Tory Leadership Hopeful Makes PG Stop
Local businessman, TJ Grewal chats with Conservative Leadership Candidate Maxime Bernier – photo 250News
Prince George, B.C. – He is one of more than a dozen vying for the leadership of the Federal Conservative Party, but Maxime Bernier is the only candidate to make a stop in Prince George as the membership drive winds down.
He says his stop in Prince George is just a continuation of what he has been doing since jumping into the leadership race last April ” I’m meeting all members and making sure they know my platform and to answer their questions, that is important, they will be the ones to choose the next leader of this Party.” Unlike other candidates ( there are 13 others) Bernier says he has made several stops in rural Canada ” For me it is important to be out there, because the way the campaign works, every riding is won on points, so it is important to be here, so if I get 80% of the vote here, I will have 80 points. For me, that’s why I started my campaign early, last April, to try to be everywhere in Canada.”
With 13 others in the race alongside him, ,Bernier says there is one thing that sets him apart from the others “The policies, I am the only one with a comprehensive platform.” He says his platform, which calls for balancing the budget within two years of the Conservatives being re-elected to power, ending corporate welfare, stopping subsidies to large companies like Bombardier and GM “and use that money to lower taxes to every single entrepreneur in this country.” He also wants to abolish the capital gains tax in Canada, and lower taxes for Canadians “They know better what to do with their money than a politician in Ottawa or a bureaucrat in Ottawa.”
He says the goal is to meet as many Party members as he can “It’s going well, people like my platform.”
That platform includes an idea on how to resolve the softwood lumber scenario. He says he is O.K. with reopening NAFTA, “It’s time to reopen NAFTA because it’s an old agreement, more than 25 years ago. But if we open up NAFTA, Trump would like to have some deal, let’s have a deal with him, let’s put something on the table. If we want our softwood lumber to be exported to the U.S., without any tariff, without any quota, we must offer something to the U.S. I know what they want. I know what the dairy producers, egg producers, and poultry producers in the U.S. want, they want to be able to export their products to Canada. I would give them that, abolish supply management, Canadians would pay half the price for these products, I would abolish this Cartel, it is not fair, and we are paying $2.6 billion dollars to keep that cartel. When I say we, Canadian consumers. I will do that for Canadian consumers, and I will ask Mr. Trump, O.K. your people will be able to export these products, but I want our softwood lumber to be able to go to the U.S.”
Bernier’s campaign came under fire recently after allegations were made about the manner in which some memberships had been purchased. Bernier is confident his team has done nothing wrong “That is coming from the (Kevin) O’Leary camp and maybe it’s because our campaign is going well.”
He says his challenge right now is to have members make him their first choice “and to understand the philosophy of the campaign, less government, more freedom, more prosperity, and that will be my challenge, to be out there and to speak to these old and new members.”
Bernier has confidence the Conservatives can form Government next time “If we have the right leader if we don’t try to be Liberals, we have to be ourselves. We have to be proud of our values as Conservatives, they are the values of the Western civilization: Freedom, responsibility, respect, fairness, so we have to promote these values and that is what I want to do. We have to be opposite the Liberals on the economy because we will have a huge opportunity two years from now.”
Tuesday, the 28th , is the cut off for anyone wanting to buy a membership in order to be able to vote in the May 27th leadership ballot.