Independent MP Maxime Bernier has chosen the name and logo for his new right-wing party, which will be unveiled next week.
In a letter to supporters sent out on Wednesday, Mr. Bernier said he has raised $90,000 in the two weeks that followed his abrupt departure from the Conservative Party of Canada. The donations are not eligible for a tax credit, given the new party has yet to be officially registered with Elections Canada.
“I spent most of my time during the past week talking on the phone with supporters and organizers across the country. They will be the backbone of the new party’s organization in each region,” Mr. Bernier wrote in the letter. “I also worked with my team to prepare the party’s constitution, the platform, and the documents that Elections Canada is asking for to examine our application for registration. We need to get all this settled as soon as possible, so that the party is up and running when the new parliamentary session opens on September 17.”
Mr. Bernier is claiming momentum, pointing to recent polls, including one conducted for The Globe and Mail, showing that up to 17 per cent of Canadians are considering voting for the new party.
“That’s even before it has a name and an organization,” Mr. Bernier wrote. “This is a strong base on which to build, and it shows that the new party has tremendous potential.”
According to Nanos Research, 17 per cent of Canadians say they are open to voting for a new conservative party led by Mr. Bernier. The poll also found that 70 per cent would not consider supporting Mr. Bernier’s party, while 12 per cent were unsure.
Mr. Bernier’s team says he has received about 3,500 e-mails to his personal website expressing interest in his new political venture, as well as 200 proposals for a party name. The support is most concentrated in Alberta, British Columbia, Ontario and Quebec, Mr. Bernier said in a brief phone call this week.
“We will work very hard to be the real conservative alternative,” Mr. Bernier told The Globe.