On the heels of a mass shooting in Buffalo, New York, Conservative leadership candidate Pierre Poilievre has denounced “white replacement theory” after opponents accused him of supporting conspiracy theorist Pat King.
Conservative Party of Canada (CPC) contenders Jean Charest and Patrick Brown joined CPC MP Michelle Rempel Garner in a Twitter campaign to discredit Poilievre over the alleged support.
A video of King resurfaced in which he discussed “anglo-saxon replacement.”
“Here is Pat King, a leader of the convoy (Poilievre) supported, spreading the dangerous white supremacist ‘White Replacement’ conspiracy theory which was reported to have been in the Buffalo shooter’s manifest. I condemn this hate & call on Pierre to do the same,” tweeted Brown on Sunday.
In a video from August 2019, King can be heard claiming, “there’s an endgame – it’s called depopulation of the Caucasian race, or the Anglo-Saxon. And that’s what the goal is – is to depopulate the Anglo-Saxon race because they are the ones with the strongest bloodlines.”
Poilievre has since blasted attempts to politicize the massacre.
“For Patrick Brown to use this atrocity is sleazy — even for him. I supported the peaceful and law-abiding truckers who protested for their livelihoods and freedoms while simultaneously condemning any individuals who broke laws, behaved badly or blocked critical infrastructure,” said Poilievre.
Charest also condemned King’s statements on Monday.
“This is disgusting,” he wrote on Twitter. “Canadians must unanimously condemn this racism and bigotry. Conservatives must unite behind our condemnation of this hate.”
Rempel Garner also said that the theory must “be firmly denounced in every corner of every political party.”
“Pat King stood in the convoy, and Pat King stood for this. We have to purge our own tents of hate, in all forms, or Buffalo happens,” tweeted Rempel Garner.
In a letter sent out to Conservatives by the Brown campaign, party member Dionne Duncan had accused Poilievre of being “silent on this hate.”
“I am deeply, deeply concerned that Pierre has not condemned Pat King for his support for white replacement theory,” wrote Duncan.
”Pierre’s silence on warped ideologies will continue to render our party unelectable, and more importantly, allows hate to flourish in dark corners.”
Poilievre also responded to Brown’s accusations by calling him insincere about opposing COVID-19 lockdowns.
“Brown says he fought COVID lockdowns. That’s a lie. In fact, he locked down Brampton kids from arenas, harming mental health. Then snuck in & played hockey with cronies. He was such a regular, his hockey bag was already there, waiting for him. You can’t believe a word he says,” wrote Poilievre.
In response to charges by Charest that Poilievre supported “border blockades” Poilievre has stated that his support for the convoy was exclusive to peaceful protestors and not those who broke the law.
Leaders of the Freedom Convoy including Tamara Lich had distanced themselves from King even before the truckers arrived in Ottawa, stating that King spoke only for himself and that those with extremist views would not be welcome to join them.
King nonetheless made the journey to Ottawa, frequently live streaming his activities and staying until the final crackdown on Feb. 17-20.
King was denied bail after being arrested on Feb. 18 and remains in custody. He faces charges including mischief, intimidation, obstructing police, disobeying a court order, perjury and obstruction of justice.