Until he stepped in it, Scheer's handpicked vice-chairman of the Commons Justice Committee was a pencil-neck from the St. Albert-Edmonton riding, Michael Cooper. Just what was Cooper doing on that committee and its hearings now underway into online hate?
PressProgress posed the question today when three witnesses were called to give evidence.
The House of Commons Justice Committee is currently holding hearings looking into the spread of hate online and Tuesday morning they’re hearing from far-right commentator Mark Steyn, former Rebel Media contributor John Robson as well as Lindsay Shepherd, who works for a social conservative think tank.
Liberal MP Iqra Khalid and the office of NDP MP Tracey Ramsey both confirmed to PressProgress that none of the three witnesses were invited on behalf of anyone affiliated with their parties, but declined to comment further.
The office of Conservative MP Michael Cooper did not respond to multiple requests from PressProgress asking if he was involved in inviting Steyn, Robson or Shepherd.
Lindsay Shepherd, who has gained national media exposure defending controversial figures like Jordan Peterson and white nationalist Faith Goldy, was recently hired by the Justice Centre for Constitutional Freedoms as its “campus free speech fellow.”
The JCCF is headed by John Carpay, a close ally of Alberta Premier Jason Kenney who made headlines after he compared the rainbow flag to the swastika. Shepherd’s group spearheads legal challenges on anti-abortion and anti-LGBTQ issues.
Last month, Shepherd participated in a discussion about “population replacement” and “white genocide” on a white nationalist YouTube channel.
Rhetoric about the “replacement” of whites is common among Europe’s far-right, a concept popularized by a far-right conspiracy theory that falsely claims a shadowy cabal of global elites are deliberately replacing whites with Muslim immigrants.
The manifesto of the far-right terrorist in New Zealand was also titled “the great replacement,” and echoes many of the same themes.And what about Scheer's eventual replacement, the next federal Tory leader, Jason Kenney? Kenney, the unlikely homophobe?
Cue the banjoes.