People's Party of Canada prepares locally

People’s Party of Canada founder Maxime Bernier. (SUPPLIED PHOTO)

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Voters in Portage-Lisgar will have another option when it comes to voting in a candidate and party.
The Portage Lisgar People’s Party of Canada association is actively looking for a candidate to run in this riding.
“We’re doing a candidate search right now,” Jim Smith, CEO of Portage Lisgar PPC Association said. “We’ve made initial contact with one individual locally. We’re just trying to spread the word right now.”
The People’s Party of Canada was formed by former Conservative cabinet minister Maxime Bernier in September 2018. The local association was formed in November of 2018, and Smith said there is lots to do.
“It’s a work in progress from that point on,” he said. “You are starting from scratch.”
The association formed a board with representatives from Portage, Altona, Carman, Winkler and Morden.
“We’ve done all the ground work and we have a board of about 10-11 people,” he said. “We’re trying to be regionally diverse in terms of the riding.”
So far in Manitoba, 10 of 14 ridings have candidates nominated. Smith said they saw initial interest when the party was formed, and expects to see an uptick as they get closer to the election, especially in this riding.
“I think locally there will be substantial interest because of the party platform and the core values of the party,” he said.
Those core values have been described as principles of personal responsibility, individual freedom, respect, and fairness. The PPC describes themselves as a free market, national party committed to governing on behalf of all Canadians.
The party platform has positions on many issues, but Smith said he expects their stance on gun control, supply management and immigration will resonate locally.
On firearms the party pledges to replace the Firearms Act and supporting legislation with new legislation that will prioritize effective measures to improve public safety and fight crime in Canada and replace the licensing system with a lifetime certification for owners after they’ve been vetted, taken safety training and testing.
It will also require that all firearms categories be based on function, not on looks or arbitrary political whims.
The party is opposed to supply management. They pledge to create a free, open, and fair system that they say will save Canadians billions of dollars annually thanks to the lower prices they will pay for these products. Supply management would be phased out over a number of years to allow farmers to adapt, and compensate them for the lost value of their quotas.
The party also plans to withdraw from any UN commitment, cancel any foreign development funding, and liberalize trade with as many countries as possible.
They also plan to restrict the definition of hate speech to words that advocate the use of force, withdraw from the Paris Accord, abolish the carbon tax and let provinces make that decision, prioritize clean drinking water for first nations, get rid of interprovincial trade barriers, replace Canada Health Transfers with transfer of tax points, and eliminate equalization payments.
Smith said he realizes not every issue will resonate with every taxpayer.
“You’re not going to agree 100 per cent with party platforms,” he said. “I don’t think anyone can do that. We agree on the general theme.”
He said having another choice is good for everyone. “Part of the strength of a democracy is to have options for voters,” he said.
And he’s excited about what the future might bring.
“It is a grassroots party,” he said. “We’re starting from scratch and we’ve got a long way to go. We’re the new kid on the block but we’re looking forward to it.”
To learn more about the party and their platform go to the local EDA’s website at https://portagelisgarppc.nationbuilder.com or to the national website at www.peoplespartyofcanada.ca.

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