Something bad is happening. Distrust and anger on display at the Popular Party protest outside the leaders’ debate

OTTAWA: “Most people just understand that something bad is happening.”

Here’s how the People’s Party of Canada candidate for Pontiac, David Bruce Gottfred, explained why more than 100 protesters gathered outside the Gatineau Museum of Canadian History on Thursday night to protest Maxime Bernier’s exclusion from the debates. leaders officers.

“We have had curfews, we have had closures, all these restrictions that keep increasing more and more. And now they are trying to prevent people from traveling, people from not going to restaurants, people from stopping work, “Gottfred told the Star in an interview.

“So no, it has to stop.”

On Wednesday, the PPC called for a “peaceful assembly for all voices” outside the Gatineau museum.

“Be with us on September 9,” the party wrote in a blast on social media.


The party has opposed the decision of the Leadership Debate Commission to exclude Bernier from the two official debates. That decision was based on the independent body’s determination that the PPC did not meet the criteria for the inclusion of its leader: the party did not have an acting deputy in the last Parliament, it did not receive four percent popular support in the last elections, and did not obtain 4 percent of public support in the week after the elections were called.

But over the past week, some pollsters have noticed a significant increase in support for the PPC, with various polls placing the party above four percent.

The crowd at Thursday night’s protest in Gatineau was peaceful, if not positive. Much of his anger was directed at Justin Trudeau, who was taunted by a protester with a megaphone when the Liberal leader arrived with his RCMP bodyguards.

PPC supporters have come forward at protests that have haunted Trudeau as he traveled across the country, especially earlier this week in London, Ontario, when gravel was thrown at Trudeau and his security team as they returned to their bus from Bell.

Global News reported Thursday that the PPC expelled the president of its riding association in Elgin-Middlesex-London, Shane Marshall, after the incident.

When asked if the PPC thought Bernier’s rhetoric, which included calling Trudeau a “fascist”, a “psychopath” and hinting that he was a tyrant, was fueling protests, the party’s chief spokesman dismissed The Star’s question as if it came from a “disguised left activist.” as journalists “.

Trudeau has used the protests to bolster his position on mandatory COVID-19 vaccinations, which liberals have tried to use as a political wedge against conservative leader Erin O’Toole, and as a starting point for talking about political divisions. manifested in Canadian Society.

On Wednesday, Trudeau rejected a question from Rebel Media, a right-wing website that has regularly engaged in political activism, about why the organization had to fight in court to be allowed access to leaders’ debates. .

“The reality is that organizations like yours that continue to spread misinformation and misinformation about the science around vaccines, about how we are really going to overcome this pandemic and being there to help us and keep our children safe, is part of why. what ‘I’m seeing such unfortunate anger and a lack of understanding of basic science, ”Trudeau responded.

“And frankly, your, I won’t call it a media organization, your group of people must take responsibility for some of the polarization that we are seeing in this country. And I think Canadians are realizing the fact that there is a really important decision that we make about what kind of country we want to see. “

That argument seemed unlikely to make it to Gottfred. The PPC candidate said his movement is largely united by distrust of the government because “they are not telling us the truth.”

And what is the truth?

“I do not know the truth. That’s the thing. I try to keep my feet on the ground. I’m saying ‘this doesn’t make sense, this doesn’t make sense, this doesn’t make sense,’ “Gottfred said.

“Most people just understand that something bad is happening and that it will not get better until the government backs down, because these people are not going to back down.”


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