Bernier says name recognition his new party's biggest hurdle in 2019
Rachel Gilmore, Power Play producer
Published Monday, January 7, 2019 8:48PM EST
The newly minted People’s Party of Canada has one major hurdle in 2019, and apparently it isn’t named Justin Trudeau or Andrew Scheer. According to leader Maxime Bernier, his new party has one big challenge heading into the 2019 election: name recognition.
“People, they don’t know the name of our party. People’s Party of Canada. So my challenge is people must make the relationship between Maxime Bernier and People’s Party,” Bernier told Power Play host Don Martin on Monday’s episode.
Bernier established his party just four months ago after his dramatic departure from the Conservative Party, which he belonged to for over a decade. He says he has set up 338 riding associations -- one for each seat in the House of Commons -- in the hopes of being a force in the fall election.
The People’s Party also announced the names of two candidates it plans to run in upcoming byelections. Laura Lynn Tyler Thompson will join candidates -- including NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh -- in Burnaby South, while Jennifer Clarke will run in Nanaimo-Ladysmith.
The byelections will be the first time Canadians get to vote with a People’s Party candidate on the ticket.
“That would be a big test for us – the byelections. I’ll be there and we’ll see our result – but I’m pretty happy with what’s happening right now,” Bernier said.
While Bernier has yet to unveil his party’s platform, he said it’s “80 per cent” finished and mirrors his platform from his 2017 bid for Conservative Party leadership
“There is no taboo subject for us. We are speaking for what it is important for the future of our country, and I will travel and speak about that all 2019,” he said.
Bernier also highlighted his party’s push for less immigration.
“We believe in immigration, and we’re the only party to speak that we must have lower, fewer immigrants,” he said.
The People’s Party leader plans to take his message across Canada in 2019
“I did a tour in Western Canada before the end of December. [In] early January I’ll be in Eastern Canada in Halifax, in Saint John New Brunswick, I’ll be back in Calgary, so I’m campaigning,” he said.
“We have a platform, a very strong platform -- and we’re ready.”