Facing questions about China, Trudeau chides Poilievre for far-right meeting

Conservative Leader Pierre Poilievre asked some pointed questions of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau Wednesday about his government’s handling of Chinese election interference.

Trudeau hit back with a question of his own: Why are Conservative MPs who met with a far-right German politician still in the Tory caucus?

Under pressure from the Conservatives to state exactly what his office knew about claims regarding politicians working with Beijing, Trudeau took a pause from his scripted answers on the issue to demand that Poilievre “apologize” for three Conservative MPs meeting with Christine Anderson.

Anderson is a member of the European Parliament representing the Alternative for Germany (AfD) party, which has been under surveillance as a suspected extremist group in Germany and is accused of downplaying Nazi crimes, opposing immigration and pushing anti-Muslim ideology.

“I do want to point out another issue that I know is preoccupying for Canadians. Just recently, Conservative Party MPs knowingly dined with a far-right German politician,” Trudeau said in question period.

Over a chorus of boos from the opposition benches, Trudeau said Anderson’s “far-right, xenophobic, anti-science, pro-Putin views are well known.”

“(Poilievre’s) carefully crafted condemnation that neither he nor his MPs will repeat publicly just won’t cut it,” he said. “It’s time he gave Canadians real answers and apologized.”

Poilievre ignored Trudeau’s jab and pressed on with questions about Beijing’s alleged meddling.

Conservative MPs Leslyn Lewis, Dean Allison and Colin Carrie met with Anderson late last month as part of her recent tour of Canada.

Anderson has become something of a folk hero in anti-vaccine mandate circles because of her support for last year’s “Freedom Convoy” protests near Parliament Hill.

Anderson has also been a vocal critic of Trudeau.

Last year, when Trudeau addressed the European parliament, Anderson called the prime minister “a disgrace for any democracy” because he implemented stringent COVID-19 public health restrictions.

She also called him a dictator who treats citizens as “terrorists.”

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