READ: The Full Statement From Maxime Bernier On Why He’s Leaving The Conservative Party

“If we want conservative principles to win the battle of ideas, we have to defend them openly, with passion and conviction.” – Maxime Bernier

Here’s the full text from Maxime Bernier’s announcement that he’s leaving the Conservative Party, as shared on his website.

“Over the past few months, I have been raising policy issues which I believe are crucially important for the future of our country. This is my job as a Member of Parliament. 

Moreover, it is my duty, as a Conservative Member of Parliament, to contribute to debates and to offer policy solutions from a conservative perspective. Otherwise, what is the point of being involved in politics? 

I am in politics to defend ideas, real conservative ideas. Because I passionately care about Canada’s future. Because I know that the free-market conservative philosophy has the best solutions to ensure our society is more prosperous, secure, and peaceful. 

However, my party’s stand on several issues have convinced me that under the current leadership, it has all but abandoned its core conservative principles. 

I still cannot understand how a party that is supposed to defend free markets supports a small cartel that artificially increases the price of milk, chicken and eggs for millions of Canadian consumers. 

More importantly, supply management has become one of the main stumbling blocks to an agreement with the United States on NAFTA. Former Conservative leaders Brian Mulroney and Rona Ambrose agree that it should be put on the table. 

But the Conservative Party has been siding with the Liberal government. It also supports the retaliatory tariffs of the Liberal government, even though this is going to hurt our businesses and consumers. Even though Canada has no realistic chance of winning a trade war with a neighbour ten times larger. Even though we could successfully relaunch the negotiations if we put supply management on the table, and if we accept President Trump’s offer to negotiate a dismantling of all barriers, as the European Union has done. 

The Liberals are playing politics with this crucially important trade file. They are endangering the 20% of our economy that depends on trade with the U.S., and Canada’s future prosperity. 

But instead of leading as a principled Conservative and defending the interests of Canada and Canadians, Andrew Scheer is following the Trudeau Liberals. I was told that internal polls are showing that the Liberals’ response to Trump is popular. And that in six months, if the polls change, the party’s stand may change too. 

The same thing happened in reaction to my tweets on diversity and multiculturalism. This is another crucial debate for the future of our country. Do we want to emphasize our ethnic and religious differences, and exploit them to buy votes, as the Liberals are doing? Or emphasize what unites us and the values that can guarantee social cohesion? 

Just like in other Western societies grappling with this issue, a large number of Canadians, and certainly the vast majority of Conservatives, are worried that we are heading in the wrong direction. But it’s not politically correct to raise such questions. 

Instead of leading the debate and pushing back against all the unfair accusations, Andrew Scheer chose to avoid the controversy. He and several of my colleagues disavowed me. They are so afraid of criticism by the Left and the media that they prefer to let down millions of supporters across the country who would like us to tackle this issue. 

When the Liberal government recently renewed the unfair and inefficient equalization formula for another five years, I was the only one to criticize it. Not a word from my Conservative colleagues. 

A Conservative party that supports free markets should also advocate the end of corporate welfare. It is not only the principled thing to do, it could also be popular if we defend it in a consistent way. Canadians are tired of paying taxes to bail out Bombardier, Ford and other businesses. 

Instead of taking up this idea, Andrew Scheer announced that he would name a regional minister for all the regional development agencies in the country, as opposed to having only one minister overseeing them as is the case now. He wants a minister from Quebec to distribute subsidies to Quebec, a minister from Atlantic Canada to distribute subsidies to Atlantic Canada, and so on. 

The conservative solution should be to abolish these wasteful agencies. What my party proposes is to make them more efficient at buying votes with taxpayers’ money. 

How can we expect this party to adopt any conservative reform when it comes to power, if it cannot even articulate a clear stand and defend them before it is elected? I am now convinced that what we will get if Andrew Scheer becomes prime minister is just a more moderate version of the disastrous Trudeau government. 

I have come to realize over the past year that this party is too intellectually and morally corrupt to be reformed. 

I know for a fact that many in the caucus privately oppose supply management. But buying votes in a few key ridings is more important than defending the interests of all Canadians. 

The whole strategy of the party is to play identity politics, pander to various interest groups and buy votes with promises, just like the Liberals. 

The Conservative Party tries to avoid important but controversial issues of concern to Conservatives and Canadians in general. It is afraid to articulate any coherent philosophy to support its positions. 

Every public declaration is tested with polls and focus groups. The result is a bunch of platitudes that don’t offend anybody, but also don’t mean anything and don’t motivate anyone. 

Andrew Scheer keeps talking about his “positive Conservative vision.” But nobody knows what that vision is. 

The Conservative Party has abandoned conservatives. It does not represent them anymore. And it has nothing of substance to offer Canadians looking for a political alternative. 

If we want conservative principles to win the battle of ideas, we have to defend them openly, with passion and conviction. 

That is what I want to do. And this is why as of today, I am no longer a member of the Conservative Party of Canada. I want to do politics differently. I will find another way to give a voice to millions of Canadians. And I will continue to fight for Freedom, Responsibility, Fairness and Respect.”

Spencer Fernando

Photo – YouTube

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Ron Voss

I hope that Bernier follows Fildebrandt’s example and only fields a candidate in ridings where a conservative is sure to win. A rump group in parliament holding a balance of power can still be effective.


Bernier is not a team player nor is he leadship material, he lost the leadship election but he is still on about it over the years he has done a lot of deal breaking actions so its good he’s gone the bad is he does have a following and this will hurt the PC’s in the election.


You go Bernier!!

shawn harris

All political parties say they are passionate about what they say and are convinced that they are doing so in the best interests of all Canadians. Bernier has made an excellent point, if you truly believe in what you say, then you should not have any problem defending what you say and believe. When you listen to both the Liberals and Conservatives, they are both just a reflection of whatever there core base of supporters are saying and that usually doesn’t translate out to what the general public wants to hear or see. To defeat Trudeau, Scheer must present such… Read more »

Ralph Knapp

So, Maxine, you’re quitting the Party. Good luck with your future endeavors.

Sheldon Johnston

Hallelujah!!! Finally a political leader with conviction, standing for free-markets, open debate and historic Canadian values. Bernier is a godsend to political discourse in Canada.


I have to admit that those are definitely Conservative values and we would like to get back to them, I would love to support them and democracy, but so many Canadians are so socialist now and they and our many new comers are afraid to speak anything but politically correct propaganda developed by the UN one world order and Lieberal/NDP party totalitarians, and somehow real Conservatives,democracy for the people and common sense has been so demonized and lied about by the communist propaganda taught in our schools and universities, whole courses on these subjects and social justice, that is over… Read more »

Dave Allsopp

Hear, hear!
Well said!
You seem to be one if very few courageous enough to articulate the truth along with Maxime Bernier!
I agree with you.


Well said, Maxime Bernier! I will not likely be voting in the next election for the first time in my life because there is no one worthy of my vote. I used to think to not vote Conservative would be the same as voting Liberal or NDP. Today, I feel that to vote Conservative is the same as voting Liberal or NDP, so why would I bother? Unless and until offered a real conservative option, I will just sit out my future voting days. What a sad joke it’s all become.


Totally agree Leslie


Bud Zipp who was an MLA for a lot of years ,circa 1974, told me a number of times what exactly a situation like this really is , nothing But “Sour Grapes”!


JD MacDonald

Well, his entire statement sounds like nothing more than sour grapes from a leadership loser! (Calm down. I’m being sarcastic.)

Kudos to Mr. Bernier for speaking the simple, unvarnished truth—without having to hire a legion of pollsters to decide what it is. He was wise to leave the “fake-cons” behind, and I look forward to voting for his new party.

Note: Whenever people would accuse Stephen Harper of being a control freak, my response was always “Good! Look at how many idiots he has to keep under control!”


Well said Mr. Bernier. I have been disappointed with Mr. Scheer from the get go and did not renew my membership to the Party as a result. I am a conservative, I want a true conservative party, not a photo copy of the Liberal Party.


Isn’t this political situation just ducky now that Bernier has pulled the plug with the conservatives? I find myself and many others daily wringing hands on this dilemma. First off TRUDEAU HAS TO GO AT ANY COST to save this nation! This pathetic human being is beyond belief. Scheer comes on the scene when we needed someone finally with a dose of common sense. But, as time went on the nagging doubts were there, he was silent about addressing the biggest problem our country faces which is immigration and multiculturalism. Those two things mixed together is what has resulted in… Read more »


I feel the only “game” that needs to be played with caution is to keep & find some balance between Sheer & Bernier’s Parties. Trudeau must be defeated & I believe this is still possible if the Conservatives are respectful of each other vs. becoming foes.
If Bernier doesn’t win a majority, which I feel he could in the current global political climate, a coalition government could emerge in 2019.