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People's Party of Canada campaigns in Fort McMurray

Last Updated Jul 8, 2019 at 2:02 pm MDT

PHOTO. People's Party of Canada Federal Leader, Maxime Bernier and local Member of Parliament candidate Matthew Barrett stopped by the McMurray Newsroom the morning of their rally in Fort McMurray, 15 weeks before the fall federal election. MYMCMURRAY/Melanie Walsh

The fall federal election is just 15 weeks away.

Leader of the new People’s Party of Canada Maxime Bernier visited the MyMcMurray newsroom on July 8th.

He joked that he and his campaign are in “full camping mode until the 21st of October” when the election is expected.

“I think we could have a lot of support here, a lot of support in Alberta for our ideas” because Bernier believes Albertans support free market, conservative ideas.

Bernier left the Conservative party in August 2018, starting his new party last September.

“I said this party is not conservative anymore, they are not for free market anymore,” Bernier claimed. “It was important to create a new party and do politics differently.”

He said he wants to put Canada first.

“We don’t work for other countries like Trudeau is doing by giving money to a lot of foreign countries to help him have a seat at the security UN council. We won’t do that.”

Bernier is from Quebec, but does not support that province’s anti-pipeline stance.

“I understand that the Quebec Government may not agree with pipelines,” Bernier said, but that is outside provincial jurisdiction, adding it’s “100% the responsibility of the federal government.”

When it comes to a carbon tax, Bernier said he wants to leave it to provinces to decide.

“We want people to be able to swim in their lakes and fish in their rivers, so that’s important, but for climate change, we are the only party who won’t sign the Paris accord.”

Another issue that may make Bernier interesting – he said Federal equalization payments are unfair to Albertans

“Here in Alberta you are paying a lot in this equalization formula and Quebec on the other end has received equalization money for the last 50 years. That is unfair. We must change this formula, that will help Alberta, that will help your region.”

Local Candidate – Matthew Barrett

Matthew Barrett is our local People’s Party of Canada candidate.

He said his decision to run came from “a passion for reform.”

Originally from Newfoundland, Barrett has been in the community since 2007, has worked as a haul truck driver for four years, was a union executive with the CUPE, is now working back on site and is a home owner here.

“So I know some pains that locals have.”

He plans on focusing on the Canadian economy.

“In whatever capacity we have in Ottawa, our economy is dictating many things that are happening here, housing prices, our oil to market, jobs.”

Barrett does support a controversial issue: He supports a two-tiered heath care system.

Although people say it’s only going to help the rich, he said that people who want to spend their money on prioritizing their health will be able to.

“When I want to see, for example,  an urologist, or my kid wants to see a neurologist, or get an MRI that line gets a bit shorter […] so I think a two-tired health system, given the fact that we are so isolated, we only have one hospital, to see private health come in, knowing we have the money to spend if we need to […] is really exciting.”


Bernier and Barrett will be speaking at a rally in Fort McMurray at the Stonebridge Hotel on Monday, July 8 at 6:30 p.m.