OTTAWA — Maxime Bernier says not inviting him to take part in the official election debates means excluding the only political party leader who has anything different to say.
Bernier, the leader of the People’s Party of Canada, says the Liberals, the Conservatives, the NDP, the Greens and the Bloc Quebecois all share similar views on things like immigration, climate change and supply management in the dairy sector.
Speaking to his candidates and supporters at his party’s first national gathering in Gatineau, Que., on Sunday, Bernier dismissed his political rivals as espousing varying degrees of left-leaning views, including the Conservatives.
He accused both the Conservatives, a party he represented for over a decade, and the Liberals of pandering to special interest groups, and that his party, which he said does not do any polling, will campaign according to its principles.
Those other parties have all qualified for the debates, to be held Oct. 7 and Oct. 10, under criteria established by the federal government.
Bernier said he is confident the head of the Leaders’ Debates Commission will change his mind and allow him to join the others onstage.