‘Good rednecks’: PPC candidates to decide who attends debate by holding a shootout

One way to attract media attention:

Two People’s Party of Canada candidates in Saskatchewan are solving an impasse with a shootout at a gun range.

The Greater Saskatoon Chamber of Commerce has invited one candidate from each party to a pre-election debate on Sept. 10 but when it came time to decide who would represent the PPC, Guto Penteado and Mark Friesen both thought they would represent the party well.

Penteado is PPC candidate for Saskatoon-University and Friesen is the candidate for Saskatoon-Grasswood.

Friesen said he and Penteado also considered a bean bag toss or a potato sack race but they got excited about the idea of a shootout at the range because it speaks to the PPC’s pro-gun policies.

“We’re both pro-gun advocates,” Friesen said. “We believe in responsible gun ownership and rightful gun ownership and we’re both hunters and we both have our own guns and we both have our licences.”

The shootout will take place on Tuesday at 4 p.m. CT and will be streamed live on Facebook.

Whoever has the better score will be declared the winner and attend the debate.

Some commenters online joked about putting the faces of rival political party leaders on the targets, but Friesen said the gun range has strict rules about such behaviour. It’s not allowed.

“We’re responsible gun owners and with that comes responsibility at the gun range,” Friesen said.

‘Guns don’t kill people’

Penteado said his views are “totally aligned” with the PPC in terms of gun control.

“We want to simplify gun policies,” he said. “We also want more safety courses available around Saskatchewan, around Canada, and more promotion about the good side of guns as a sport because all we see is very bad news about mass shootings, and this is a very bad image for gun owners and the guns themselves.”

Penteado said the PPC is “totally against” gun violence. He firmly believes mass shootings are not about the guns.

“Guns don’t kill people; what kills people is people. We need somebody to pull the trigger,” he said.

“It’s just like cars. When we have a car accident, we never blame the car, we blame the driver. Why are we blaming the gun, the object, when we have a mass shooting?”

But Charles Smith, an associate professor of political studies at St. Thomas More College at the University of Saskatchewan, doesn’t find that argument persuasive.

“All the evidence and research would suggest that having guns available and accessible leads to more violence,” Smith said.

‘False divide between rural and urban’

Smith said he thinks the event is insensitive, especially in light of the recent mass shooting in Texas.

“Bringing it into the political realm and suggesting this is a way to settle disputes reinforces the message that guns and violence are normal,” he said. “That’s not a message that political parties should be sending in 2019 given all the gun violence we’re witnessing in our society.”

Smith also thinks the event is gendered and racialized, and creates a false divide between rural and urban people.

“It plays to a stereotype in a very reactionary way,” Smith said. “It’s very male . It doesn’t speak for the entire rural population.”

‘We’re proud to be rednecks’

Overall, Penteado said the reaction online has been positive, though there have been some people who have been mean-spirited and called them “rednecks.”

“We are rednecks, and we’re proud to be rednecks,” he said.

Penteado was born in Brazil and came to Canada 17 years ago. In Brazil, he was raised on a farm and learned hunting and target practice from his dad.

He found a similar culture in Saskatchewan.

“We live in the countryside, we love the nature, we love the interaction with animals and everything like that,” he said. “I’m referring to the good connotations about rednecks. We’re not stupid. We’re good rednecks.”

While Penteado said both he and Friesen would represent the party well at the debate, at the gun range, Friesen has the advantage.

Penteado had surgery on his right eye last month — the eye he uses for shooting — and while he does go hunting, he generally doesn’t do target practice. But he’s still looking forward to it.

“I think we’re going to have fun, and we’re going to decide in a very healthy way.”

Source: ‘Good rednecks’: PPC candidates to decide who attends debate by holding a shootout

Colby Cosh: How a ‘leftist mob’ handed Mad Max a pre-election gift

Always a debate whether better to ignore (silence can imply consent) or contest and offer free publicity. Will see whether the PPC low polling number get a bump or not and the effect, if any, on the Conservative numbers.

Really hard, however, to understand how the billboard was paid for with no one stating they approved of the copy.

Billboards, like tweets, are not the best format to capture nuance and subtleties:

I offer sarcastic congratulations to everyone who gave Maxime Bernier the stupid controversy he wanted over the “Say NO to mass immigration” billboard, bearing his image, that briefly appeared in a few Canadian cities and was taken down in a hurry Monday morning. The billboards were purchased from Pattison Outdoor Advertising by a third-party supporter of Bernier’s People’s Party. The company’s initial response to the resulting outcry was to observe that the message of the billboard complied with advertising standards; it did not contain any hateful, disparaging, or discriminatory language.

“We take a neutral position on ads that comply with the ASC (Advertising Standards Canada) Code as we believe Canadians do not want us to be the judge or arbiter of what the public can or cannot see,” was Pattison’s original statement in the face of controversy. (Most everybody, including the company, seems to have missed the point that election advertising is explicitly “excluded from the application” of the Code on the grounds that political expression deserves the highest degree of deference; the Code does say, for what it’s worth, that “Canadians are entitled to expect” that such advertising respects the underlying principles.)

Pattison’s in-house advertising code does allow the company to engage in “post-publication review,” which must necessarily involve just dismantling ads if enough people raise hell about them, and this is what has now happened. This has not stopped people from threatening boycotts against the Pattison corporate empire for accepting the ad in the first place, or for bowing to pressure from the people who were angry about the ad. Take your pick if that’s your idea of a good time.

Let’s accept the view for the sake of argument, or just for the sake of sanity, that there is no general freedom-of-expression issue involved here. A vendor of advertising space cannot completely disavow responsibility for the ads it accepts, and any ad will be condemned if the social force aligned against it is commercially unbearable. My question is whether it was sensible for individuals (ah, remember them?) to oppose the display of this particular ad, as opposed to walking past it, perhaps frowning, and going about one’s business. Bernier has said he has no connection with the billboard, but that he agrees with its message; and now he accuses a “leftist mob” of trying “to censor any discussion of immigration”.

How can this now be answered by opponents of the billboard? They can say that they’re not a mob, I suppose; not a mob, just a large, angry group of citizens acting impulsively in concert to destroy something that offends them. But the billboard didn’t say that immigrants are horrid. It didn’t say anything for or against ethnic diversity, which Bernier has praised in the past while objecting to its elevation to cult status. It didn’t propose throwing anybody out of Canada. It is a plea against a long-standing policy of mass immigration.

My question is whether it was sensible for individuals to oppose the display of this particular ad, as opposed to walking past it, perhaps frowning, and going about one’s business

Some would have us believe that this is the point: that the million immigrants Canada is welcoming every three years, thereby outdistancing the industrialized world, do not constitute a “mass.” Crusading Edmonton lawyer Avnish Nanda took this line in an interviewwith the Calgary Herald’s Sammy Hudes: “First and foremost, (the billboard) contains a lie. There’s no mass immigration to Canada. There’s no threat of mass immigration.”

I suppose “mass immigration” really is a context-sensitive kind of thing to say. In a scenario in which Canada was airlifting large numbers of desperate people from a particular situation (he said, stealing a nauseous glance at Hong Kong), a few thousand immigrants might easily be enough to make up a “mass.” By the same token, the influx of self-selected immigrants that Canada accepts from all corners of the world might not be a “mass.”

But … it’s a fine point, and we are certainly taking in an awful lot of people in the most banal sense of “a lot.” Can the alleged inaccuracy of the billboard really have been the “first and foremost” objection to it? Mr. Nanda and those like him suggest they are angry about the billboard because it urges Canadians to say “No” to something that’s not happening and cannot happen. I would suggest that their objection to the billboard is nothing more or less than disagreement with its political premise.

The question I have for objectors and denouncers of the billboard is how they think it could have been rewritten, expressing the same underlying idea, so as to be acceptable. If the unpleasant-sounding word “mass” were replaced with “large-scale,” would there have been less of a ruction? Maybe any objection to prospective levels of immigration to Canada is to be regarded as inherently racist and hateful, even when no racist or hateful language is used.

If that is the case, it is perfectly predictable that the People’s Party will exploit this and cry “mob censorship,” and public polls on immigration suggest they will have some success, in case recent history everywhere didn’t offer enough of a hint. Moreover, we are left with an awkward question how any limit upon or criteria for immigration, any government immigration policy per se, can be justified at all. What, indeed, can be the objection to “mass immigration”? Who will have the courage to put up a “Say YES to mass immigration” billboard?

Source: Colby Cosh: How a ‘leftist mob’ handed Mad Max a pre-election gift

Bernier picks ridings where PPC has best chance to win in bid to join leaders’ debate

Looking at the choices by percentage of immigrants and visible minorities, quite a range. Appears selection criteria weighted towards candidate name recognition and profile (for full riding detail, see diversityvotes.ca):

  • Beauce: 1.4 percent immigrants, 1.1 percent visible minorities
  • Etobicoke North: 58 percent immigrants, 75.7 percent visible minorities
  • Nipissing-Timiskaming: 4.6 percent immigrants, 2.4 percent visible minorities
  • Charleswood-St. James-Assiniboia-Headingley: 13.1 percent immigrants, 10.2 percent visible minorities
  • Pickering-Uxbridge: 30.2 percent immigrants, 36 percent visible minorities

People’s Party Leader Maxime Bernier has provided five ridings to the federal commission organizing the election leaders’ debate in a last-minute effort to enter the highly anticipated event.

In a letter sent to the Leaders’ Debate Commission, Bernier picks five ridings based on “candidates who are better known in their riding as public figures, and therefore will start this campaign with an advantage that others don’t have.”

It includes his Quebec riding of Beauce and the Toronto riding of Etobicoke North, where Renata Ford, the wife of late former mayor Rob Ford and sister-in-law of Ontario premier Doug Ford, is running.

The commission had asked Bernier to provide it with three to five ridings where he thought People’s Party candidates had the best chance of winning, after saying on Aug. 12 that Bernier did not meet the criteria needed to qualify for the leaders’ debates slated for early October.

Commissioner David Johnston had preliminarily ruled that the People’s Party, as it stood, did not have a “legitimate chance” of electing more than one candidate in the upcoming election.

That determination is based on recent political context, polling and previous general election results. A final list of invited parties will be published on Sept. 16.

The three other ridings are Nipissing-Timiskaming, where local councillor Mark King is representing the People’s Party; Charleswood-St. James-Assiniboia-Headingley, where former Conservative cabinet minister Steven Fletcher is running; and Pickering-Uxbridge, where former Tory MP Corneliu Chisu carries the party banner.

Bernier states in the letter that his understanding of the criteria is that “it simply states that our candidates must have a legitimate chance to be elected in the general election, and not at this time in the election cycle.”

“The election campaign could have a huge impact on this legitimate chance. More so for the other reasons I explained regarding the recent political context, including the high level of volatility and disaffection of the electorate, and the fact that populist parties similar to the PPC have experienced very rapid growth in other Western countries,” Bernier wrote.

He said as the People’s Party is very young, it had little information about the regional distribution of its support across Canada and its concentration in specific ridings. Nor did the party have the money to conduct polls in 338 ridings.

Bernier also included data obtained from Meltwater, a media monitoring company, on how often his name popped up in online and print sources over the last year compared to other party leaders.

The numbers state his name popped up 23,518 times, more than Green Party Leader Elizabeth May and Bloc Québécois Leader Yves-Francois Blanchet.

As well, data included in the letter shows his name popped up on social media 1.67 million times, more than NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh, May and Blanchet.

Bernier also included in his letter columns in publications such as the Toronto Star, National Post and The Post Millennial arguing in favour of his entry into the debate.

Among candidates, Renata Ford, though a political novice, carries name recognition through her politically involved family members.

Meanwhile, King is a council member in North Bay. He was supposed to run for the Tories, but the party removed him as a candidate last month for allegedly using a corporate credit card to purchase party memberships for himself and close family members. He then joined the People’s Party.

Fletcher was a Conservative MP from 2004 to 2015 and had served as ministers of state for democratic reform and transport. Chisu was a Tory MP from 2011 to 2015.

An Aug. 5 Mainstreet Research poll for iPolitics found Bernier to be running neck-and-neck with the Conservatives in his southeastern Quebec riding.

According to the commission’s letter sent to Bernier, the information he provided will now be relayed to an independent pollster before returning to the party for a final comment.

Source: Bernier picks ridings where PPC has best chance to win in bid to join leaders’ debate

Fletcher: ‘Diversity’ won’t tell you if a politician is competent

Former Harper government and current PPC candidate Fletcher has some valid points regarding life experience diversity and that standard measures of diversity (women, Indigenous, Persons with disabilities, visible minorities) are incomplete and imperfect measures.

Less convinced by his arguments that the standard measures have been at the expense of competency:

What does a picture of a group of people tell us?

Often, in the media and in the general public, a photo is used to demonstrate diversity. People may look at the colour of the skin, hair colour, eye colour, age, gender, size of the people in the picture and assume that the group is diverse and therefore qualified.

In elections, political parties use the appearance of diversity to suggest competency. This diversity “picture” seems to be strongest on the left of the political spectrum in Canada, but it certainly has infiltrated all parties. However, judging competency based on appearance is really quite ridiculous. The diversity “picture” championed by the left assumes a monolithic view of visible minorities.

The electorate should not vote based on appearance of diversity, but on the diversity of the competency of the candidate. We should look to the diversity of skill sets when voting.

Skill sets cannot be determined by gender, skin colour or any of the other stereotypical characteristics that too many people associate with diversity. The assumptions people make about other people they do not know are usually wrong. A photo tells us nothing about an individual’s ability to represent any of us.

Diversity needs to include people who have education, experience and knowledge that best allow for good public policy development and implementation. It can also include life experience.

There are not enough engineers, accountants, trades people, medical professionals and numerous other skill sets in any party. Parliament is weaker as a result. In fact, there are probably too many lawyers and liberal arts graduates taking up space.

At present, the diversity test seems to be a binary choice between male/female ratios or visible minorities. But visible minorities and gender are not homogeneous in their views. Just because someone is purple doesn’t mean they represent all the purple people.

When I first entered politics, it was assumed that I was an NDP supporter and sometimes a Liberal. This assumption arose because I happen to be a quadriplegic, paralyzed from the neck down.

It is true that for a lot of good reasons many of the activists in the disabled community are left-of-centre. It was striking how common this assumption was made when I first started door-knocking for the federal election in 2004.

People also assume that because someone is in a wheelchair, it affects the hearing and cognitive functions of that individual. People sometimes raise their voice when explaining something.

Another misconception is on the cognitive side. I recall a radio interview on the main station in Winnipeg, CJOB, when the announcer asked me on live radio, “Why would anyone vote for you over the star Liberal candidate, especially given your condition?” My reply was, “I believe the constituents would rather have an MP that was paralyzed from the neck down than the neck up.” I wasn’t applying to be the quarterback of the Winnipeg Blue Bombers; I was applying for a position that I was qualified to perform. Half a dozen stereotypes were blown out of the water in that radio interview.

I was recently in a “higher learning” program for executives for corporations. In the program, we were shown a photo of an example of what the program called “a model of a corporate board.” The class was asked to comment, and most of the class responded robotically and positively towards the photo. Not me.

The photo provides no information; it simply allows people to impose their own biases and stereotypes onto the images without merit.

The foremost criteria must be competency, always. Competency may include diversity, but diversity does not guarantee competency.

A recent example in Manitoba is when the largest Crown corporation in the province, Manitoba Hydro, saw an entire board resign en masse. They did this on principle, due to government interference. The replacement board of political appointees certainly appeared to be photographically politically correct. But in an unusual demonstration of self-awareness, these political appointees demanded the government add members, because the board as appointed did not have the skill sets to fulfil its responsibilities.

The government was caught out by its own appointees in its misguided attempt to be politically correct.

In 2011, a federal NDP candidate was elected and became famous because she hadn’t actually done much campaigning. She spent a part of the election in Las Vegas, worked as a waitress at a bar and was a single mother. This MP was mocked from all sides.

It was my impression, which is shared by many others, that she is one of the most effective and talented MPs for the NDP, or any party, for that matter. The diversity she brought was in her different life experience and work ethic.

Recently, a Liberal MP was whining about the MP workload. Good grief.

I worked underground in the mining industry. That was hard work: dangerous, long hours and no breaks. Perhaps, a few hard-rock miners should go to Parliament to demonstrate work ethic.

The political establishment in Canada is collectively responsible for reinforcing stereotypes for political gain – gaming Canadians to put appearance ahead of the competency of the candidates. The political party space-takers are denying many more qualified people the opportunity to run for Parliament.

The foremost criteria must be competency, always. Competency may include diversity, but diversity does not guarantee competency.

Hopefully, in this election Canadian people will vote for the person rather than the party. In exchange, whoever becomes an MP must represent the people, not the party. Can you imagine?

Source: Fletcher: ‘Diversity’ won’t tell you if a politician is competent

Maxime Bernier encourage à se battre contre l’imposition des cours d’éducation sexuelle

His party’s strong showing in Burnaby South (close to 11 percent) reflected sex education being an issue among some socially conservative Chinese Canadians:

Maxime Bernier estime que les cours d’éducation sexuelle dans les écoles québécoises briment les droits individuels.

Dans une entrevue accordée à un pasteur baptiste montréalais, le chef du Parti populaire du Canada (PPC) encourage les parents québécois à se battre contre l’imposition de ces cours. Il ne veut cependant pas participer personnellement à cette bataille, question de respecter les champs de compétence ; l’éducation relève de Québec et non pas d’Ottawa.

Le pasteur de l’Église baptiste de l’espoir du Grand Montréal George Antonios a publié l’entrevue avec le chef du PPC samedi sur YouTube.

« Ce genre de programme va à l’encontre d’une manière très profonde des valeurs morales, religieuses, de plusieurs personnes », offre en entrée de matière M. Antonios avant de demander à son invité ce qu’il faut faire « pour au moins donner le choix aux parents de ne pas impliquer leurs enfants dans de tels programmes ».

Aux premières protestations venant, celles-là, de l’église catholique en janvier dernier, le premier ministre François Legault a affirmé qu’aucun enfant ne pourra être exempté de ces cours.

« Je ne veux pas m’ingérer dans les champs de compétence des provinces », a commencé par répondre M. Bernier avant de choisir clairement son camp.

« Il y a une certaine partie de la population qui n’est pas encore au courant que cette législation-là brime les droits individuels des Québécois », a-t-il dit.

« Je vous encourage à faire cette bataille-là pour défendre vos propres droits », a-t-il conseillé aux pasteurs et à ses ouailles.

Dans l’entrevue avec le pasteur Antonios, M. Bernier a abordé une série de sujets chers aux groupes socialement conservateurs.

Il a ainsi réitéré qu’il permettrait à un de ses députés de déposer un projet de loi sur le droit à l’avortement et qu’il y aurait un vote libre sur pareil texte législatif, s’il prenait le pouvoir.

Puis, il a une nouvelle fois dépassé par la droite son rival du Parti conservateur Andrew Scheer dans ce dossier.

« Je trouve ça un peu hypocrite si je regarde M. Scheer qui se dit pro-vie mais qui interdit à ses députés de déposer un projet de loi, qui ne veut pas avoir de débat », a-t-il critiqué.

M. Bernier, lui, a voté, par le passé, pour protéger le droit à l’avortement. Mais il dit maintenant ne pas vouloir se prononcer dans ce dossier tant qu’il n’y a pas un projet de loi à débattre.

Autre sujet cher au courant socialement conservateur, la loi C-16 qui interdit la discrimination en fonction de « l’identité ou l’expression de genre » a également été décriée par les deux hommes.

Cette loi, selon ses détracteurs, pourrait imposer un certain langage pour désigner les personnes transgenres.

« Cette législation-là doit être abolie parce que ça vient donner une direction à l’État en ce qui concerne la liberté d’expression », a tranché M. Bernier, promettant, s’il devenait premier ministre, d’abolir C-16 « le plus rapidement possible ».

Source: Maxime Bernier encourage à se battre contre l’imposition des cours d’éducation sexuelle

Canada’s Populist Party Introduces Trumpian Immigration Plan

Strong endorsement by the American right. Not sure how this will help the Bernier in Canada:

Donald Trump’s influence has crossed the border into Canada. Last week, the populist People’s Party of Canada unveiled its immigration plan. The plan echoes the America First agenda and would provide a solid immigration model for American patriots to imitate.

The PPC’s plan would reduce immigration, combat multiculturalism, focus on high-skilled immigrants, and emphasize assimilation.

Maxime Bernier, a member of Parliament from Quebec and PPC’s leader, delivered the plan along with “Muslim dissident” and long-time critic of multiculturalism, Salim Mansur. Bernier is a former state minister who nearly became the leader of Canada’s more establishment right-wing party, the Conservative Party of Canada, two years ago. He left the Conservatives last year over their cowardice in addressing vital policies, such as immigration. Word is, he was pushed out by way of a rigged vote. He labelled the Conservatives “intellectually and morally corrupt” before leaving.

“For decades now, there has only been one acceptable position among our political and intellectual elites: more, and more, and more immigration,” Bernier said in a speech last week. “There is a taboo around this topic. As soon as you raise a concern about the level of immigration, someone will accuse you of harboring anti-immigrant views and being racist or xenophobic.”

Bernier singled out Conservatives for their weakness on immigration: “[Conservative Party leader] Andrew Scheer gave a speech on immigration a few weeks ago. He did not say anything relevant or significant. He did not mention any number. Instead, he spent half an hour pleading that he is not racist.”

Bernier said he needed only 30 seconds to dispel media smears his party is racist. He pointed to minority candidates in PPC and the party’s emphasis on “shared values, culture and identity,” not skin color. He told any journalist who may call them racists to “take a hike!”

The PPC’s plan to reduce immigration puts them on the side of most Canadians. Nearly 50 percent of Canadians want immigration reduced, while only 6 percent want it increased. “The Liberals are the extremists! We are the mainstream!” Bernier declared.

At the heart of the PPC’s plan is the extraordinary idea that “Canada’s immigration policy should be to economically benefit Canadians and Canada as a whole.”

Bernier says that “mass immigration, open borders, unvetted immigration, [and] extreme multiculturalism” fails to fulfill this obligation. “On the contrary, it’s a very dangerous type of social engineering. It amounts to large-scale government intervention in society and culture,” he said of Canada’s current policies. “It will bring increasing cultural balkanisation, distrust, social conflict, and potentially violence, as we are seeing in other countries where division has reached a critical level.”

Bernier also noted the economic costs of unrestricted mass immigration. He claims that nearly 74 percent of immigrants are subsidized by the government, which costs Canadian taxpayers between $16 billion and $24 billion every year. He also argues that immigrants, given their congestion in Canada’s major urban areas, cause housing prices and rents to skyrocket; a huge problem, especially in cities such as Vancouver and Toronto.

With these facts in mind, Bernier argues Canada should “stop being politically correct. We must recognize that not all values, not all social customs, not all cultures are equally valuable. Our distinct values are those of contemporary Western civilization.”

He accuses Prime Minister Justin Trudeau of being the “biggest peddler” of the lie “that all cultures are equal.” “[Trudeau] simply doesn’t care about Canada’s culture and identity, heritage and traditions. He sees himself as a citizen of the world.”

Trudeau drew outrage in 2017 when he told one interview he believed Canada had “no core identity” and was, he thought, the first “postnational state.”

Bernier says this “globalist” vision denies Canada’s identity and threatens to destroy it. The PPC plan aims to counter that threat.

The plan would address five key problems. The first is immigration levels: “A People’s Party government will substantially lower the total number of immigrants and refugees we accept every year, from 350,000 to between 100,000 and 150,000, depending on economic and other circumstances.”

The second is multiculturalism: “A People’s Party government will repeal the Multiculturalism Act and eliminate all funding to promote multiculturalism. We will instead emphasize the integration of immigrants into Canadian society.”

The third is economic immigration. The PPC wants to reform the country’s point system to favor skilled immigrants, limit the number of migrants accepted under family reunification, and eliminate birth tourism

The fourth area is assimilation. Bernier’s plan calls for a tougher screening process to ensure migrants “share mainstream Canadian values.” Those who are found to not have Western values will be rejected.

The final area is refugees. The PPC will put more barriers on the border, accept fewer refugees from the United States and abroad, reduce the government subsidization, and end Canada’s reliance on the United Nations for refugee selection.

Bernier promised that his party “will unite Canadians with an immigration policy designed to benefit all of us.”

The plan is similar to immigration proposals President Trump has touted. Both the RAISE Act and the immigration plan Trump announced in May would make America’s immigration system more merit-based and cut down chain migration. Both plans would make it tougher to gain asylum and strengthen border security. Both American plans favor English-speaking immigrants who can easily integrate and contribute.

However, the PPC’s plan goes much further than the two plans Trump proposes. It calls for a reduction in immigration from close to 400,000 under Trudeau to between 100,000 and 150,000, depending on the economy. Trump’s new plan does not reduce immigration in contrast to the RAISE Act.

And neither American plan addresses multiculturalism or the cultural effects of immigration. Then again, America does not have a Multiculturalism Act. Thanks to the efforts of Justin Trudeau’s father, Pierre, Canada made multiculturalism official federal policy, thus supplanting English and French bicultural nationalism.

Most American immigration hawks typically avoid the cultural effects of mass immigration in favor of focusing on its economic effects. There are notable exceptions, such as Tucker Carlson and U.S. Representative Steve King (R-Iowa). Bernier demonstrates a bolder path that attacks mass immigration on both cultural and economic grounds.

The PPC’s immigration plan is a brilliant set of policy proposals and would make Canada great again. Republicans should take notes.

Source: Canada’s Populist Party Introduces Trumpian Immigration Plan

PPC defined by anti-immigrant stance

Editorial in the Winnipeg Free Press, highlighting an ongoing challenge:

For a party allegedly trying to distance itself from accusations of xenophobia, if not outright racism, the People’s Party of Canada isn’t exactly covering itself with glory.

PPC Leader Maxime Bernier and numerous candidates have made no secret they want Canada to decrease immigration. And while discussions of immigration limits and border protection are legitimate political conversations, the PPC leader has also said he is against a policy of multiculturalism — a defining element of the Canadian identity.

The immigration question, however, seems to be the thin edge of the PPC’s rhetorical wedge.

PPC candidate Jane MacDiarmid (Winnipeg South Centre) has said she dislikes the Liberal government’s handling of immigration and that it “has to be done the right way, and we have to bring the right people in that are going to support our country.” Ms. MacDiarmid has previously run as a candidate for the Christian Heritage Party, whose platform in 2017 included a “moratorium on immigration from any Sharia-based countries.”

Elsewhere, attitudes about the “right kind” of Canadians were shown in tweets from PPC candidates Jeff Benoit (Chateauguay-Lacolle) and Cody Payant (Carlton Trail-Eagle Creek).

In a since-deleted tweet, Benoit wrote, “We have to ensure that our children have a right to exist and to their identity. We have to ensure that our children have the right to access good jobs and not be limited to quotas and missed opportunities. This fundamental applies to all Canadians from coast to coast!”

The wording strongly echoes the infamous white supremacist slogan known as the “14 words”: “We must secure the existence of our people and a future for white children.”

Mr. Payant, meanwhile, tweeted out a photo collage of a Caucasian baby with bizarrely blue eyes, the Canadian flag and a mountain range, adding “PPC stands for the future of your kids.”

Meanwhile, Winnipeg South PPC candidate Mirwais Nasiri — himself an immigrant from Afghanistan — says he agrees with the party’s promise to reduce Canada’s annual immigration targets by more than 50 per cent. Mr. Nasiri, who works as a settlement facilitator for immigrants, says having fewer immigrants means we can better take care of them. One can’t help wonder if such a philosophy, had it been in place as official government policy, might have affected his arrival in Canada.

It’s safe to assume all the PPC’s candidates — since none appear to be Indigenous — are descended from immigrants. Throughout Canada’s history, many immigrant groups have experienced xenophobia, including the Chinese head tax levied in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, resistance to allowing Mennonites fleeing Stalinist purges in the 1930s to settle on the Prairies, the Japanese internment camps of the Second World War and perhaps most infamously, the turning away of Jews fleeing the Holocaust.

Canada’s policies on immigration and refugee acceptance have evolved over the decades. Under recent Conservative and Liberal governments, initiatives such as the provincial nominee program and the federal government’s response to the Syrian refugee crisis have added to Canada’s cultural mosaic — just as previous waves of immigrants and refugees have.

A strong indictment of the PPC’s platform came from within the party in July, when prospective Elmwood-Transcona candidate Willows Christopher and his riding board all quit, citing what they saw as bigotry against immigrants and the LGBTTQ+ community within the party’s ranks.

This much is clear: the unsettling statements are not mere gaffes. For the PPC, it seems xenophobia is not a problem; it’s part of the brand. And that’s not something Canadians should embrace.

Source: PPC defined by anti-immigrant stance

Immigrant PPC candidate Winnipeg-South supports party plan to cut immigration, People’s Party of Canada candidate in Sask. slammed over call for more ‘hate speech’

Particularly interesting given he has worked in settlement services (but he favours multiculturalism):

A Muslim immigrant from Afghanistan whose job is helping resettle newcomers says he’s running for the People’s Party of Canada because he likes its stance on curbing immigration.

“It’s a very clear platform,” said Mirwais Nasiri, candidate in Winnipeg South for the fringe federal party.

The 39-year-old came to Canada more than a decade ago, to join his wife, who arrived as a privately sponsored refugee in 2004. He works as a settlement facilitator at the Immigrant Centre in downtown Winnipeg.

Nasiri said he’s in favour of PPC Leader Maxime Bernier’s pledge to cut Canada’s annual immigration targets by more than half, from roughly 350,000 people in 2018.

“For me, it makes sense,” said Nasiri. “If you bring immigrants to this country, we have to make sure we find them housing and they settle down. If we have less immigrants — 100,000 or 150,000 — at least we can take care of them.

“Employment is a big issue,” said the man whose first job was at Welcome Place as a life skills trainer, helping newcomers learn the basics of living in Canada. He said he knows physicians and engineers who cannot find jobs in their fields. “They’re struggling… Many people coming here to Winnipeg can’t find jobs, so they go to Toronto because they think they can find more opportunity.”

However, in December, Statistics Canada reported the employment rate for core working-age immigrants rose to 78.9 per cent in 2017, the highest since 2006, when comparable data became available. Employment rates among immigrants tend to increase the longer they have been in the country, StatsCan said.

Meanwhile, the corresponding employment rate for the Canadian-born population was 84 per cent.

Nasiri said he’s still waiting for several family members in Afghanistan to join him Canada, after sponsoring them in 2011. He’s not keeping his fingers crossed they’ll arrive any time soon, thanks to immigration policy he called unfair.

When asked about immigration being required to boost Canada’s aging population and declining birth rates, Nasiri was dismissive.

“We have enough people,” said the PPC candidate. “We have many young people who are getting married and just establishing a life.”

Statistics released in March show more than six millions Canadians are 65 and older; by 2030, seniors will number more than 9.5 million and make up 23 per cent of the population.

“We’ll still take care of our own people,” Nasiri said. “We’ll have more population in the future.”

Even though Bernier has said he wants to repeal the Multiculturalism Act, and promised to “reject immigrants that do not share Canadian values,” Nasiri said he doesn’t think the party is opposed to multiculturalism.

“The beauty of Canada is the multiculturalism,” he said. “As a multicultural country, you can practice your religion, you can practice your language, your culture… No one is stopping you. Canada is a great country.”

No one has ever questioned his values or his loyalty to Canada, Nasiri said.

“When I came in 2009, the first thing I got when I landed in Toronto at the port of entry, was the immigration officer told me, ‘Welcome home.’ This was a great shock. I was so happy. Since I got here, I never feel that I’m just a stranger, an immigrant, a refugee. I feel always like a proud Canadian.”

He said he’s proud of his party, especially its opposition to the federal carbon tax. Nasiri said he thinks a PPC government could be convinced to raise the minimum wage — even though Bernier is an adherent of libertarianism, believing supply and demand should set wages and prices.

Meanwhile, the board the Elmwood-Transcona PPC riding association publicly quit earlier this month because, it said, too many supporters are “racists, bigots, anti-Semites, and conspiracy theorists.” In Winnipeg Centre, the riding association doxxed a critic who convinced a gallery owner not to rent space to the PPC for an event.

“I haven’t seen anything of this issue in our People’s Party of Canada,” Nasiri said, adding his wife and some co-workers at the Immigrant Centre have offered encouraging words.

“‘We’re proud you stand for something,'” is what he’s been told, Nasiri said. “I stand for this party to help my people in South Winnipeg — immigrants and non-immigrants.”

Source: Immigrant PPC candidate supports party plan to cut immigration

On the other hand:

A Saskatchewan People’s Party of Canada (PPC) candidate is defending comments in support of the use of “hate speech” he made recently on social media.

Some groups say they fear the comments could incite violence.

“Our country could use more hate speech, more offensive comments, more ‘micro-aggressions’, more violation of safe spaces with words and more critical thinking,” Cody Payant wrote on his Facebook page and Twitter account on July 16.

“Words are not violence and when we don’t have them to debate and articulate our thoughts when communicating, then all we have left is guns,” he added.

A confirmed candidate

Payant was nominated in May to run under the PPC banner in Saskatchewan’s Carlton Trail-Eagle Creek riding. He is listed on the party’s website as an official candidate.

Payant said he wrote the post partly in defence of Lindsay Shepherd, a former Ontario teaching assistant who was briefly barred from Twitter following an acrimonious online exchange with Jessica Yaniv, a transgender activist.

But Payant’s broader comments about hate speech and violence were noticed by Yellow Vests Canada Exposed. The Twitter group has monitored comments made by representatives of former federal cabinet minister Maxime Bernier’s People’s Party of Canada since the party’s launch in 2018.

An administrator for the Yellow Vests Canada Exposed said the group saw Payant’s post as encouraging violence.

The Canadian Anti-Hate Network agreed.

“It is a threat of sorts,” said Evan Balgord, the network’s executive director.

The comments hardly came as a surprise, Balgord added.

“It is a fairly common argument, actually, pushed by often right-wing extremists,” Balgord said. “Their conception is if you don’t let me say my hateful things then, oh, I won’t do it, but maybe some people I know or those other more crazy people, if you silence them, then they’re going to get violent.”

‘Hate speech is best said out loud’

In an interview with CBC News on Tuesday, Payant said he stood by his post and expanded on his intended message.

“Words are a tool,” he said. “Words are what we use to resolve conflicts in our society, so that suppression of free speech or suppression of expression is kind of an authoritarian tool.

“So if I had the choice between free speech and the alternative [violence], the alternative is always much worse.”

It’s better to have people voice their hate and face criticism for it than to have their feelings lead to violence, Payant said.

“Hate speech is best said out loud in the public square so it can be criticized and then broadly rejected by reasonable people in society,” Payant said. “It’s part of how we become well-adjusted people and how we communicate effectively as a society and how we resolve conflicts, and when we don’t have those words then all we have left is guns.

“Words are used to resolve conflicts without resorting to physical violence.”

Bernier will be in Saskatoon Wednesday to confirm the slate of northern Saskatchewan PPC candidates for this fall’s federal election.

Source: People’s Party of Canada candidate in Sask. slammed over call for more ‘hate speech’

FATAH: Bernier’s problems with multiculturalism cannot be dismissed

As usual, Fatah conflates populist discourse on multiculturalism with what the original policy, the subsequent act and the related policy instruments (e.g., employment equity) actually mean both in policy and practice.

The policy is all about integration through:

  • Assisting cultural groups to retain and foster their identity;
  • Assisting cultural groups to overcome barriers to their full participation in Canadian society;
  • Promoting creative exchanges among all Canadian cultural groups; and,
  • Assisting immigrants in acquiring at least one of the official languages.

And while identity politics is overly played, this is not new. After all, part of the historical playing out of French and British relations often involved identity politics and many critics of multiculturalism are playing on “white” identity.

Moreover, while there are pockets, analysis of Census level data by people such as Hiebert and Hulchanski confirm that fear of enclaves is exaggerated:

On Wednesday, Maxime Bernier, leader of the People’s Party of Canada, announced his party’s platform on immigration, calling for a 50% cut in the annual number of immigrants admitted.

Justifying this massive cut, Bernier cited figures from a 2011 study by the Fraser Institute that said the net “cost” to Canada per immigrant was $6,051, estimating an annual burden of about $24 billion. He told the cheering audience, that “is a lot of money.”

He then opined that “one reason for this is that immigrants generally have lower wages than non-immigrants” and thus pay less tax.

In arriving at his figure of $24 billion, Bernier did not take into account the fact that immigration is a way of importing consumers without paying a penny to the society that manufactured us. We are the only goods that arrive duty free with no price tag.

When I arrived as an immigrant, Canada paid zero for my degree in biochemistry and 20 years of experience as a journalist and advertising copywriter. Neither did my wife’s postgraduate degree in English Literature cost a penny to the Canadian taxpayer, yet we were both contributing to the economy of Canada as taxpaying consumers and renters from day one.

Having said that, it would be foolish to outright dismiss Bernier’s very sincere fears about the integration of immigrants like me into Canadian society. It is true that most of us who come to Canada from developing countries in Asia and Africa arrive with religious-cultural baggage that includes archaic values bordering on racism, tribalism, casteism and superstitions that have little to do with the values that shaped Canada in the last 400 years of Western civilization.

Bernier said, “in the past, immigrants who came here gradually integrated into our society. They kept some aspects of the culture of their country of origin, of course. And that influenced and changed our society. They became Canadian, but with a distinct flavour.”

“This is a type of multiculturalism that enriches our society. And it is perfectly fine,” he added.

However, Bernier expressed a problem with immigrants “living permanently in an enclave apart from the larger Canadian society,” a problem he said that gets exasperated by “being officially encouraged by the government to continue to do so rather than to integrate into Canadian society and adopt Canadian culture and values.”

A nation must be based on a sense of belonging, of participating in a common national project, sharing the same values, being different from the rest of the world.

As an example, Bernier cited the way ‘ethnic politics’ has become the norm among Canada’s political parties. “They don’t talk to Canadians. They address themselves to ethnic voting blocs. To Ukrainian Canadians, Italian Canadians, Chinese Canadians, Muslim Canadians, Sikh Canadians.”

Bernier is right to point out this slow disintegration of Canadian society into vote banks. As he said, “even our foreign policy now depends on appealing to these ethnic political clienteles, instead of being based on the interests of Canada as a whole.”

The Multiculturalism Act must be revoked for the simple reason that not all cultures are equal. The culture that treats my autistic daughter with the utmost respect, love and care is not equal to the culture that treats autistic children as a punishment by God for sins committed by others.

The culture that calls for slaying gays, permits polygamy, and imprisons women in black burkas is medieval and misogynist and is certainly not equal to the culture of gender equity and LGBTQ rights.

Bernier is right when he told his party faithful: “Among the threats to our values and way of life is political Islam, or Islamism, the fastest-growing and most dangerous radical ideology in the world today.”

Canadians dismiss Bernier’s fears at their own peril.

Source: FATAH: Bernier’s problems with multiculturalism cannot be dismissed

Former PPC candidate ‘no longer confident’ in Bernier after being replaced

Of note (the riding profile can be found London North Centre).

A former candidate of the People’s Party of Canada (PPC) says he’s lost confidence in the party’s leadership after being replaced by a Muslim candidate, who he claims Maxime Bernier told him would be better suited to address the “topic of radical Islam.”

Braeden Beller says he learned he was being replaced as the PPC candidate for the riding of London North Centre by political science professor Salim Mansur less than two weeks before the party held one of its largest events to date in downtown London.

Beller spoke with PPC Leader Maxime Bernier and PPC executive director Johanne Mennie about the party’s decision to substitute Mansur in as the candidate in the riding.

He says Bernier told him that “it was very valuable to have a Muslim giving the message that would speak more adequately to other Muslims on the topic of radical Islam.”

Bernier also said that Mansur would be a higher profile candidate with a larger local following in London than Beller, who said he had no political experience prior to being involved with the PPC.

Mennie said Bernier “absolutely (did) not” tell Beller that Mansur’s perspective on Islam as a Muslim would be valuable, instead pointing to Mansur’s local notoriety as the reason for the party’s choice.

“(Mansur) is well known through his work as a columnist, his work as a professor, in terms of his professional career, and that was the extent of (Bernier’s) discussion with Braeden,” Mennie said.

Mennie and Beller both said there was one conversation that he and Bernier had that she was not a part of.

When Bernier announced that the PPC had begun its cross-country candidate search, he said the party wouldn’t do “anything special” to attract a diverse range of candidates.

“I hope that our candidates will represent our country, but … we won’t do anything to attract people with different backgrounds. I think these people are coming right now,” Bernier told reporters in March.

On Wednesday, Bernier praised Mansur as a “star candidate” shortly after introducing him as “one of the main critics of Islamism in Canada,” in a speech about the PPC’s immigration platform.

Mennie says that all potential PPC candidates were told during the selection process that the party could replace them with someone else, under “exceptional circumstances.”

Mansur’s appointment has been the only case the party has invoked that policy, according to Mennie.

Mansur had first tried to run for the Conservatives. While Beller had been presented by the PPC as its candidate, both on Facebook and on the party’s website, Mansur had been vying for the candidacy of the Conservative party in London North Centre. In a statement on his website, Mansur says he was told on June 10 that he had been “disallowed” to run for the Conservatives for unspecified reasons. Five days later, he appealed the party’s decision but was rejected because he had waited too long. The Conservatives haven’t announced their candidate for the riding yet.

Beller said only running for the PPC after failing to run for the Conservatives means Mansur’s choice was “out of self-interest.”

Beller had been the lone applicant for the PPC candidacy in London North Centre and had been acclaimed before Mansur replaced him. When Beller was replaced in the riding he was offered the candidacy in the bordering riding of London Fanshawe, and according to Mennie, was told by Bernier that the leader would help his campaign by personally canvassing for him. Beller said he declined the offer because he was no longer confident in Bernier.

“What made me lose faith in Bernier is because he decided to ignore his principles when it benefited him,” Beller said.

“It’s disappointing but unsurprising,” Beller said about his short-lived experience as a federal candidate.

“I won’t be voting for the PPC, let’s put it that way,” Beller added.

Source: Former PPC candidate ‘no longer confident’ in Bernier after being replaced