Justin Trudeau denounces Pierre Poilievre over YouTube video tags linked to the anti-women movement

OTTAWA — Conservative Leader Pierre Poilievre’s plan to keep his party’s message focused on the economy fizzled Thursday amid revelations that his successful online brand may have been built in part on outreach to misogynistic online communities. .

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, along with several cabinet ministers and Liberal MPs, surged following a report that Poilievre’s YouTube videos for many years had included the movement’s acronym « Men Going Their Own Way » as one of many tags used to grow online audience.

The problem saw Question Period decorum quickly disappear in the House of Commons after Trudeau answered two questions from Poilievre on economic issues before turning the script around.

“The choice made by the Conservative leader to reach out to extremist groups online and to attract anti-women and misogynist groups for his own political gain is a choice he will have to answer for,” Trudeau said under a thunder of rage. applause.

« Women across the country want to know why he allowed this to happen and want to see him take responsibility for it. »

But Poilievre quickly pivoted to a response he has used before when attacked for his ties to or perceived support of controversial groups, attempting to turn the tables on Trudeau.

He pointed to the government’s funding of an anti-racism consultant who held anti-Semitic views, the number of women Trudeau lost from his cabinet, and historic incidents where Trudeau wore a black and brown face.

“We condemn all of this behavior,” Poilievre said. « We always and everywhere condemn misogyny and call on the Prime Minister to finally do the same. »

The fact that Poilievre was forced to respond to criticism on the Commons floor marked a rare landing of a political attack on him since becoming leader of his party last month.

So far, he has managed to dodge other lines of attack, including those regarding his adoption of cryptocurrency and his support for the movement that opposes COVID-19 vaccination mandates.

The latter is expected to be front and center for Liberals with the start this month of the commission exploring the use of the Emergencies Act in response to the so-called “freedom convoy” protests earlier this month. year.

The Liberals also moved quickly to raise funds on the issue on Thursday, sending out an explosion of emails touting their efforts to “support women and create politics based on feminism.”

Poilievre has built an online following that far exceeds that of other Canadian politicians, and the public has been central to his successful bid for the leadership of the Conservative Party.

The online tag’s use was first reported by Global News after reviewing 50 of the many videos Poilievre has posted online over the past five years.

Global reported that the tags used on Poilievre’s videos hadn’t changed in years and included « mgtow, » which stands for « Men Going Their Own Way, » a mostly online movement of men who decided to exclude the women in their lives because of a belief. the movement for gender equality corrupts society.

Alex Minassian, who killed 10 people and injured 16 others in a 2018 pickup truck attack in Toronto, and a young man who pleaded guilty last month to the murder of a Toronto masseuse said they were inspired by hatred of women and the so-called incel movement.

Tags are not visible to viewers in the same way as hashtags on social media sites like Facebook and Twitter, although they serve a similar purpose by helping people find content.

Poilievre’s office said he was unaware the tag was being used on his videos and that it was removed once its use was revealed.

His office did not respond to The Star’s requests for comment on Thursday.


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