Frank Gunn Canadian Press Conservative Party of Canada Leader Pierre Poilievre quickly called the event a “terrorist attack” three times.
Hypotheses predicted a terrorist attack on the Canadian-American border on Wednesday, but the explosion ultimately turned out to be an accident. However, the leader of the Conservative Party of Canada, Pierre Poilievre, did not wait a second, Wednesday afternoon, during question period, to describe the event as a “terrorist attack” — three times rather than 'a.
In a press briefing in Toronto on Thursday morning, the leader ardently defended himself, indicating that he had based himself on information circulating in the media.
“I said yesterday that he “There had been media reports [that] there was an incident that was alleged to be terrorism that took place at our border,” he told reporters.
The chief did not did not use the term “alleged” in his question in the House on Wednesday.
“We just heard media reports of a terrorist attack at the border, [in] Niagara. There are maybe two people who are dead and a third who is injured. Can the Prime Minister give us some information on this terrorist attack? » he instead declared in the House of Commons, in French, then in English.
He then sharply criticized the English network CTV, which he accused of having misled him. “CTV reported that the Canadian government assumed the incident was terrorism. »
The television network reported that, according to its sources, Canadian government officials initially considered the explosion of a vehicle on the Rainbow Bridge in Niagara Falls on Wednesday to be linked to terrorism. The news and the publication on the publication of CTV report.
On Wednesday afternoon, US channel Fox News was among the first news networks to claim that the explosion was the result of an attempted terrorist attack with a vehicle containing “a lot of explosives”, while Reuters , citing unnamed Canadian officials, pointed the finger at a reckless driver.
“Very irresponsible” behavior
The Leader of the Government in the House of Commons, Karina Gould, accused Mr. Poilievre at a press briefing on Thursday of not “valuing the intelligence of Canadians” and of “not respecting the media.”
“That’s not what a leader [should do]. […] It’s very irresponsible. “It’s playing with the emotions and security of Canadians,” lamented Ms. Gould. The latter emphasizes that unfounded statements about terrorist acts are all the more dangerous in a tense global context and with the rise of anti-Semitism in the country.
On Thursday, Mr. Poilievre did not apologize and did not explicitly correct his statement made in the chamber the day before.
Let us also recall that the leader of the opposition had, in October, criticized the first Minister Justin Trudeau for “amplifying disinformation” about the rocket attack on Gaza's al-Ahli hospital.
Shortly after the explosion on Wednesday, Public Security Minister Dominic LeBlanc was cautious and did not want to give further details on the circumstances surrounding the event, in particular on the origin of the vehicle and on the theory of a terrorist attack.
Le Bloc Quebecer highlighted the Conservative leader's lack of caution Thursday morning. “My immediate and cautious reaction yesterday following the event at the Ontario/USA border. Cautious because we didn't know. This morning, everything suggests that it was not an attack. Another leader spoke about terrorism too early to make political points,” wrote Bloc Québécois leader Yves-François Blanchet on X.