• Jonah Brunet

FACT CHECK: Did Justin Trudeau "Share a Platform" with Faith Goldy?

FALSE. Trudeau has never participated in an interview with the former reporter—despite an edited photo circulating on Twitter that suggests he did.

On April 22, political commentator and University of Calgary law instructor Warren Kinsella tweeted a photo of Faith Goldy—an alt-right activist, white nationalist, and former Sun Media reporter—attempting to interview Justin Trudeau. Kinsella’s tweet read, in part: “Apparently some other politicians have ‘shared a platform’ with Faith Goldy.”

As was quickly pointed out in the replies to Kinsella’s tweet, the photo he shared was a still taken from a 2012 segment by the now defunct Sun News Network. In the full video, Goldy follows Trudeau through a parking lot, repeatedly calling his name and asking whether he would be attending the then upcoming Reviving the Islamic Spirit conference in Toronto. For the duration of the minute-long clip, Trudeau ignores Goldy and converses instead with a man on his opposite side, who was cropped out of Kinsella’s photo, making it look like Trudeau was speaking to Goldy. At no point in the video does Trudeau acknowledge Goldy.

Earlier this month, Facebook and Instagram banned Goldy—along with white-supremacist groups like the Canadian Nationalist Front, the Aryan Strikeforce, and the Soldiers of Odin—for spreading “organized hate.” In the weeks leading up to Kinsella’s tweet, Goldy’s ban was making headlines, and a number of Liberal MPs used the news to call out Opposition leader Andrew Scheer over his ties to Rebel Media, a controversial far-right media organization, and to Goldy herself. In 2017, Scheer sat for an in-studio broadcast interview with Goldy, who had by that time moved to Rebel Media after the collapse of Sun News. Scheer and Goldy also both delivered speeches at the United We Roll rally on Parliament Hill this past February.

During question period on April 8, Liberal MP Bardish Chagger brought up the fact that Scheer had attended the same rally as “white supremacist Faith Goldy,” to which Scheer responded that the Conservative Party “will always denounce those who promote hateful ideologies.”

As reported by Huffington Post, the phrase “shared a platform” comes from immigration minister Ahmed Hussen, who made similar remarks to reporters about Scheer’s Goldy connection. In this context, Kinsella’s tweet seems to be an attempt to drag Trudeau into a similar controversy-by-association with Goldy.

In at least two replies to Twitter users who questioned how a still from a video in which Trudeau is clearly ignoring Goldy proves that they had “shared a platform,” Kinsella doubled down by tweeting another doctored photo of Trudeau with a far-right personality. In this second image—a still from Sun News’s coverage of Trudeau’s 2012 charity boxing match against Conservative senator Patrick Brazeau—Trudeau is being interviewed post-win by Ezra Levant, who would later found Rebel Media. However, the Sun News logo in the bottom left corner of the original video has been cropped out, and the Rebel Media logo has been added to the bottom right. Trudeau has never participated in an interview with Rebel Media or any of its employees since the company was created in 2015.