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Statement by Maxime Bernier during his press conference following the election call

Maxime Bernier, Leader of the PPC
Ottawa, August 15, 2021

Click here to watch Maxime's full speech!

I want to spend the next few minutes explaining why Canadians should consider supporting the People’s Party of Canada in the coming election.

The past year and a half has been one of the most disastrous periods in recent Canadian history.

From the very beginning of the pandemic, the Trudeau government has been erratic, inconsistent, and irresponsible. We all remember when one week, masks were useless, then the next they should be mandated everywhere. One week it was racist to suggest that we stop flights from China, and the next week we cancelled flights from all countries.

It quickly became apparent in the spring of 2020 that older people with comorbidities were the ones most at risk from the virus, especially those living in nursing homes. As I kept saying at the time, we should have targeted all our efforts at protecting them.

The federal government, which coordinates the pandemic for the whole country, should have led this effort.

Instead, incompetent provincial governments, especially Quebec and Ontario, let them die by the thousands. With support from Ottawa, they decided to impose destructive lockdown measures that many scientific studies have shown to be totally ineffective at preventing the spread of the virus.

Everything else that has happened since is the consequence of these early decisions.

These lockdowns will have killed a lot more people than they presumably saved. Because of job and business losses, anxiety and depression, postponed surgeries, domestic violence, drug overdoses.

These lockdowns have destroyed large parts of our economy, especially small businesses.

Trudeau used these lockdowns as a justification to launch a whole series of spending programs that we cannot afford, pushing our national debt to unprecedented levels.

The Liberals sent cheques to senior citizens that they will receive tomorrow. They extended the wage subsidy program another month until right after election day. It has nothing to do with supporting the economy, and everything to do with buying votes.

It will take years to bring back sound public finances.

Money printing by the Bank of Canada has kicked into high gear, and ordinary Canadians are paying the price of this massive spending. The government can deny it all they want, but we have all seen inflation on basic necessities like food and housing.

Justin Trudeau doesn’t care about basic ethics, democracy and fundamental rights and freedoms.

He’s used taxpayer money to help his family, supporters, and cronies, as we saw in the We Charity and SNC-Lavalin scandals.

During the past year and a half, he has ignored and bypassed Parliament. He has bribed the media. And he wants to censor the internet.

He wants to force all government employees and federally regulated workers to take the vaccine. He wants to prevent non-vaccinated Canadians from travelling by air or train.

He is working with provinces to develop a vaccine passport that will create two kinds of citizens, some with more rights than others.

Under this government, we are witnessing the most sustained, unprecedented series of frontal attacks against our prosperity, our rights and our freedoms in our lifetime. And it has all happened in less than 18 months. What will happen in another 18 months if this government is re-elected?

We went from “two weeks to flatten the curve” to a segregated society in the blink of an eye.

Mr. Trudeau, who openly admires the Chinese dictatorship, is a threat to Canada, to our way of life.

But what are the alternatives? They’re as bad or even worse!

Why is Mr. Trudeau calling an election today when he has been able to do whatever he wanted with a minority government? The ridiculous ads put out by the Conservative Party got it right: Trudeau wants a majority, and he may get it if the polls are right.

What the Conservatives don’t say is that it’s their fault!

The worst government in decades is only matched by the worst official opposition in decades.

Despite facing a minority government undermined by scandals, irresponsible management of public finances, and clear authoritarianism, the Official Opposition under Erin O’Toole has shown itself to be wholly ineffective and cowardly.

O’Toole was elected leader by pretending to be a true blue conservative. But his mask quickly fell. He’s just another lying, pandering, fake conservative who agrees with Trudeau on almost everything.

Like Trudeau, he supports lockdowns and vaccine passports. He fired his Yukon candidate this week because he publicly opposes vaccine passports.

Like Trudeau, he supports mass immigration.

O’Toole betrayed his previous commitment to oppose a carbon tax, and now, like Trudeau, he wants to impose one and supports the Paris Accord.

Like Trudeau, he wants to take a decade or longer to balance the budget.

Like Trudeau, he panders to every interest group and plays identity politics all the time.

Like Trudeau, he doesn’t want to reform and scale down the equalization program.

Like Trudeau, he supports Ottawa’s intrusions into provincial jurisdictions.

The Conservative Party of Canada is conservative in name only. Under O’Toole, it has become just another left of centre party and betrayed its principled conservative supporters.

I’ve never been so convinced that I took the right decision when I left it to create the People’s Party. It was, and it remains, morally and intellectually corrupt.

What about the other options?

The NDP is a far left socialist party that promises to destroy our economy even faster than the Liberals. Jagmeet Singh praised the mass murderer communist dictator Fidel Castro when he died. For years he hung out with Khalistani terrorist sympathizers. Why should we trust a dangerous fanatic like him?

The Green Party is torn between a faction that wants to destroy the modern industrial world and bring us back to the stone age, and another one that’s obsessed with Israel and Jews. Its leader says these people in her own party are racist, sexist and anti-Semitic.

The Bloc Québécois for its part only wants to extort more money for Quebec and is irrelevant for the rest of the country.

So, why should Canadians consider voting for the PPC? It’s simple. All the other options suck. It’s time to choose something different.

The People’s Party has opposed authoritarian lockdown measures from the very beginning of the pandemic.

We are the only party with a realistic approach. We recognized that we must learn to live with this virus, not destroy our society and economy in a vain attempt to eliminate it.

We are the only party that puts your rights and freedoms front and centre.

If the PPC did not exist, nobody would talk about lockdowns and vaccine passports, mass immigration, censorship, climate alarmism, carbon taxes, unfair equalization, debt and inflation, identity politics, globalism, or respect for our Constitution.

Canada needs our voice.

Over the next few weeks, we will campaign on the same program we campaigned on two years ago, with some updates that we will announce in the coming weeks.

Our platform is based on clear and unchanging principles: Individual freedom, personal responsibility, fairness, and respect. It puts Canadians first.

Today, I’m asking Canadian voters to look at all the options. You have good reasons to be fed up with politics as usual. The People’s Party is doing politics differently. Choose something different.