Poilievre leads march of convoy protesters beside man with far-right extremist ties – National

WARNING: Story contains strong language. Discretion is advised.

The day before Canada Day, Conservative leadership candidate Pierre Poilievre strutted down an Ottawa street with a crowd of red and white adorned supporters trailing behind him.

Alongside him, helping to lead the crowd of protesters who were pushing for a permanent end to vaccine mandates, was a man in a bright vest named James Topp.

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Poilievre and Topp can be heard chit-chatting about the veteran’s morning routine, referencing Topp’s recent march across Canada in protest of COVID-19 vaccine mandates.

A topic they didn’t appear to talk about, based on circulating clips, was Topp’s appearance on far-right figurehead Jeremy Mackenzie’s podcast for well over an hour one month ago.

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Mackenzie made headlines in February when he was arrested on firearms charges.

However, he was also a part of a controversial January YouTube broadcast, during which claimed the so-called freedom convoy could “bring down the government” as his co-hosts chimed that they “think we need to assemble to gallows on f—ing Parliament.”

“I want to be there. I want to see this s–t happen,” Mackenzie is seen saying in the broadcast.

Click to play video: 'Ottawa gears up for Canada Day'

Ottawa gears up for Canada Day

Ottawa gears up for Canada Day

During his appearance on Mackenzie’s show, Topp is heard saying Mackenzie’s broadcast and others like it “kept (him) hanging on… At least there was other dudes out there that kind of had the same idea that was like, OK, all this stuff is messed up.”

When Global News reached out for a comment about his decision to march alongside Topp, despite his support of broadcasters like Mackenzie, Poilievre’s campaign sent a brief statement.

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“The campaign never stated we wouldn’t meet with Topp or anyone else. We encouraged Canadians to continue to protest for their freedoms,” they wrote.

“This Canada Day, Pierre Poilievre will be celebrating our great country in his riding with constituents as he and most MPs do every year.”

More to come…

© 2022 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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