Saskatoon

QAnon has no place in Saskatchewan politics: Moe

On Sunday, Scott Moe, leader of the Saskatchewan Party, took a firm stance against the conspiracy group after one of his candidates resigned after he interacted with supporters of the group online.

Moe condemns online conspiracy group, says supporters not welcome in his party's campaign

Scott Moe condemned the QAnon conspiracy group on Sunday, Oct. 4, 2020 saying it has no place in Saskatchewan politics or his party. (Albert Couillard/CBC)

The leader of Saskatchewan's incumbent political party says QAnon conspiracies have no place in Saskatchewan politics.

On Sunday, Scott Moe, leader of the Saskatchewan Party, took a firm stance against the conspiracy group after one of his candidates resigned after he interacted with supporters of the group online.

"These are not policies or directions that the Saskatchewan Party government supports, or will in any way, embrace," said Moe at a press conference on Sunday.

QAnon is a fringe belief propagated online that, in part, claims "deep-state" traitors are plotting against U.S. president Donald Trump.

Its supporters also make more wild claims, including alleging a number of high-profile, and generally liberal, figures are Satan-worshipping pedophiles who are running  the world and operating a child sex-trafficking ring that can only be stopped by Trump.

Moe stressed any other candidates found to be engaging with the group will not be welcome in his party. However, he said it is not re-vetting any candidates.

"We're just reestablishing with all of our candidates the expectations that are on them," he said. "As a Saskatchewan Party candidate vying to represent the people in one of the 61 constituencies across the province, there is a certain amount of responsibility that you bear." 

Moe added: "We have expectations. When we learn those expectations are not being met, this is a party that takes very swift and appropriate action and I think that is the expectation that all political parties should have, and do have, on themselves throughout the province." 

The Sask. Party leader would not go into specifics as to why QAnon has no place in the party, but condemned the group firmly. 

"It doesn't belong. I'm not going to get into the details of what QAnon is and QAnon isn't, it doesn't have any place in the Saskatchewan Party," he said. "We should not be, in any way, sharing or promoting these views in the province." 

Ryan Meili, leader of the Saskatchewan NDP, issued a statement on Sunday indicating the opposition party feels Scott Moe is "letting down the people of Saskatoon Eastview" by not taking issue with remarks about selling SaskTel made by Daryl Cooper, who resigned after interacting with supporters of QAnon online. 

"Condemning a fringe conspiracist group is one thing, but Scott Moe has yet to distance himself from his former candidate's views on selling SaskTel, which is a much more present threat to Saskatchewan people's prosperity and well-being."

In a recent interview with CBC Saskatoon, Evan Balgord, executive director of the Canadian Anti-Hate Network, said it's dangerous when QAnon's baseless conspiracy theories are accepted by people in power, or running for office, as it fuels the group further. 

"Dangerous information coming from more official sources is even worse, because it encourages them when they see they have made those inroads into mainstream discourse and mainstream politics," he said.

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