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thumb-2023-011-03-leslyn-lewis-pierre-poilievre This article is more than 6 months old
Analysis

Far-Right Conspiracy Groups Boost Conservative MP’s Petition to Remove Canada From the United Nations

Petition to remove Canada from the UN receives 46,000 signatures after getting promoted by far-right influencers and conspiracy groups

One of Pierre Poilievre’s Conservative MPs is sponsoring a petition calling for Canada to withdraw from the United Nations and it is being aggressively shared on social media by far-right influencers and conspiracy groups.

Leslyn Lewis, who is Poilievre’s “Shadow Minister” for Infrastructure and Communities, is the sponsor of petition e-4623, which calls for Canada’s “expeditious withdrawal from the UN and all of its subsidiary organizations, including WHO.”

“Canada’s membership in the United Nations (UN) and its subsidiary organizations, (e.g. World Health Organization (WHO), imposes negative consequences on the people of Canada, far outweighing any benefits,” the petition states.

It cites “Sustainable Development Goals” and “Comprehensive Sexuality Education” as examples of the UN’s “negative impacts,” before rattling off groups and buzzwords at the centre of far-right conspiracies, including “Agenda 2030,” the “World Economic Forum” and the “Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.”

As of Tuesday afternoon, the petition had received over 46,000 signatures.

House of Commons

The official House of Commons e-petition was initiated by Doug Porter of Burnaby, BC and authorized by Lewis, a Southwestern Ontario MP.

Every petition carries a disclaimer noting “there is no obligation on the part of the House of Commons or any Member of Parliament to authorize the publication of an e-petition or to present an e-petition or a paper petition to the House of Commons.”

Since the petition launched on October 10, it has been aggressively shared by groups and influencers in far-right and conspiratorial corners of social media.

A Facebook page promoting recent anti-LGBTQ+ “One Million March For Children” protests shared a TikTok video of far-right influencer and former People’s Party candidate Mark Friesen endorsing the petition — as well as the petition’s sponsor.

“I’ll support anybody who stands against this agenda and I’m a little surprised that it’s coming from Leslyn Lewis,” Friesen said. “I’m a little bit surprised but I can’t not support anybody, especially an elected official, who has the courage to say no to ‘Agenda 2030’.”

“This is our chance, this is our opportunity,  go and sign it in the millions.”

Facebook

The petition to withdraw Canada from the UN was also warmly received by the National Citizen’s Inquiry, a knock-off public inquiry organized by anti-lockdown and anti-vaccine activists that advocates banning COVID-19 vaccines.

“We encourage all Canadians to read and sign this petition initiated by Dr. Leslyn Lewis,” the Inquiry said in a statement (Lewis is not a medical doctor).

“While the National Citizen’s Inquiry maintains a non-partisan stance and does not endorse any political party, we are stead fast in our belief that this petition is of significant importance for Canadians to peruse and comprehend.”

Facebook

Lewis’ petition was also shared by a conspiratorial far-right channel called “What’s Up Canada?” that posts content claiming the World Economic Forum is ushering in a “Fourth Reich” and that Canada is under attack by a “UN Vaccine Assault agenda.

The channel created an accompanying graphic featuring an assembly of world leaders sitting in a circle around a giant glass pyramid covered with human skulls that emits a shiny light and reads: “The future does not belong to the globalists.”

“Sign the Canadian petition to exit the United Nations and the World Health Organization,” the graphic adds, including a link to Lewis’ e-petition.

Facebook

Lewis and her petition were also endorsed by a channel that promoted Trump-style election fraud conspiracies in advance of Manitoba’s provincial election last month.

“This is Conservative MP Leslyn Lewis’ petition in the House of Commons against Canada’s belonging to the UN and WHO and our involvement with Agenda 2030 and SDGs,” the “Winnipeg Alternative Media” channel wrote on Facebook. “Certainly something to check out and give a signature to.

Todd MacDougall, the host of “Winnipeg Alternative Media,” is a former member of the “Proud Boys,” a group later designated as a terrorist entity in Canada.

Facebook

Facebook’s data suggests the biggest spreader of Lewis’ petition was a livestreaming page called “Alberta News & Views,” which often posts hyperpartisan Conservative content as well as anti-LGBTQ+ and anti-World Economic Forum content.

Two “Alberta News & Views” videos calling on viewers to “help Leslyn Lewis pull us out of the UN global takeover nightmare” and “stop the globalist agenda” have been shared over 10,000 times.

The videos, which explicitly claims Lewis and Poilievre are working to advance the aims of the petition and “get Canada out of the UN,” have also been reshared inside Facebook groups associated with sovereign citizens, followers of conspiracy theorist David Icke and leaders of the so-called “Save the Children Convoy.”

Facebook

During her 2022 Conservative leadership run, Lewis issued a public statement accusing the World Health Organization and Microsoft Windows creator Bill Gates of plotting to undermine Canadian sovereignty.

Two years earlier, Lewis shared a debunked story from a British tabloid claiming Bill Gates was developing technology to block the sun, a claim which fact-checkers later showed “misrepresented” a research project by Harvard scientists.

“We need the sun to continue the cycle of life on earth (photosynthesis),” Lewis pleaded with Gates’ Twitter account. “If blocked out by spraying sulphate particles in the sky it will reduce the earth’s capacity for plant growth, farming, and impact the world’s food supply chain.”

In September, Lewis rose in the House of Commons to table a petition calling for a “parliamentary debate on the international health regulations amendments and on the World Health Organization pandemic treaty.”

 

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Luke LeBrun
Editor
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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