Conservative Andrew Scheer probably wishes his caucus was one person smaller this week.
Maxime Bernier, the Quebec-based MP who placed second in the leadership contest won by Scheer, has been tweeting about the topic of multiculturalism. Bernier, it seems, is not a fan.
“Canada has always been a diverse country and this is part of who we are. I love this Canada,” read one of the tweets. “But there is a difference between recognizing diversity and pushing for ever more of it. Something infinitely diverse has no core identity and ceases to exist.”
He was careful not to say anything overtly offensive. But the message and the tone was clearly something that upset a number of his Conservative colleagues. Scheer himself disavowed the remarks, and noted Bernier does not speak for the party.
But amid all the fuss over Bernier this week, including attacks from the other major federal parties, the Liberals found themselves on the defensive, too. Though the Liberals were quick to offer themselves up as champions of Canada’s diversity, their arguments rang hollow. This is the summer, after all, that diverse — there’s that word again — charitable organizations across the country found themselves shut out of a program that provides grants for employing students over the summer. Those organizations, primarily religious (but not exclusively Christian), had their applications denied if they refused to affirm that they supported Canada’s current status quo of no legal restrictions, whatsoever, on elective abortions. Diversity matters for Liberals, it seems, until it doesn’t.