Politics

Conservative Party investigating racist email sent to Brown campaign

The Conservative Party of Canada says it's investigating a racist email sent to the Patrick Brown campaign — allegedly by a supporter of Pierre Poilievre, Brown's rival in the Conservative leadership race — which expressed support for Nazism and Hitler.

An email sent to the Patrick Brown campaign expressed support for Hitler and Nazism

Workers prepare the room before the opening of the Conservative Party's national convention in Halifax on Thursday, August 23, 2018. The party is investigating a racist email sent to leadership candidate Patrick Brown's campaign. (Darren Calabrese/The Canadian Press)

The Conservative Party of Canada says it's investigating a complaint from the Patrick Brown campaign about a racist email which expressed support for Adolf Hitler and Nazism.

Conservative MP Michelle Rempel Garner, co-chair of Brampton Mayor Patrick Brown's campaign for the Conservative leadership, posted the text of the email Wednesday on her Twitter account.

In it, the sender expresses support for Hitler and Nazism and makes hateful and racist remarks about a number of ethnic groups. The sender goes on to say they support Pierre Poilievre, a Conservative MP who is one of Brown's rivals in the Conservative leadership campaign.

Rempel Garner said the message was sent to the Brown campaign after the campaign sent an email denouncing the "white replacement" conspiracy theory, which has been a source of tension in the leadership race since a shooter killed 10 Black people in Buffalo, N.Y. last weekend.

She added the Brown campaign had confirmed the message came from an active Conservative Party member.

"The campaign has forwarded this email to the party's Executive Director and have asked that this membership be revoked. We expect all campaigns will support this call," Rempel Garner said in a follow-up tweet.

"No person who holds these vile beliefs should have a home in the Conservative Party of Canada."

In a tweet, the Conservative Party said it will investigate the complaint under the party's Membership Revocation Bylaw.

"The Conservative Party of Canada condemns racism in all its forms. We take any and all allegations of racism seriously," the party said in a tweet.

In a statement sent to CBC News, Poilievre denounced racism.

"I reject all racism. If you are a racist, I don't want your vote. Anyone promoting racism has no place in our party and should lose their membership," he said.

Brown campaign email attacks Poilievre

The email and investigation follow a campaign email the Brown team sent out earlier Wednesday which implied that Poilievre was trying to appeal to racists.

The email says a supporter of Poilievre said Brown's strategy in the race is to "replace the CPC membership with ethnic and religious minorities," but the email does not name the alleged Poilievre supporter or go into further detail.

"If that kind of alarming language about "replacing" people sounds familiar to you, it may be because it closely resembles the racist rants of Pat King, one of the organizers of the illegal blockades that took place across our country a few months back," Brown says in the email.

Brown has attacked Poilievre over his vocal support for the protest convoy.

The email mentions comments King made in a video about a conspiracy to "depopulate" the "Anglo-Saxon race."

Earlier this week, in an interview with psychologist and author Jordan Peterson, Poilievre said in response to a question about his political appeal that he speaks in "clear, plain language that makes sense to people" and uses "simple, Anglo-Saxon words" that don't obscure what he's trying to say.

On Wednesday Patrick Brown's campaign sent an email which attempted to draw a link between "Freedom Convoy" organizer Pat King's language and Poilievre's. Poilievre and Brown have traded barbs in a heated Conservative leadership contest. (The Canadian Press)

Brown said in the email that while he doesn't believe Poilievre is racist, he draws a link between King's beliefs and Poilievre's words.

"Before I make my next point, let me just say there are things being said about Pierre Poilievre online that simply aren't true. For one, I do not believe Pierre Poilievre holds racist views," Brown says in the email.

"But when Pierre Poilievre says things like, 'I'm a believer in using simple, Anglo-Saxon words,' who does he think he's appealing to? Who is he trying to bring into the Conservative Party?"

Brown ends the email by denouncing the white replacement conspiracy theory, saying he'll never allow it "to flourish in the Conservative Party."

Poilievre and Brown have traded barbs throughout the campaign. Poilievre's gone after Brown over passages in his book that are critical of social conservatives and has accused him more than once of making misleading statements.

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