Schmale says he did not attend meeting hosted by members of trucker convoy

MP says national media got it wrong

By Kirk Winter

Local MP Jamie Schmale.

On June 24, 24 Conservative members of parliament, including Haliburton-Kawartha Lakes-Haliburton member Jamie Schmale, were identified by CTV News as having attended meetings hosted by four people closely linked to the so-called Freedom Convoy movement. However, Schmale’s office says this just isn’t true.

Andrew Hodson, Schmale’s executive assistant, says the network got it wrong, and that his boss did not participate in the meetings hosted by Conservative MP Dean Allison.

When asked about the report, Hodson was upset at the “falsehood” reported by CTV.

Hodson told the Advocate the following when contacted via email in Ottawa.

“In regards to concern in the riding associated with MP Schmale meeting last week with ‘folks from the freedom/trucker group,’ I also have concern and frankly a sense of disappointment; it was irresponsible for members of the media to report such falsehoods as Jamie in fact did not meet with members of the ‘freedom/trucker groups,” Hodson said.

“Certainly, journalistic integrity should be predicated on careful determination of the facts prior to publication, and sadly, this was not the case,” Hodson added.

In a previous interview with the Advocate in March, Schmale did say his party supports the truckers’ message.

“We (the Conservative Party of Canada) support the message the truckers took to Ottawa,” Schmale said. “We support the end of federal mandates too, as do the majority of Canadians. We believe that Trudeau put gasoline on a fire by calling the truckers names.”

The most recent meetings took place on Parliament Hill at the invitation of Allison, and focused almost exclusively on anti-vaccine and anti-mandate messages presented by Paul Alexander, former advisor to defeated American president Donald Trump.

Even with Schmale and fellow MP Alex Ruff pushing back and saying they were not in attendance at these meetings, many other members of the Conservative caucus were, with many staying for the entirety of the presentations. CTV reported that a number of members took the time to have their pictures taken with convoy spokesman Tom Marazzo, convoy director of security Daniel Bulford, Alexander, and Canadian veteran James Topp who is currently on a march across Canada protesting vaccine mandates.

While leadership hopeful Leslyn Lewis did attend, many Ottawa watchers were surprised that perceived leadership frontrunner Pierre Poilievre, who Schmale supports, was not in attendance.

Poilievre has worked for months to build bridges with the freedom convoy people, hoping their support will push him over the top in a heated leadership debate against Conservative moderates Jean Charest and Patrick Brown, leadership race that concludes Sept. 10.

7 Comments

  1. J Shaw says:

    I am happy to hear Mr. Schmale did not attend that meeting. However, I find Conservative Party support for this group disturbing. During the blockades and occupation of our capital, it was very disturbing to see top Conservative Brass including the two most currant ex-conservative leaders in the crowds smiling insipidly while waiving our flag. The Convoy (I do not call it the trucker convoy, most truckers I know were working) remind of a bullying father in a movie called Matilda, yelling at his daughter,”I’m big and you’re small, that makes me right and you wrong.” The participants in the occupation of Ottawa and blockades of our international borders and bridges were a bunch of bullies – ill-informed, entitled, loud, obnoxious, disrespectful of everyone who didn’t agree with them and uncaring of the distress they caused the residents and businesses. I haven’t voted Liberal since AdScam and believe the Liberal Party are just as corrupt and unethical now as they were then. But now I can’t vote Conservative either because they seem to be travelling down the path of far right extremism that has no room for real discussion of ethics or values, just howling, angry rhetoric.

  2. William says:

    Who would believe a word this man says?

  3. William says:

    Pierre Poilievre (aka Poutine, known election cheater) did recently meet with Topp and told him what he wanted to hear. None of them seem to realize that provinces are responsible for COVID rules and that they’re gone now because everyone seems to have gotten sick of them; evidently most people don’t care about COVID anymore. What exactly are these people protesting now? My guess is their brains are too addled by right wing propaganda and, like the U.S., our country is going to continue a downward spiral into dystopian hellhole. They just want the Liberal government expelled and their own preferred party installed. This country increasingly disgusts me.

  4. Lindsay says:

    Who writes this garbage? So either Schmale did or didn’t attend and the CPC either supports or doesn’t support Topp?
    1. What did Schamle say?
    2. Why is the party split on this issue?
    3. What did Alexander say?
    4. Why do you believe that supporting the convoy people will help with the election for any candidate?

    Less journalism and more comment section rant.

    • William says:

      This comment is incoherent and ignorant. Did you read the article? I think there should be more context, but the article is pretty clear.

      The CPC and Schmale support the convoy and Topp, but Schmale says he didn’t go to the meeting even though it was reported that he did. Poilievre didn’t attend either, but he did march with and meet with Topp, evidenced by Poilievre’s own Twitter. There is no evidence the party is split on support for the convoy or anti-vaccine/mandate protesters – only that some aren’t willing to be as open about it.

      The CPC and Poilievre obviously think supporting the convoy people is going to help them win the next federal election or they wouldn’t be so eager to support them and get photo-ops.

      Also, what Paul Alexander, a former Trump adviser, says isn’t important. As per the article, the recent meeting hosted by MP Allison merely used Alexander’s anti-vaccine/mandate messaging. I assume this is because the CPC is trying very hard to emulate the Republican Party in the U.S.

  5. Miriam Bartley says:

    Crap journalism.

  6. Judi Forbes says:

    Whether Mr. Schmale attended this event or not is irrelevant. Jamie Schmale has stated he supports the convoy and their message (anti-vaccine, anti-mask, and if so … anti-science). Jamie Schmale has stated he supports Poilievre. Both the convoy and Poilievre are vehicles of misinformation, division, and hate… and Jamie Schmale supports that.
    But here is the thing that should make voters go “hmmm”… mask and vaccine mandates are/were provincially mandated. So, why are the truckers focused on Ottawa and not Toronto? Why are they targeting Trudeau with their “F” flags? Why are they carrying multiple CANADIAN flags? Why is Mr. Schmale weighing in on this at all? Because it’s not about masks and vaccines, it’s about being annoyed at the results of the last federal election, and acting like spoiled children about it. It’s about trying to bring down a legitimately elected government. If you think January 6th can’t happen here, if you think the far right Conservatives (including Mr. Schmale) aren’t considering it, wouldn’t condone it, wouldn’t be involved in it… you may not be paying attention.

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