Poilievre campaign vows to shut down ‘misleading’ website selling Trudeau blackface stickers in his name

The site is designed to mislead potential Poilievre supporters by promising to donate an undetermined portion of sales to the candidate’s coffers

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OTTAWA — Attempts to cash in on the Conservative leadership campaign prove a tough sell for Pierre Poilievre officials, who pledge to crack down on a “misleading” website that poses as an official store selling items like “Fk Trudeau” sweatshirts or Justin Trudeau black face stickers.

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The site, which online records say went live late last month, is clearly designed to mislead would-be Poilievre supporters by promising to donate an undetermined portion of vault sales. of the candidate, without any indication at any time that he is unrelated to the campaign.

The site also appears high on Google when searching for “Pierre Poilievre shop” or “Pierre Poilievre shop” and, unlike other unofficial sites supporting the candidate, has no indication that he is not not affiliated with the Conservative MP.

“Join the movement to take back control of your life!” reads the website’s descriptive text on Google, echoing one of the candidate’s recurring campaign slogans.

Online records suggest that the store’s Shopify account was created on April 16, the same day the website URL was recorded.

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Five days later, the website and online store went live, welcoming visitors with a still image from a Youtube video of the Poilievre campaign under the text “Canada Needs You”, urging visitors to “join the movement” in order to “take back control” of their lives.

This same YouTube video is embedded on the website for visitors to watch.

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The online store, titled Pierre Poilievre Shop, has 11 items for sale, including “Make Trudeau a Drama Teacher Again” sweatshirts, a “Pierre Poilievre for the Prime Minister” flag, mouse pads, hats and mugs. “Pierre Poilievre 2025” and “F stickers and shirts –k you Trudeau”.

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Also on sale are die-cut vinyl stickers depicting Trudeau’s head in one of his infamous black-faced photos – complete with an Aladdin-style turban, googly eyes and an elongated tongue protruding from the made-up skin of the future prime minister.

In a statement, Poilievre spokesman Anthony Koch said the campaign only learned about the trader’s website after the National Post learned about it on Friday.

“We don’t know about this website and it’s not related to our campaign,” Koch said.

In a separate statement, the Conservative Leadership Election Organizing Committee (LEOC) confirmed that it had contacted the Poilievre campaign about the website.

“They are advising that this is NOT their website and that they intend to take action against those responsible,” said Conservative Party Chief Executive Wayne Benson.

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The Poilievre campaign later confirmed it was trying to find out who was behind the website and if there was a way to get it taken down.

By early Friday evening, the website had been taken down, replaced by an error message that the store was unavailable.

The site, designed from a pre-existing template with a Tory-inspired blue and white color scheme, contains no association or endorsement disclosures with the Conservative Party of Canada or Poilievre’s leadership campaign.

No owner or contact information is apparent on the site, asking visitors to show their support for “stop #justinflation”, and promising that a portion of the proceeds will “go directly to the Pierre Poilievre campaign”.

It is not related to our campaign

The shop owner also appears to operate a Twitter account – featuring links to the store and his same video of Poilievre as his profile picture.

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All 54 tweets from the month-old account were posted between April 21 and April 22, consisting almost entirely of replies to politics-related tweets featuring photoshopped images of professional WWE wrestlers Matt and Jeff Hardy, their faces replaced by those of Trudeau and US President Joe Biden.

References to the World Economic Forum were also inserted on the pair’s tag team championship belts.

Requests for comment on a Gmail account associated with the website were not returned at press time.

The Poilievre campaign also noted that it could not say whether the person behind the online store had donated profits to Poilievre because as of Friday they did not know who was behind it.

Canada’s election finance laws do not allow corporations to donate to federal campaigns, which means that any potential donation to Poilievre’s campaign from federal funders is highly unlikely. the store appears under the name of the website.

But Koch said the campaign would refuse any donations from anyone found behind the online store.

“Our campaign will reject all donations from the misleading website,” he said.

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Daniel L. Vasquez