Dozens of electoral district associations affiliated with the People’s Party of Canada have been deregistered by Elections Canada for failing to meet their reporting requirements, just months after the party contested its first general election.
The PPC captured just 1.6 per cent of the overall vote in the October election and elected not a single candidate — not even party leader Maxime Bernier, who quit the Conservative Party in 2018 to form his own political vehicle.
Thirty-eight PPC electoral district associations (EDAs) were deregistered: 15 in Quebec, 10 in Ontario, 10 in Atlantic Canada and one each in Alberta, Manitoba and British Columbia.
The PPC did not nominate a candidate in 10 of those ridings. In the remaining 28 ridings where the PPC did have a name on the ballot, the party averaged 1.4 per cent of the vote.
Elections Canada deregistered these EDAs for failing to submit a statement of assets and liabilities within six months of their registration, something that’s required of new EDAs. Elections Canada notifies both EDAs and the party when they fail to meet these requirements, giving them 30 days to file or “satisfy Elections Canada that the omission was not the result of negligence or a lack of good faith.”
Once an EDA is deregistered, it can no longer accept contributions or issue tax receipts.
The list of deregistered EDAs includes Mégantic–L’Érable and Lévis–Lotbinière, two Quebec districts that sit next to the Beauce riding that Bernier first won as a Conservative in 2006.
PPC associations also were deregistered in the Quebec riding of Outremont and York–Simcoe in Ontario, ridings where the People’s Party presented candidates for the first time in byelections held last February.
Etobicoke North — where Renata Ford, the widow of former Toronto mayor Rob Ford, ran as a PPC candidate — is also on the list of deregistered EDAs, as is the PPC association in Hull–Aylmer, where the party’s national headquarters is located.
In October, the People’s Party did not reach a threshold that would have awarded it rebates for its election expenses while requiring it to file quarterly reports on the state of its fundraising. It’ll be summer before the party files its annual and campaign returns for 2019, which should provide a glimpse into its financial health.
Though he lacks a seat in the House of Commons, Bernier is staying on as leader of the People’s Party. He recently launched a weekly web series, The Max Bernier Show, on his party’s YouTube channel.