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Canada Maxime Bernier tried, and failed, to ride the populist wave to victory

17:20  22 october  2019
17:20  22 october  2019 Source:   nationalpost.com

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He tried to ride on the coattails of a populist surge happening in other parts of the world — and failed . Maxime Bernier , leader of the nascent People’s Party of Canada, was projected Monday night to lose his seat in the Quebec riding of Beauce to Conservative candidate Richard Lehoux.

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Maxime Bernier wearing a suit and tie: People's Party of Canada leader Maxime Bernier reacts after the announcement of federal election results in Beauceville, Quebec, Canada October 21, 2019. © REUTERS/Mathieu Belanger People's Party of Canada leader Maxime Bernier reacts after the announcement of federal election results in Beauceville, Quebec, Canada October 21, 2019.

He tried to ride on the coattails of a populist surge happening in other parts of the world — and failed.

Maxime Bernier, leader of the nascent People’s Party of Canada, was projected Monday night to lose his seat in the Quebec riding of Beauce to Conservative candidate Richard Lehoux.

In a concession speech to supporters, Bernier said that the issues raised by his party during the campaign — uncontrolled immigration, endless deficits, unfair equalization and high taxes — would not disappear.

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As the CPC implodes and party unity unravels now is a great time to remind ourselves why we voted for Maxime Bernier and to make sure we help build the party, in particular keeping an eye out for the wrong kind of people trying their best to sabotage the PPC.

CTV’s Decision Desk has declared that PPC Leader Maxime Bernier lost his seat in Beauce, a riding he's held since 2006. #cdnpoli #elxn43 Subscribe to CTV

“We will be there to criticize the next government and offer better solutions. We will continue to fight for liberty, responsibility, equity and respect,” he said.

Bernier had won the riding for the Conservative party in every election between 2006 and 2015 and had come close to beating Andrew Scheer as leader, before breaking with the Tories to launch his own right-wing party last year.

He campaigned on a platform of cutting taxes, drastically cutting immigration and opposing “extreme multiculturalism,” but faced criticism for not doing enough to weed out racists from his party and for denying the scientific consensus around climate change.

In an interview with the National Post last month, Bernier insisted that the poll numbers, which showed his party in the low single digits, did not reflect a growing populist movement in Canada that was mirroring what was taking place in Europe. His party ran more than 300 candidates.

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In the newest episode of 'Who's Who?' Andrew introduces the rogue ex-Conservative MP and leader of the new People's Party of Canada: Maxime Bernier !

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“We have the right ideas, we have the freedom ideas, so we have to speak about it with passion, conviction, and the more support we’ll have. And you’ll be surprised the 21st of October,” he said.

Maxime Bernier wearing a suit and tie:  People’s Party of Canada leader Maxime Bernier and wife Christine Letarte react as he speaks after the announcement of federal election results in Beauceville, Quebec, Canada October 21, 2019.© REUTERS/Mathieu Belanger People’s Party of Canada leader Maxime Bernier and wife Christine Letarte react as he speaks after the announcement of federal election results in Beauceville, Quebec, Canada October 21, 2019.

Late Monday night, Renata Ford, widow of the late Toronto mayor Rob Ford and considered a star candidate of the People’s Party, was trailing badly in the riding of Etobicoke North — garnering only about 3 per cent of the vote.

“This is just the beginning of a new party,” Ford told reporters.

Late last week, The Globe and Mail reported that strategist Warren Kinsella and his firm Daisy Group had been hired by the Conservatives to “seek and destroy” Bernier’s party and portray its supporters as racist.

Scheer refused to confirm or deny the allegation.

Bernier filed a complaint with Elections Canada over the affair.

With files from The Canadian Press

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