Conservative MPs from Oshawa, Niagara who met with far-right German politician to stay in caucus
Published March 6, 2023 at 3:25 pm
Conservative Leader Pierre Poilievre says three members of his party who met with a German politician from a far-right party will stay in caucus.
Speaking to reporters today in Ottawa, Poilievre otherwise ducked questions about the recent meeting between Ontario MPs Leslyn Lewis, Dean Allison, Colin Carrie and Christine Anderson.
Anderson visited Canada as part of a tour organized by supporters of last year’s “Freedom Convoy” protests around Parliament Hill, which she publicly supported. During her tour Anderson met with convoy organizer Tamara Lich, who is currently out on bail for six charges relating to the convoy.
Following the meeting with the MPs Anderson met with members of Diagolon, an alt-right, extremist militia network with the goal of a “white ethno-nationalist state” to “run diagonally from the Pacific Northwest through Canada to Florida,” per Ontario Tech University Centre on Hate, Bias and Extremism director Barbara Perry.
Anderson is a member of European Parliament representing the Alternative for Germany party, which has been under surveillance as a suspected extremist group in Germany and accused of downplaying Nazi crimes, opposing immigration and pushing anti-Muslim ideology.
The party also works to promote “traditional” gender roles, seeks to ban kosher slaughter, denies the human cause of climate change and opposes marriage equality. Some in the party oppose aid to Ukraine as it defends itself from the now year-long Russian incursion.
After photographs of the meeting emerged, Poilievre’s office released a statement condemning Anderson’s views as “vile,” and insisting his three MPs were unaware of her politics.
The MPs have likewise released a statement through Pollievre’s Director of Media Relations Sebastian Skamski saying they 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.”
“I profoundly regret attending a meeting without having sought the input of my staff and without having undertaken a fulsome vetting of the individuals or organizations with whom I was meeting – which is my usual practice,” said Oshawa MP Colin Carrie. “I, alone, own this mistake. I will do better.”
In March 2022, Carrie referenced a speech from Anderson while in Parliament. The speech, given to European Parliament, alleged Prime Minister Justin Trudeau had engaged in “dictatorship of the worst kind.”
Anderson, a Member of European Parliament since 2019, told that same assemby to “call the devil by its name,” in reference to Islam less than a month later
Poilievre told reporters today he has no plans to remove Lewis, Allison or Carrie from caucus.
With files from Liam McConnellinsauga's Editorial Standards and Policies advertising