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Politics RCMP aware of comments made about Trudeau on Yellow Vest Facebook page

Canada's Prime Minister Justin Trudeau speaks during Question Period in the interim House of Commons in the West Block on Parliament Hill in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada Feb. 25. Members of the Yellow Vest Canada Facebook group started posting that Mr. Trudeau is a traitor, with many calling for him to be hanged.

CHRIS WATTIE/REUTERS

The RCMP says it’s aware of comments made about Justin Trudeau on a Yellow Vest Facebook page, saying it takes all threats made against the Prime Minister seriously.

A scroll through the Yellow Vest Canada Facebook page shows a number of comments from members posting that Mr. Trudeau should be hanged, with others writing celebratory comments about the prospect of the Prime Minister’s death.

“The RCMP is aware of the comments made on Facebook. We take all threats made against the Prime Minister very seriously,” Staff Sergeant Tania Vaughan said in an e-mail.

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Staff Sgt. Vaughan would not say if the RCMP is investigating the comments, saying that generally the force would only confirm an investigation in the event that it results in the laying of criminal charges.

The Facebook comments came shortly after Michael Wernick, the Clerk of the Privy Council, told the House of Commons justice committee on Thursday that he worries about incitements to violence when people use terms such as “treason” and “traitor” in open discourse, adding that those words lead to “assassination” and that he fears somebody is going to be shot during the federal election campaign later this year.

Mr. Wernick was referring to the United We Roll convoy in Ottawa last week, which included members of the Yellow Vest group, and which saw some protesters holding signs that accused the Prime Minister of treason.

But after the clerk’s testimony, members of the Yellow Vest Canada Facebook group started posting that Mr. Trudeau is a traitor, with many calling for him to be hanged.

A news story of Mr. Wernick’s comments about fearing someone will be shot was posted on the page with members commenting: “We can only hope.”

During his testimony last week, Mr. Wernick took specific aim at Saskatchewan Conservative Senator David Tkachuk, who told the group of protesters at the rally on Tuesday, “I know you’ve rolled all the way here, and I’m going to ask you one more thing: I want you to roll over every Liberal left in the country.”

Mr. Wernick said it’s “totally unacceptable” for politicians to incite people to “drive trucks over people after what happened in Toronto last summer,” referring to the April van attack that killed 10 people and injured 16.

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Mr. Tkachuk refused to apologize, saying it was a figure of speech and, “certainly the people at the rally knew what I meant.”

Conservative Party Leader Andrew Scheer also addressed the rally.

Brock Harrison, a spokesman for Mr. Scheer, said Mr. Scheer “condemns all threats of violence from anybody including those against the Prime Minister.”

“The United We Roll rally was very clearly organized to send a message to the government in support of Canada’s oil and gas sector and Mr. Scheer was proud to stand with those who sent that message,” Mr. Harrison said.

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