23 C
Monday, March 27, 2023
HomeWorld NewsPoliticsPoilievre condemns 'vile' views of German politician seen lunching with Conservative MPs

Poilievre condemns ‘vile’ views of German politician seen lunching with Conservative MPs

Conservative Leader Pierre Poilievre is attempting to distance his party from a far-right German politician whose views have been condemned as hateful and racist, and who was photographed lunching with three Conservative MPs earlier this week.

Christine Anderson, a member of the European Parliament with Germany’s Alternative für Deutschland (AfD) party, is on a cross-Canada tour that ends tonight in Montreal.

On Tuesday, photos emerged online showing Anderson with a group that included three Conservative MPs — Niagara West–Glanbrook MP Dean Allison, Oshawa MP Colin Carrie and Haldimand–Norfolk MP Leslyn Lewis — at a restaurant.

The Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs, which describes itself as an advocate for Jewish federations across Canada, condemned the gathering, tweeting Thursday that it had raised the issue with the Conservative Party of Canada.

Anderson’s views ‘not welcome here’

On Friday, Sebastian Skamski, director of media relations for the Opposition leader’s office, issued a statement attributed to Poilievre:

“Christine Anderson’s views are vile and have no place in our politics. The MPs were not aware of this visiting Member of the European Parliament’s opinions, and they regret meeting with her,” says the statement.

“Frankly, it would be better if Anderson never visited Canada in the first place. She and her racist, hateful views are not welcome here.” 

German politician Christine Anderson (second from left), poses with organizers of last winter’s convoy protests in Calgary, including Tamara Lich (second from right). (Christine Anderson/Facebook)

Poilievre’s office issued a separate statement attributed to the three MPs who were photographed with Anderson.

“It is, of course, not uncommon for members of Parliament to meet with visiting elected officials from other countries. During a visit, we recently met with an elected representative of the European Parliament while she was in Canada,” says the statement.

“We were not aware of the views or associations of her and her political party. We do not share or endorse her views and strongly condemn any views that are racist or hateful.”

CBC News has contact the offices of all three MPs for further comment, but they have not yet responded.

Trudeau calls out Conservative ‘pattern’

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau joined in the condemnation Friday, criticizing the Conservatives for what he called a “pattern” of similar incidents.

“I think the Conservative Party of Canada owes some explanations to Canadians,” Trudeau said.

“Consistently, we see Conservative parliamentarians and people who should know better associating themselves with folks responsible for a particularly vile level of rhetoric and hatred, and their answer is always the same: ‘Oh, we didn’t know.’

“At one point, Canadians need to stop being treated like fools, and the Conservatives need to own up and either really disassociate themselves from hateful, vile, intolerant rhetoric, or tell the truth and explain that they actually have room for those rhetorics and that intolerance within their party.”

Anderson blasted Trudeau in Brussels

Anderson’s tour, dubbed “Strong and Free,” stopped in Calgary on Feb. 18, Toronto on Feb. 21 and Whitby, Ont., on Feb. 22. 

On Friday, Anderson will attend a private event at an undisclosed location in Montreal, where her guest speaker will be a Laval University professor who was suspended over vaccine comments. Her guests in Calgary and Toronto have similar histories.

Anderson has endeared herself to certain right-wing groups in Canada, including those opposed to COVID-19 mandates, and was photographed in Calgary with Tamara Lich and other organizers of last winter’s convoy protests.

She’s no stranger to Canadian politics. Last March, Anderson, the political spokesperson for the Identity and Democracy (ID) parliamentary group, called Trudeau “a disgrace for any democracy” as he addressed the European Parliament in Brussels.

Anderson accused Trudeau of trampling protesters’ civil rights, labelling him a dictator who treats his own citizens as “terrorists.”

Anderson’s AfD has been described by the BBC as a far-right political party that employs rhetoric “tinged with Nazi overtones.”

Around the time of Trudeau’s appearance in Brussels, a German court called Anderson’s political party “a suspected threat to democracy” after an administrative court in Cologne found “sufficient indications of anti-constitutional goals within the AfD.”

The parliamentary group to which AfD belongs is made up of political parties opposed to the European Union. They also hold far-right positions on such issues as immigration and social welfare.

In March 2020, the head of Germany’s domestic intelligence service placed a faction of AfD under surveillance, saying “right-wing extremism and right-wing terrorism are currently the biggest danger for democracy in Germany.”

Source link



Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here


Most Popular

Recent Comments