PMO won’t identify ‘far left’ groups Trudeau had in mind
The Prime Minister’s Office declined to clarify Justin Trudeau’s comments equating unnamed left-wing “extremist groups” with white supremacist groups and suggesting that both sides are spreading “hatred, fear and mistrust” in Canada and across the country. other democratic societies around the world.
Giving a speech this week to a International conference in MalmÃ¶, Sweden, on combating anti-Semitism and racism, the Prime Minister of Canada focused on the role of technology and social media in “enabling harmful content like hate speech”.
“We are in a time where all over the world we are seeing an increase in polarization, extremism, radicalization everywhere, including in some of the most open liberal democracies in the world,” Trudeau said during the conference.
âIn our elections, in our public discourse and in mainstream communications – not to mention social media – we are seeing an increase in intolerance. “
Trudeau then offered an unusual explanation for the source of “white supremacy” and “hate” on social media platforms, suggesting that these ideas are in fact pushed by “far-right and extreme extremist groups. left ” :
“We see organizations of far-right and far-left extremist groups pushing white supremacy, intolerance, radicalization, promoting hatred, fear and mistrust across borders but also within borders.”
This comment has left a lot of people scratching their heads.
The Canadian Anti-Hate Network, an advocacy group that monitors hate groups in Canada, tweeted a statement accusing Trudeau of equating “anti-racists and anti-fascists with white supremacists and the far right.”
The CAHN called Trudeau’s comments âirresponsibleâ and demanded an apology.
Today, @JustinTrudeau equated anti-racists and anti-fascists with white supremacists and the far right. This is misinformation. It is irresponsible. And that deserves an apology. #cdnpoli pic.twitter.com/wvCyI0J4PF
– Canadian Anti-Hate Network (@antihateca) October 13, 2021
The Prime Minister’s Office does not apologize.
In a statement to Press Progress, PMO said Trudeau supported his remarks.
“As the Prime Minister said, he was talking about groups that” push white supremacy, intolerance, radicalization, promote hatred, fear and mistrust across borders, but also within borders, “said Alex Wellstead, PMO press secretary. Press Progress.
The PMO declined to identify the “far left” groups Trudeau had in mind or to name a single left group in Canada that fit that description.
The PMO would also not say how it defines âextremist groupsâ. While several far-right groups legally designated as terrorist entities in Canada, including Proud boys, The three percent militias and one number of neo-Nazi groups, there is no national left group designated as terrorist in Canada.
Evan Balgord, executive director of the Canadian Anti-Hate Network, said “the far left” is a broad term commonly used by right-wing media to describe groups focused on anti-racism or oppression.
“I think the prime minister misspoken,” Balgord said Press Progress. âWhen he said that the extreme left groups advocate ‘white supremacy’, it is a very clear mistake. I hope he will be clearer about what he sees as âthe far leftâ in the future, and that the far right is the real threat. “
“The far right, if it took power, would use that power to discriminate, exile and execute its opponents if they don’t kiss the boot enough, they don’t meet the standards of what is Canadian, or because of their skin color, âBalgord said.
âLeft-wing organizations in Canada, which are sometimes described as the far left by conservative media, generally fight for equal rights for all,â Balgord said.
âThe far right wants to kill people and take over the country. It is obvious which one is dangerous.
Help us protect Canadians by holding the powerful accountable.
Journalism is an important public service. That is why Press Progress prioritizes stories about keeping Canadians safe and holding powerful people accountable during the coronavirus pandemic.
Please consider supporting our award-winning non-profit news organization so that we can continue to make a positive impact for Canadians.
Support our journalism