Dog-whistle Politics in Time of Pandemic

April 24, 2020

Our federal Conservative Caucus continues to push for Parliamentary accountability in Canada’s defensive war against Corvid-19.  We have repeatedly demonstrated how civil debate, fair comment and dialogue in the House of Commons and the Senate have helped the Government address a range of policy challenges in this national emergency.

We also believe that there will be a time for a complete and detailed review of public health and political decisions taken as the deadly pandemic emerged and evolved.   There are serious questions to be asked about the Chinese government’s original deceitful suppression of information and malevolent influence on the World Health Organization in delaying remedial actions.  (including the blocking of legitimate participation by Taiwan’s capable democracy in WHO policy development)

 

But, as your Thornhill Member of Parliament, I must address the offensive and, to many eyes, xenophobic remarks of a candidate for the leadership of the Conservative Party of Canada.

 

I consider MP Derek Sloan’s campaign statement, posted on social media, to be a strident, inflammatory, vote-seeking attempt to exploit folks anxieties, fears and prejudices.   While a subsequent posting defended individual words and phrases, I believe the cumulative effect of the original posting amounts to a classic example of dog-whistle politics.

 

For the record, I believe this sort of political dialogue has no place in the Conservative Party of Canada.