September 10, 2021
Wherever People’s Party Leader Maxime Bernier goes, no matter what province, a minimum crowd of several hundred and sometimes a couple of thousand, shows up.
They don’t hurl pebbles and profanities, unlike the welcoming committees greeting Prime Minister Justin Trudeau when he steps off the campaign bus.
Trudeau contemptuously dismisses these angry Canadians as “fringe anti-vaxxer mobs.” Somehow, they’re racist misogynists too.
Fringe? Tell that to the thousands of people in Montreal who protested the province’s COVID-19 health measures and the vaccine passport Sunday.
A surly Trudeau said the people hollering at him “don’t get to dictate policy of this government.” Someone should explain to him that in a democracy they do. It’s his job to obey.
Meanwhile, Bernier is a freedom fighter, one willing to risk his own freedom to protect that of Canadians. Like him or not, that is to be admired.
“Freedom matters in this country. It’s part of our Constitution, our Charter of Rights and Freedoms,” he said.
Does anybody hear any of the other party leaders talk like that? Bernier’s message that he’s fighting for people, not dictating to them, is resonating.
He was back in Manitoba this week for the first time since getting handcuffed, arrested and jailed for 12 hours after a June rally to protest public health orders and lockdowns in St-Pierre-Jolys.
At the time he was asked if he carried any weapons. “Only my words.” Bernier coolly responded while up against the RCMP cruiser.
Former premier Brian Pallister, believed to have orchestrated the takedown by the Mounties, is gone. But charges against Bernier linger. He was charged under the Public Health Act for assembling in an outdoor gathering and failing to self-isolate when he arrived in Manitoba. His next court date is set for September 21.
Bernier has declined the COVID-19 vaccination, therefore, was supposed to self-isolate 14 days upon returning to Manitoba.
He didn’t do that. He hit the ground running.
He argues the “immoral” orders infringe on the constitutional rights of Canadians. “If I have to go back to jail to defend our freedoms and the freedoms of Canadians, I’ll do that.”
He covered a good swathe of the province. A rally in Steinbach attracted several hundred. More than 1,000 showed up in Winnipeg. An event in the Rural Municipality of Stanley had an estimated turnout of 1,000-2,000. And so on, with rallies in Brandon, Dauphin, and Portage la Prairie where turnout stayed below the 500 limits from 1,500 for outdoor gatherings which came into effect Tuesday.
PPC has a full slate of candidates in Manitoba and is running 312 in the 338 ridings nationwide. Mandatory COVID-19 vaccinations, lockdowns, and opposition to wearing masks are a paramount issue in the campaign.
It would be easy to dismiss Bernier’s rising popularity in Manitoba as a revolt against the tyranny Pallister inflicted on the province. But he’s drawing similar crowds in B.C., Ontario, Quebec, etc.
Opponents, attempting to feed off people’s fears, try to portray Bernier and PPC and anti-COVID-19 vaccine, therefore, a danger to the health of Canadians. They are not anti-vaccine. They are pro-choice and “anti-medical tyranny.” That resonates with Canadians who until recently didn’t have to think about losing basic freedoms – and their jobs if they opt not to get vaccinated.
What does Bernier see that other leaders don’t talk about? People all over the globe are rising and protesting vaccine passports, lockdowns, and movement of the unvaccinated being restricted,
In France, it’s show proof of vaccination or go to jail. In Australia, military drones and helicopters patrol in search of public gatherings. In Italy, Ireland, Great Britain, Israel, Thailand, France, Greece, Slovakia, and Finland massive protests are taking place. German protesters are being beaten and arrested.