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Maxime Bernier campaign launch in Beauce

St-Georges-de-Beauce, August 20, 2021

Good day everyone,

Today, I officially launch my campaign to become the Member of Parliament for Beauce again. I ask the Beaucerons to once again grant me the honour and privilege that I had for thirteen years of representing them in the Federal Parliament.

I know I have to regain their trust. I lost it in 2019 in the last election. Many Beaucerons did not understand at that time why I had left the Conservative Party, why I had founded a new party, why I had changed. I will take the next few weeks to convince them that in reality, I am the same Maxime Bernier they elected in 2006, 2008, 2011 and 2015.

The same one who regularly went door-to-door and organized passport clinics to meet them. The same one who fiercely defended their interests in Ottawa. The same one who defended the Beauceron values of freedom, responsibility and entrepreneurship. The same one who, with a typically Beauceron independence of mind, is ready to row against the tide to defend his point of view.

If I left the Conservative Party, it wasn't because I changed, it was because the Conservatives changed. This party embraced different currents when it was led by Stephen Harper. I had my place there and I felt comfortable there.

I left because it is no longer the case. The Conservatives under Andrew Scheer and now Erin O’Toole have reneged on their principles and agree with the Trudeau Liberals on almost everything.

I founded the People's Party of Canada to continue upholding the same values that I stood for after 2006 as an MP. The same values that I put forward during the leadership race and that a good part of the Beaucerons supported.

Yes, that's right, there were media controversies during the last election campaign in 2019 that the Beaucerons did not appreciate. My candidates and I have been called racists, xenophobes, anti-Semites, homophobes, and all kinds of other names. There was no basis for these accusations.

These controversies were based on outright lies, fueled by Warren Kinsella, a consultant paid $ 120,000 by the Conservative Party to smear my reputation and that of the People's Party candidates. This despicable case is now before the courts. I have filed a libel suit against Mr. Kinsella and I will restore my reputation.

The People’s Party defends ideas with which a majority of Beaucerons clearly agree. Freedom and responsibility. Entrepreneurship and initiative instead of dependence on the state. Responsible management of public finances. A stronger and more autonomous Quebec in a Canada where the federal government respects the Constitution and stops interfering in the jurisdictions of the provinces. Freedom of expression threatened by increasingly blatant censorship.

My main priority for a year and a half has been respect for our fundamental rights and freedoms, which have been systematically violated by governments. I am the only leader of a national party who has opposed lockdowns from the start. Who opposes forced vaccination and vaccination passports. These are unfair, ineffective and unconstitutional measures that create two categories of citizens, some with fewer rights than others.

From the start, we should have targeted all our efforts to protect the most vulnerable, that is to say the elderly with co-morbidities in nursing homes, who account for the vast majority of victims.

The lockdowns will cause more deaths and long-term health problems than the virus. Anxiety disorders, depression, drugs, suicides, job losses, closures of small businesses, postponements of surgery and cancer tests, massive indebtedness of our governments, inflation and future tax hikes, etc. We are going to have to live with these appalling consequences for years to come.

This week, Quebec’s public health boss Horacio Arruda said the restrictions on our freedoms could become permanent. I've been warning everyone for over a year that this is what is likely to happen if this hysteria continues.

Can you imagine that, being forced to wear a mask, having to present your QR code wherever you go, having restrictions on who you can meet, not being able to participate in rallies, confining yourself whenever cases start to rise again? Instead of living in fear for years to come, we should learn to live with the virus, which is here to stay.

What shocks me the most, however, is the fate of our children. They are forced to wear a mask all day long at school. They are prevented from seeing their friends and participating in activities. We make them stressed, anguished, we make them believe that it is the end of the world and that they have no future. The number of cases of young people with mental disorders is exploding.

Our governments are not only responsible for mismanaging the pandemic and allowing thousands of our seniors to die. They are now responsible for sacrificing a generation of young people who, however, are in no way at risk.

Of a total of almost 27,000 deaths from covid in Canada, only 15 were under the age of 20, and many of these had other illnesses. Many more young people drown each year. It is terrible to grow up in such a situation.

It's time to get back to normal. Not the “new normal” of medical tyranny and permanent restrictions. But the real normalcy of two years ago, while remaining cautious and keeping minimal measures to protect ourselves.

Have you heard Erin O’Toole take a stand on all of these issues? No, he almost entirely agrees with Trudeau. Have you heard the Beauce Conservative MP Richard Lehoux take a position on these subjects? No, he followed his leader and was completely silent.

I'm the only one who's been talking about all this for 18 months. I am like the typical Beauceron. It doesn't scare me to row against the tide and say what I think, even if the majority don't agree.

The People’s Party represents an important and growing current of thought in Canada. We want to bring back common sense. Even without a seat in Parliament, the People's Party has grown, it provokes debates and forces other parties to position themselves. It has become one of the main players in the Canadian political landscape.

Today I say to the Beaucerons: Do you want a silent follower as your MP, or someone who shakes things up? Do you want a leader who will not only represent you with diligence and honesty as he has for 13 years, but also spark crucial democratic debates across Canada?

I am the leader of a federal party. Today, I am asking the Beaucerons to grant me the privilege of being a leader for the Beauce as well.

Thank you.