Bernier tries to walk line between libertarianism and identity politics at People’s Party’s first national convention

Kelly Day was warming up the crowd with a theme song she wrote for the People’s Party of Canada.

The song was heavy on the patriotism and libertarianism that Maxime Bernier’s upstart party says it stands for. PPC candidates and volunteers, purple lanyards around their necks and buttons on their chests, clapped and shouted encouragement.

“We stand beside the PPC and our liberty / The right side of history,” Day, the PPC’s candidate in Prince Albert, Sask., sang over the piano accompaniment.

“Maxime Bernier is championing personal integrity / Home is our country / Because we need to know who will stand / Canadians who love this land.”

But earlier Sunday afternoon, the 200 or so people in attendance at the PPC’s first national convention were hearing a very different tune. Benjamin Dichter — a former Conservative candidate in Toronto-Danforth and co-founder of LGBTory — was warning the crowd about “political Islam” and how it has infiltrated both Justin Trudeau’s Liberal party and Andrew Scheer’s Conservatives.

“Despite what our corporate media and political leaders want to admit, Islamist entryism and the adaptation of political Islam is rotting away at our society like syphilis,” Dichter said

Dichter, who stood at Bernier’s side in a closing news conference, declined to say what he meant by “political Islam,” and instead recommended a book. Bernier also declined to explain what he thinks “political Islam” signifies. When asked if he subscribes to Dichter’s position, Bernier dodged the question before accusing Scheer of pandering to extremists for votes.


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