The People’s Party of Canada has established riding associations in both Langley electoral districts and organizers say each has about 100 members.
“You don’t have to go to people, people come to you,” said PPC regional organizer for the Fraser Valley Ben Besler.
Cloverdale-Langley City and Langley-Aldergrove recently saw the PPC, headed up by former Conservative MP and cabinet minister Maxime Bernier, form new electoral district associations.
Bernier narrowly lost to current Conservative Party leader Andrew Scheer in that party’s last leadership race in the spring of 2017
Then earlier this year, he left the Conservatives, calling his former party “too intellectually and morally corrupt.”
The PPC is a small-c conservative party, Besler said, but he said their new members are coming from a variety of backgrounds.
“There’s definitely disenfranchised Conservatives, there’s members who haven’t been politically active before,” Besler said.
He said the party is even drawing in some left-leaning people who are upset by corporate bailouts.
The party supports policies for the working class, opposes corporate welfare, and the “dairy cartel,” said Besler. Bernier was one of the leading Conservative voices in favour of ending supply management in the Canadian dairy industry.
The party is now preparing to choose candidates next spring for an expected fall election in 2019.
In Cloverdale-Langley City the PPC will go up against incumbent Liberal MP John Aldag, as well as newly-nominated Conservative candidate Tamara Jansen.
In Langley-Aldergrove, incumbent Conservative MP Mark Warawa is expected to run again.
Despite running against a long-serving Conservative in one of Langley’s ridings and a Liberal in the other, Besler isn’t worried about splitting the conservative vote between the PCC and the Tories.
“We don’t think we’re splitting the opposition, we think we’re forming the opposition,” he said.
Besler said the party plans to field candidates in all 338 ridings across the country.