Maxime Bernier gets sidelined from federal election debates

People's Party of Canada leader did not meet the criteria

The leader of the People’s Party of Canada, Maxime Bernier, will be on the outside looking in during the federal election debates.

The Leaders’ Debates Commissioner David Johnson confirmed on Saturday Bernier failed to meet the criteria to take part, while the leaders of the New Democrats, Conservative Party, Liberal Party, Green Party and Bloc Quebecois made the cut.

The three criteria that must be met to participate:

  • The party has at least one MP in the House of Commons who was elected as a member of that party.
  • The party’s candidates in the 2019 federal election received at least four per cent of the total number of valid votes cast.
  • The party has a national support level of at least four per cent, five days after the date the election is called. That is measured by leading national public opinion polling organizations, using the average of those organizations’ most recently publicly reported results.

Bernier has made waves during the pandemic, attending anti-lockdown rallies across the country including a demonstration in downtown Barrie in April. At the time, he told Barrie 360 that lockdowns violate freedoms.

“The People’s Party of Canada is the only national political party that is against these draconian measures,” explained Bernier, at the time. “It’s about our way of life. People understand that what is happening is wrong and they know there is never a bad time to fight for freedom.”

He also told Barrie 360 he would not get a COVID-19 vaccine because he was young and healthy.

There will be a French-language debate on Sept. 8 from 8 to 10 p.m. EDT, and the following night, an English-language debate from 9 to 11 p.m. EDT.

A coalition of media outlets is producing the debates: CBC News and Radio-Canada, APTN News, CTV News, Global News, L’actualité, Les coops de l’information, Le Devoir, Noovo Info and La Presse.

Banner picture: People’s Party of Canada leader Maxime Bernier at an anti-lockdown rally in Barrie (April 2021/Barrie 360)