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Politics

People's Party of Canada names NWT election candidate


Maxime Bernier's People's Party of Canada, heading into its first federal election, has chosen a candidate to run in the Northwest Territories.

Luke Quinlan, who runs a security services company in Yellowknife, is to stand as the party's NWT candidate this fall.

The People's Party of Canada confirmed Quinlan "had been approved by the party HQ as a candidate for the NWT" by email on Thursday.

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Quinlan announced his selection while taping an episode of Jim Taylor's Northeast, a Cabin Radio show in which Yellowknife musician Taylor interviews NWT residents with East Coast heritage.

Quinlan, originally from Newfoundland, told the show: "I'm not a big fan of our government as it is right now. Justin Trudeau? I don't think he's doing the North any favours, especially with the carbon tax.

"Maxime Bernier started his own party with free membership. We had a conference call of all the members to sign up in the North and it was more than you'd think.

"I care about what's going on. I disagree with some things, I agree with others. And as of last week, [the party needed] a candidate and I put my name in the hat. Cabin Radio exclusive: I'm the candidate."

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The Northeast episode featuring Quinlan, which touches on politics but primarily features music alongside his East Coast recollections, is to air at 8pm on Monday, June 3, 2019.

"There's a group of people here in the North that don't have a voice, that need a new approach to politics – blue-collar," Quinlan told the show's host. "The People's Party is a great name. I think that's what government is, or should be."

Bernier formed the People's Party in September 2018, shortly after resigning from the Conservative Party.

The party's 2019 federal election platform, which is still to be finalized, promotes policies traditionally seen as right-wing or libertarian in nature.

Those include "fairness and respect" for legal firearms owners, involving a new certification system to replace the current licensing process, and the removal of what the party calls "interprovincial trade barriers."

The party also proposes a reduction in federal equalization payments to provinces. The party has not said how this might affect similar payments to the territories, which form the bulk of the NWT government's annual budget.

Bernier has in the past suggested his party would re-examine immigration, with the potential for reduced family reunification in favour of a focus on economic immigrants.

The Liberal Party has already confirmed incumbent NWT MP Michael McLeod will defend his seat in the fall election.

The Conservative Party's nomination process is ongoing, while the Green Party is choosing between two prospective nominees. The NDP said it would have news regarding a candidate in the near future.

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