People's Party of Canada leader tours northeastern Ontario

Kicking off his 'Mad Max Northeastern Ontario' tour in Iroquois Falls, People's Party of Canada leader Maxime Bernier addressed northerners Friday, calling for an end to COVID-19 lockdowns, political correctness and what he said are ineffective Liberal policies.

"I will give you more of your freedom and the People's Party of Canada, we have faith in people" Bernier said. "We have faith that you have the ability, the dignity and the right to make your own decisions."

Bernier told attendees he wants financial aid to other countries to stop, the Liberal carbon tax abolished and he said fossil fuel pipelines are crucial for the country.

He also expressed his belief in freedom of speech, including allowing the opinions of fringe political parties like his to be heard in mainstream media and represented in Parliament.

That notion had the support of many attendees of his northern rallies so far.

"I think maybe Maxime will be a change for the better," said Monique Gervais, who came out to Bernier's rally in Iroquois Falls.

"I agree wholeheartedly with what he has to say -- he speaks for me."

The controversial PPC party touts the traction it gained during the 2016 federal election, accumulating more than one per cent of the total vote.

Bernier doesn't expect to become prime minister in the next election – he's anticipating one in the fall -- but he is hoping to snag a few seats in Parliament.

So far, no PPC candidates have been announced in the northeast, but Bernier said several people have expressed interest in running for the party.