A People’s Party of Canada event featuring Maxime Bernier scheduled for next week had its original booking cancelled on Saturday evening due to safety concerns over a planned “anti-fascist rally” that was planned to take place outside the town hall-style gathering.
A graphic image advertising the rally was posted by the Revolutionary Communist Party of Guelph Facebook page that depicted a knife stabbing a swastika and had text saying that “Bernier and his racist goons are enemies to the working-class people!”
In response, local PPC candidate Mark Paralovos told The Post on Friday night that he contacted the police. The rally was organized by local activist and the communist organization and was planned to take place outside the event in the Guelph Youth Music Centre.
“The language and imagery used in the social media posts is concerning for the safety of the members of our community who are planning to attend this event, and for the GYMC,” a press release from Mark Paralovos sent to media said on Saturday evening.
Due to the safety concerns and the potential for property damage to occur, the GYMC cancelled the event booking for Bernier and Paralovos. The local candidate added that they would be receiving a full refund and extended their appreciation to the GYMC and its staff.
Those who had bought $20 tickets for the event would be sent an email, Paralovos wrote in the release. It was not immediately clear at the time if the party leader would still be coming to Guelph.
In response to the cancellation, Maxime Bernier in a Facebook post wrote “communist thugs manage to get a PPC event in Guelph cancelled after threatening violence”, criticizing what he calls the “far left”.
The Revolutionary Communists page called the booking cancellation a “huge win for the Guelph working class” and incorrectly stated that “Maxime Bernier and his fascist goons have been shut out of Guelph”, as there has been confirmation Bernier’s visit has been cancelled.
Petition launched against Bernier visit
A Change.org petition has been started by local activists calling on the GYMC’s board of directors to “nullify its plan to host Maxime Bernier and the People’s Party of Canada”.
Jamie Gibson, who created the petition, told The Post that the letter was not from one party and is only partisan insofar that signees believe the People’s Party is a home for bigotry and “should not be welcome in our community.”
The initial version of the petition apparently insinuated the idea that the Guelph Youth Music Centre invited Bernier to its facility for the event, and the organization had to put out a tweet to clarify this was untrue.
Gibson called Paralovos’ denial that the PCC was racist or sexist an “absurd” claim.
He added earlier on Saturday that he expected the incoming press release to be an “opportunistic attempt to distract Guelphites from Bernier’s documented history and past actions.”
Correction: The original headline read that the event was cancelled, but it is actually the event booking that was cancelled.