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People's Party outlines seats with prominent candidates in bid to enter debates

People's Party of Canada candidates for the 2019 election who are veterans stand on stage during an announcement on veterans policy at the PPC National Conference in Gatineau, Que. on Sunday, Aug. 18, 2019. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Justin Tang

OTTAWA — The upstart People’s Party of Canada is making another bid to get leader Maxime Bernier onto the official debate stage during this fall’s election campaign.

The Leaders’ Debates Commission had asked the party to provide a list of three to five candidates it believed had the best chance of winning, which would help organizers decide if the PPC met a requirement for participation in the broadcast debates in October.

In a letter to the commission made public today, Bernier writes his young party doesn’t have the money to conduct detailed polling to figure out where support is most concentrated, giving the party its best chance at a seat in the House of Commons.

Instead, the party is providing organizers with a list of prominent candidates who are better known in their ridings and would carry that advantage into the campaign.

Among them are Bernier, former Conservative MPs Steven Fletcher and Corneliu Chisu, and former Toronto mayor Rob Ford’s widow Renata Ford who is looking to unseat Science Minister Kirsty Duncan.

Bernier also argues that the number of social media searches and the coverage he has received in traditional media is “clear proof” of the electorate’s interest in his party, necessitating his place on the debate stage.

The Canadian Press