Rising far-right threats against Justin Trudeau, police warn

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Reuters

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There were 130 threats against Justin Trudeau from January to July this year


The number of threats against Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has increased compared to the same period last year, Canadian police have warned.

Figures from the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) show that there were 130 threats against Mr. Trudeau and ministers from January to July.

This is a jump from the 100 threats launched during the same period in 2019.

The RCMP report follows a number of security incidents targeting federal officials across the country.

In July, an armed suspect was arrested for violating the entrance to the estate where Mr. Trudeau resides.

Mr. Trudeau and his family, who currently live in a cottage on the grounds of Rideau Hall while the Prime Minister’s official residence is being renovated, were not at home at the time of the incident.

Other incidents include attempted attacks on Governor General Julie Payette – the official representative of Queen Elizabeth II – who resides in the same estate as Mr. Trudeau and, more recently, Minister of Infrastructure Catherine McKenna.

Images posted on social media showed a man shouting insults and curses about Ms McKenna and Mr Trudeau to one of Ms McKenna’s staff.

Ottawan MP Lisa MacLeod was forced into police custody after receiving threatening emails, as well as what the Ottawa Citizen newspaper described as an unspecified “malicious incident”.

Expressing support for Ms MacLeod, Ms McKenna called for “better measures” to prevent threats and abuse against officials.

Daniel Brien, a spokesperson for the National Police, told the Toronto Star newspaper that the RCMP would not discuss the specific nature of the threats the force followed.

Another report, released by the Institute for Strategic Dialogue (ISD), found that anti-government sentiment – particularly against Mr. Trudeau – was a “very important” topic among right-wing extremists online, with Islamophobia and anti-Semitism.

Justin Trudeau was mentioned in 11.4% of posts posted by far-right Facebook pages and groups, and featured in 28% of YouTube content analyzed, ISD said.

“Anti-immigration and anti-Muslim themes are often linked to anti-Trudeau and anti-left sentiments, as (far-right) groups and individuals perceive that immigration is intrinsically linked to the policies adopted by the liberal government Trudeau’s (party) and leftist politics more broadly, ”the report added.

Anti-Trudeau sentiments among extremists were also linked to anti-Semitic conspiracy theories that George Soros and the UN “are deliberately increasing migration as part of a larger attack on whites,” he said.

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