The People’s Party of Canada (PPC) candidate for the district of West Nova has announced he will no longer run for the party, claiming Maxime Bernier’s rhetoric has become too divisive.
In a social media statement Monday afternoon, Chad Hudson announced he would no longer stand as the district’s PPC candidate due to “recent information regarding the People’s Party of Canada’s values” and the “choices its leadership have made.”
“It was really just a drip, drip, drip of just a steady stream of very unpleasant things,” Hudson told Global News in a phone interview Monday.
Hudson says several of Bernier’s decisions have left him feeling uneasy. First was when it was revealed that one of the signatories who supported the creation of the PPC is a former leader of a U.S. neo-Nazi group.
Aside from that, Hudson also doesn’t agree with how Bernier is bringing what he calls a “Donald Trump-style of politics” north of the border.
“This election does not feel like a normal Canadian election campaign. It feels like it has been Americanized … this country is divided,” said Hudson, citing the fights that occurred outside of a Maxime Bernier event in Hamilton over the weekend.
“It feels like we’re coming apart at the seams and I don’t want to be a part of that. I want to be a part of helping it come back together.”
For Hudson, the tipping point was Bernier’s attack on international climate activist Greta Thunberg, where he called the 16-year-old with autism “mentally unstable.”
“In spite of any disability that might be there, she speaks more eloquently than most people in public life do,” Hudson says. “(Bernier’s) decision to go after her on a personal level, calling her mentally unstable, I think that’s sickening, quite frankly.”
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Hudson says there are still many aspects of the party’s platform that he agrees with, including its focus on fiscal conservatism and the reduction on foreign aid spending, but he feels the PPC have spun away from a policy discussion into a “hate-filled, us-versus-them” type of politics.
“I think that’s very dangerous for racialized Canadians in this country,” Hudson expressed. “It concerns me. I have to do my part in calling it out.”
Global News reached out to the PPC for comment on whether the party has plans to fill the seat before the election, but did not receive a response by the time of publication.
As it stands now, Hudson remains unsure of what candidate, if any, he will throw his support behind. Whichever party that ends up being, he hopes they’re able to tone down the personal attacks and get back to talking about policy.
“This sort of Trump-ism that’s really infected politics around the world and south of the border, but here at home now, it’s like a cancer,” Hudson says. “Our confederation feels like it’s coming apart at the seams. It’s west versus east, separate sentiment rising in the west, regional alienation, then we have these racial divisions that are now being exploited by opportunists like Bernier.”
“Canadians need to be looking for not necessarily one particular party, … they need to be a part of raising the bar in terms of our political discourse.”
Hudson has concluded that he will not be running as an independent.
“I certainly hope to be able to contribute to public service in some way in the future, but I absolutely disavow the People’s Party and disassociate myself from them completely.”