People's Party of Canada drops riding president over stone-throwing incident at Trudeau event
Shane Marshall was the president of the Elgin Middlesex London riding association
The People's Party of Canada has removed the Elgin Middlesex London riding association president from his post in response to allegations that he threw gravel at Liberal Party Leader Justin Trudeau during a campaign stop in London, Ont.
Party spokesperson Martin Masse confirmed in an email to CBC News that Shane Marshall has been removed from the post.
"I confirm that he has been removed, although I am told the (Elections Canada) website will not be updated to reflect this before election day," Masse wrote.
Asked why Marshall was removed, Masse replied that it was "because of the allegations of stone throwing."
No one from the party was available for interviews about the matter, Masse said. Email and phone messages to the PPC candidate in the riding, Chelsea Hillier, were not returned.
A man who appeared to be Marshall was photographed by the London Free Press being led away by RCMP members after Monday's stone-throwing incident.
Marshall's online activities have caught the attention of the Canadian Anti-Hate Network, said Peter Smith, an investigative journalist with the independent non-profit that researches hate groups and hate crimes.
"His online content mainly focuses on his political beliefs, which are fairly hardline. This isn't someone who is just vaccine-hesitant or right-leaning," Smith said. "This is a person who expresses, through memes and videos as well as his appearances at multiple protests dressed in a balaclava waving a flag from Canada's colonial past, an explicitly white nationalist view."
CBC News has not verified the Canadian Anti-Hate Network's claims.
CBC News asked Masse to clarify whether Marshall was removed because of the gravel-throwing incident or alleged links to white supremacist groups, or both.
"We expelled him as soon as it was confirmed that he was the one who threw the gravel," Masse replied. "We haven't confirmed the other allegations, and frankly we are busy running an election campaign and don't have time to investigate someone who isn't involved in our party anymore."
London police have said they are investigating the stone-throwing incident. They did not say if they are investigating Marshall or others, but told CBC News they wouldn't be releasing any details on Thursday.
CBC News has tried to reach Marshall for comment and will continue to do so.