Expect to swiftly lose your freedoms one by one.
Expect the newly re-elected minority Liberal government to strip them away with no resistance, often with the blessing, of the opposition parties.
Expect soaring inflation as the Liberals spend with abandon money Canada doesn’t have.
But don’t expect People’s Party of Canada Leader Maxime Bernier, who didn’t win any seats, to quietly ride off into the sunset.
Do expect to soon see him in Alberta campaigning for three PPC candidates running in the Alberta senate election taking place when Albertans go to the polls October 18.
Above all, don’t lose hope, says Bernier.
“There’s hope. That’s why I’m in politics,” Bernier told Western Standard.
“I believe in people. And it’s never too late to do the right thing. I believe we’ll be able to change the trajectory of the country. But it can be difficult.”
However, Canada’s in the eye of a storm that will erode many freedoms before it passes.
“I believe (Prime Minister Justin) Trudeau will go ahead with restrictions on our freedoms,” said Bernier.
“The Liberals will have the support of the Conservatives on that, along with all the other establishment parties.”
Trudeau announced Tuesday he’ll “foot the bill” for provinces that already implemented COVID-19 vaccine passports. And he’ll create an internationally recognized version.
He also ordered 300,000 federal employees to get vaccinated or face being fired. He’s planning to ban the unvaccinated from air and train travel.
Trudeau’s just getting started, warns Bernier.
“I don’t see a bright future in the next couple of months.”
Bernier predicts next on the Liberal agenda will be forcing on Canadians Bill C-10 to overhaul Internet rules and Bill C-36 to clamp down on online hate speech. Both are dangerous assaults to freedom of expression.
“Censorship will be in Canada. Bill C-36 and Bill C-10, I expect that to pass. We’ll do everything to ensure that Canadians understand the impact of these legislations.”
Meanwhile, he predicts inflation will rise.
“It’s 4.1% now. With all the spending the Trudeau government will do the inflation will go up.”
Canadians will soon get a clearer picture of the Liberal vision for Canada.
“Canadians elected a party that’s not putting Canadians first and our country first. We’ll see more policies in line with socialism in this country.”
But chin up, Bernier expects another election call within two years.
“That’s why we need to stay vigilant, and we will.”
So much to do. Campaign for Alberta senators. Fend off left-leaning media. Build the party. Await a decision on a major lawsuit and deal with that court matter in Manitoba.
Despite not even winning his own seat, Bernier’s buoyed that PPC got 830,000 votes, 5% of the total vote, up from 1.6% in the 2019 election.
“The future is open to us because the Conservative Party of Canada is not conservative anymore. So, we’ll have more support in the future. We are the only real opposition right now.”
PPC scrambled to field 311 candidates, many intending to run again.
“That will be a big difference from this last election. We have a stronger team, a better organization, and more people know we exist now.”
On the heels of the election, some media outlets warned that PPC is dangerous and comprised of people with “deeply embedded racist views.”
“I think the media wasn’t happy with our result,” said Bernier shrugging it off.
If he’s remorseful about Twitter reprimanding him for a tweet calling three journalists “idiots,” he didn’t say.
Bernier also tweeted: “They want to play dirty, we will play dirty too” and listed their e-mail addresses, and urged followers to contact them.
“I will answer questions from real journalists. Activist leftist journalists, I won’t,” said Bernier, who praised local media encountered throughout the campaign.
“These people are very competent. I will always work with competent journalists.”
A judge is expected to hand down a decision in October on Bernier’s $325,000 lawsuit against political commentator Warren Kinsella.
Bernier sought damages alleging Kinsella branded him a “racist and Nazi” during and after the 2019 campaign causing damage to his reputation, public scandal, and embarrassment.
Kinsella countered that his freedom of speech and expression are protected.
Meanwhile, the case before Manitoba courts drags on. Bernier was arrested, handcuffed and jailed in June. He was charged with exceeding public gathering limits and violating Manitoba’s requirement to self-isolate upon entering the province to hold anti-lockdown rallies and organize his campaign.
“They don’t want me in court because they know I’ll win, and they don’t want to set precedent. I’m waiting for another day, and I’ll be there.”
But before that, it’s off to Alberta to fight for autonomy for people in the West and raise PPC’s profile.
“We are fighting for individual freedom and personal responsibility. We’ll grow … this party is here for the long term.”
Slobodian is the Senior Manitoba Columnist for the Western Standard