People’s Party of Canada leader Maxime Bernier speaks during the Federal leaders French language debate in Gatineau, Que. on Thursday, October 10, 2019. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chris Wattie

People’s Party of Canada leader Maxime Bernier speaks during the Federal leaders French language debate in Gatineau, Que. on Thursday, October 10, 2019. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chris Wattie

People’s Party of Canada’s anti-immigration views ‘didn’t resonate’ with voters: prof

Party was formed on anti-immigration, climate denying views in 2018

Canada’s brief brush with the People’s Party of Canada showed that attacking the country’s multiculturalism won’t score a spot in Ottawa, according to Simon Fraser University professors.

“We do hear Canadians concerned about immigration, but the way it was framed with the PPC didn’t resonate with more than a handful of Canadians across the country,” said political science instructor Stewart Prest.

The People’s Party was shut out of the House of Commons, with even leader Maxime Bernier losing the seat he’d held since 2006 in Beauce, Que. His father had held the riding for more than two decades.

Bernier formed the right-leaning party in 2018, after he lost the Conservative leadership race to Andrew Scheer by only a couple percentage points.

The party espoused views that denied climate change and asked for immigration to be cut in half.

On Twitter, Bernier thanked the Canadians who voted for his group, saying the “results were disappointing… but the struggle for a better society never ends.”

Nationally, the People’s Party got just 292,703 votes, or 1.6 per cent. Albertans cast the most, at 2.2 per cent of all ballots cast, while B.C. came in at 1.7 per cent.

That’s a distance sixth place behind the Liberals, Conservatives, NDP, Bloc Québécois, and Green Party.

However, even if anti-immigration views alone can’t carry a party to Ottawa, Prest said, it doesn’t mean they’re not there.

“It was only four years ago we had members of then-prime minister [Stephen] Harper’s government musing about a barbarian practices tip line,” he noted.

“These conversations can pop up in different centre-right circles.”

Cara Camcastle, who also teaches political science at SFU, said the party’s poor showing sets Canada apart from the U.S., especially in how it responds to immigration.

She said she believes that after this election, where a “fringe” party got less than two per cent of the popular vote, proportional representation should make it back into the discussion.

“This was why the Liberals were so fearful of considering proportional representation,” she said. “[But] it didn’t happen.”

READ MORE: ‘Issue-by-issue parliament’: Expert says Liberals need to placate NDP to be effective

READ MORE: Trudeau has won the most seats — but not a majority. What happens next?


@katslepian

katya.slepian@bpdigital.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

This BC Hydro map shows some of the power outages across Northern BC. Many were caused by high winds. (BC Hydro Website)
Power out across much of Northern BC

BC Hydro anticipates some may be without power overnight

Administering naloxone to a person experiencing a benzo-related overdose event won’t help. Naloxone is used to neutralize opioids. (Jenna Hauck/The Progress file photo)
Northern Health warning drug users of potential benzo contamination

The drug does not respond to naloxone, and is being included in street drugs

Cedar Valley Lodge, LNG Canada’s newest accommodation for workers at the LNG Canada Project site in Kitimat. The most recent outbreak among workers at the project site was just declared over. (Photo courtesy of LNG Canada)
Second COVID-19 outbreak at LNG Canada Project site declared over

The outbreak was first declared on Dec. 16, 2020

CGL has closed down the two lodges affected to everyone except the essential staff. (Black Press file photo)
All COVID-19 cases associated with Coastal GasLink outbreak deemed recovered

Outbreaks occurred at CGL project accommodation sites in Burns Lake and Nechako Local Health Areas

Maj.-Gen. Dany Fortin, vice-president of logistics and operations at the Public Health Agency of Canada, speaks at a news conference on the COVID-19 pandemic in Ottawa, on Friday, Jan. 15, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Justin Tang
B.C. records 500 new COVID-19 cases Wednesday, 14 deaths

Outbreak at Surrey Pretrial jail, two more in health care

Vancouver Canucks’ Travis Hamonic grabs Montreal Canadiens’ Josh Anderson by the face during first period NHL action in Vancouver, Wednesday, Jan. 20, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Horvat scores winner as Canucks dump Habs 6-5 in shootout thriller

Vancouver and Montreal clash again Thursday night

A woman writes a message on a memorial mural wall by street artist James “Smokey Devil” Hardy during a memorial to remember victims of illicit drug overdose deaths on International Overdose Awareness Day, in the Downtown Eastside of Vancouver, on Monday, August 31, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C. paramedics respond to record-breaking number of overdose calls in 2020

On the front lines, COVID-19 has not only led to more calls, but increased the complexity

Eighteen-year-old Aidan Webber died in a marine accident in 2019. He was a Canadian Junior BMX champion from Nanaimo. (Submitted)
Inadequate safety training a factor in teen BMX star’s workplace death in 2019

Aidan Webber was crushed by a barge at a fish farm near Port Hardy

Southern resident killer whales in B.C. waters. Research shows the population’s females are more negatively influenced by vessel traffic than males. (Photo supplied by Ocean Wise Conservation Association)
Female orcas less likely to feed in presence of vessel traffic: study

Research the southern resident population raises concerns over reproduction capacity

(Black Press Media files)
Transport Canada not budging on enclosed deck rules, despite calls from BC Ferries union

There have been at least 23 cases of the U.K. variant detected in Canada, four of which are in B.C.

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good
Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

The Elk Valley Hospital is adapting to meet the needs of patients in the Elk Valley.
1-in-5 COVID tests coming back positive in and around Fernie, sparking concern

Dr Ron Clark of Elk Valley Hospital said one in five tests was returning positive for COVID-19

Throughout December, RCMP conducted CounterAttack road checks as police worked to keep roads free of impaired drivers. (BLACK PRESS file photo)
‘You can’t make this stuff up’: Stories from the B.C. CounterAttack campaign

Amusing, yes, but a reminder impaired driving affects ability to drive and to make good decisions

Most Read