Global News is projecting that People’s Party of Canada Leader Maxime Bernier has lost in the Quebec riding of Beauce.
With nearly 40 per cent of polls reporting as of 11:21 p.m. ET, Bernier trailed incumbent Conservative Richard Lehoux by more than 5,000 votes.
“Thousands of Canadians were coming to our rallies all across the country. Everywhere we looked, you could see purple – a purple wave, a sea of purple,” Bernier told supporters at at election night event in Saskatoon. “Unfortunately, we won’t be able to carry on this fight in Parliament, but we will continue this battle to unite Canadians under the freedom umbrella.”
Bernier won the riding for the Conservative Party in the 2006, 2008, 2011 and 2015 elections before breaking with the party and launching his own right-wing party in September 2018.
Saskatoon Police Service told Global News it is working with public health to investigate the PPC election night rally in Saskatoon, after report of dozens of supporters not wearing mask at the indoor event.
Most people were maskless indoors, despite a public health order enacted on Sept. 17 in Saskatchewan making masks mandatory in all indoor public places in the province.
Calgary Mayor Naheed Nenshi said Bernier’s speech “didn’t match the facts” when it came to election outcomes of PPC candidates.
“His speech was delusional. But that’s pretty much everything we’ve heard from Maxime Bernier,” Nenshi said during Global News election special. “My greatest dream is we never have to hear from Maxime Bernier ever again.”
During the COVID-19 pandemic, the PPC became a home for those who oppose vaccine mandates, and who hold other right-wing positions including lowering the number of immigrants and refugees accepted to Canada and withdrawing from the Paris Climate Accord.
A former Conservative cabinet minister, Bernier has spent much of pandemic fighting COVID-19 health measures such as mask mandates, public gathering restrictions and vaccine passports.
He was arrested in June by the RCMP in Manitoba and charged with exceeding public gathering limits and violating the province’s requirement to self-isolate upon entering the province.
Opinion polls have shown as much as five per cent to 10 per cent support for the People’s Party of Canada, which could bleed into support for Erin O’Toole’s Conservatives.
Anti-vaccine supporters of the People’s Party frequently appeared on the campaign trail, often attempting to disrupt Trudeau’s campaign rallies. A party member was arrested for throwing gravel at Trudeau.