(LifeSiteNews) – People’s Party (PPC) of Canada leader Maxime Bernier is looking to run as a candidate in an upcoming byelection taking place in a Manitoba riding held for years by former interim leader of the Conservative Party of Canada (CPC) Candice Bergen.
Bernier’s spokesman, Martin Masse, confirmed with LifeSiteNews last week that he is “considering running in the Portage-Lisgar by-election.”
“He has made a definitive decision not to run again in Beauce after two failures to get re-elected, and is looking for another riding,” Masse said.
Bernier is also considering running in the Timmins riding in northern Ontario.
Masse told LifeSiteNews that Bernier will announce his decision “sometime in the spring.”
Bernier said in comments sent to LifeSiteNews that he “loves” the Portage-Lisgar area and “feels very much at home” there.
“There is also a substantial francophone community in this area,” he said.
In the 2021 federal election, the local PPC candidate for Portage-Lisgar, Solomon Wiebe, had the best results of any PPC candidate in the country.
Masse noted that Wieber garnered 22 percent of the vote. However, he was up against the popular Bergen.
The PPC held its largest rally ever in the Portage-Lisgar area for the 2021 federal election.
Masse told LifeSiteNews that the PPC “obviously have a larger concentration of support in this area than in most of the rest of the country.”
Of note is that the Portage-Lisgar area is where Bernier was arrested after holding an outdoor rally in 2021.
His 2021 Manitoba tour was well publicized in advance and caught the attention of then-Manitoba Premier Brian Pallister, who warned Bernier that, should he break the local rules, “he’s going to be light in the pocketbook.”
Bernier’s June 11, 2021, arrest caught the attention of Fox News’ Tucker Carlson, who interviewed him that month about his ordeal with Manitoba police.
Bergen served as interim leader of the CPC from spring 2022 after Erin O’Toole stepped down until the election of current leader Pierre Poilievre.
She stepped down as an MP on February 28, 2023. While the interim leader of the CPC, Bergen was more vocal than O’Toole in opposing COVID mandates and did show some support for the trucker Freedom Convoy.
According to the rules, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau must call a byelection within six months of a seat being vacant.
While the CPC was the only party with sitting MPs to blast the COVID mandates, the PPC under former CPC MP Bernier was the only party to blast them from soon after they were imposed.
Bernier himself chose not to get the COVID shots and blasted the fact that every government in the country went along with vaccine passports.