Conservatives condemn racist conspiracy theory and attack Buffalo shooting

Leadership candidates and interim leader of the Conservative Party condemn racist ‘white replacement theory’ that allegedly inspired Saturday’s mass shooting in Buffalo, NY

But there’s still division within the party over how that sentencing came about – with Pierre Poilievre accusing his leadership rival Patrick Brown of “shady” use of an atrocity and with Brown’s campaign demanding why Poilievre and other conservatives did not condemn the murders sooner.

It was a particularly ugly moment in an already heated leadership race.

“It shouldn’t take us long to come out and stand up for what’s right,” said Michelle Rempel Garner, Brown’s leadership campaign co-chair.

“These moments of hesitation, frankly, I think are very detrimental to Canada‘s pluralism. I just think our party needs to do a better job of immediately condemning this kind of murderous ideology.”

Saturday’s shooting left 10 people dead and was described by authorities as “racially motivated violent extremism”. Most of those killed were black and the 18-year-old gunman is said to have left a lengthy manifesto espousing the idea that whites were replaced by non-whites – a racist conspiracy theory known as the ‘white replacement theory’ .

Brown invites Poilievre

The rift between conservatives over the deaths was made public on Sunday when Brown tweeted a 2019 video of Pat King, one of the key figures in the protest convoy that occupied downtown Ottawa in February. In it, King discusses the idea that white people are deliberately replaced.

Brown noted that the racist theory would have been part of the gunman’s manifesto and called on Poilievre – who has been a vocal supporter of the convoy protesters – to do the same.

Rempel Garner then tweeted that such racist propaganda must be exposed from all corners of every political party and said those giving space to such “treasonous” content are complicit.

“Pat King was in the convoy and Pat King was for this. We must purge our own tents of hate, in all its forms, or Buffalo will arrive,” she wrote.

Poilievre accuses ‘sleazy’ behavior

On Monday afternoon, Poilievre’s campaign released a statement denouncing both Buffalo’s attack and King’s attack.

“I condemn the Buffalo attack and the ugly racist hatred that motivated it. All racism is wrong and must be stopped. I also denounce the so-called ‘white replacement theory’ as ugly and disgusting hate propaganda. I also condemns Pat King and his nasty remarks,” the statement read.

Poilievre then questioned Brown’s motives.

“For Patrick Brown to use this atrocity is shady – even for him.”

Poilievre said he supported peaceful, law-abiding truckers who demonstrated for their livelihoods, but called out anyone “breaking the law, misbehaving or blocking critical infrastructure.”

He added that those who engage in racism are personally responsible for their behavior.

Asked about Poilievre’s statement, Rempel Garner said the killings should force someone in a leadership role like Poilievre to “rise to the occasion”. She said it would be up to Canadians to decide if he did.

Tory leader and Commons condemn racism

Interim Conservative leader Candice Bergen also delivered a sentence on Monday afternoon.

“Racism goes against our values ​​as Canadians, and it has no place in our country or in the Conservative Party. The “white replacement” conspiracy theory is peddled by racists and fanatics. Conservatives unequivocally condemn this kind of thinking,” Mr. Bergen said. statement.

She also seemed to draw a line under the behavior of protesters, like those in the Ottawa convoy.

“[W]While Canadians are free to protest and demonstrate, this does not include the unlawful blocking or occupation of infrastructure, or unlawful hate speech,” the Bergen statement said.

Public Safety Minister Marco Mendicino condemned the shooting during a melee on Monday and said Canada was not immune to hatred and racism.

LOOK | Public Safety Minister responds to Buffalo shooting

Public Safety Minister responds to Buffalo shooting

Public Safety Minister Marco Mendicino discusses the mass shooting in Buffalo, NY that killed ten people.

“We have seen in the past that shootings stem from hatred and acts of racism, for example during the Quebec City mosque shooting,” he said.

“We must do more to eliminate gun violence, and we must also do more to eradicate racism, which has no place in our society.”

The House of Commons unanimously passed a motion on Monday that expresses its horror at the shooting, offers condolences to the loved ones of the victims and reaffirms the need to stand up against racism and white supremacy. The Chamber also observed a minute of silence in memory of the victims.

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