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Two People’s Party of Canada candidates cannot settle a dispute at a shooting range.Justin Tang/The Canadian Press

The Saskatoon Wildlife Federation has doused plans for two People’s Party of Canada candidates to settle a debate dispute at its shooting range.

Saskatoon-Grasswood candidate Mark Friesen took to social media over the weekend promoting a shootout with fellow candidate Guto Penteado, who’s running in the riding of Saskatoon-University.

In a video, Friesen says the target competition would determine who would represent the party at an upcoming debate hosted by the Greater Saskatoon Chamber of Commerce.

The skills contest was set to be broadcast Tuesday on social media.

But Saskatoon Wildlife Federation spokesman Robert Freberg said he only learned Tuesday that the candidates intended to compete at its rifle facility. Neither is a member and the club’s board of directors would need to approve such a competition.

The club focuses on educational programming, he added, and doesn’t permit photography, partly to protect the privacy of other members using the range.

“We were blindsided,” said Freberg. “The one candidate indicated he was going to come out and buy a membership today to do that and we basically said that’s not an option.

“This isn’t in line with our values … We don’t view ourselves as rednecks.”

Friesen said in another video posted later Tuesday that he had let his membership expire and was trying to renew it, but the organization told him it was under review.

In other social media posts, the party’s Saskatoon-University riding association said the shootout would be going ahead at another location.

“Because Canadians are free to enjoy their legal passions unobstructed,” it said.

“Shooting firearms at targets is not only safe and fun, but a staple of Saskatchewan’s culture.”

Friesen indicated the shootout would take place at a private acreage.

Maxime Bernier founded the People’s Party of Canada last year after leaving the Conservative party following disagreements with leader Andrew Scheer.

The party has promised it would reduce the number of immigrants allowed into Canada, increase border security and end reliance on the United Nations for refugee selection.

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