March 27, 2023

ETOBICOKE, Ont. — At a rally here Wednesday night that drew an audience estimated over 1,000, Maxime Bernier outlined his plans to remake the country, content with the notion that his new People’s Party of Canada (PPC) won’t win over everyone right away.

“Usually politicians try to please everybody. But we are not like that … if you don’t like what you are seeing, it’s OK — you can vote for another party,” Bernier told a gathering at The Vue Event Venue.

Bernier started his speech by talking about supply management and “dairy cartels.” He wants to lower the prices of dairy across Canada.

“Eliminating supply management would save the average Canadian family more than $500 each and every year,” states the PPC’s website. Bernier contrasted his stand with the fact that Andrew Scheer, leader of the Conservative party, is a strong supporter of the supply management system for dairy and poultry.

Maxime Bernier appears before supporters at The Vue in Toronto on Nov 14, 2018. Photo by Broderick Visser, Conestoga Journalism

Bernier then moved on to the topic of corporate welfare, calling out General Motors, as well Bombardier, which has received over $1 billion in taxpayers’ money.

“Bombardier is a great corporation. GM is a great corporation. But they don’t need your money. If they were so good, they would be able to please their consumers and they would be successful. Corporate welfare does not make our economy more productive … That is why we propose to abolish corporate welfare. We can save between $5 to $8 billion per year,” said Bernier.

The PPC is planning to set a flat tax of 10 per cent for entrepreneurs, a 15-per-cent tax for those earning more than $15,000 a year, and a 25-per-cent tax for those earning more than $100,000 per year. It is proposing to increase the basic personal amount on which nobody pays taxes from $11,474 to $15,000 and it would abolish the capital gains tax. This tax is 50 per cent of any capital gain and would be taxable all at the marginal tax rate (varying by province). Capital gains are items like stocks, shares or real estate.

Bernier then moved on to how he would save more of the taxpayer’s money by ending foreign aid through giving: “No more money to a dysfunctional United Nations,” said Bernier.

But that isn’t going to stop Canada from helping out other countries when they are in times of need, he said.

“We will be there to help other countries when something happens — a big disaster over there or something like that. I know that Canadians are generous and, yes, we will be there.”

Bernier also said that he plans to privatize Canada Post and cut the CBC, saving even more taxpayers’ money.

The leader of a political party he started in mid-September, Bernier is a former Conservative cabinet minister with a background in business and banking. He came a close second to Scheer in the Conservative party’s leadership race following the resignation of former prime minister Stephen Harper.

Next year’s federal election will mark the first time millennial voters will outnumber baby boomers. When asked what he plans to do to attract the young millennial voters, Bernier said he’d count on their ability to detect authenticity in the PPC’s campaign.

“People like it when you’re speaking about less government on your back, more of your own money in your pockets … When I’m saying that I don’t believe in big, fat government, I’m serious about it. So a smaller government, lower taxes, cutting some expenses … foreign aid.

“But what I think what they appreciate the most is the authenticity of our campaign. We are authentic and have been saying the same thing for the last 10 years. People appreciate that and they are fed up with politicians saying something and doing the opposite. So, for us, it’s what I believe, like it or not, and I think when people see our campaign, it will be something that they will like,” said Bernier.

Started on Sept. 14, the PPC claims it already has more than 31,000 members and 145 electoral district associations. Its goal is to form 338 EDAs — one in every riding in Canada — by the end of the year.

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