The People’s Party of Canada is starting to turn heads in Red Deer.
Tyler Henderson, who is helping to organize PPC riding associations in Alberta, said a poll on The People’s Network - Alberta Facebook page showed Red Deer-Mountain View riding has some of the strongest support.
“(PCP leader Maxime Bernier) is pretty popular in Red Deer,” said Henderson, of Red Deer.
About a dozen people met in Red Deer for a conference call with Bernier on Saturday. A few people who couldn’t attend connected to the meeting through Skype.
In August Bernier abruptly quit the Tory caucus, announcing plans for a new political movement and deriding his former leader and colleagues as “intellectually and morally corrupt” on the eve of the Conservative’s policy convention in Halifax.
He spent much of last year butting heads with Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer over supply management. Scheer removed him from the Conservative shadow cabinet in June.
Earlier this month Bernier launched The People’s Party of Canada.
Henderson said Alberta already has about 1,500 supporters.
“I think there will be a shift in the political landscape in Canada. I think Bernier has been underestimated at this point. I’m very excited to see what happens.”
He said some people worry about splitting the conservative vote between the Conservatives and the People’s Party in the 2019 election, but the Conservatives leadership vote in 2017 had already split the party with 50.95 per cent voting for Scheer and 49.05 voting for Bernier.
“Sure maybe they should unite under one leader, but I don’t the Conservative Party of Canada is the party it used to be. I don’t think Canada has a centre right option and there is a vacuum there that is pulling people in at the moment. That’s the People’s Party.”
Henderson said he has felt politically displaced for about 10 years.
“When Bernier came along it was kind of like ‘aha’, maybe this is a good spot for me.”
He said PPC wants greater tax reform, more focus on immigration based on skills, getting rid of the carbon tax, and a pipeline for Alberta.
“Max wants to go after corporate welfare and supply management issues where the taxpayers are propping up companies and organizations that don’t need taxpayers to help them. We should let the market determine who’s competitive.”
Henderson said PPC Facebook pages will be established for all 34 ridings in Alberta.
More information on the PPC can be found at www.peoplespartyofcanada.ca.
— With files from The Canadian Press