Poilievre slams ‘disgusting’ remarks about his wife by far-right leader

David Fraser, The Canadian Press

OTTAWA — Pierre Poilievre said Monday he had asked the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) to investigate the « disgusting » remarks of the founder of a far-right group, who mentioned in a video the idea to rape the Conservative leader’s wife.

Jeremy MacKenzie, a well-known figure in Canadian far-right circles, was referring to Anaida Poilievre, in an online video posted over the weekend, when he suggested « raping » her.

Mr MacKenzie, 36, is the founder of the online group ‘Diagolon’, which shares membership and affiliation with the ‘freedom convoy’ and with those who generally oppose the health restrictions imposed by the government.

Known for participating in hour-long, rage-fueled video transmissions, Mr MacKenzie and others in the video over the weekend highlighted the fact that Anaida Poilievre was born in Venezuela. We then hear Mr. MacKenzie comment on his physical appearance and say: “Let’s rape her!”.

Mr Poilievre, who was previously photographed shaking hands with Mr MacKenzie at a campaign event during the Conservative leadership race in Nova Scotia, called Mr MacKenzie and the other man in the video ‘garbage’ and ‘duds’. The Tory leader said he would not tolerate anyone threatening members of his family.

“My office has forwarded these comments to the RCMP to determine if criminal charges should be laid,” Poilievre said in a written statement posted on Twitter Monday. “This kind of garbage has no place in Canada. No one should face this kind of abuse,” he said.

« People can attack my politics, they can insult me, they can challenge my ideas and what I stand for, » he wrote. But threatening my wife and my family is terrible, and I will not tolerate it. Leave my family alone. »

In an interview with The Canadian Press, Mr MacKenzie argued Monday that he had been talking for hours when he made the online video, that he had been drinking and that he had no real harm in mind when he made these comments about Mr. Poilievre’s wife.

He also indicated that he did not recall how Ms Poilievre broke into the conversation.

« But I know for sure that I didn’t mean anything in that context, as obviously I would never encourage anything like that, or imply anything like that, » he said. He also described the affair as « just guys joking around, having fun » and being « rude ».

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said Monday that no one should ever be threatened with violence. He lamented that this type of hatred is increasingly present in public discourse.

“It is important that we all stand up and condemn this, and we are all looking for ways to make everyone feel safe in this country,” he said at a press conference in Ottawa.

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