The People’s Party of Canada is doubling down after the Canadian Association of Journalists (CAJ) issued a call for the RCMP to investigate party leader Maxime Bernier over a tweet.

“The CAJ is mindful that several sections of the Criminal Code prohibit the wilful promotion of hatred. For this reason, we urge the RCMP, and other law enforcement bodies, to launch investigations immediately,” the CAJ said in a press release.

In response to CAJ’s call for an investigation, PPC Spokesperson Martin Masse told True North in an emailed statement that characterizing Bernier’s tweet as hateful was incorrect. 

“There was nothing ‘hateful’ in Mr. Bernier’s tweet. He simply asked his supporters to write to these journalists and tell them what they think of their disgusting loaded questions implying that PPC supporters are violent neonazis. Their email addresses are publicly available in their Twitter bio in the case of two of them, and on her CTV bio page for the other one,” said Masse. 

“Instead of attacking us, the CAJ should try and raise the quality of journalism in this country and promote ethical and professional standards among its members. Their members who are leftist activists masquerading as journalists are the ones who have been harassing us for years with their offensive questions. They are the one promoting hatred against hundreds of thousands of PPC supporters. They are despicable bullies.” 

Last week, in response to numerous media inquiries alleging PPC ties to white nationalism, Bernier posted the public emails of the journalists involved and called on his supporters to write to them. 

“If you want to write to these idiots to tell them what you think of their disgusting smear jobs, here are their email addresses. They want to play dirty, we will play dirty too,” wrote Bernier in the tweet.

Afterwards, Twitter temporarily suspended Bernier’s account.

Several legacy media organizations including the CBC condemned Bernier and accused him of targeting journalists who reportedly received threats and harassment as a result of the tweet. 

In response, Masse stated that the media’s biased coverage of the PPC has alternatively put many of the party’s diverse candidates in danger. 

“Because of the offensive lies that they keep publishing about us, many of our candidates (including Jews, and men and women of colour) were verbally attacked while canvassing, and their signs destroyed, during the election campaigns in 2019 and this year,” said Masse.

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