Conservative Leader Erin O’Toole introduces his Deputy Leader Candice Bergen as they holda a press conference on Parliament Hill in Ottawa Wednesday, Sept. 2, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick

Conservative Leader Erin O’Toole introduces his Deputy Leader Candice Bergen as they holda a press conference on Parliament Hill in Ottawa Wednesday, Sept. 2, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick

After MP’s offensive tweet, O’Toole says Tories will counter anti-Semitism

MP Kerry-Lynne Findlay recently retweeted a video of Liberal Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland

By Emma McIntosh, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, National Observer

New Conservative Party Leader Erin O’Toole says he didn’t issue a statement about an offensive tweet from one of his MPs because it was taken down before he saw it.

MP Kerry-Lynne Findlay, the party’s environment critic, retweeted a video Saturday morning of Liberal Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland interviewing George Soros, a billionaire philanthropist who is often the subject of anti-Semitic conspiracy theories, in 2009 when Freeland was a journalist. Canadians should be “alarmed” by Freeland and Soros’ closeness, Findlay wrote in the since-deleted post.

“When I found out about it, the tweet was already down and Ms. Findlay had apologized for it,” O’Toole told reporters in Ottawa on Wednesday when asked why he didn’t make a statement about the incident.

O’Toole didn’t answer when asked if he had spoken to Findlay about it. But he said he did call “some leaders from the Jewish community,” and said Conservatives under his leadership would continue to be strong advocates against anti-Semitism.

Conservative finance critic Pierre Poilievre retweeted Findlay’s post Saturday, but hasn’t commented publicly.

Findlay apologized in a followup tweet, but didn’t address her comments about Freeland and Soros. “Earlier today, I thoughtlessly shared content from what I am now learning is a source that promotes hateful conspiracy theories. I have removed the tweets and apologize to anyone who thinks I would want to endorse hateful rhetoric,” she wrote Saturday afternoon.

On Wednesday, O’Toole announced his core parliamentary team, naming Manitoba MP Candice Bergen as the party’s deputy leader.

Bergen previously served as Conservative house leader, a pivotal role that leads the party’s day-to-day duties in the House of Commons. Quebec MP Gerard Deltell will replace Bergen in that role.

Meanwhile, MP Richard Martel will be O’Toole’s political lieutenant for Quebec.

O’Toole’s house leadership team also includes MPs from Alberta and Ontario, but none from British Columbia.

The new leader said his party is the “government in waiting,” echoing words uttered by former leader Andrew Scheer on election night in 2019, and said he’s working on a new shadow cabinet and having discussions about writing a new platform.

“Conservatives are united and passionate to get to work,” O’Toole said.

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Want to support local journalism? Make a donation here.

Conservative Party of Canada

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

The RCMP are reminding drivers to find alternative ways home if they have consumed anything that impairs their ability to drive. (Black Press file photo)
Impaired Ladysmith driver flees road check twice on the same night

The officer issued the driver numerous violation tickets, and a four-month driving suspension

Rod Alsop and the LSS band had a great day holding class outdoors at Transfer Beach. (Cole Schisler photo)
Ladysmith Secondary School band takes class outside to mark the end of academic quarter

The band took advantage of a sunny January day to play outside

Jessica Lowry created a series of videos to engage Ladysmith Intermediate School students in mindfulness. (Submitted photo)
Ladysmith Intermediate teams up with local artist to introduce students to mindfulness

Ladysmith artist Jessica Lowry created a series of 36 videos to help students practice mindfulness

Luke Marston works on the seawolf mask for Canucks goalie Braden Holtby. (Mike Wavrecan photo)
Stz’uminus artist Luke Marston designs new mask for Canucks goalie

The mask features artwork inspired by the Coast Salish legend of the sea wolf

Scott Saywell, Nanaimo Ladysmith Public Schools’ superintendent and CEO, has seen his contract renewed for four years, the district announced Wednesday. (SD68 YouTube screenshot)
Ladysmith school district renews superintendent’s contract for four years

‘Singing superintendent’ Scott Saywell under contract through 2024-25 school year

A woman writes a message on a memorial mural wall by street artist James “Smokey Devil” Hardy during a memorial to remember victims of illicit drug overdose deaths on International Overdose Awareness Day, in the Downtown Eastside of Vancouver, on Monday, August 31, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C. paramedics respond to record-breaking number of overdose calls in 2020

On the front lines, COVID-19 has not only led to more calls, but increased the complexity

Seven streets in downtown Duncan, including Station Street, will soon have new native names added to their signage. (Submitted graphic)
New Duncan street signs will be in English and Hul’q’umi’num

Seven streets to get additional names in First Nations language

Southern resident killer whales in B.C. waters. Research shows the population’s females are more negatively influenced by vessel traffic than males. (Photo supplied by Ocean Wise Conservation Association)
Female orcas less likely to feed in presence of vessel traffic: study

Research the southern resident population raises concerns over reproduction capacity

Metchosin Coun. Kyara Kahakauwila is stepping down as deputy mayor following controversy over her decision to travel to Mexico in December. (Black Press Media file photo)
Councillor steps down as deputy mayor of Metchosin after controversial trip to Mexico

Mayor hopeful mediation will help council get back to the business of community

(Black Press Media files)
Transport Canada not budging on enclosed deck rules, despite calls from BC Ferries union

There have been at least 23 cases of the U.K. variant detected in Canada, four of which are in B.C.

The Elk Valley Hospital is adapting to meet the needs of patients in the Elk Valley.
One in five tests in Fernie area coming back positive: doctor

Dr Ron Clark of Elk Valley Hospital said one in five tests was returning positive for COVID-19

Throughout December, RCMP conducted CounterAttack road checks as police worked to keep roads free of impaired drivers. (BLACK PRESS file photo)
From the “You can’t make this stuff up” file – stories from the BC CounterAttack campaign

Amusing, yes, but a reminder impaired driving affects ability to drive and to make good decisions

(Thesendboys/Instagram)
Video of man doing backflip off Vancouver bridge draws police condemnation

Group says in Instagram story that they ‘don’t do it for the clout’

Inspection of bridge crossing on a B.C. forest service road. (B.C. Forest Practices Board)
B.C. falling behind in maintenance of forest service roads

Auditor finds nearly half of bridges overdue for repair

Most Read