PPC candidates shoot guns to decide who attends debate
Two candidates from the People’s Party in Saskatchewan are solving a dispute by having a shootout.
The Greater Saskatoon Chamber of Commerce invited candidates from each party to a pre-election debate on September 10th. However, PPC still hadn’t decided who their speaker was going to be.
New questions raised in PPC riding association's resignations in light of CPC allegedly hiring Kinsella to attack party
In the wake of the bombshell revelations that Andrew Scheer’s Conservative Party of Canada hired Warren Kinsella to “seek and destroy” Maxime Bernier’s People’s Party, new questions have come to the surface about the July 2019 mass resignation of the Elmwood-Transcona PPC board.
Taking place the day Maxime Bernier was in Winnipeg campaigning, the resignation of all five People’s Party riding executives in the Elmwood-Transcona riding was a massive blow for Benier and received widespread coverage.
Shaun Martin, Willow Christopher, Andrey Kovalchuk, Michael Brunette, and Jason Gudmundson released a letter on the Elmwood-Transcona PPC Facebook stating the resignation was due to concerns about the party encouraging and harbouring racists without condemnation.
In the media, very few questions were raised of the board members and the circumstances surrounding their departure. As it turns out–it was incredibly rapid. The men cited in the letter had only formed the board on March 8, 2019, never having any previous donation or volunteer history with the PPC. They issued their mass resignation on July 18, a little over four months later, when Maxime Bernier was in Winnipeg campaigning.
According to PPC executive director Johanne Mennie, none of them had been members prior to March 8. Mennie went on to state that Willows Christopher, mentioned in this CBC article as the prospective candidate who had “finished his paperwork and campaign video,” dropping out due to alleged racism he witnessed, was never a member of the PPC, and had never completed or submitted any paperwork related to the candidacy.
Noel Gautron, current candidate for the People’s Party in Elmwood-Transcona told The Post Millennial that once he took over control of the Facebook and Twitter for the riding, he noticed direct messages abandoned by the resigned board members that suggested the resignation was premeditated.
Gautron says he called Shaun Martin, resigned president, to question him over his claims of racism in the party. “He couldn’t give me a straight answer… He was only able to give me the example of what happened in Winnipeg centre with Kinnarath, that antifa guy, being called a terrorist.”
Martin, who had no social media presence prior to allegedly joining “#BernierNation”, retracted his support with a link to his resignation letter on July 16, 2019.
Attempts to reach Martin were unsuccessful. His pro-Bernier Facebook page was established in Sept. 2018, but according to the PPC, Martin did not join the party until March 2019 and never donated. According to the resigned board’s statement, the members were “libertarians and small-c conservatives.”
Michael Brunette, who had been the vice-president, shows a similar pattern of social media creation and then radio silence. His social media account, created in December of 2018, only posted and retweeted Maxime Bernier and PPC-related content, and went dark on May 18.
Though it was difficult to track down PPC Edmonton-Transcona volunteers who had met the resigned board members in person, those who had presented a very different story of the board members and their alleged experiences. While the letter released by the resigned members charged local PPC supporters with inexcusable racism, one member that spoke to The Post Millennial, who wishes to remain anonymous, stated she never heard any negative sentiments expressed by any of the board members about the party, policies or other members.
Former Minister of State and current PPC Candidate for Charleswood-St. James-Assiniboia-Headingley Steven Fletcher believes what happened in Elmwood-Transcona was “a complete set-up” and commenting on the widespread controversy that broke Friday, “The dirty tricks that Warren Kinsella and certain elements of the federal Conservative Party were no doubt involved in, with dozens of false stories or manufactured stories, including making outrageous claims with no evidence, and with all due respect to the media, they fell for it.”
The Post Millennial reached out to Martin, Christopher and Brunette through social media accounts and emails but none replied to requests for comment. Attempts to find Kovalchuk’s and Gudmundson’s contacts were unsuccessful.
While what happened in Elmwood-Transcona still remains unclear, these new details, alongside the news of Kinsella’s alleged union with the CPC, have thrown gas on the fire of an already volatile election.
A 40-year-old hunting guide, photographer and IT manager posted a monologue video on Twitter this weekend to respond to People’s Party of Canada supporters angered by the news that political operative Warren Kinsella was hired by the CPC to “seek and destroy” the PPC via a campaign smear the party as full of racists.
DJ Sumanik is just one of many Canadians who have taken to social media to become pundits and political influencers online.
“I watched Bernier’s statement on it and he says that he thinks it went further, that they planted evidence to set him up to paint him as a racist,” explains Sumanik in his latest video.
“Welcome to the big show PPC. You’re going to be painted as a racist no matter what. Anyone that is not firmly far-left progressive in this country is painted as a racist by the media.”
Sumanik continues in his monologue to explain how this is just some of the dirty tactics used in politics.
“If [Kinsella] was just hired to dig up dirt, I don’t know, sorry guys, every candidate out there is facing that same scrutiny. There are teams digging up dirt on whoever they can, however they can, wherever they can. So that’s the name of the game now.”
He then goes onto explain he’s not a huge fan of CPC’s Scheer but that he is voting for him in the hopes it ousts the Liberals.
“Finally, I think a lot of you are operating under the assumption that I’m some sort of Andrew Scheer acolyte, who just believes anything he says. I’m a Canada first guy, but Scheer is the only guy with a chance of beating Trudeau. He’s the card were dealt, like him or not, get with the program, okay? Everything else is pie in the sky for now. We gotta start change with what we can, it’s gonna take time.”
In an interview with The Post Millennial Sumanik explained why he got involved in political commentary online.
“What activated me politically on social media was primarily the systematic attempts by Trudeau’s Liberals to undermine free speech, firearm ownership and hunting rights in this country,” said Sumanik.
“I’m not really a politics expert though, I just say what I think.”
Sumanik’s family has a long history living in the Yukon.
“My grandfather was a major player in the 80s, he brought the cross country skiing world cup to Whitehorse, and they named a nearby mountain after him. My grandma was a world competitor cross-country skier and in my younger days I also competed professionally in MMA and kickboxing.”
“I spent several years in Thailand and my best result was bronze medal at IFMA world cup, heavyweight division in 2011. But my roots are here, a born and raised Yukon boy. My father ran a trapline which I helped on as a kid, he also started a fox, lynx and martin farm for fur exports, and also live exports and breeding for zoos.”
The one seat in the Yukon is a close race between the Conservatives and Liberals–according to 338Canada.com–and Sumanik is concerned the PPC could split the right-wing vote just enough to help the Liberals eke out a win, something he worries could happen across the country.
Sumanik posts his video on Twitter under the name Yukon Strong, where he also shares other everyday-citizens-turned-pundit’s videos.
On September 10, having struggled with allegations of being a Nazi himself, the People’s Party of Canada Port Coquitlam candidate, Brian Misera, made a series of videos posted on Twitter that called on the party, and its leader, to disavow racists in its party and white supremacy more generally.
“I don’t want anything to do with that crap. If you can’t be adamantly clear about that, I don’t know how the hell you expect me to campaign for you. You’re putting the onus on me to show that we don’t do this,” said Misera.
“I mean, you should understand how hard it is to go out and canvas and talk to people. I don’t want to be berated by people who think I’m an actual Nazi.”
On September NEWS 1130 says they reached out to the PPC at 3:08 p.m. for comments regarding the videos and within 40 minutes Misera had been told that he can no longer be a candidate for the party.
“I woke up this morning and I got an email from PPC headquarters that said, ‘we’ve revoked your candidacy status, you’re not allowed to campaign anymore, but we hope that you still support the party.’ That was it, there was no explanation given,” he said.
Misera says that other changes in the party’s base and platform was a great source of dissatisfaction, including the parties relucatance to engage in climate change debates — Misera says he is pro-science and believes in climate change.
“This wasn’t part of the platform when he founded the party,” Misera says. “I would much rather, Maxime, that you stop picking fights with 16-year-old girls who want to save the world in order to push your point of view and those who share your point of view, and just instead accept debates with climate scientists.”
"Say NO to Mass Immigration": PPC denies knowledge of third-party pro-Maxime Bernier billboards across Canada
The People’s Party of Canada has told The Post Millennial they had no knowledge of several pro-Bernier billboards spotted across Canada.
The advertisements have been so far spotted in Toronto, Saskatoon, Regina, Halifax and Vancouver.
The billboards which include the party logo and Maxime Bernier’s image also display the message “Say NO to mass immigration” in bold letters.
According to disclosure at the bottom of the billboards, they are the work of True North Strong & Free Advertising Corp.
According to Executive Director of the PPC Johanne Mennie, the party had no prior knowledge of the advertising campaign.
“As Executive Director of the PPC I manage advertising, publicity, promotion and marketing at the national level and I can tell you that I have not been approached by anyone regarding these signs,” said Mennie.
Elections Canada’s Third Party Database shows that the group is registered under the name of Frank Smeenk. When contacted the number provided by the advertisements are those of KWG Resources Inc. of which Smeenk is the President & Chief Executive Officer.
KWG Resources is a mining and resource company that is publicly traded in Canada.
“KWG Resources is an exploration stage company that is participating in the discovery, delineation and development of chromite deposits in the James Bay Lowlands of Northern Ontario,” writes the company’s website.
The Post Millennial reached out to Smeenk’s office but had not heard back by the time of publication.
According to Elections
Elections Canada laws require that anybody participating in partisan or election advertising over the sum of $500 register as an official third party with the governmental body.
According to Elections Canada media relations spokesperson Natasha Gauthier it is legal to use party logos and photos in third-party advertisements with authorization.
“There is no prohibition against third parties using authorized photos and logos of candidates or parties,” said Gauthier.
“Sections 480.1 and 481 of the Canada Elections Act lay out prohibitions against the unauthorized use of a candidate or party’s image or logo.”
The PPC provided no response on whether the party will be taking any action on the use of their logos.