The Rebel's Bad Day

Your pressure worked! Conservative leader Andrew Scheer has spoken out against Rebel Media.

After dodging reporters for days, Scheer finally made a statement against the far-right website after we confronted him at a BBQ in Langley.

In an exclusive video shot Wednesday night, Scheer told us that “anything that gives a platform to those types of obnoxious groups is certainly worth condemnation”. The same night, he told CBC News he would no longer grant interviews to The Rebel.[1-2]

Your pressure helped force Scheer to take a stand. His statement comes after over 16,000 of you, including over 1400 Conservatives, signed a petition calling on the Conservative Party to distance themselves from The Rebel in the wake of the far-right website’s highly sympathetic coverage of white supremacy rallies in Charlottesville, Virginia.

Now, with a chorus of high-profile Conservatives including Scheer speaking out against The Rebel, the website could be close to collapse. One last push might be enough to shut them down for good. But with racist hate groups popping up all across the country it’s going to take more that shutting down one website to stamp out white supremacy.

It’s incredibly important that political parties stand up against hate and racism and we’re glad to see Mr. Scheer has finally come around to acknowledging how dangerous The Rebel is.

The Rebel looks like it could be imploding. Within the last week, several contributors and one of their co-founders have quit.[3] Various Conservatives, from Michelle Rempel to Michael Chong, and now Andrew Scheer, have cut ties with the site.[4] A new video released on YouTube by a former employee attacks the website’s crowdfunding model and ethics.[5] And thanks to efforts from our friends at Sleeping Giants, over 250 businesses have agreed to pull their advertising from The Rebel’s website.[6]

This is great news for those of us fighting against the growth of hate groups in Canada. The Rebel’s xenophobic, islamophobic, racist anti-Semitic and all-around hateful content could sow the seeds of white supremacy and extremism here in Canada, just as Breitbart did in the United States.

But we also know that The Rebel’s popularity is symptomatic of a bigger culture of white supremacy. Canada has a long history of racist policies towards Indigenous peoples and people of colour, and the impacts of those policies are still felt today. There’s a lot more work to do to fight white supremacy here at home - this is just the start.

When we launched the petition calling on Scheer to denounce The Rebel, it was a long shot. His leadership campaign was run by a Rebel director, and significant portions of his base support the racist website. But picking difficult fights -- and winning -- is in Leadnow’s DNA.

This week’s massive victory is one more reminder that when we stand together, we’re powerful.

Until the next victory,
Logan, Katelynn and Jolan on behalf of the entire team
[1] Video of Andrew Scheer, August 16 (Leadnow Facebook page):
[2] Andrew Scheer won't grant interviews to The Rebel under current 'editorial direction' (CBC):
[3] Tension between The Rebel and conservatives erupts anew (CBC):
[4] A Growing List Of People Who Have Cut Ties With The Rebel (Canadaland):
[5] Ex-Rebel Contributor Makes Explosive Claims In YouTube Video (Canadaland): [6] More than 250 companies pull ads from The Rebel (iPolitics):
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