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Poilievre refuses to explain disagreement with far-right German lawmaker



(OTTAWA) Conservative leader Pierre Poilievre relentlessly refused on Monday to clarify how he disagrees with the vision of far-right German MP Christine Anderson whom three elected officials from his party recently met and said he dismisses to kick them out of caucus.

“The deputies have already issued statements as I have already done too”, he was content to answer, hoping that the journalists would follow up with questions on other subjects, but the parliamentary press did not hear him. Thus.

In often stormy exchanges, Mr. Poilievre, after chaining “I have already answered” and “other questions”, went on the attack to denounce “what concerns me more”, that is to say 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 he was asked if he intends to expel the three MPs from his caucus.

Mme 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 downplaying Nazi crimes, opposing immigration and promoting an anti-Muslim ideology.

The German politician visited Canada as part of a tour organized by supporters of the “freedom convoy” 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 Anderson in Canada and his meeting with three Conservative MPs over a meal two weeks ago, the discussions focused on Mr. Trudeau, vaccines, the convoy and health restrictions related to the pandemic, such as confinements.

In a written statement, the Office of the Leader of the Official Opposition indicated that Mr. Poilievre believes it would have been preferable for Anderson never came to Canada, that her deputies were unaware of her views and “regretted meeting her”.

The same email included a statement attributable to the three MPs. It is pointed out that while it is not uncommon for elected officials to meet colleagues from other countries, the three Conservative MPs were not “aware of the 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. The third MP, Colin Carrie, for his part said he “deeply” regretted the meeting.

A spokesman for Mr Poilievre also did not say how the leader confirmed the MPs’ regrets.

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