OTTAWA — Maxime Bernier's publisher says he's disappointed the Conservative MP will postpone his book but hopes party members recognize the former leadership candidate won the popular vote in last year's contest and speaks for a disenfranchised community.
Dean Baxendale, of Optimum Publishing International, was still selling Bernier's upcoming tome "Doing Politics Differently: My Vision for Canada" on his website late Wednesday when the MP tweeted out his decision to delay work on his manuscript.
"After consideration, for the sake of maintaining harmony within our party, I have decided to postpone its publication indefinitely," Bernier wrote.
Hopefully, party members understand that Mr. Bernier won the popular vote and that his ideas reach a disenfranchised group in the Canadian Conservative movement.Dean Baxendale
While Bernier planned to write a campaign-style book based on the ideas he and his adviser, co-author Martin Masse, spent years developing, he also teased readers that the volume would include an inside look at his failed leadership bid.
"I will have an annex called 'the speech that I never delivered.' That was the winning speech," the Beauce MP is quoted saying in the book's promotional material.
Baxendale told HuffPost Canada Wednesday he was "naturally disappointed" the work — which has yet to be completed — won't be hitting store shelves this fall.
"However, I am confident many of Mr. Bernier's ideas will be brought forward and debated at the Conservative policy convention in Halifax [in August]," he said. "Hopefully, party members understand that Mr. Bernier won the popular vote and that his ideas reach a disenfranchised group in the Canadian Conservative movement."
Baxendale said he is working on another book "that will soon rock the Conservative status quo," although he declined to provide any details.
He only added that he wished Bernier success. "I wish him luck in his goal to help Andrew Scheer defeat Justin Trudeau in 2019.'"
In a series of tweets Wednesday Bernier said a book chapter he released last week, online and to The Globe and Mail and La Presse, wasn't intended to focus on the leadership race, or, he suggested, his leader Scheer.
"There were three paragraphs out of 30 pages on the leadership results in the chapter released last week by my publisher," Bernier wrote. "I realize that whatever I write, it will always be interpreted as me creating division and challenging our leader."
The Quebec MP was criticized by some of his caucus colleagues for saying Scheer won the contest by signing up "fake Conservatives" who were interested only in safeguarding Canada's protectionist milk, eggs and dairy system that Bernier has long rallied against.
"This book and the ideas it contains are very important to me. But now is not the right time to publish it," Bernier wrote.
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