Michael Chong says Quebec shooting 'direct result' of politicians 'playing to fears'
'Demagogues and wannabe demagogues ... have created the space for hate to grow'
Conservative leadership candidate Michael Chong is laying part of the blame for the Quebec City mosque shootings at the feet of politicians who talk about division and "normalize hate."
In a series of tweets Monday, Chong said the shooting was a "direct result" of politics that plays to "fears and prejudices."
"This mosque attack is no accident: It's a direct result of demagogues and wannabe demagogues playing to fears and prejudices," Chong tweeted.
Although Chong did not mention U.S. President Donald Trump and Conservative leadership candidate Kellie Leitch by name, Chong's spokesperson Chisholm Pothier confirmed to CBC News that Trump and Leitch were the "demagogue" and "wannabe demagogue" the MP was referring to in his tweets.
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Chong elaborated on his comments in a Facebook posting earlier Monday pointing to Leitch's proposal to screen immigrants for "anti-Canadian values" as "playing on fears and prejudices."
"Proposals to add an additional screen for immigrants based on anti-Canadian values is not a practical solution, and frankly, is playing to fears and prejudices," Chong said. "Demagogues and wannabe demagogues, playing to fears and prejudices, have created the space for hate to grow."
"It's time to say, 'enough.' Playing footsie with hate is anathema to Canadians' values. It is dangerous, it is cynical and we need to root it out," Chong added.
This mosque attack is no accident: It's a direct result of demagogues and wannabe demagogues playing to fears and prejudices 1/3—@MichaelChongMP
And yes, I'm angry. This is Canada. This was an attack on real Canadian values enshrined in the Charter: religious freedom 3/3—@MichaelChongMP
On Friday, Trump signed an executive order that banned people from seven countries with Muslim majority populations, Libya, Yemen, Syria, Somalia, Sudan, Iraq and Iran, from coming to the U.S. for at least three months.
The travel restrictions also included a suspension of the U.S.'s refugee program for 120 days to allow for increased vetting processes to be established.
The travel restrictions have been labelled a "Muslim ban" by critics pointing to Trump's campaign promise to ban Muslims from the U.S.
Chong was not available for an interview. Calls, emails and text messages to Kellie's Leitch's office and spokesperson were not returned in time for publication.