German politician Christine Anderson’s views were described by federal Conservative Party leader Pierre Poilievre as “vile,” “racist” and “not welcome in Canada” but those views didn’t stop conservative partisans from flocking to stops on Anderson’s cross-Canada tour.
Anderson’s party, the far-right Alternative for Germany, usually referred to as AfD, is known for promoting Islamophobic and anti-immigrant views.
The Member of the European Parliament toured Canada last week as part of her hubris-tempting named “What Would Christine Anderson Do?” tour. Anderson’s tour stopped in Calgary on February 18 for an event at the Petroleum Club and a south Calgary evangelical church that ran afoul of Alberta Health Services for violating public health rules during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic.
One of the three candidates running for the United Conservative Party nomination in south west Alberta’s Livingstone-Macleod riding was at the Petroleum Club event.
Tanya Clemens posted a photo of herself posing with Anderson on her social media at the talk. The photo caption included the quote “If the government is afraid of the people, you have democracy. If the people are afraid of the government, you have tyranny.”
When asked for comment about her attendance at Anderson’s event, Clemens replied:
“Like our Members of Parliament, I was unaware of her views and political history.
She was one of a few individuals that used their international platforms to call out Justin Trudeau’s unacceptable and dictator like behaviour during COVID and that is why I went to the event in the first place.
I had no additional information on Anderson, but had I known about her unacceptable stances beforehand, I would not have attended the event.”
Independent journalist Justin Ling watched the videos of Anderson’s events in Calgary and Oshawa and wrote about what Anderson spoke about.
The Calgary events were attended by Freedom Convoy organizer Tamara Lich and lawyer Keith Wilson, and street pastor-turned-Independence Party of Alberta leader Artur Pawlowski, who has turned the party into a vehicle of right-wing conspiracy theories about COVID-19 and the World Economic Forum.
Following the event, Anderson sat down for a one-on-one interview with Canadian Olympian and COVID-19 conspiracy theorist Jamie Salé.
Former Alberta Prosperity Project leader running for UCP nomination in Edmonton-Riverview
Enthusiastic about Anderson’s visit to Calgary is the Alberta Prosperity Project, a right-wing separatist group that posted a music video of the German politician denouncing Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.
The APP has organized chapters around the province and promotes a range of conspiracy theories on its social media related to COVID-19, Digital ID, 15-minute cities and the World Economic Forum. The organization also recently promoted the debunked claim that commissioner of the Public Order Emergency Commission Paul Rouleau is the husband of Trudeau’s aunt (he’s not).
Until recently, the Alberta Prosperity Project’s chief executive officer was Dr. Dennis Modry.
Dr. Modry announced his resignation last week and he plans to seek the UCP nomination in Edmonton-Riverview, the riding currently represented by NDP MLA Lori Sigurdson.
Dr. Modry is a well-known Edmonton-based surgeon, having completed Alberta’s first heart transplant in 1985 and founding the heart & lung transplantation program at the University of Alberta. He was also a fundraiser for the Progressive Conservative Party in the 1980s and 1990s and was co-chair of Doug Main’s campaign for the PC Party leadership in 1992.
But Dr. Modry’s more recent political activities have moved further from the mainstream. He served as VP Policy and Governance of the Wildrose Independence Party before that party’s implosion and has since promoted Alberta sovereignty through the APP.
The APP has loudly advocated for the Alberta government to hold a referendum on independence from Canada, which the group says would give Alberta a strong position to negotiate with Ottawa.
In an October 11, 2022 statement acknowledging Danielle Smith’s UCP leadership victory, the group said the new Premier “should not be afraid to ask the public in a referendum for Alberta Independence.“
The APP recently changed the by-laws posted on its website but a proposed party by-laws document posted in May 2022 outlined APP plans to create a separatist political party called the “Provincial Party” that would be renamed the “National Party” after a successful referendum on independence from Canada. The 2022 by-laws called for an independence referendum and included vague plans about establishing an Alberta “Constitution, Charter of Freedoms, Rights, & Responsibilities, and Declaration of Independence.”
An updated version of the APP by-laws, now named the Proposed Polices and Governance for a Sovereign Alberta Within or Without Canada, posted on January 16, 2023 and attributed to Dr. Modry outline plans for Alberta to become a “Constitutional Republic” if the provincial government “is unable to change the Constitution Act 1982 to its satisfaction.”
The 2023 by-laws outline the creation of a new Alberta Republic, including the creation of a “Defense Force for the Republic” that would include an army, air force, cyber force, and navy (presumably the Alberta navy would have a home port at Cold Lake or Slave Lake).
The 2023 document also outlines APP plans to create a “Republic’s Reserve Bank” and create a “a mint for the Republic” that “will be evaluated in relation to three currency choices; Canadian, USA, or new currency minted in Alberta.”
The APP briefly caught provincial attention during last year’s UCP leadership race when it co-hosted an all-candidates debate, for which it fund-raised with Ezra Levant’s Rebel News.
UCP leadership candidates Travis Toews and Rebecca Schulz issued a joint statement saying they wouldn’t participate in an event “in support of a third-party advocacy group that supports an independent Alberta.” Rajan Sawhney and Leela Aheer also did not attend the event.
The fundraising event was billed as an opportunity for the UCP leadership candidates to share their plans to protect Albertans from “the United Nations’ Agenda 2030 and World Economic Forum’s Great Reset.”
Only three of the seven UCP leadership candidates participated in the debate: Danielle Smith, Brian Jean and Todd Loewen.
Smith tipped her hat to Dr. Modry during the debate.
“So part of when I decided I wanted to run [for Alberta premier], I knew how important it was to make sure that we addressed the issues of autonomy,” Smith said. “And I talked to Dr. Modry as one of my first steps. I said, ‘let’s try this together.’”
A UCP nomination meeting has not yet been scheduled in Edmonton-Riverview and I’m told that at least one or two other candidates might enter the contest.
A nomination vote in Livingstone-Macleod is scheduled for March 9, 10 and 11. The candidates in that race are Tanya Clemens, Town of Claresholm Mayor Chelsae Petrovic, and former pastor Don Whalen.
I will be back with a regular nomination update tomorrow.
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