Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer is accusing Quebec MP and former leadership rival Maxime Bernier of putting his own personal ambitions ahead of the chance to make Canada a better place.
As the Conservative policy convention gets underway in Halifax, Scheer is depicting Bernier’s dramatic decision to leave the Conservative party as a calculated, power-hungry move.
Scheer says Bernier has chosen to “abandon our fight” and the best alternative to the Liberal government of Justin Trudeau.
He says Bernier never once came to him with ideas about the issues he cited today in quitting the party — evidence, Scheer says, that Bernier has been planning his exit for a long time.
Scheer says the party will continue to champion balanced budgets, low taxes, secure borders, lawful immigration, freer trade and a stronger Canadian identity.
Bernier made the bombshell announcement during a news conference on Parliament Hill, calling the party “intellectually and morally corrupt” and beyond reform.
Bernier, who narrowly lost the Tory leadership to Scheer 15 months ago, says he feels the party has abandoned its true ideals by refusing to end corporate subsidies or abolish the supply management system for poultry and dairy products.
Bernier’s decision to leave the party follows months of turmoil — much of it fomented on Twitter — between himself, Scheer and many Conservative MPs who felt he was jeopardizing their chances in the next election.