Justin Tang The Canadian Press Leader of the Conservative Party of Canada, Pierre Poilievre, during the question period following a press conference on Monday in Ottawa
Conservative leader Pierre Poilievre relentlessly refused on Monday to clarify the reason for his disagreement with the vision of far-right German MP Christine Anderson, whom three elected officials from his party recently met. He further clarified that he is ruling out expelling them from caucus.
“The deputies have already issued statements as I have already done too,” he replied, hoping that journalists continue with questions on other subjects, but the parliamentary press did not hear it that way.
In often heated exchanges, Mr. Poilievre, after having chained “I have already answered” and “other questions”, went on the attack to denounce “what concerns me more”, which is what he described as a “racist view” and “hideous racist costumes” of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.
Mr. Poilievre simply answered “no” without further explanation when asked if he intends to expel the three MPs from his caucus.
Ms. Anderson is a Member of the European Parliament who is a member of the “Alternative for Germany” party. This right-wing populist party has been under scrutiny as a suspected extremist group in Germany since 2021. The party has been criticized for minimizing Nazi crimes, opposing immigration and promoting anti-Muslim ideology.
< p>In a written statement, the Office of the Leader of the Official Opposition said that Mr. Poilievre believes it would have been better if Ms. Anderson had never come to Canada, that his MPs were unaware of his views and “regret having met her”.
The same email included a statement attributable to the three MPs. It noted that while it is not uncommon for elected officials to meet colleagues from other countries, the three Tory MPs were not “aware of any opinions or associations between her and her political party”.
The two Ontario MPs Leslyn Lewis and Dean Allison refuse to confirm that they share the assertion made by their leader as to their regrets. Third MP Colin Carrie said he “deeply” regretted the meeting.
In the afternoon, Leslyn Lewis entered the building that houses the House of Commons and refused to answer questions about her meeting with Ms. Anderson.
A spokesperson for Mr. Poilievre did not also did not say how the leader confirmed the MPs' regrets.
The German politician visited Canada as part of a tour organized by Freedom Convoy supporters last winter . This group demonstrated a year ago around Parliament Hill and at border crossings to protest against vaccine passports and health restrictions, and more broadly against the government of Justin Trudeau.
According to Bethan Nodwell, one of the organizers of Ms. Anderson's visit to Canada and her meeting with three Conservative MPs over lunch two weeks ago, discussions focused on Mr. Trudeau, vaccines, the convoy and health restrictions linked to the pandemic, such as confinements.