Covid-19 live updates Americans support vaccine mandates for office work and schools, poll shows
"In recent years, Maxime Bernier has found himself on the fringes of Canadian politics. Once one of Canada’s more senior cabinet ministers, the far-right politician who has been compared to Donald Trump lost his seat in the House of Commons in 2019. He is known internationally for insulting climate activist Greta Thunberg, then 16 years old, on Twitter.
But now, Bernier and his People’s Party of Canada could play a big role as spoilers in the Sept. 20 federal election. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau called the snap poll hoping to capitalize on his Liberal government’s handling of the coronavirus pandemic, but he has faced a surprisingly tight race against the opposition Conservative Party, led by Erin O’Toole. The two largest parties are neck-and-neck in the final week of campaigning. By splitting the right-of-center vote, Bernier could break the deadlock and give a boost to Trudeau.
An issue on which the candidates diverge is covid-19: Bernier has reinvented himself as a populist politician with a focus on issues like coronavirus vaccines, vaccine passports and mask-wearing. He has harnessed social media to exploit divisions over the pandemic and deride his rivals in explosive statements. (In June, he was arrested for violating public health orders; the case will be heard in court after the election.)
Although the majority of Canadians support public health measures to contain the coronavirus, Bernier has appealed to voters who vehemently oppose them, analysts say."