Jewish MP demands apology from Canada’s prime minister

Trudeau’s remarks about the Freedom Convoy protesters prompted an MP to accuse the prime minister of ‘driving division’

A Canadian MP who is Jewish has demanded a full apology from Prime Minister Justin Trudeau after he apparently suggested she supports “people who wave swastikas.”

Commenting on the ongoing Freedom Convoy protests, Trudeau said in parliament on Wednesday that while Conservative party members were standing “with people who wave swastikas,” he and his supporters prefer to stay with Canadians “who deserve to be able to get to their jobs, to be able to get their lives back.”

His words angered MP Melissa Lantsman, the first Jewish woman elected as a Conservative MP in Canada and the descendant of Holocaust survivors. “I think he owes me an apology, I’d like an apology and I think he owes an apology to all members of this House,” she said in response.

I think the Prime Minister should think long and hard about his own history before singling out a Jewish Member of Parliament and falsely accusing me of standing with a Swastika,” Lantsman later wrote on Twitter.

In an interview with Fox News, she claimed that the prime minister’s behavior was not surprising to her as it was just a demonstration of his “true colors.

I sit there and watch him divide and wedge and stigmatize Canadians every single day. And today the rest of Canada saw a G7 Prime Minister go after a Jewish member of parliament and then walk away and not apologize,” Lantsman said.

The MP added that “words matter” because after something like this “you get an influx of people calling you a Nazi.” She also accused Trudeau of “driving a division in this country since before the protests started … for his political gain.

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Lantsman called on the PM to lift the “draconian” restrictions and vaccine mandates, which he introduced amid high vaccination rates in Canada.

Trudeau’s ‘swastika’ remarks also angered many of Lantsman’s colleagues. “Members of the Conservative Caucus have family who died in the holocaust. I demanded Trudeau apologize three times and he refused. Shame on him,” Conservative MP Dane Lloyd wrote on Twitter.

The Freedom Convoy protests were originally aimed at getting Trudeau’s government to lift the vaccine mandate for US border-crossing truckers. However, the demonstrators have expanded their protests to counter Covid restrictions more widely.

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