People’s Party of Canada (PPC) Leader Maxime Bernier continued his 10-day tour of Alberta Friday, with a stop in Medicine Hat followed by an evening rally in Cardston. Along with him were the PPC candidates for Lethbridge and Medicine Hat-Cardston-Warner.
Grant Hepworth will take on Conservative incumbent Rachael Harder in Lethbridge, while Andrew Nelson will look to swing voters in the Medicine Hat-Cardston-Warner riding.
Both candidates are new to politics — as are around 60 per cent of PPC candidates, Bernier told Global News — just like the party that they represent. Bernier created the People’s Party after narrowly losing to Andrew Scheer in the race for leadership of the Conservative Party of Canada.
Hepworth cited his background as a business owner as his motivation to try his hand at politics.
“People need a hope, basically,” said Hepworth. “The platform as it sits, with regard to lower taxation, capital gains exemption — actually, capital gains abolishment — that will be great for small businesses and such. I’m a small business owner myself — I own a vape shop in Lethbridge.”
Nelson said he joined the party after years of voting for the Conservatives and being fed up with the state of federal politics the last four years.
“I’m pretty much an ordinary Canadian,” said Nelson. “And this is the People’s Party of Canada.”
Bernier said Friday that just because his party is new, doesn’t mean it can’t make some noise in this fall’s election.
WATCH: (July 9) Bernier answers question after posing for photos in Calgary with alleged extremists
“I want to be prime minister of Canada,” said Bernier. “I think that there’s a lot of reform that we must do for this country, and I think I’m the right guy for this country.
Bernier has been rallying right-wing voters as part of his tour of the province, and Friday he repeatedly referred to Scheer’s Conservatives as “centrist.”
“The Conservative Party of Canada under Andrew Scheer is not conservative anymore,” said Bernier.
“It is a fake conservative, and Scheer right now is splitting the vote with the Liberals. That’s his strategy, going far to the left with the Liberals.”
For now, Bernier’s PPC will look to catch people up on who they are and what their platform entails in preparation for the upcoming federal election.
“The goal is to explain our policies,” said Bernier.
“Anything can happen. I don’t know what will be the final result, but I can tell you that we will have a lot of seats in Quebec and outside Quebec also.”
Bernier will wrap up his trip across Alberta on Sunday, with a final day in Calgary.