Maxime Bernier

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Maxime Bernier in 2007

Maxime Bernier (born January 18, 1963) is a Canadian businessman, lawyer and politician, currently serving as Member of Parliament for the Quebec riding of Beauce, having been elected four times with a majority of the vote. Previously, he served as Minister of Industry, Minister of Foreign Affairs, Minister of State for Small Business and Tourism, and Minister of State for Small Business and Tourism and Agriculture in the cabinet of then-Prime Minister Stephen Harper.



  • Je suis en politique pour défendre des principes. Je l'ai dit dès le début de la campagne, lorsqu'on croit au libre marché, à la liberté économique et qu'on veut défendre les consommateurs, il y a peut-être un prix à payer. Je suis prêt à le payer ce prix politique là.


  • During the final months of the campaign, as polls indicated that I had a real chance of becoming the next leader, opposition from the supply management lobby gathered speed. Radio-Canada reported on dairy farmers who were busy selling Conservative Party memberships across Quebec. A Facebook page called Les amis de la gestion de l’offre et des régions (Friends of supply management and regions) was set up and had gathered more than 10,500 members by early May. As members started receiving their ballots by mail from the party, its creator, Jacques Roy, asked them to vote for Andrew Scheer.
    Andrew, along with several other candidates, was then busy touring Quebec’s agricultural belt, including my own riding of Beauce, to pick up support from these fake Conservatives, only interested in blocking my candidacy and protecting their privileges. Interestingly, one year later, most of them have not renewed their memberships and are not members of the party anymore. During these last months of the campaign, the number of members in Quebec had increased considerably, from about 6,000 to more than 16,000. In April 2018, according to my estimates, we are down to about 6,000 again.
    A few days after the vote, Éric Grenier, a political analyst at the CBC, calculated that if only 66 voters in a few key ridings had voted differently, I could have won. The points system, by which every riding in the country represented 100 points regardless of the number of members they had, gave outsized importance in the vote to a handful of ridings with few members. Of course, a lot more than 66 supply management farmers voted, likely thousands of them in Quebec, Ontario, and the other provinces. I even lost my riding of Beauce by 51% to 49%, the same proportion as the national vote.
    At the annual press gallery dinner in Ottawa a few days after the vote, a gala where personalities make fun of political events of the past year, Andrew was said to have gotten the most laughs when he declared: “I certainly don’t owe my leadership victory to anybody…”, stopping in mid-sentence to take a swig of 2% milk from the carton. “It’s a high quality drink and it’s affordable too.” Of course, it was so funny because everybody in the room knew that was precisely why he got elected. He did what he thought he had to do to get the most votes, and that is fair game in a democratic system. But this also helps explain why so many people are so cynical about politics, and with good reason.
    • page 23 in "Live or die with supply management", chapter 5 previewed April 2018 of "Doing Politics Differently: My Vision for Canada"
  • Trudeau keeps pushing his “diversity is our strength” slogan. Yes, Canada is a huge and diverse country. This diversity is part of us and should be celebrated. But where do we draw the line?
    Ethnic, religious, linguistic, sexual and other minorities were unjustly repressed in the past. We’ve done a lot to redress those injustices and give everyone equal rights. Canada is today one of the countries where people have the most freedom to express their identity.
    But why should we promote ever more diversity? If anything and everything is Canadian, does being Canadian mean something? Shouldn’t we emphasize our cultural traditions, what we have built and have in common, what makes us different from other cultures and societies?
    Having people live among us who reject basic Western values such as freedom, equality, tolerance and openness doesn’t make us strong. People who refuse to integrate into our society and want to live apart in their ghetto don’t make our society strong.
    Trudeau’s extreme multiculturalism and cult of diversity will divide us into little tribes that have less and less in common, apart from their dependence on government in Ottawa. These tribes become political clienteles to be bought with taxpayers $ and special privileges.
    Cultural balkanisation brings distrust, social conflict, and potentially violence, as we are seeing everywhere. It’s time we reverse this trend before the situation gets worse. More diversity will not be our strength, it will destroy what has made us such a great country.
  • Doing identity politics means trying to drum up support by appealing to specific groups on the basis of their ethnicity, religion, language, sexuality or other characteristics, instead of speaking to them as Canadians interested in the wellbeing of our country as a whole.
    Identity politics has become pervasive and is being practiced by all political parties trying to buy votes. Political debate has degenerated into a contest between different ways of pandering to specific groups instead of appealing to our common interests.
    I have repeatedly stated that I believe identity politics is reductive, divisive and destructive of our social cohesion. I am doing THE OPPOSITE of identity politics by focusing on policy solutions that concern ALL Canadians. And I will continue to do so.
  • Our immigration policy should not aim to forcibly change the cultural character and social fabric of Canada, as radical proponents of multiculturalism want. Of course, society is transformed by immigration. But this has to be done organically and gradually.
    At too high a level, immigration ceases to be a tool to economically benefit Canadians, and it turns instead into a burden. It becomes essentially a big-government policy of social engineering for ideological and electoral purposes.
    The vast majority of Canadians rightly expect immigrants to learn about our history and culture, master one of our official languages, and adopt widely shared Canadian values. Instead of spending M$ on multiculturalism programs, we should focus on integration.
  • I still cannot understand how a party that is supposed to defend free markets supports a small cartel that artificially increases the price of milk, chicken and eggs for millions of Canadian consumers.
  • The Conservative Party tries to avoid important but controversial issues of concern to Conservatives and Canadians in general. It is afraid to articulate any coherent philosophy to support its positions.
  • Every public declaration is tested with polls and focus groups. The result is a bunch of platitudes that don’t offend anybody, but also don’t mean anything and don’t motivate anyone.
  • If we want conservative principles to win the battle of ideas, we have to defend them openly, with passion and conviction.


  • Maybe they want to do that because they’re supporting another party, I think, doing that, they are not doing a favour to their organization. Because it’s not credible. The racist people are not welcome in the party and that won’t change. That’s crazy, I’m not surprised, because our party’s doing very well,
  • The level of climate hysteria keeps increasing. Some want a drastic reduction in consumption. Some call for a green fascist dictatorship. Some say we should stop having babies. Where will this madness stop?!
  • Being asked if I will run again for CPC leadership. Zero chance. The party is morally and intellectually corrupt. Scheer was a weak leader who pushed it to the centre. The next leader will do the same. I started a principled conservative alternative. I’m sticking to it.
  • It took the Green Party twenty years and six elections to have 1.6% of the vote. We created a party and did that in one year.


  • A lesson from this great novelist: The classical liberal tradition is what made us a free, peaceful and prosperous country. We should cherish it and proudly proclaim the moral high ground when defending this tradition against those who want to impose Big Government upon us.
  • You know, some people like to call me Mad Max like in the movie.
    They may believe it’s an insult. But let me tell you something:
    It’s true. I am mad!
    I’m mad about government waste!
    I’m mad about government borrowing money on the backs of future generations, to benefit big corporations!
    I’m mad about the federal government constantly meddling in provincial jurisdictions!
    I’m mad at politicians who promise anything to get elected!
    So yes, you can call me Mad Max.
    I don’t mind!
    I’m asking you to get mad like me and take your future into your hands.

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