I was flying to Halifax, to cover the Conservative Party convention, when Maxime Bernier announced his resignation from the party, and his plan to start a new one.
He outlined disagreements he had with Andrew Scheer, including Scheer’s support for supply management — a form of subsidy for Quebec’s dairy industry.
But frankly, none of Bernier’s stated grievances seemed impossible to resolve.
Bernier was already steering the party towards his views on immigration and multiculturalism. And the party convention this weekend was scheduled to reconsider the dairy issue, too,
Did Bernier really have to quit — and devastate the Conservatives' election chances, by announcing his plans to start a rival party?
And isn’t handling troublesome MPs just part of the job for Andrew Scheer, and any party leader?
But what shocked me the most today was when Bernier said that Scheer hadn’t even talked to him in nine days.
Bernier has been signalling his discontent for weeks; he has been making provocative policy statements; he got into public quarrels with other Conservative MPs.
And Scheer just watched passively — not even a phone call, let alone a face-to-face meeting?
On my TV show last night, I gave Scheer my unsolicited advice on how to handle Bernier. It’s too late now.
The party is in disarray. I sense that Scheer and his staff might be celebrating though — Bernier is no longer an internal rival to Scheer. That’s true — but Scheer now leads a smaller party, that’s demoralized and divided internally.
And if Bernier really does start his new party, it will probably split the vote enough to guarantee Justin Trudeau’s reelection.
Stephen Harper united the right. Andrew Scheer and Maxime Bernier just divided it.
It’s a disaster for every Canadian conservative who was counting on them to work things out like grown-ups, and win the election.
I just landed in Halifax to report on the convention — even though Scheer has banned The Rebel. We’re going to cover this disaster fairly and honestly — unlike the CBC, who Scheer invited into the convention itself.
The Media Party can’t contain their glee — they believe that not only did Scheer just lose the next election, but all of the ideas that Bernier was proposing have lost, too.
It sure seems that way right now — the party has just snatched defeat from the jaws of victory.
There are admirable qualities about both Andrew Scheer and Maxime Bernier. But the fact that they are still quarrelling 15 months after the leadership contest is something they both should be embarrassed about. And the fact that they both just gave the next election to Justin Trudeau is inexcusable.
I know one thing: our role at the Rebel — the only truly conservative media outlet in Canada — just got more important than ever.
I promise you that we will continue to hold Justin Trudeau to account, and promote true conservative ideas, no matter what Ottawa politicians say or do.
In fact, I think we’re in a bigger, tougher fight than ever, thanks to today’s disaster.
And I hope you’ll help us continue to bring you the facts. VISIT LetUsReport.com to see how you can help bring Canadians the other side of the story here at the Conservative Party convention.