spend $5000 a year on minor hockey. You could do other things than spend time in an arena, you could go on a trip and learn about the world. See other things. The world is a big place, maybe get outside of that bubble.”
For those comments, Allen was ridiculed online. And for that, Allen lands on our list of biggest losers of 2019.
More charges have been laid in connection with an antifa-related protest at Mohawk College in September. Hamilton police are still looking to identify some additional suspects.
Alaa Al Soufi, 27, was the latest to be arrested on Nov. 19 and has four charges pending including assault, theft under $5000, intimidation, and disguise with intent.
The charges stem from an earlier altercation that took place during a Dave Rubin and Maxime Bernier fundraiser for the People’s Party. The fundraiser was held at Mohawk College on Sept. 29, 2019. The event went viral after video appeared of an elderly woman having her pathway blocked by a group of protestors.
Soufi’s parents own a Syrian restaurant in Toronto called Soufi’s which had to temporarily close, citing death threats after the protest.
Soufi allegedly went up to a woman at the event in the parking lot, “impeded her way” and “slapped a baseball hat that she was wearing off her head,” said Hamilton Police Inspector David Hennick said in a public police report.
Police have since managed to identify the female victim in question and she supports the charges being laid. The theft charge is for stealing her hat.
Charges were also laid on Michael Lickers, 27-years-of-age from Hamilton. He is being charged with assault level one and intimidation. Lickers has since been released on a promise to appear with court date of Tuesday, December 24, 2019.
Police have released photos of the remaining suspects and ask that anybody who has any information to come forward.
The former Daisy Group employee accused of leaking Warren Kinsella’s Project Cactus smear campaign against Maxime Bernier and the People’s Party of Canada, has settled out of court and will not pay one penny of the $1-million lawsuit filed against her.
“Daisy and Aziza Mohammed have resolved all disputes between them. None of the allegations of either side has been proven in court, and on some things – like the various allegations of discriminatory attitudes in the workplace – they have simply agreed to disagree,” said Mohammed’s lawyer Mark Bourrie in a statement.
“But they do agree on the following. Daisy acknowledges that Ms. Mohammed’s actions with respect to Daisy were informed by a desire to do what she believed was right… (and she) advises that no other Daisy clients need be concerned in that regard.”
Kinsella sued Mohammed after the Globe and Mail reported on October 18, 2019 that the Conservative party hired Daisy Group for a “seek and destroy” mission against the PPC and its leader Bernier.
A day before the settlement, CBC News published related audio recordings and excerpts of Kinsella firing up his staff for Project Cactus.
“I want the hatred you have for Maxime Bernier to wash over you as a purifying force,” Kinsella informs his staff in a recording CBC says was made at a May 16 meeting.
“We actually have a white supremacist trying to become prime minister of Canada. I’ve run campaigns depicting Preston Manning, Stockwell Day, Kim Campbell, depicting them as racists,” Kinsella boasts.
“None of them were. But I was successful at depicting them as racists. This guy actually is a racist. Okay? So it’s low-hanging fruit.”
According to Kinsella’s statement of claim filed in Ontario Superior Court two weeks after the Globe story, he was suing Mohammed for breach of contract and breach of confidentiality for alleged going to the media with the scheme.
To this date, neither Kinsella has acknowledged that his Project Cactus client was the Conservative Party nor has party leader Andrew Scheer or any of his associates admitted to hiring Daisy Group for the job.
Three people have been arrested and charged by Hamilton police in relation to protests held at a speaking event with political commentator Dave Rubin and People’s Party leader Maxime Bernier last month, report Hamilton Police.
Of those arrested were Alaa Al Soufi, 27, the son of owners of the popular Soufi’s restaurant in Toronto. Also arrested was Kevin Metcalf, 33, who allegedly attacked a man at an anti-M-103 rally in Toronto last year, and Maximiliano Herrera, 30, each for incidents that took place outside of the Mohawk College speaking event.
Metcalf, a former employee of the Canadian Journalists for Free Expression, had originally posted about his arrest in a lengthy Facebook post on September 30th:
The event gained international attention after a video emerged of three protestors blocking the path of an elderly woman attempting to enter the event. Soufi can be seen in the video wearing a balaclava.
The owners of the restaurant, Husam and Shahnaz Al-Soufi confirmed their son was at the protest, with Husam telling TPM he had no prior knowledge of antifa’s brutish activity, stating: “I was so ignorant about what was happening. I thought antifa was anti-fascist—[that’s] anti-Hitler, anti-terrorist. I had no idea it happened in Hamilton. I had no idea about Mr. Maxime’s speech.”
He went on to say he prays that his son will one day have the opportunity to apologize to the elderly woman who was blocked by his son. “I pray it will happen. And when I say pray, I usually look at a beautiful thing and make a wish. Usually, this beautiful thing is my wife… She is a lovely senior lady and my son blocked her way. Wearing a scary mask is not something we should accept. It is legal but immoral.”
Police say the September 29 event was met with a large group of “more than 100 protestors.”
Four people at the event were arrested and later released unconditionally, according to officers.
Police say that arrests were made after reviewing video footage in the days following the event. Several suspects were identified.
Police say they arrested one male suspect on October 22, with two male suspects turning themselves in the next day.
Soufi has been charged with two counts of intimidation with intent, with one count of causing a disturbance.
Metcalf has been charged with obstructing to police.
Herrera has been charged with intimidation and assault.