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Voters will 'punish' Trudeau at polls, Bernier tells Orillia crowd (5 photos)

People's Party of Canada leader speaks to more than 100 during Orillia stop; 'I’m using my words as my weapons and I will use my weapons until we win'

Maxime Bernier brought his People’s Party of Canada (PPC) message of free speech and smaller government to Orillia on Wednesday.

The party leader capped a day of rallies in the region at Couchiching Beach Park, where more than 100 people gathered near the pavilion in Terry Fox Circle.

He railed against Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau’s statement that federal government employees and those travelling on planes and trains will need to show proof of vaccination against COVID-19.

“What he’s telling them is, ‘If you’re not listening to me, you’ll be punished. You won’t be able to work as a civil servant for the federal government.’ It’s not our Canada,” Bernier said. “I will tell you who will be punished. It will be him (on) the 20th of September. Canadians will punish him.”

He said his party and its supporters have truth and science on their side, and claimed COVID-19 “is not dangerous for younger people.”

A PPC government would not impose vaccination on anyone, he said, but added he respects people regardless of whether they decide to get the shot.

He encouraged those in attendance to use their “words as weapons” — a thought that came to him when he was arrested in Manitoba in June after a rally that exceeded gathering limits.

Police, he said, asked him if he had any weapons on him.

“I said, ‘Weapons? No. Only my words. Only my philosophy,’” he said. “So ... I’m using my words as my weapons and I will use my weapons until we win, but I will need you to do the same thing. Use your words. Use your weapons. Speak to your friends, to your family, and we will win that battle of ideas together.”

Simcoe North PPC candidate Stephen Makk was the first to speak during Wednesday’s rally. He told the crowd it was time for “a freedom workout.”

“Freedom is like a muscle. If you don’t exercise it, it’ll wither away and it may be gone forever,” he said.

He described the PPC as “fundamentalist about freedom, especially freedom of speech.”

“Sovereign individuals exercising their rights, working with their family unit, working with their community, working with their ethnic group — whoever. Work together. Look each other in the eye. Speak,” Makk said.

“We are the most humanistic party in Canada,” he continued, “because we care about people who care and we want to enable them to interact with each other with minimum interference.”

After the rally — which also included a speech from independent Lanark-Frontenac-Lennox and Addington MPP Randy Hillier, who has demonstrated against lockdowns — Makk said Bernier’s visit was “great for Orillia.”

“Max is fun. He stirs up interest and he stirs up positive energy. The guy’s a people person. He really has prime ministerial poise,” he said, adding Bernier has the “best resumé of all the leaders.”

Makk was thrilled with the turnout.

“It was more than I thought,” he said. “I was not expecting this.”


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Nathan Taylor

About the Author: Nathan Taylor

Nathan Taylor is the desk editor for Village Media's central Ontario news desk in Simcoe County and Newmarket.
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