OTTAWA — The dissident conservative Maxime Bernier was passed on Wednesday a new step in order to transform his political movement in the official party.
The member for Beauce was clutching under his arm a thick folder of signatures at the time of his arrival Wednesday morning at the offices of Elections Canada in Gatineau, to obtain the official registration of the people’s Party of Canada (PPC).
Since the party is not yet officially registered, Mr. Bernier did not identify for the moment the well wishers who have contributed more than $ 350,000 in its movement over the past seven weeks.
The member has deposited the folder containing forms to use as well as the names, contact information and signatures of 475 members of the new party. Elections Canada requires at least 250 signatures to support the registration of a party, which must be already has a name, a logo, a chief and several officers.
Mr. Bernier argues in fact that there are 22 477 “founding members” and he has collected more than $ 350,000 since it announced the creation of the popular Party of Canada on the 23rd of August. The party has provided Wednesday, a screenshot of the donation page online, which would reach 337 231,52 $. Officials argue that a $ 15,000 additional were sent by mail.
The member of parliament for beauce ensures that every dollar has been collected in accordance with the provisions governing the financing of federal political parties, including donations, to a maximum of 1575 $ per person. Mr. Bernier said that his goal is to raise $ 3.5 million before the elections of next October.
The popular Party of Canada shall publish an audited financial statement of its assets within six months after its registration, without having to disclose how it has met these funds. If the documents submitted Wednesday meet the required conditions, the party will be registered under the act as soon as it will be presented a nominee confirmed during a general election or a partial.
The only candidate of the PPC, for the moment, Mr. Bernier argues that 43 district associations already exist in Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Ontario, Manitoba and Saskatchewan, and that other meetings were held this week to create the other 27. He explains that the focus will now be on the implementation of the infrastructure of the party, and that he devoted less energy to the recruitment of candidates by January.
A smoldering conflict
Mr. Bernier was the conservative mp for more than a decade, with Stephen Harper, before leaving the party in August following a dispute with the new chief, Andrew Scheer, mainly around supply management in the agricultural sector. But the idea of creating a new party has begun to germinate when Mr. Scheer has defeated Mr. Bernier in the race for the leadership of the conservative Party in may 2017.
Mr. Bernier said Wednesday that he had no contact with his former party — which he has qualified this summer, “corrupt morally and intellectually”.
“What I say to the voters of Beauce, is that Maxime Bernier is the same guy, and it is not I who have changed, I’ve only changed of vehicle,” he explained Wednesday. “I was in a Lada, and now I am in a Mercedes or a Ferrari. That’s the difference : the conservative Party is ignoring their conservative values, and I have always been the same guy who advocates the freedom of the individual.”
Although he did not entirely agree with the agenda of the new government of the Coalition avenir Québec of François Legault, Mr. Bernier said he also encouraged by the fact that after 60 years of alternating between the liberals and pq members, citizens have been ready to entrust the reins of the province to a new party, founded in 2011.
He also referred to the election in September of three members of the Alliance of the people of New Brunswick, a right-wing party created in 2010 by dissident conservatives of this province. “We can create a surprise because I think people are tanned in the traditional manner in which the old parties make policy,” said Mr. Bernier Wednesday