Andrew Scheer on Faith Goldy's show in 2017. Photo via YouTube screenshot.
Shortly after Facebook banned Faith Goldy for being a white nationalist, the Liberals took Andrew Scheer and his Conservative party to task for their history with the far-right figure.During Question Period on Monday, as Scheer hammered Trudeau on the SNC-Lavalin scandal and how Trudeau has threatened to sue him for defamation regarding his statements, the Liberals fired back about Scheer’s connection to Goldy Government House Leader Bardish Chagger went after Scheer for tweets that he rewrote or deleted regarding SNC before bringing up Goldy.
"But the one tweet the Conservative leader won't change is the one of him attending the same rally as white supremacist Faith Goldy," Chagger said during QP. "It's quite interesting when he chooses to make changes and when he doesn't."Earlier in the day, other Liberal MPs attacked the same weak point. Democratic Institutions Minister Karina Gould told reporters that, “it is of note that the leader of the Official Opposition has been associated with the individual in question and we would call on him to apologize to Canadians, as well as to distance himself from these kinds of views.”Immigration Minister Ahmed Hussen wrote that Scheer’s association with the white nationalist is “real folks, and it has consequences." Prime Minister Justin Trudeau alluded to the banning without directly signaling out Goldy, and tweeted on Tuesday morning that Facebook’s decision to ban white nationalists is “a step in the right direction.”“Hatred will not be tolerated in Canada, and we all have a role to play in making sure our communities are safe, including online,” he tweeted.Goldy was kicked off Facebook Monday for promoting white nationalism. The decision comes after the platform announced they would be banning those who promote white nationalism. Goldy is still active on YouTube and Twitter.Responding to Chagger in the House, Scheer called her comments a “disgusting attempt to deflect” from the SNC-Lavalin scandal. He added that “we will always fight those who promote hateful ideologies.”
While most Conservatives have kept a wide berth from Goldy and her associates since her white nationalism became explicit, the most powerful Conservative in the country has not. Recently Scheer spoke at a Yellow Vest rally in Ottawa, not too long after he finished Goldy addressed the same crowd. Further to that, Scheer’s connection to the Rebel and their far-right figures is one that’s impossible to ignore. The campaign manager for Scheer’s successful leadership bid and the chair of the Conservative election campaign is Hamish Marshall, a corporate director of the Rebel. Marshall has since stepped away from the Rebel and said he didn’t have an editorial role at the company.
Another powerful conservative, Doug Ford, the premier of Ontario, made a show of not denouncing Faith Goldy for several days after appearing in a photo with the white nationalist and some of her little sycophants during her mayoral campaign. In an odd game of cat and mouse, Ford wouldn’t use Goldy’s name when denouncing the woman, instead saying he has zero tolerance for “hate speech.” After three days he finally tweeted out, “I have been clear. I condemn hate speech, anti-Semitism and racism in all forms—be it from Faith Goldy or anyone else.” Others, like Maxime Bernier, has been accused of parroting Goldy’s talking points on immigration in an attempt to win over her audience.Just months before Goldy appeared on a neo-Nazi podcast that would ultimately cost her a job at Rebel Media, Andrew Scheer appeared on her show On the Hunt to promote his leadership bid. Before she was best known as a white nationalist following the Charlotteville protests, and more of a far-right media figure, Goldy was a sought after interview or selfie for conservative politicians. Leader of the United Conservative Party in Alberta said, in 2016, Goldy is “always welcome in Alberta.”Since losing her job at the Rebel Media Goldy has drifted into the fringes of both the internet and ideology. Instead of the political gatekeeper she once was, Goldy is now best known for her stunts, like running for mayor of Toronto—where she won three percent of the vote. While Goldy seems relegated a footnote to history, it's important to note that, for a long time, she was a major presence in conservative politics.Sign up for the VICE Canada Newsletter to get the best of VICE Canada delivered to your inbox.Follow Mack Lamoureux on Twitter.