Conservative Leader Pierre Poilievre denounced a German politician after several Tory MPs were criticized for meeting with her while she was in Canada this week.
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Conservative MPs Dean Allison, Colin Carrie and Leslyn Lewis were photographed having dinner with Christine Anderson, a member of the European Parliament.
She represents the Alternative for Germany party, a right-wing populist party that opposes immigration. Parts of the party were put under surveillance as a suspected extremist group by Germany’s intelligence agency in 2021.
The chair of the Canadian Anti-Hate Network and at least two Canadian Jewish organizations expressed concern about the MPs having dinner with Anderson.
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In a written statement responding to the concerns Friday Poilievre said Anderson’s views are “vile” and that her “racist, hateful views are not welcome here.”
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“The MPs were not aware of this visiting member of the European Parliament’s opinions, and they regret meeting with her. Frankly, it would be better if Anderson never visited Canada in the first place,” the statement said.
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The three MPs said in their own statement that it is not uncommon to meet with visiting elected officials from other countries.
“We were not aware of the views or associations of her and her political party. We do not share or endorse her views and strongly condemn any views that are racist or hateful,” the group of MPs said.
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The Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs said it appreciates Poilievre’s clear rejection of Anderson’s views but MPs must do more research before agreeing to such meetings.
Anderson’s tour in Canada included stops in Calgary, Toronto and Montreal, and a visit to a Family Day barbecue event near Cambridge, Ont.
© 2023 The Canadian Press
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