maxime bernier

Controversial right-wing party leader Maxime Bernier wants to be a Toronto MP

Maxime Bernier, former Quebec MP and founder of the right-wing People's Party of Canada, has decided to try and re-enter the political ring after his party won absolutely zero seats in the 2019 federal election — but he has his sights, for whatever reason, set on Ontario, rather than his home province.

In a surprising decision, the controversial figure revealed that he would be grasping for a seat in Parliament by running in the next byelection for either Toronto Centre or York Centre — two notoriously Liberal ridings that are opening up as their MPs step down.

Toronto Centre in particular is an interesting riding for Bernier to try and take, as it was last held by Bill Morneau, the former Canadian Minister of Finance who left both his political posts last month amid the federal government's much-publicized WE Charity scandal.

Bernier has many detractors and is known for his anti-immigrant and anti-censorship stances, as well as for his denial of climate change, rejection of the carbon tax and support of the oil and gas industry.

He also holds views that many considered to be racist, including the sentiment that our country should do away with "official multiculturalism" to maintain distinctly Canadian values. He recently referred to activists who topple monuments to racist historical figures as "leftist thugs."

He formed the People's Party in 2018 after he failed to secure leadership of the Conservative Party of Canada — a party that he has said has "all but abandoned its core conservative principles."

He stated this week that new Conservative Leader Erin O'Toole is not real Conservative, but is "Liberal-lite" and not quite right enough on the political spectrum.

Bernier admitted to iPolitics on Tuesday that winning in a progressive city like Toronto would be "difficult" — something many residents on social media seem to agree with him on — but that he is excited about the opportunity to share his platform.

"I want to be back in Parliament as soon as possible, because (the People’s Party) wants to start the debates on the future of this country," he told the political news outlet.

The Toronto Centre byelection may be held as soon as Oct. 12, while the York Centre one will be called by the end of February of 2021.

If he doesn't win in either riding, Bernier will apparently try to reclaim his Parliamentary seat in Beauce, Quebec.

Lead photo by

Parti conservateur du Québec


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