Local People's Party of Canada candidate Mark King is calling a decision to exclude leader Maxime Bernier from October's televised election debates as "unfortunate and senseless."
Leaders of the five main political parties were invited yesterday to take part but the newly formed PPC has been left out in the cold.
"There's no question in my mind that Bernier would be an excellent debater," King told BayToday. "A lot of our policies out there right now are really designed with the average Canadian's needs. If he's not allowed to enter the debate it just shows that we're not an open and free country.
The Liberals, Conservatives, NDP, Bloc Quebecois, and Greens have all qualified for the debates, to be held Oct. 7 and Oct. 10, under criteria established by the federal government.
King says 310 PPC candidates have been nominated across the country, many more than have been nominated for the governing Liberals.
"How do you justify something like that. It just doesn't make sense."
King says the national organization has designated this riding as one the People's Party could win.
"There's a recognition that there is a tremendous opportunity here."
King says "absolutely" when asked if Bernier plans to visit the riding.
"I expect that to happen. I've spoken directly with him about that. There's a genuine response to seeing that happen."