As first reported by iPolitics, Ontario Liberal candidate Amanda Yeung Collucci (who is running in the Markham-Unionville riding, just outside of Toronto) took to Facebook on the 2012 anniversary of 9/11 to share a YouTube video and express her doubts about what happened that day 11 years prior.
“911, was it really a terrorist attack or another conspiracy for cover-up? As soon as it happened back in 2001, I thought: ‘how can the US Defense be so weak?’ I thought the US had LET it happen so they can declare war,” Yeung Collucci wrote. “But after watching this video, it really made me think: ‘what is the real story behind 9/11.’”
In case you are wondering, the typical truther view is that the United States either orchestrated or let the terrorist attack happen, meaning that the country has the blood of almost 3,000 of its own citizens on its hands. The theories, at times, can stray into extreme anti-Semitic territory.
The YouTube video Yeung Collucci linked to (it’s always a damn YouTube video) has since been removed. In an emailed statement to iPolitics, Yeung Collucci offered a rather weak apology stating that it was not “representative” of her views and apologized “to anyone who might have been offended.” Ontario premier Kathleen Wynne told iPolitics that she stands by her candidate and that Yeung Collucci “was taken to task for what she posted.” Neither of them offered any details to further explain the post.
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A few years ago we might have had a thinkpiece bonanza on this subject. But now in 2018, the year of the melted brain, it’s been but a small dip in the roller coaster that has been the Ontario provincial election. If I’m going to try to explain it, I suppose it’s because there is just too much going on, frankly, we’re all goddamn exhausted and you know. Besides, it’s not the first time this kind of thing has happened. Canadian politicians and candidates have occasionally been expressing, shall we say, questionable views regarding 9/11 over the last several years.
In 2015, Maria Manna, a federal Liberal candidate, actually dropped out of her race in BC after saying, on the 2013 anniversary of the terrorist attack, that “she knew the truth.” “So today we remember the tragedy of 911,” she wrote in a Facebook post. “Today we will talk about who did it and why. Today most people will continue to believe the lie, and again, THEY continue to win. Thank God I know the truth! LOVE is the answer!!!”
Manna dropped out shortly after her comments came to light, saying that the 2015 election the Liberals would eventually win was “far too important to have my past opinions and comments detract from that goal.”
One of the highest-profile politicians in Canada to be connected with truther views—while not endorsing them—is longtime Green Party leader Elizabeth May. In 2014, May was criticized for presenting a petition that called upon the body to reinvestigate 9/11. May said that she did not support the truthers ideas and was rule bound to present the petition.
It’s no secret that in recent years conspiratorial thinking has been growing increasingly mainstream. One expert recently told VICE that trust in authority has never been lower.
“Unfortunately a lot of what you see in conspiracy theorizing is a symptom of this larger breakdown of trust in things like the government and, in many cases, it's not entirely unjustified,” Colin Klein, a researcher at the Australian National University who conducted a massive study on Reddit’s conspiracy page told VICE.
At this rate, we can all look forward to when, in the 2024 New Brunswick election a politician comes out as a Sandy Hook truther and, again, we’ll just be too tired to care.
Follow Mack Lamoureux on Twitter.