PPC Leader touts anti-“vaccine passport” message in Southwestern Ontario swing

People's Party of Canada Leader Maxime Bernier speaks to a crowd at Ultimate Sports Bar in Chatham on Wednesday, September 15, 2021. (Photo by Millar Hill)

Hundreds of people roared in approval as People’s Party of Canada (PPC) leader Maxime Bernier touted an anti-mandatory vaccination message for supporters during a rally in Chatham-Kent.

Bernier, who said he decided not to get the COVID-19 vaccine, spoke to a large crowd at the Ultimate Sports Bar on St. Clair Street in Chatham Wednesday afternoon, but was not available to take questions from reporters.

The PPC party leader, who arrived in a painted limousine dubbed “the Cosmic Cruiser,” was joined by PPC candidates from ridings in Windsor-Essex, Chatham-Kent, and Sarnia-Lambton as part of a day-long campaign blitz in Southwestern Ontario.

“We choose freedom because we know that without freedom, there is no human dignity, there’s no equality of life,” Bernier told the crowd.

Despite choosing not to get vaccinated himself, Bernier reiterated the party was not anti-vaccine or anti-mask, but instead is in favour of “freedom of choice.”

Bernier’s speech was interrupted numerous times by rounds of applause. One of the loudest came when he told the crowd that vaccine passports, which have been promoted by Medical Officers of Health (MOH) across the province including Chatham-Kent’s MOH Dr. David Colby, need to be put to an end.

Bernier continued his speech by promising to cut spending on vaccine passports in Canada if he is elected as Prime Minister, which was interrupted by the crowd chanting for cuts to the government-funded Canadian Broadcast Corporation.

“We want the media to be independent, not dependent on the government,” said Bernier, who did not take any questions from members of the media in attendance covering the event.

He said the People’s Party of Canada electoral platform is the same this election as the party had in 2019 and that it won’t change.