No, Maxime Bernier is not running in Guelph, but a young Guelphite named Joshua Leier is. The People’s Party of Canada website was updated Wednesday night with Leier’s name as the Guelph candidate for the party in this Federal Election, which brings the number of candidates in the race up to six. All five of the major English-Canada parties are now represented by candidates in the Guelph riding.
According to his LinkedIn page, Leier has been the creative director Icehound Marketing in Guelph for nearly three years. He’s a graduate of Wilfred Laurier University where he was the president of a group called Laurier Students for Liberty, which is described on their Facebook page as a “student club that supports individual liberty.”
“A passion for individual autonomy is in his blood, as Josh’s grandfather spent the majority of his life defending freedom for Canadians while a member of the Royal Canadian Air Force,” reads Leier’s profile on the PPC website. “Josh wants to ensure the noble values and principles his grandfather defended are not lost under this new wave of medical and political authoritarianism. His goal is to represent the voice of the silent majority to create a prosperous future for all Canadians.”
There was some question about whether or not there would be a People’s Party candidate for Guelph in this election. As of Tuesday, the PPC website showed that there was no candidate for Guelph and a number of other Ontario ridings, but the party was actively encouraging potential candidates to apply.
In the 2019 Federal Election in Guelph, then-People’s Party candidate Mark Paralovos finished in fifth place with 1.44 per cent of the vote, which is in line with the national average of the People’s Party share of the vote with 1.6 per cent. During that campaign, Paralovos was something of a lightening rod during that campaign hosting a town hall with Bernier in a publicly undisclosed location after the threat of protest and being refused an invitation to an all-candidates forum at the Guelph Muslim Society.
Green Dr. Michelle Bowman, Communist Tristan Dineen, New Democrat Aisha Jahangir, Liberal Lloyd Longfield, and Conservative Dr. Ashish Sachan are the other five declared candidates for Guelph this election. Leier is only the second person in the Guelph race to have never run in an election here before, the other being Dr. Bowman.
Election Day is September 20.
Editor’s Note: Candidate interviews will begin next week, Thursday August 26 at 5 pm, on CFRU’s Open Sources Guelph.