REGINA — Federal leader Maxime Bernier appeared before a rally of supporters in Regina on Wednesday, speaking to voters about the People’s Party of Canada for the upcoming election.
Bernier was joined by all three candidates running in Regina ridings — Rod Kletchko for Regina–Lewvan, Andrew Yubeta for Regina–Qu’Appelle, and Mario Milanovich for Regina–Wascana — at the event.
Kletchko, Yubeta and Milianovich each spoke briefly before turning the crowd over to Bernier, who presented the PPC as an alternative option for voters unsatisfied with other platforms.
Bernier famously split from the Conservatives in 2018 and introduced the PPC as a new politically conservative and libertarian-leaning alternative.
The PPC are running on a platform of individual freedom, personal responsibility, respect and fairness, said Bernier — a platform which has seen minimal changes since the 2019 election, the first in which the party appeared on ballots.
The exception, said Bernier, was an amendment promising to balance the federal budget in four years, rather than the two years promised during the previous election.
The PPC would do so by making several funding cuts, including to foreign aid programs and federal funding provided to national media broadcaster CBC.
Bernier said he would also free up funds by ending some COVID-19 support programs put in place during the pandemic.
Bernier also spoke at length about the issue of vaccine passports, which he said will be a key focus for this election cycle.
The PPC are the only party against the implementation of vaccine passports, on the grounds that they violate personal privacy rights.
“We don’t want a ‘show me your papers’ society,” said Bernier, during his remarks.
Following his speech, Bernier took questions from those in the crowd, which totalled approximately 150 people in attendance.
PPC candidates have been declared in all 312 ridings across the country, an increase from its inaugural 2019 campaign.
The new party received a total of 1.6 per cent of the popular vote during that election. Bernier said the goal this time around is to increase that percentage during this coming election day on Sept. 20.
Bernier will appear at another campaign event in Moose Jaw Thursday at noon, with Moose Jaw–Lake Centre–Lanigan candidate Chey Craik, at the Mae Wilson Theatre.