The People’s Party of Canada (PPC) downsized its headquarters in the past few weeks ahead of thousands of free memberships expiring today.
In an email sent to party members, the PPC announced the expiration of 28,000 memberships and called on its membership to renew for a fee. The free memberships were offered to those interested when Maxime Bernier initially launched the party last November.
According to PPC spokesperson, Martin Masse, the party hopes thousands of its members will choose to pay the renewal fee.
“We are aware that there are people who became founding members because they were only curious, and because it was free. We hope that several thousand members will renew,” said Masse.
Several weeks ahead of the party’s first birthday, the PPC reorganized its headquarters by scaling down in size.
“In the short term, the priority was to reorganize party HQ with fewer people, which was done in the past couple of weeks, and to help the EDAs complete the campaign paperwork for Elections Canada,” said Masse.
Meanwhile, party leader Maxime Bernier has been visiting candidates and party members across the country including in Alberta, Saskatchewan and most recently in Quebec where he met with nearly 150 party members and executives.
”Almost all those involved in the party that I have talked to since Election Day still believe in our ideas and policies and want to continue to fight for them,” Bernier told True North.
“On many issues, we were and still are the only federal party that defends a different position. It’s very hard to launch a new party in our first-past-the-post electoral system, but we will persist. Our ideas are more relevant than ever.”
Bernier lost his long-held Quebec seat in Beauce in the last federal election after he was unseated by Conservative candidate Richard Lehoux. He has since stated that he intends to run in the next election and carry on as party leader.
The party will also not be eligible to receive reimbursement for their election expenses due to the fact that they received less than 2% of the national vote. According to the Canada Elections Act, federal parties can be reimbursed 50% of their expenses if they can pass the vote threshold.
According to Masse, the PPC is not intending to have a convention anytime soon but has been listening to their membership’s feedback. Moving forward, the party plans on continuing to engage supporters online and spread the party’s message.
“One thing we are planning to do now that Mr. Bernier is not in Parliament anymore and can devote all his time to the party is more YouTube commentaries and discussions to promote the ideas and feed the political debates,” said Masse.