The Conservative Party of Canada’s national convention in Quebec City opened Thursday with a keynote speech from Retired Lt.-Gen. Michel Maisonneuve, a man known as the “anti-woke general.” 

Michel was joined by his wife, retired Maj. Barbara Maisonneuve for their bilingual address. They both endorsed leader Pierre Polievre’s bid for prime minister. 

In their speech, the Maisonneuves denounced the proliferation of woke ideology in Canadian society and politics.

“Canadian values are being destroyed due to a lack of leadership and a woke movement that panders to narrow special interests,” said Michel.

He added that “the last eight years have seen Canada falter” amid a “government that has been focused on virtue signaling, apologizing for who we are, and how we came to be, erasing our history, and hurting and dividing its citizens.”

Barbara said that the woke agenda “demonizes anyone who dares to disagree.”

“If you are not woke, you are labelled a far-right extremist, a fringe radical and somehow not Canadian. Where is the common sense in that?”

Michel added that “there is too much potential in our country to let it wane. We must stop apologizing, we need to acknowledge the past and learn from it, not erase it.”

He defended Canada’s fathers of confederation, who have been targets of the woke mob over the last few years.

“Our fathers of confederation were not perfect, but they created a country that became the Canada that we know today,” said Michel. 

“They did that without a bloody civil war, (but rather) through the values that conservatives embody; common sense, freedom, security, hard work, personal and fiscal responsibility, family, tolerance, free markets, and a government that lives within its means.

“Our proud history is filled with examples of ordinary Canadians, whether civilian or military, with extraordinary courage, stepping up and fighting for justice and freedom around the globe.”

He also said Canadians should be proud of their flag, which soldiers wear on their uniforms.

Michel called out the Trudeau government’s handling of Canada’s armed forces, saying “our armed forces have been so neglected, so degraded, that even the Liberals and the left leaning academics and media have noticed.” 

Barbara added that “Canada was seen as a natural peacekeeper, and what made Canada a great peacekeeping nation was the war fighting prowess of its military, honed during myriad conflicts.”

“Nations looked to us to work together for a common good, with no fear that we were armed with our own political agenda,” she added.” “We are no longer taken seriously on the world stage. We are ignored or dismissed by our allies.”

The pair also called out Trudeau’s leadership style, as well as his handling of the Freedom Convoy.

“The prime minister should pay attention and not run away at the sight of a bouncy castle. Canadians deserve better than that. They deserve a prime minister who wants to lead a united country,” Barbara said.

“If thousands of Canadians feel so strongly about something that they get into their vehicles and drive to Ottawa to be heard, the Prime Minister should pay attention.”

Both Michel and Barbara said that Canada needs a “common sense prime minister who will unite us all,” endorsing Pierre Poilievre.

The Conservative convention is taking place from Sept. 7-9. Party members are gathering to, among other things, vote on policy resolutions that could help inspire the party’s next electoral platform.

True North’s Andrew Lawton and Elie Cantin-Nantel will be on the ground at the Conservative Party of Canada convention to bring you independent coverage.