Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has called out the Canada’s official opposition for fielding a question regarding pizzagate. Sigh, here I go again.
A couple years after pizzagate reached its apex, the notorious conspiracy theory has reared its ugly head in Canada, thanks to Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer wanting to keep the next election competitive by giving his Liberal counterpart something to complain about.
In what is the first time but probably not the last of this election cycle, the political news in Canada (non SNC-Lavalin edition) partially focused on a online conspiracy this weekend. For those of you not in the know, pizzagate is conspiracy that essentially revolves around the idea the Clintons, and powerful people around them, run a child pedophile ring out of a DC pizzeria.
The conspiracy went viral during the 2016 election and climaxed with a man taking a rifle to Comet Ping Pong, the pizzeria at the centre of the conspiracy, demanding authorities investigate the ring, and firing several times into a wall. No one was hurt in the incident and the man was eventually sentenced to four year for his actions. Now, while the conspiracy never really went away and still boasts a few hardline followers, it’s gone underground and become much quieter as many followers moved onto new conspiracies (Q-Anon) or what have you.
But this weekend, in Canada, it was like it was the summer of 2016 all over again.
The question begins at 45:12 in the video above.
The Canadian pizzagate reunion tour started at a town hall Scheer hosted on Thursday in Kitchener when a man asked a long, rambling question about Canada giving money to the Clinton foundation. The question touched on pizzagate and connected the conspiracy to Trudeau.
“Trudeau gave $600 million to the Clinton Foundation. The Clinton Foundation is part of child trafficking and child sacrifice if you study it. It is in the pizzagate,” the man said as the crowd applauded. The man goes on to ask if Trudeau should be jailed if someone can prove he knows about the child pedophilia ring at the centre of pizzagate.
Scheer responded to this question by not ignoring anything that had to do with the conspiracy.But he did touch on the Clinton Foundation, though. Some of the conspiracy theorists and shitposters who continue to spread pizzagate are interpreting Scheer’s response as a victory, and are celebrating the reemergence of the conspiracy.
Brock Harrison, spokesperson for Scheer, explained away Scheer’s response by saying the leader of the opposition didn't hear anything related to the conspiracy when the question was asked.
“Mr. Scheer does not keep up with paranoid, American alt-right conspiracy theories and as such was not familiar with the term until it came up in the questioning today,” Harrison added.
Scheer was roundly criticized for not debunking the question (I mean, he did hear the man’s questions enough to focus on the Clinton Foundation) and everyone seemed to move on but Trudeau—still desperate for a news cycle not focused on the SNC-Lavalin affair—slammed Scheer’s response on Saturday.
“We have a Conservative leader right now who is in the news again for showing that he doesn't know or doesn’t hear intolerant comments,” said Trudeau in a speech. “At a town hall… someone made just a terrible comment about a bit of fake news that is absolutely heinous in it’s substance called pizzagate which is an attack on Hillary Clinton and his response was ‘Oh, I didn’t hear that comment in the question.’”
Trudeau then went on to criticize Andrew Scheer’s involvement with the Yellow Vest movement and United We Roll Convoy, which saw him give a speech to the same group as white nationalist figure Faith Goldy.
“If there is one thing we need to do as Canadians is be vigilant about the intolerant, extremist voices coming from all sides and stay true to the values of respect and openness that have served us so well as a country,” Trudeau added.
On Sunday—giving the conspiracy just that bit of extra time in the sun—Scheer responded directly to Trudeau’s statements by saying what he thinks about pizzagate.
“Obviously I believe it is a ridiculous conspiracy theory,” said Scheer. “Those types of misinformation campaigns have no place in democratic dialogue.”
Despite his strong words, there does exist a connection to conspiracy mongering for political points and Andrew Scheer. Hamish Marshall, Scheer’s campaign manager, and the Conservative Party's national campaign manager, is a former director of the far-right, anti-Islam outlet Rebel Media. The online news site and YouTube channel has floated conspiracies in the past and, at times, flirted with pizzagate.
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