thumb-2023-011-08-matt-strauss This article is more than 7 months old

Controversial Anti-Lockdown Doctor Named Candidate for Pierre Poilievre’s Conservatives

Matt Strauss faced intense criticism as a top public health officer over controversial statements about public health measures

A controversial doctor celebrated by anti-public health activists has been acclaimed as a candidate in the next federal election for Pierre Poilievre’s Conservatives.

The Kitchener South–Hespeler Conservative Association announced Sunday night that Dr. Matt Strauss will stand as the riding’s candidate for the next federal election following a vote at the EDA’s nomination meeting.

Earlier this year, Strauss resigned as the acting medical officer of health for the Haldimand Norfolk Health Unit after being dogged by criticism over statements about public health measures since he was appointed to the role in 2021.

Despite being responsible for the management of the region’s pandemic response, Strauss repeatedly made public statements criticizing Covid-19 public health measures, earning him the admiration of far-right anti-public health activists.

Strauss is a signatory to the “Great Barrington Declaration,” a petition advocating a natural herd immunity approach to the spread of Covid-19. Strauss also declined to endorse the use of masks and publicly questioning the effectiveness of masks in “preventing community transmission.”

Previous to his appointment, Strauss appeared on RT, the Russian Federation’s English-language propaganda network, criticizing the British government’s pandemic response and repeatedly tweeted criticisms of the approach in Canada.

One of Strauss’ tweets stated that “lockdowns have not been proven to save lives in the long run” while another downplayed the dangers of Covid-19, suggesting he would “sooner give my children COVID-19 than a McDonald’s Happy Meal.”

“The purpose of life is not to stay alive as long as possible,” Strauss previously told the Epoch Times. “The purpose of life is to live it.”

“Live free or die,” Strauss tweeted in August 2021.

“I think for many of us, there were dark times during the pandemic where it felt like we were speaking up for freedom and common sense alone,” Strauss said in a statement announcing his acclamation as a Conservative candidate.

Strauss’ campaign website, which was accessible as recently as Saturday, was offline following his acclamation Sunday night.

The online bio that appeared on Strauss’ disappeared website highlighted his role as a controversial figure on public health issues.

“Unfortunately, at times, it seemed our federal government and media preferred to stoke fear, callousness, panic, and coercion,” Strauss’ website stated. “This led to a lot of unnecessary controversy.”

It added that as chief medical officer, Strauss “stood up for freedom and common sense even while under attack from the Ontario Liberal Party and the Toronto Star.”

Strauss added he was “pleased to have the support of … Dr. Leslyn Lewis,” the socially conservative Conservative MP for Haldimand-Norfolk who has promoted anti-vaccine conspiracies about the World Health Organization and Microsoft Windows creator Bill Gates.

Lewis also faced criticism after meeting with a far-right German politician who has promoted anti-vaccine and anti-immigrant policies and is currently sponsoring a petition calling on the Government of Canada to withdraw from the United Nations and World Health Organization.


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Luke LeBrun
Luke LeBrun is the Editor of PressProgress. His reporting focuses on the federal political scene, right-wing politics as well as issues in technology, media and culture.

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