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Politics

5 People’s Party of Canada members resign in Winnipeg, accusing supporters of racism, anti-Semitism

Maxime Bernier, leader of the People's Party of Canada, has lost five members in Winnipeg amid allegations that the party harbours racists and anti-Semites.
Maxime Bernier, leader of the People's Party of Canada, has lost five members in Winnipeg amid allegations that the party harbours racists and anti-Semites. THE CANADIAN PRESS IMAGES/Matthew Usherwood

The People’s Party of Canada (PPC) has lost five of its Winnipeg members over allegations the federal party is harbouring racists, anti-Semites and conspiracy theorists.

In an open letter to PPC Leader Maxime Bernier posted online, party members of the Elmwood-Transcona riding wrote that they were excited for a “principled alternative in Canadian politics.”

“The biggest problem we face locally, though, are our own supporters,” the letter reads, claiming that PPC supporters “spread disinformation and distrust online via their personal and sometimes official party channels.”

The letter is signed by five former PPC members, including prospective PPC candidate for Elmwood-Transcona Willows Christopher as well as riding association president Shaun Martin, vice-president Michael Brunette, secretary Jason Gudmundson and director Andrey Kovalchuk.

READ MORE: Maxime Bernier visits Cardston, introduces southern Alberta PPC candidates

The members say the PPC has been accused of denying freedoms to Canadians, adding that they believe PPC supporters push for the closure of Canada’s “physical and economic borders.”

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Because of these claims, they write, the party is now “moving in a direction we cannot follow in good conscience.”

Managers of the riding association’s Facebook page replied to comments from supporters upset by the letter, writing: “…Our problem is not necessarily with Max [Bernier] himself, but the entire organization has deep-rooted problems.”

Bernier is a former cabinet minister and leadership candidate for the Conservative Party of Canada.

READ MORE: Former Tory cabinet minister to run for People’s Party of Canada

He left the Conservative Party in 2018 to start the People’s Party of Canada.

Global News has reached out to the PPC for comment on the Elmwood-Transcona resignations.