Meeting organizer Glen Walushka (second from right) gathers input on The People’s Party of Canada questionnaire from Justin (did not give last name, from left), Steven Brink, Greg Stefiuk and Eric Draht at Vernon’s The Green Pub at the Village Green Hotel Monday. (Roger Knox/Morning Star)

New political party holds an informational session in Vernon

Maxime Bernier’s The People’s Party of Canada draws about 2o interested patrons to Vernon pub.

He’s a lifelong Conservative, but now Vernon’s Art Robatzek is leaning towards Canada’s potential new political party.

Maxime Bernier, who lost the Conservative leadership nomination bid to Andrew Scheer, announced Friday he was going to be forming his own political organization, the People’s Party of Canada. An informational meeting on the party drew Robatzek and about 2o others to Vernon’s The Green Pub in the Village Green Hotel Monday.

RELATED: Vernon hosts informational meeting on Canada’s newest political party

RELATED: Maverick MP Maxime Bernier launches new party as The People’s Party of Canada

“I think Mr. Scheer is a really nice person but I just don’t believe he’s really a leader,” said Robatzek, 83, who just returned from the Conservative Party convention in Halifax. “With all due respect, I think he’d like to be but I think he sold himself down the river by associating himself with supply management because that’s the No. 1 issue in this country.”

Topping the list of Bernier’s principles and policies is ending supply management, a Canadian system that permits special commodity sectors like dairy, poultry and eggs to limit the supply of its products to what Canadian citizens are expected to eat in order to have stable, predictable prices.

The system has been supported by the federal government in its agricultural pricing policies for more than 100 years, but the current system can be traced back to the 1960s.

“I feel that people in Canada are not getting their fair share,” said Robatzek, a 61-year auctioneer who also owns and operates a construction company “to get his daily physical exercise. “The majority of people are struggling, trying to make end’s meet. We’ve got costly dairy products which are a product every family should have growing up. Chickens and eggs, their prices are exceptionally high, making it more difficult for people to make end’s meet.

“Supply management, as an organization, is outdated.”

Glen Walushka, founder of the Wild Rose Party in Alberta, co-hosted Monday’s meeting along with Janet Green. Both are former Conservatives and former members of the North Okanagan-Shuswap Conservative Riding Association.

Walushka feels Bernier gives the People’s Party of Canada instant credibility.

“He’s walked the talk,” said Walushka. “You have to have a person who’s had to earn a dime the hard way. Have some business insight and background, make some tough decisions, and do what’s the greatest good for the greatest number. You have to put some of your emotions aside and actually govern and manage a country. Have to have somebody with strength.

“Bernier does that. And we’re looking for somebody with the same quality and attributes who can challenge legitimately in this riding in 2019.”

The party can’t become official until a by-election is called somewhere in Canada, and the party can roll out a candidate.

“We’ll start building a group and sharing information,” said Walushka, who said his digital equipment has been going non-stop with messages since Bernier announced the news on Friday.

“We’ve had people signing forms but the party will be idling until we become official. We anticipate sometime in the next three-to-six-months that opportunity will come up.”

Asked if Bernier could make a dent in the next federal election, Robatzek didn’t hesitate.

“I wouldn’t be a bit surprised if he’ll have more seats than the Conservative Party,” he said.

To report a typo, email: newstips@vernonmorningstar.com.


Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

UPDATE: Cops still on scene hours after dump truck, cyclist collide on Harvey Avenue

The woman sustained injuries to one of her legs, according to RCMP

Boaters asked to slow down, be respectful on regional lakes

Central Okanagan Emergency Operations Centre also reminded boaters physical distancing still applies on the water

Filming to resume safely later in June: Okanagan Film Commission

Film commissioner Jon Summerland said they want to start filming again later in June

Kelowna RCMP investigate woman’s sudden death

Criminality is not suspected at this time, according to RCMP

Undisclosed video evidence comes to light in West Kelowna murder trial

‘They’ve disclosed hundreds of pieces of evidence. Why would this have gotten missed?’ - defence lawyer

March dental conference key to many of B.C.’s COVID-19 cases

Early infections from China, Iran were quickly contained

Police seek help identifying person of interest in Salmon Arm arson investigation

A fire in a garage was extinguished but it is being treated as an arson.

Penticton Search and Rescue respond to six calls in less than a week

Two hikers rescued in early morning search near Greyback Lake latest in series of searches

Regional District of Kootenay Boundary rescinds all Grand Forks-area evacuation orders

Evacuation alerts for 1,136 Boundary properties remain in effect as officials monitor forecasts

MAP: Dr. Henry reveals which B.C. regions have seen most COVID-19 cases

B.C. health officials release a first look at how the novel coronavirus has reached all corners of the province

In photos: Modified, yet traditional graduation gives Penticton graduates a sense of normalcy

Students around Penticton take part in pre-recorded graduation ceremonies

Tla-o-qui-aht First Nation woman, 26, fatally shot by police in Edmundston, N.B.

Police were conducting a well-being check at the time of the incident

WATCH: Burned out car be gone thanks to Vernon dealership, ski resort

Bannister GM Vernon and SilverStar Mountain Resort team up in road cleanup

‘We either make a difference or we don’t’: Revelstoke teen leads protest in support of BLM

Revelstoke joined cities across the world protesting against racism and police brutality

Most Read