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thumb-2023-09-011-save-the-children-arnold-viersen This article is more than 6 months old
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‘Save the Children Convoy’ Says Conservative MP Invited Them Into House of Commons as ‘VIP’ Guests

Conspiratorial ‘Save the Children Convoy’ invited into House of Commons before suddenly getting kicked out

Members of the controversial “Save the Children Convoy”  say they were invited into the House of Commons as “VIP” guests of one of Pierre Poilievre’s Conservative MPs before being suddenly kicked out following questions from PressProgress.

The so-called “Save the Children Convoy” revolves around a range of conspiratorial narratives, including allegations that the United Nations is promoting pedophilia in Canadian schools. The group has had numerous run-ins with Ottawa Police in recent weeks and its leader has advocated jailing politicians and police.

Postings on social media Wednesday afternoon show a dozen individuals affiliated with the conspiratorial convoy group wandering the halls of Parliament while posing for photos and broadcasting livestream videos.

“We are in Parliament today in the VIP,” Save the Children Convoy member Brenda Belanger wrote on Facebook Wednesday afternoon.

Brenda Belanger (Facebook)

Belanger, who appeared in photos wearing a t-shirt with the words “WEF Beater,” an apparent reference to the World Economic Forum, later claimed in a video that they had been welcomed into the House of Commons by a Conservative MP.

“We’re just about to go into the VIP lounge or VIP seating area seeing as we were invited by an MPs of Parliament,” Belanger continued in a Facebook livestream video posted at 2:21 PM EST.

“We’re thankful to be invited in by Arnold Viersen.”

While the House of Commons has a gallery for watching Question Period, it does not have a “VIP lounge” or first-class seating area.

Viersen, the Conservative MP for Peace River–Westlock, met with Belanger and posed for photos with two lead organizers of the “Save the Children Convoy” days earlier during a protest Monday targeting CTV Ottawa in the Byward Market.

“Thank you Arnold Viersen MP for coming out and standing with your people protesting from Alberta,” Belanger wrote on Facebook.

Brenda Belanger (Facebook)

A spokesperson for Arnold Viersen declined to answer questions from PressProgress over the phone and requested questions be submitted by email. Viersen’s office ignored subsequent emails seeking clarification if it would issue any statement.

Viersen’s spokesperson would not confirm or deny if the convoy members were guests of Viersen or whether the Conservative MP was aware that several members of the Save the Children Convoy had been criminally charged in recent weeks.

Half an hour after PressProgress first contacted Viersen’s office, Belanger posted a livestream video claiming she had just been asked to leave relating to concerns that the group may cause a “disturbance” in the House of Commons.

“Apparently we’re guilty by association,” Belanger explained, claiming the group was questioned about their associations with a far-right activist named Lynne Brooks.

“It’s totally disrespectful because I talked to my MP beforehand,” Belanger added. “Arnold Viersen, I talked to him beforehand to get permission to come in.”

“They said something about a disturbance, there was no disturbance that was going to happen,” Belanger said. “I specifically turned around and told people … ‘we’re quiet, we’re not the Wellington Regulars’ … I am not part of the Wellington Street Regulars, I do see them, I do associate with them.”

“For them to turn around and say that we couldn’t go in because of guilt by association, none of us done anything, there was no intention whatsoever of causing a disturbance, so that’s pretty crappy.”

In the middle of the livestream, Belanger was interrupted by text messages that she claimed she was receiving directly from Viersen.

“Arnold Viersen is just messaging me asking me where I am now,” Belanger said. “Arnold Viersen just asked where I was and I said I’m just out front of Parliament.”

The “Save the Children Convoy” has been staging daily protests in Ottawa since early October and is operating out of a base camp located next to a farm field 40 minutes east of Ottawa near Casselman, Ontario.

Some early participants of the convoy allege organizers shared potentially criminal plots during secret, in-person planning meetings this summer. According to some participants, one of the alleged plans involved surrounding government buildings in Ottawa and detaining Members of Parliament.

The Save the Children Convoy has been disavowed by a number of far-right groups and past supporters of the 2022 Freedom Convoy. Maxime Bernier’s People’s Party has also kept a distance from the group — a spokesperson told PressProgress that “the PPC is not affiliated in any way with the Save the Children Convoy.”

Gordon Berry, the founder and leader of the Save the Children Convoy, recently gave a speech at the convoy’s Casselman base camp where he advocated jailing police and politicians, replacing Canada’s system of government and referenced themes associated with QAnon conspiracy theories.

The convoy has had numerous run-ins with the law in recent weeks.

Gordon Berry, Chris Dacey (Facebook)

Last week, multiple Save the Children Convoy members were arrested by police following an aggressive protest confronting MPs leaving the House of Commons, which led to one convoy supporter getting tasered by police in the middle of Wellington Street in front of Parliament Hill.

An incident between two “Save the Children” factions at the convoy’s base camp also saw a man thrown from a moving car while attempting to punch in its windshield.

 

 

 

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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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