Patrick Allard, a staunch opponent to COVID-19 restrictions, is no stranger to controversy.
Allard, who is running as an independent candidate in the Fort Whyte by-election on March 22, 2022, has been front and centre against pandemic restrictions and vaccine mandates.
“None of the health orders have ever applied to me because I didn’t allow them to,” said Allard.
A right-leaning thinker who believes in limited government, Allard grew up in West Kildonan and operates his own renovation company.
“A friend of mine got me into it and I realized I was really good at fixing other people’s problems,” he said.
Allard said he is running as an independent in Fort Whyte, because he feels political parties only look out for themselves and he wants to give people a voice. He said over the last two years the government has not listened or communicated properly with citizens.
“We have a problem with having one unelected bureaucrat dictate what all Manitobans do with their lives,” said Allard.
He believes the COVID-19 lockdowns and rules did more harm than good. He said he started speaking out against them when family members were banned from visiting loved ones in care homes.
“That’s all they want is to have people to visit with them, their family…they live for it and we cut that off,” Allard said.
That stance against pandemic measures has landed him in trouble. He’s been arrested and issued several tickets for allegedly violating public health orders. It’s not the only trouble he’s gotten into. On his elections disclosure form, Allard lists convictions for assault and uttering threats a decade and a half ago.
He said voters understand no one is perfect.
“I was 24 years old, 25 years old, and sometimes tempers flare,” he said.
Allard is up against former Blue Bombers Obby Khan running for the PCs, and Willard Reaves running for the Liberals, along with former WSO Executive Trudy Schroeder with the NDP, and Green candidate Nicolas Geddert.
Probe Research pollster Mary Agnes Welch said Allard is a fringe candidate who likely won’t attract a lot of votes.
“The Patrick Allards of this world are still a very tiny minority of voters and I think especially now that the mandates are over,” said Welch.
But Allard is confident he can draw some of the traditional conservative votes away in this long time PC constituency. He said 8,000 flyers with his name and personal cell number have gone out.
“Whether I win or lose, I don’t think you’ll hear the end of Patrick Allard,” he said.
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