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Big Saskatchewan Party Donor Abandons Scott Moe for Newly Created Far-Right Party

Joseph Bourgault helped fund Ottawa convoy occupation and runs anti-vaccine group with former athletes Theo Fleury and Jamie Sale

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One of Scott Moe’s big money donors has abandoned the Saskatchewan Party and endorsed the far-right Saskatchewan United Party, predicting the newly created provincial party will give Saskatchewan’s Premier “some serious competition.”

Joseph Bourgault, a wealthy agricultural businessman, is a one-time federal Conservative leadership candidate and helped finance the convoy occupation of Ottawa last year. Bourgault also runs a conspiratorial right-wing anti-vaccine group called Canadians for Truth, which recently recruited retired athletes Jamie Salé and Theo Fleury to act as spokespeople.

Elections Saskatchewan records show Bourgault has donated a total of $13,486 to the Sask Party thorugh both individual and corporate donations since 2009.

Bourgault’s company, Bourgault Tillage and Tools, is an offshoot of his family’s much larger corporation, Bourgault Industries, which has regularly appeared at the top of Sask Party donor lists contributing a total of $127,100 to the party since 2010.

The extended Bourgault family has donated a combined $267,904 to the Sask Party through corporate and individual donations since 2009.

Despite his long-standing support for the Sask Party, Joseph Bourgault appeared to divest himself from the party last week.

“This new SASK UNITED PARTY has the potential to hold the Saskatchewan Party accountable! He has some serious competition now!” Bourgault tweeted.

The Sask United Party officially registered as a political party in November 2022 and is led by former Sask Party MLA Nadine Wilson, who resigned to sit as an Independent after misrepresenting her vaccine status in 2020.

Gerry Ritz, Stephen Harper’s former agricultural minister and MP for Battlefords-Lloydminster, also helped create the SUP and acts as a party spokesperson.

Nadine Ness, an organizer with a group called “Unified Grassroots,” which has ties to far-right conspiracy theories and the Christian nationalist revival movement, also counts herself as a supporter of the SUP.

The SUP references conspiracy theories about the “World Economic Forum” and “globalists” on its Facebook page. The party describes Moe as a “wolf in sheep’s clothing” who “works for corporate donors, not for Saskatchewan.”

Saskatchewan United Party promotional graphic railing against "globalists"

Saskatchewan United Party (Facebook)

The SUP’s Guiding Principles promote provincial sovereignty, employer-friendly labour laws, cuts to public services, and opposition to inclusive public school curriculum.

Neither Joseph Bourgault nor Bourgault Industries returned requests for comment from PressProgress.

According to convoy leader Tamara Lich, Bourgault was a key figure behind-the-scenes at last year’s Ottawa convoy occupation. Testifying under oath at the Emergencies Act Inquiry, Lich said Bourgault paid for the convoy leaders’ hotel and conference rooms during the three week occupation.

“I believe he paid for a lot of hotel rooms,” Lich testified. “He covered, I believe, at least the rental of one of the conference rooms, or maybe a couple of conference rooms there.”

Bourgault also admitted he was “paying bills” for convoy participants through Canadians for Truth in a Facebook live stream during the convoy.

“We have a team on the ground that we’re funding to help keep the freedom convoy supported and things are going very well,” Bourgault said.

Bourgault and former NHL star Theo Fleury recruited Olympian figure skater Jamie Salé to join Canadians for Truth several months ago. Salé now co-hosts a show with Fleury on Bourgault’s network called Fire and Ice. Fleury and Salé’s first guest was notorious hate preacher Artur Pawlowski. Salé also has her own solo show called “Unstoppable Truth.”

Theo Fleury, Jamie Salé and Joseph Bourgault

Theo Fleury, Jamie Salé and Joseph Bourgault (Joseph Bourgault, Twitter)

Bourgault hosts his own show on Canadians for Truth where he promotes his unique spiritual beliefs informed by Christianity and practices like meditation and emotional clearing.

Bourgault says he co-founded a health food store with his wife and hopes Canadians for Truth will be able to promote “the natural therapeutics that exist to be able to prevent and treat COVID-19.”

“We’ve helped many people now, dozens of people, to recover from COVID-19, serious cases of COVID-19,” Bourgault stated in a video posted to Facebook.

In July, Bourgault and Fleury traveled to the United States to meet Fox News personality Tucker Carlson — who recently called for the US to invade Canada. Carlson hosted an hour long discussion with Fleury on his show and Fleury presented Carlson with a Team Canada hockey jersey.

Bourgault and Fleury also met with notorious Republican operative Roger Stone in New York. Fleury, wearing a Bourgault Industries hoodie in a photo with Stone, tweeted he would “look forward to working with him in the future!!!” The next day, Bourgault tweeted a photo of himself alongside Fleury and Stone with the caption “Team Work!”

Stone, who is known for “dirty tricks,” has worked for Donald Trump and other Republican presidents going back to Ronald Reagan and Richard Nixon.

Stone was recently hired as “senior strategist” for former Conservative MP Derek Sloan’s Ontario Party prior to the 2022 Ontario election. Stone said he was “inspired by the Canadian Truckers Convoy,” according to an Ontario Party press release.

Bourgault also attempted to run for leadership of federal Conservatives in 2022 but was disqualified due to a clerical error on his paperwork.

 

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Emily Leedham
Reporter
Emily Leedham is PressProgress’ Prairies Reporter. Her reporting has a special focus on workers and communities, big money and corporate influence, and systemic racism.

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