'I think people in Beauce want a better Maxime Bernier'
The Rhinoceros Party, a federal satirical party, has plans to get Maxime Bernier elected.
No, not that Maxime Bernier, the leader of the People’s Party of Canada.
The other Maxime Bernier, a guy from Montreal whom Sébastien Corriveau, leader of the Rhinoceros Party, said will run in Beauce, the PPC leader’s current riding just south of Quebec City.
“I think people in Beauce want a better Maxime Bernier,” Bernier 2.0 told the National Post.
Rhino-Bernier works at a merchandising company that supplies Costco, but despite his lack of political experience, both he and Corriveau have confidence his name will be on the ballot.
“There are a lot of people who tell me, ‘I want to vote for Maxime Bernier and I want to vote Rhinoceros’,” Corriveau said in French. “And well, I’m offering them an option so that they can vote Rhino and Bernier!”
Corriveau found Rhino-Bernier through Facebook, perusing through the countless other Maxime Berniers before landing on someone who agreed. “I thought it’d be great,” Bernier said, adding that he finds some of the party’s positions to be funny.
The Rhino party restarted in 2006 after a long run of political-satirical shenanigans between the 1960s and 1990s. Its current platform includes promises to instil tax havens in all provinces, replace teachers on leave with photos of famous scientists and make “sorry” the official motto of the country.
Rhino-Bernier believes his name will be on the ballot come voting time on Oct. 21, but for that to become a reality, Bernier will need to obtain more than 100 signatures from the riding’s constituents to become a legitimate candidate. He has until Sept. 30 at 2 p.m. to hand in his application, along with the 100 signatures.
Come this weekend, he’ll head up to Beauce along with his long-term girlfriend, Stefanie Sobisiak, and speak to constituents in hopes of gaining their support. He believes his upbringing in Lac-Saint-Jean, a community that he describes as similar to Beauce, will resonate with the residents.
Rhino-Bernier’s electoral slogan will be “Don’t take any chances, vote for both.”
Both Berniers have some tough competition ahead of them, regardless of whether the Rhino version gets the green light to run.
The Conservatives tapped longtime local mayor and agricultural entrepreneur Richard Lehoux to run, while the Liberals chose local businessman Adam Veilleux. Josiane Fortin will run for the Greens while the NDP have yet to announce their candidate.
The Rhino party currently plans to run six other candidates in various Quebec ridings, including the party leader.
The PPC did not respond to the National Post’s interview requests by the time of publication.