Lethbridge Herald - - FRONT PAGE - Jan­ice Dick­son THE CANA­DIAN PRESS — OT­TAWA

Que­bec MP un­veils new name and logo for the People’s Party of Canada

Que­bec MP Maxime Bernier says those who hold racist views to­ward im­mi­gra­tion do not have a place in his new party. Bernier held a news con­fer­ence Fri­day to un­veil the name and logo of his new po­lit­i­cal ven­ture — the People’s Party of Canada. But one of his first or­ders of busi­ness was to de­fend his new party in the wake of sup­port from a fringe po­lit­i­cal group.

“They don’t have a place in our party. I don’t share these val­ues,” said Bernier.

He also said he would screen po­ten­tial can­di­dates in­ter­ested in run­ning for his party and that xeno­pho­bic in­di­vid­u­als will not be al­lowed to run.

Bernier him­self was heav­ily crit­i­cized in Au­gust for a series of tweets which ar­gued “too much di­ver­sity” erodes Canada’s iden­tity and de­stroys what makes it great and that im­mi­gra­tion shouldn’t be open to those who don’t share Cana­dian val­ues of free­dom and equal­ity.

Ear­lier this week Bernier tweeted in re­sponse to a story about the surge in asy­lum seek­ers at the U.S.-Canada bor­der, “If you can buy a plane ticket from Nige­ria to NY, you’re not a real refugee. How long will this costly farce con­tinue to desta­bi­lize our refugee sys­tem? The so­lu­tion is to close the loop­hole in the treaty and im­me­di­ately re­turn these false refugees to the U.S.”

He said Fri­day he’s very open to im­mi­gra­tion, but wants to look at the lev­els and wants people who come to Canada to be able to have a job and “share our Cana­dian val­ues.” “So let’s have a real de­bate about that.” Bernier’s cham­pi­oning of the im­mi­gra­tion de­bate seems to be ral­ly­ing the very people he says he does not want in his party.

Ear­lier this week Bernier con­firmed he took a phone call from Travis Pa­tron, the leader of the Cana­dian Na­tion­al­ist Party, who pro­poses ban­ning burkas, de­port­ing asy­lum seek­ers and low­er­ing im­mi­gra­tion lev­els to 20,000 — 100,000 new­com­ers an­nu­ally.

Bernier re­port­edly told Pa­tron that those num­bers were too low, but he would like to see im­mi­gra­tion lev­els de­crease to 250,000 per year. He said to “stay tuned” for his party’s con­crete pro­posal.

Pa­tron told The Cana­dian Press that he was at­tracted to Bernier’s lead­er­ship be­cause he is will­ing to de­bate mul­ti­cul­tur­al­ism but Bernier’s of­fi­cial said there will be no more con­tact with Pa­tron.

Maxime Bernier

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