Poilievre sentenced for YouTube videos tagged ‘misogynist’
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and the Liberals accuse Pierre Poilievre of ‘using his videos to attract far-right misogynistic movements online’ after it was revealed that Poilievre’s YouTube channel was using a hidden tag to promote his videos to an anti-woman audience.
“The choice made by the Conservative leader to reach out to extremist groups online, to attract anti-women and misogynist groups for his own political gain is a choice for which he will have to answer. I mean, women across the country want to know why he allowed this to happen and want to see him take responsibility for it,” Trudeau told the House of Commons on Thursday.
The tag first reported by Global News and used to target these online audiences, “#mgtow” – an acronym for “men go their own way” – refers to a group of anti-feminist men seeking to separate women. It has been associated with the so-called “incel” or involuntary celibacy movement.
Reddit banned the “r/MGTOW” community for violating its rule against promoting hate.
CTV News has independently verified past use of the “mgtow” tag embedded in the code of videos on Poilievre’s YouTube page, using the Internet Archive’s Wayback Machine. As reported by Global News, after use of the tag was raised with Poilievre’s office, it was removed from videos uploaded in recent years.
Trudeau has repeatedly challenged Poilievre to address the issue during Question Period, where the ruling party is supposed to be the one facing the questions.
“These are anti-woman movements and they have devastating real-life consequences. Mr. Speaker, I call on the Conservative leader to stand up in the House, take responsibility and apologize,” Trudeau said.
In response, Poilievre confirmed that he “fixed the issue as soon as I became aware of it.”
Poilievre said he condemns “all forms of misogyny” and “takes responsibility,” before pivoting to attack Trudeau over his past blackface scandal and the Jody Wilson-Raybould and SNC-Lavalin controversy, the Conservative caucus cheering him on.
CALLS TO EXPLAIN, EXCULATE
Several MPs and ministers echoed Trudeau’s condemnation on Thursday, calling on Poilievre to explain how the use of the label was authorized and who was responsible.
“It is very alarming to see a report where a political party, the Conservative Party of Canada, apparently used some sort of hashtag or coding that was not visible, to power incel echo chambers where you have rhetoric openly violent towards women. It’s dangerous, it’s wrong, and it will be up to them to answer for it,” said Public Security Minister Marco Mendicino.
Justice Minister David Lametti called it “more than totally unacceptable” and a “genuine outrage”. He said anyone who supported Poilievre during the leadership race, or supports the party now, should think about it.
“Linking your posts to a group that actively incites hatred…I am outraged. I think every woman in Canada, every person in Canada, should be outraged by this,” Lametti said.
Liberal MPs Jennifer O’Connell and Soraya Martinez Ferrada have called on Poilievre to speak out against her team’s actions and take some responsibility, but are also calling on female Conservative MPs to stand up and speak out against it.
“Mr. Poilievre has deliberately targeted and courted violent anti-women incel movements for his own political and personal gain…He is running to be – he says – Prime Minister…And we are calling on him to act now” , O’Connell said. .
Conservative MP Raquel Dancho was questioned by reporters on Parliament Hill who she says should take responsibility for the label.
She said: “I am very proud of my boss who just came out and took responsibility and immediately rectified the situation. I think it shows real leadership and it’s time we had a leader in the House of Commons who does that,” while accusing Trudeau of not “taking responsibility again and again for racist, sexist and misogynistic actions.” .
Alain Rayes, an independent MP who quit the Conservative Party just days after Poilievre’s victory, called the situation “unacceptable”. Rayes said that while he may believe Poilievre didn’t use the tag himself, “he needs to fire the person who did immediately.” He said it was “the minimum expected of a leader”.
While some MPs are calling for there to be consequences, Poilievre has made no indication that he plans to take further action to address the issue.
With a file from Phil Hahn of CTVNews.ca