Who is Maxime Bernier? The far-right politician compared to Trump could help Trudeau in Canada’s election.

Maxime Bernier and his People’s Party of Canada could take votes away from the center-right Conservative Party in the upcoming election. (Artur Widak/NurPhoto via Getty Images)

In recent years, Maxime Bernier has found himself on the fringes of Canadian politics. Once one of Canada’s more senior cabinet ministers, the far-right politician, who has been compared to Donald Trump, lost his seat in the House of Commons in 2019. He is known internationally for insulting climate activist Greta Thunberg, then 16 years old, on Twitter.

But now, Bernier and his People’s Party of Canada could play a big role as spoilers in the Sept. 20 federal election. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau called the snap poll hoping to capitalize on his Liberal government’s handling of the coronavirus pandemic, but he has faced a surprisingly tight race against the opposition Conservative Party, led by Erin O’Toole. The two largest parties are neck-and-neck in the final week of campaigning.

By splitting the right-of-center vote, Bernier could break the deadlock and give a boost to Trudeau, whom he recently derided as a “fascist psychopath.” (For his part, Trudeau has condemned Bernier’s rhetoric as irresponsible.)

What to know

  • Who is Maxime Bernier?
  • What is the platform of his People’s Party of Canada?
  • How did the coronavirus pandemic impact the election?
  • What does this mean for Trudeau’s Liberals in the election?

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