Southern Alberta Newspapers
Local Conservative MP Glen Motz says leadership runner-up Maxime Bernier’s abrupt departure from the party caucus is not a reflection of larger divisions within the Tories.
Still, the Medicine Hat-Cardston-Warner had harsh words for his former caucus mate.
“He’s been given every opportunity to be helpful and contributing, however since (losing the) leadership, he’s demonstrated repeatedly that he’s more interested in advancing his own personal profile than advancing conservative principles,” Motz said from the East Coast, where he’s attending the CPC convention in Halifax this weekend.
“He’s decided that he is more important than the 3,000 delegates that are here, than his Conservative colleagues, than anything.”
In his Thursday announcement that he was leaving the party, Bernier called the Conservative party “morally and intellectually corrupt,” which Motz sees as a form of psychological projection.
“It appears as if (Bernier) may be looking at himself in the mirror,” he said.
Motz claims Bernier’s Thursday announcement has only served to further unify the Conservative caucus.
“There’s no division here,” he said. “There are people here who have been Maxime supporters who are angry with him, who are disappointed in him.”
Bernier narrowly lost last year’s Conservative leadership race to Andrew Scheer, with Scheer earning 50.95 per cent to Bernier’s 49.05 per cent. Bernier led on every ballot until the final round.
Motz said he doesn’t foresee any disgruntled Bernier supporters leaving the Conservatives.
“I don’t see that as an issue at all,” he said. “There is no division here today, before or after the announcement. In fact, there’s a number of people who have indicated some significant relief that he has chosen to leave.”
Motz suspects Bernier deliberately timed his departure announcement to draw attention away from the party convention and towards himself.
“The fact that he chose this day demonstrates to me his need to be the spotlight, so he can have it today, but after today he’s going to be ‘Maxime Who?’”