A new party will be gracing the 2019 federal election. Earlier this morning, Maxime Bernier announced the formation of the “People’s Party of Canada” (PPC).
Leading up to the official announcement today, speculation has floated around the exact nature of the new party. With the recent announcement it looks like Maxime Bernier will be running on a populist and anti-establishment ballot in 2019.
“For too long, Canadian politics has been hijacked by interest groups, cartels, lobbies, international organisations, corporate or union interests, and the interests of politicians and bureaucrats in Ottawa who are disconnected from ordinary citizens,” said Maxime Bernier.
In a speech announcing the PPC’s formation, Maxime Bernier announces he has raised $140,000 in donations so far. The Quebec MP also hopes to have 338 candidates in the upcoming election, making the PPC a viable contender with the current federal parties.
The recently minted website includes a platform which largely references the Quebec MP’s former unorthodox positions during his time in the Conservative Party of Canada.
As a general overview the PPC has a mix of policies that stand for freer trade, smaller government, a reduction in foreign aid, stricter immigration and fairer gun laws.
Economically, the PPC intends to end corporate welfare and government subsidization of industries.
“Giving bailouts to bankrupt businesses is not only a waste of taxpayer dollars, it serves to distort the market to reward failure,” says the PPC party website.
There are plans to scrap the federal Carbon Tax, reduce the size of government and balance the budget within two years.
Citing former Prime Minister Harper’s achievement in reducing the Corporate Income Tax from 22% in 2007 to 15% in 2012, the PPC intends to reduce it even further to a mere 10%.
Maxime Bernier has frequently criticized Canada’s handling of the NAFTA talks claiming that Canada needs to put more on the table to deal better with the USA. Going even further, Maxime Bernier suggests that a Canada-China Free Trade Agreement would bolster the economy by $8 million annually.
It is no surprise that on supply management, the PPC intends to end the “outdated system”. Ending supply management would help all Canadians save $500 or more a year on dairy. In terms of how this would be done, the PPC hopes to follow Australia’s gradual phase-out and to fairly compensate farmers for the change.
As leader, Bernier also intends on removing inter-provincial trade impediments, making it easier to trade across provincial boundaries and to have workers recognized for their skills in other parts of Canada.
Speaking on immigration, the Party’s website claims that immigration “shouldn’t be used as a social engineering program for ideological purposes.”
The PPC’s plan is to orient immigration towards the economic benefit of Canadians. Immigrants with special skills in scarce sectors will be targeted by a PPC immigration policy.
“The People’s Party will respect our traditions, our history, and what makes Canada a unique place in the world, without trying to forcibly change it like the current Liberal government is doing.”
Maxime Bernier hopes to reduce the number of immigrants entering into Canada to Harper era levels. The PPC would lower immigration by 50,000 from the current Liberal government’s 300,000 target.
Tighter controls and security would be implemented to deal with refugees and immigrants.
“To ensure our security, I would increase resources for CSIS, the RCMP and Canadian Immigration and Citizenship to do background checks on all classes of immigrants, including more face-to-face interviews if deemed necessary,” says the Party website.
In line with earlier comments on “extreme multiculturalism”, which landed Maxime Bernier in hot water with his former CPC peers, the PPC criticizes “radical proponents of multiculturalism” who seek to “forcibly change the cultural character and social fabric of Canada”.
The PPC seeks to apply the same small-government approach it uses on economics to the area of foreign policy. Citing “priorities that are very different from those of ordinary Canadians” Maxime Bernier criticizes government intervention for the sake of marketing and glamour.
We are not going to send our soldiers to dangerous places where we have no strategic interests just to please the international bureaucracy at the United Nations.
Bernier’s foreign policy will include a review of the $5 billion currently spent on foreign aid by Canadians to cut costs and redirect resources towards the needs of Canadians.
While the PPC will continue to provide aid in natural disasters and collaborate with allies to promote Canada’s security, a Maxime Bernier government would “only get involved in foreign conflicts when we have a clear strategic interest in doing so and when the security of Canadians is directly impacted.”
The PPC is seeking to also project a pro-gun image with its platform.
Gun rights are property rights.
The platform seeks to increase the availability of firearms training courses and extend licenses from 5 to 10 years.
With regards to firearms themselves, the PPC will employ a length-based firearms classification system and remove restrictions on magazine sizes.
Maxime Bernier also promises to reimburse any legal owners who have had their firearms seized by the federal government and prevent any further gun-grabs.