On Jan. 13, at least six provincial Progressive Conservative (PC) caucus members attended an event hosted by the Frontier Centre for Public Policy (FCPP). Pierre Polievre, leader of the federal Conservative party, spoke at the event.
For those unfamiliar, FCPP is a right-wing think tank based in Winnipeg. When asked about these politicians’ attendance at the event, a spokesperson for the PC caucus said it was nothing out of the ordinary. But the views advanced by the FCPP are anything but ordinary.
The FCPP has received prominent criticism in recent years for publishing racist op-eds minimizing and denying the discovery of bodies on the grounds of former residential schools. But when it comes to hateful ideas peddled by the think tank, this is just the tip of the iceberg.
If there’s an extreme-right position to be taken on an issue, the FCPP has taken it. In a variety of op-eds over the past four years, the organization has railed against transgender people, calling chosen pronouns a “transgender privilege” that cisgender people are “forced to bow down to.” In one article, former provincial court judge Brian Giesbrecht repeatedly refers to trans women as “men identifying as women,” calling their gender dysphoria “a psychiatric disorder.”
The FCPP has argued that the gender pay gap doesn’t really exist, that public schools are a cabal of Marxist indoctrination that practice “official child abuse” by employing mask mandates and teaching about racism, and that public COVID health measures are “tyranny.” It has praised Italian Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni, a literal fascist who has praised Mussolini and his collaborators, saying that her “Christian nationalism” is the “antidote” to the “globalist tyranny” of the “WOKE puppet masters.”
The Heather Stefanson’s PC government claims to be committed to reconciliation. I’m not sure what action they’ve undertaken to back up that claim. But the idea that they see the FCPP as ordinary speaks volumes about where their true values lie.
Published in Volume 77, Number 15 of The Uniter (January 19, 2023)