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Politics

PPC Leader Maxime Bernier to face another Maxime Bernier in his riding

WATCH: Current Canadian Prime Minister and Liberal Party Leader Justin Trudeau walks with his family in Ottawa to Rideau Hall on Sept. 11 in order to drop the writ, which will dissolve Parliament. This event marks the kickoff of the federal election campaign season.

Mirror, mirror on the wall, who is the maddest Max of all?

Is it Maxime Bernier, the People’s Party of Canada (PPC) leader, who sometimes refers to himself as “Mad Max” on Twitter?

Or is it Maxime Bernier, the newly minted candidate for the Rhinoceros Party?

READ MORE: Leaders in Ontario, Quebec and B.C. as federal election campaign kicks off

Voters in the Quebec riding of Beauce will have two ways to “Bern” their votes on Oct. 21 after the Rhino Party nominated a candidate named Maxime Bernier to run against the PPC leader.

People’s Party of Canada Leader Maxime Bernier, left, is shown in Ottawa on Wednesday, Sept. 4, 2019. Maxime Bernier, a federal candidate for the Rhinoceros Party in Beauce, is shown on the right.
People’s Party of Canada Leader Maxime Bernier, left, is shown in Ottawa on Wednesday, Sept. 4, 2019. Maxime Bernier, a federal candidate for the Rhinoceros Party in Beauce, is shown on the right. Via Justin Tang/The Canadian Press and Sebastien Corriveau/Twitter

The satirical Rhino Party is known for running quirky candidates, including some who change their last names to “Rhino” and engage in other jokes.

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The party’s platform includes running ads in Parliament, forcing automakers to produce more green-coloured cars and making illiteracy the country’s third official language.

READ MORE: PPC Leader Maxime Bernier defends immigration polices at pre-campaign event in London

Rhino Party leader Sebastien CoRhino (born Corriveau) presented his new candidate in a tweet on Tuesday.

“Your candidate in Beauce: Maxime Bernier!” he wrote in French.

CoRhino hailed Bernier as a “star candidate” in a French-language press release on Tuesday.

“There are many people who tell me: I want to vote for Maxime Bernier, and I want to vote Rhinoceros!” CoRhino is quoted as saying. “Well, I offer them an option so that they can vote Rhino and Bernier!”

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The Rhino Party added its slogan in Beauce is: “Don’t take a chance, vote for both!”

The Rhinos’ Bernier is promising to build “Little Beauce” ridings all across the country by exporting workers, entrepreneurs and small business people from the region to other parts of the country.

His “green” plan includes mandatory vasectomies for all men 16 or older.

“We know that humans destroy their habitat and that they are dangerous for all animal and plant species on Earth,” he is quoted as saying. “By promising mandatory vasectomies for all men, Canada will be a world leader in the fight against climate change.”

READ MORE: The battle for Maxime Bernier’s riding

A second Bernier might create some confusion when voters go to the polls on Oct. 21, because they’ll see the same name twice on the ballot. One Bernier will be listed as a candidate for the PPC. The other will run under the Rhino banner.

As of this writing, the PPCs’ Bernier has not commented on another Max moving in on his riding.

Liberal candidate Adam Veilleux, Conservative candidate Richard Lehoux, and Green candidate Josiane Fortin are also running in Beauce. The PPC’s Bernier is the incumbent.

The tongue-in-cheek Rhinos have several other quirky candidates running in the election, including Felix Covfefe Valois, Le Marquis de Marmalade and Real BatRhino, who is shown wearing a Batman-style costume with a rhino logo on the party’s website.

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“As we’re voting for clowns, choose the funniest!” the party’s main page reads.

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