A local man says there is support in central Alberta for Maxime Bernier’s new People’s Party of Canada (PPC).
Tyler Henderson was one of a dozen people who spoke with Bernier during a conference call Saturday night as the former Conservative MP and leadership candidate tries to rally cross-country support for his new party.
Henderson, a former volunteer with the Red Deer-South Wildrose campaign and during the merger with the provincial PC party, has been asked by Bernier's campaign manager to help form 34 riding associations for the PPC across Alberta.
“He (Bernier) was asked about what he thinks of oil and gas Albertans and what he thinks of pipelines,” Henderson says of the conference call. “He did respond that he is pro-pipeline and that he wants to leave Alberta alone, is actually what he said. He wants to give more jurisdiction to the provinces.”
Henderson says Bernier spoke about opening the conversation on privatized healthcare, as well as his dislike for supply management -- which is part of why Henderson and others are supporting him over CPC leader Andrew Scheer.
“Supply management is a big part of it for a lot of people. The leadership race that occurred was very close,” Henderson says. “I think Max is more palatable to some people than Andrew Scheer, who is a bit milquetoast for a lot of people who have fiscal conservative views.”
Asked about the possibility of vote-splitting and allowing Trudeau another term as prime minister, Henderson admits that he’s heard that argument a lot.
Henderson says that at the end of the day, the primary reason he and others are interested in Bernier’s People’s Party is because it’s new and organic.
“Even Donald Trump represents a group of people that are sick of the establishment. Canadians will want to engage with a party that can transcend titles like liberal and conservative. I just think we can do it in a more pragmatic and sophisticated way than our neighbours to the south,” he says.
“I want to see us move ahead together towards a united Canada and I don’t think Andrew Scheer is the man for that. Maxime Bernier is.”
Bernier, who narrowly lost the Conservative leadership race to Scheer in May 2017, left the party in August and announced the People's Party of Canada on Sept. 14.
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