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Nearly 200 people roared in approval as People’s Party of Canada (PPC) leader Maxime Bernier walked into the Mae Wilson Theatre to discuss how the PPC will fight for Canadians’ rights and liberties.
Joined by candidate Chey Craik, Bernier spoke on Sept. 2 during his Mad Max 2021 Election Tour. The supporters roared with delight and clapped jubilantly throughout Bernier’s talk.
Freedom is the fundamental value that unites Canadians and is the basic ideal of Western civilization, the PPC leader said. Only in a free society is there human dignity, equality of life and economic prosperity. Canada has been free for 154 years, but citizens cannot take their freedoms for grant anymore.
“I am here today because, like you, I’m mad; I’m not happy. I’m mad — and yes, you can call me Mad Max — because our country, identity, our freedoms are under attack,” Bernier said, “under attack by the Liberals (and) by the Conservatives, who promote COVID hysteria and impose lockdowns and now, a vaccine passport on us.” 
Bernier criticized Liberal leader Justin Trudeau, saying the prime minister is supposed to unite the country but has been the most divisive leader in Canadian history. The PPC leader pointed out that Trudeau has divided people by race, gender, religion, and vaccination status.
Trudeau needs to understand that Canadians don’t want more socialism and don’t live in a communist country, Bernier continued. Furthermore, he thought it was a lie to say unvaccinated Canadians are dangerous when everyone can spread the virus regardless of vaccination status.
The PPC believes in freedom of choice and letting people decide whether to be vaccinated or wear a mask, he remarked. However, he pointed out that Trudeau and Conservative leader Erin O’Toole want to impose a vaccine passport using false information. 
After nearly two years of the pandemic, there is more information about COVID-19, including how the virus is dangerous to older people with comorbidities, Bernier said. Bernier says 80 per cent of pandemic deaths in Canada were in seniors with underlying health issues. 
He pointed out that as a 58-year-old man, he has a 99.5 per cent chance of surviving the coronavirus, which is why he has declined to be vaccinated. However, he respects others who take it and does not want to see segregation based on vaccination status. 
“We want to unite Canadians under the freedom umbrella,” Bernier stated. 
Vaccine passports are divisive since they are not based on science but compliance and government control, he continued. Passports are happening in Quebec and Ontario and will likely come to Saskatchewan, especially since the Liberals promised to give provinces $1 billion for such a plan. Instead, citizens must live in a society where they don’t have to show their papers.
Another criticism the PPC leader had of Trudeau is how the prime minister has engaged in identity politics since 2015. This has included creating a program specifically for Black business owners. 
“That’s racial politics. We don’t want that,” Bernier said. Instead, the PPC would give grants to any entrepreneur regardless of skin colour. “I believe Canadians are tired of the … identity politics or racial politics.”
While the mainstream media is obsessed over candidates’ skin colour, sexual orientation, religion, or sex, the PPC does not even ask its candidates those questions, he continued. Instead, candidates must simply believe in Canada and the principles and values of the party, including individual freedom, personal responsibility, fairness, and respect. 
Bernier also went after the Conservatives, saying, “The Conservative Party of Canada is only conservative in name.”  
O’Toole wants to balance the budget in 10 years but doesn’t plan to cut anything to do it, he continued. This is similar to Trudeau’s statement in 2015, “The budget will balance itself.” 
If elected, the PPC would cut funding to the CBC and foreign aid. It would also lower taxes in its second term so it didn’t have to borrow from future generations, while it would tell the Bank of Canada to stop printing money. This would reduce inflation, keep more money in Canadians’ pockets and increase standards of living.
“When tyranny becomes law, revolution becomes duty. And we are starting a common-sense revolution,” Bernier continued, as the crowd jumped to its feet and cheered enthusiastically. The PPC leader then asked the crowd to help push back against totalitarian politicians who disrespect the Constitution and cancel culture and wokeness in Canada. 
Bernier encouraged the crowd to vote for their principles and not against their values. He dismissed the idea of “vote splitting” as a Conservative talking point, while he thought the Maverick Party was a “puppet” of the CPC since the interim leader isn’t running and there are only 30 candidates in Western Canada.  
The PPC leader finished by quoting former U.S. president John F. Kennedy and how this generation is responsible for defending freedom “in its maximum hour of danger.” 
Before Bernier spoke, about 12 people protested outside the venue. Many held signs accusing Bernier of being a racist, sexist, homophobe, transphobe, xenophobe, Islamophobe and anti-first nations. 
CORRECTION: An earlier version of this story incorrectly identified protestors as being members of Moose Jaw Pride. These individuals were not representatives of that organization. We apologize for the error.
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