Bernier is shown in the House of Commons on Parliament Hill in Ottawa on Thursday, Sept.28, 2017. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld

Time to kick maverick Tory MP Maxime Bernier out of caucus, Scheer urged

Conservative MP Maxime Bernier is taking issue with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s oft-repeated message of diversity in Canada, calling it a form of “radical multiculturalism.”

Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer was under mounting pressure to denounce Maxime Bernier’s public statements and kick him out of caucus Wednesday after the maverick MP used his Twitter feed to renew a sustained attack on “extreme Liberal multiculturalism.”

NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh used the social media platform to say he’s been waiting for Scheer to “do the responsible thing” and denounce what he calls Bernier’s “divisive” words.

“To everyone that belongs to a diverse community — who’s been told you don’t belong — I’ve been in your shoes, I get it,” Singh wrote, saying he’s “deeply disappointed” in Scheer.

“His refusal to denounce these divisive comments sends a dangerous message. Children of diverse backgrounds across Canada pick up on these messages. Right now, they need to hear that their country wants more of themselves, not less.”

In a series of tweets posted Sunday, Bernier said promoting too much diversity could have the effect of dividing Canada into “little tribes” that cause division and erode Canada’s identity. On Tuesday, he seized on a decision to name a park in Winnipeg after the founder of Pakistan, comparing it to the decision to remove a statue of Sir John A. Macdonald from outside Victoria city hall.

“While a statue of our country’s founder is being removed in one city, a park was recently named after Pakistan’s founder in another, in the presence of M-103 Liberal MP sponsor,” he wrote — a reference to controversial Liberal MP Iqra Khalid.

Khalid was the sponsor of M-103, a motion in the House of Commons aimed at denouncing “Islamophobia” that quickly became a lightning rod for Opposition MPs who saw the motion as a possible attack on freedom of speech.

Arif Virani, the parliamentary secretary to the minister of heritage, also called for Bernier’s ouster Wednesday — and called out Scheer for failing to condemn his caucus member’s behaviour.

“I urge you to remove Mr. Bernier from your caucus immediately, otherwise Canadians will be forced to conclude that you accept his backward views,” Virani wrote.

“Newcomers have not threatened what it means to be Canadian. To the contrary, successive generations of immigrants have enriched what it means to be Canadian.”

It’s far from the first time that someone has called for Bernier to be removed from caucus.

One Conservative MP, who spoke only on condition of anonymity, told The Canadian Press last month that he urged Scheer to kick him out after the Beauce MP posted a controversial chapter of his forthcoming book on his website, despite having promised not to promote it ”for the sake of maintaining harmony in our party.”

Instead, Bernier — who narrowly lost to Scheer by a razor-thin margin in last year’s Conservative leadership race — was stripped of his role in the party’s shadow cabinet.

Bernier’s no stranger to speaking his mind. In a recent interview, he declared himself the only politician who genuinely supports having free trade with the United States, and slammed his own party for supporting Canada’s “socialist” supply management system.

Related: For Bernier, freedom’s just another word for why he’s going to win leadership

Related: Kevin O’Leary says he tried to convince Bernier to quit Conservative race

Janice Dickson, The Canadian Press

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Enderby’s Starlight drive-in theatre plans to open amid COVID-19

The theatre is making a number of operational changes to further enable social distancing

4 inmates at Okanagan Correctional Centre granted early release due to COVID-19

The move, which impacts offenders serving intermittent sentences, is to prevent spread of virus

Canadian police to make home visits to enforce mandatory quarantine for travellers

Police forces have been asked to help verify Canadians are complying with the Quarantine Act

Our History in Pictures: National Café unveiled

You may know this address as Monashees, but in 1947, it was… Continue reading

Okanagan libraries still open for business, online

Family activities, increased eBook titles and more added online

VIDEO: Easter festivities may be scaled back, but it can still be a fun holiday

COVID-19 circumstances have dictated that the holidays may not be perfect

Mitchell’s Musings: Some questions to ponder while busy self-isolating

COVID-19 has columnist Glenn Mitchell looking for answers

Accused’s house arrest conditions no different than what residents self-isolating face: Kamloops judge

A Kamloops woman’s strict house arrest terms are no more onerous than self-isolation experienced by many, judge said

Princeton woman sits out pandemic in ‘cheese heaven’

‘We are surrounded here by fruit orchards and the blossom are starting.’

B.C. artist erects 15-foot statue and names it COVID

Decades of collecting spare parts culminated in folk art towering over a country road

Hitchcock classic a parable for our times

‘You fools, stop thinking of yourselves, think of the boat’

COVID-19 world update: U.S. to start antibody tests; drones enforce lockdown in Italy

Comprehensive update of coronavirus news from around the world

Lower Mainland hunting store sees 200% increase in firearm sales

Co-owner of Wanstalls says increase due to a variety of reasons

Most Read