Former justice minister applauds far-right vigilante group that called for acts of violence against protesters
Conservative Party leadership candidate Peter MacKay appears to be endorsing vigilante justice as a practical solution for dealing with protesters.
MacKay, who served as Canada’s Justice Minister and Attorney General under former Prime Minister Stephen Harper, raised eyebrows Wednesday after tweeting his support for a group of far-right counter-protesters linked to the controversial United We Roll convoy and yellow vest groups.
“Glad to see a couple Albertans with a pickup truck can do more for our economy in an afternoon than Justin Trudeau could do in four years,” MacKay tweeted, applauding the far-right group taking matters into their own hands.
MacKay deleted his tweet later Wednesday night.
The vigilante group had disrupted a railway blockade set-up by protesters standing in solidarity with Wet’suwet’en land defenders. Video from the event shows far-right vigilantes confronting protesters and dismantling a camp set-up on site.
The protesters had not been served with any injunction when the vigilante group took it upon itself to remove protesters.
Yellow Vests Canada Exposed, a group that monitors the Canadian far-right, identified members of the controversial “yellow vests” group among the vigilante counter-protesters, as well as members of “Wexit” and the leader of last year’s United We Roll convoy.
YVC also found evidence of the vigilante group calling for acts of violence against protesters.
MacKay’s tweet has been met with a less-than-warm response.
Did a leading candidate for Conservative leader just endorse vigilantism as a response to railway barricades?
— Andrew Coyne (@acoyne) February 19, 2020
Serious question: isn’t it also illegal to be on the tracks and take down the barricades? A former minister of justice is advocating this action? Could lead to serious confrontation. We will discuss this on @CTV_PowerPlay https://t.co/mQQQSh53cu
— Evan Solomon (@EvanLSolomon) February 19, 2020
— Mercedes Stephenson (@MercedesGlobal) February 19, 2020
— Adrian Harewood (@CBCAdrianH) February 19, 2020
Former Attorney General. https://t.co/814XYUMxUX
— Jeremy Nuttall |纳兰展眉 (@Nuttallreports) February 19, 2020
Step 1. Call the protestors thugs. Step 2. Call the vigilantes heroes. MacKay’s campaign has really lurched from strength to strength https://t.co/wkW39zfqTA
— Bruce Arthur (@bruce_arthur) February 19, 2020
another day, another tweet to disavow eventually and sort of https://t.co/zDXJHs87uJ
— vicky mochama (@vmochama) February 19, 2020
Update: Following publication of this article, Peter MacKay deleted his tweet. This article has been updated to note this development.
Correction: This article mistakenly identified the group Yellow Vests Canada Exposed as “Yellow Vests Canada.” This article has been updated to correct the group’s name.