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People's Party of Canada Leader Maxime Bernier speaks from a podium at an announcement in Toronto on June 21, 2019. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chris Young

It’s been a lightning rod issue for the People’s Party of Canada and the party’s immigration platform sparked tense moments at campaign office launch in London, Ont. Tuesday morning.

Leader Maxime Bernier was just beginning his remarks to a gathering of about 70 people attending the event when a woman stepped forward, and aiming a camera at Bernier said, “Is it respectful and fair to be racist with your policies in immigration?”

The woman was immediately confronted by Robert Vaughan, who is the campaign manager for London North Centre PPC candidate Salim Mansur.

She was immediately booed by many in attendance and quickly directed out of a rear door of Mansur’s campaign headquarters.

Bernier’s immediate response to the interruption, “We cannot be racist when we are Canadian.”

Bernier has said he wants to cut in half current immigration numbers of about 350,000 people a year.

He also wants half of all those entering the country to be economic immigrants, people who will immediately contribute to the economy of the country.