The People’s Party of Canada walked away without a seat in another federal election, but the party’s rise in popularity since the 2019 election is undeniable. In this, some black, indigenous and people of color are feeling a level of concern about how vitriolic discussions related to race will progress.
“Is this a flash in the pan moment for the PPC or is it something they are going to build? My fear is that it is probably the latter,” said Jaskaran Sandhu, a strategist with state strategy.
In the 2019 election, the PPC and its leader Maxime Bernier barely registered in the final vote count. But the party’s vote share increased from 292,703 votes and 1.6 percent of the total in 2019 to 833,372 votes (and counting), representing 5.1 percent of the 2021 election. Bernier represented Beauce’s riding in Quebec until the 2019 election. He failed to win again in 2021.
The party began in 2019 when Bernier left the Conservative Party of Canada, where he was considered a possible successor to former prime minister Stephen Harper after the Tories’ 2015 election loss. Party members voted for Andrew Scheer instead, and a few months later, Bernier resigned and launched the PPC.
Granthshala News contacted the People’s Party of Canada to speak about the concerns of Henderson and other BIPOC Canadians, but the party declined a request for an interview.
“We as journalists do not answer skewed questions from left-wing idiots. Get lost,” wrote a PPC spokesperson in response to a Granthshala News inquiry.
The rise of the PPC is alarming but not unexpected for Joy Henderson. The Black Lakota woman, who lives in Scarborough, saw her area littered with party signs.
“I’m not surprised,” said Henderson. “We live in a colonial project called Canada. It’s stolen land.”
One of Bernier’s main points has been his desire to prevent “mass immigration”. while addressing Immigration in your platform, the PPC notes that immigration “should not forcibly change the cultural character and social fabric of our country.” Bernier proposed reducing the current immigration goals of allowing between 100,000 and 150,000 to 400,000 people in the country, with a greater focus on skilled immigrants.
In addition, the party seeks to limit the legal meaning of hate speech by “restrict(ing) the definition” and repeal M-103, which is known as an anti-Islamophobia motion.
The resolution – which is not a law and imposes no sanctions – seeks acceptance “to quell the growing public atmosphere of hatred and fear” and to “condemn Islamophobia and all forms of systemic racism and religious discrimination”. Is.
For Henderson, the fact that the party has a few dozen BIPOC candidates of various religions isn’t enough, when its platform has elements he calls xenophobic. PPC does not provide the data and denies requests to be associated with Granthshala News.
The party will, in fact, require potential immigrants to go through a process to see if they align with “Canadian values and social norms”, about which they provide no information, to limit the number of temporary foreign workers. limit so that they “not” compete unfairly with Canadian workers, reduce migrant flows from the US by building fences, and accept fewer refugees and make resettlement a private enterprise.
“Just because it’s a brown or black person, it’s an indigenous person, (it) doesn’t mean the party isn’t racist,” Henderson said. “It goes beyond a person.”
The party’s Brampton East candidate Manjit Singh spoke to Granthshala News. Singh said he joined the party because he wanted the government not to formulate policies on the basis of race, but to be “colourless”. His main reason for forging an alliance with the PPC was that he felt that the government was creating division.
“More and more people are being classified on the basis of how they look, what kind of background they have,” Singh said.
When asked whether systemic racism or discrimination exists in Canada, Singh, an immigrant, did not answer unequivocally.
“It depends on who you talk to. People can have different experiences,” he said.
Singh said the government should not formulate any breed based policies, emphasizing that recruitment should not be with diversity goals. He said he never faced racism in Canada.
a few days before the election Maxim Bernier appeared on a podcast called ‘Plaid Army’, which has been described as “anti-Semitic and racist”. By the Canadian Anti-Hate Network.
The party also ran a candidate who was a former member of the Plaid Army.
The man reportedly behind the gravel attack against Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, identified as Shane Marshall, the PPC’s riding director, was fired after the incident. marshal was Reported as running multiple white supremacist social media accounts.
As reported by the Canadian Anti-Hate Network, several unsuccessful PPC candidates Also attended a white supremacist convention in Ottawa on June 30, 2021. Even on election night, prominent white supremacists, Nick Fuentes appeared on the same livestream as PPC candidate Chelsea Hillier.
Even though she has ties to alleged white supremacists, Henderson said she is “not afraid” of the PPC, but calls it “irritability.” She notes that she has seen many white progressives mock Bernier for not winning her seat, but acknowledges that there is genuine concern among BIPOC communities about how much attention is paid to the PPC.
“There’s discomfort, there’s anger too,” Henderson said. “Who are you to dictate? You are a colonist, (so) as an indigenous person, as a black man, I get angry that they have a platform.”
“I don’t think they should be given a platform as a serious party.”
When Singh was asked about the party’s affiliations with white supremacists, he said that he was not fully aware of all these incidents and did not pay any further attention to them.