Canadian Anti-Hate Network
Tucker Carlson speaking with attendees at the 2021 AmericaFest at the Phoenix Convention Center in Phoenix, Arizona. Source: Gage Skidmore/Wikicommons
Tucker Carlson is coming to Canada.
The former Fox News host is coming to Alberta for dual city speaking events in January. Joined by prominent Canadian political and media figures, also appearing during his events are commentator Rex Murphy; National Post founding proprietor and convicted (but pardoned) fraudster, Conrad Black; and Alberta Premier Danielle Smith.
Starting in Calgary, Carlson will be appearing at the Telus Convention Centre on January 24. At the time of writing, only six tickets remain available in the back rows of the event. Each seat costs $224.74.
After the afternoon event, he is hoofing it to Edmonton for an additional evening stop at Rogers Place. Most of the seating appears to be sold, but Ticket Master, who is handling the sales, lists hundreds of available seats. Meet and greet tickets along with floor seating are listed at $2,105.35 running to $92.50 for a spot in the lower bowl.
Tucker Carlson was once one of the biggest names in cable news, previously working for CNN and MSNBC. He rose to prominence on Fox News, where he had the most-viewed network television program up until its sudden cancellation, when Carlson was swiftly dismissed from the network.
The reasons for this were never explained officially by the company. Carlson reportedly claimed his dismissal was part of a settlement with Dominion Voting Systems, which sued Fox for claims made about election fraud in the 2020 US election.
Carlson has used his popularity to spread conspiracy theories, misogyny, and racist talking points. A profile on the pundit by the Southern Poverty Law Center, details his numerous invocations of the “great replacement,” a conspiracy theory that paints demographic change in North America as a plot to strip white people of political power. The theory has led to multiple mass murders.
He has downplayed the existence of white supremacy in the United States, stating “This is a hoax. Just like the Russia hoax. This is a conspiracy theory used to divide the country and keep a hold on power,” according to the New York Times.
While still on cable, Carlson hosted anti-transgender activist “Billboard” Chris Elston, a Canadian man who first rose to prominence after he assisted in financing a billboard reading “I (heart) JK Rowling” and who has appeared at political events and outside of schools wearing sandwich boards objecting to the pervasiveness of “gender ideology.”
While on Carlson’s program in September 2022, Elston called gender-affirming care “the biggest child abuse scandal in modern medicine history.” Carlson used the segment to call the practice the “sexual mutilation of children.”
According to Media Matters For America, Carlson ran five other segments the following week about the DC’s Children’s National Hospital offering gender-affirming care.
Perhaps the most significant aspect of the tour is that the Calgary stop includes a conversation with Danielle Smith, MLA for Brooks-Medicine Hat, leader of the United Conservative Party, and Alberta's 19th Premier.
Smith’s decision to appear with Carlson drew immediate criticism online from members of the public and her political rivals.
“Tucker Carlson is a pro-Putin white nationalist, so naturally Danielle Smith is scheduled to help him promote his event in Calgary in January,” Shannon Phillips, NDP MLA for Lethbridge West and Finance Critic, said on X.
Nor would it be the first time Smith has engaged with a controversial figure from the far-right.
A phone call, recorded by anti-2SLGBTQ+ street preacher Artur Pawlowski and released by the provincial NDP, reveals Smith saying she was talking to prosecutors about his case.
During the call, Pawlowski says he was appealing to Smith for help, citing a previous promise made by the premier to pardon those charged with violating COVID-19 health restrictions.
The premier points out that she has learned there is not a legal mechanism for her to grant clemency, but adds that she has been talking to prosecutors “almost weekly” since coming to power. She also denies Pawlowski’s assertions that the Minister of Justice was driving the case against him.
The premier’s office has defended the decision to appear with Carlson.
"The premier participates in a variety of public and private events and does interviews with dozens of reporters, broadcasters and podcasters from across the political spectrum," Smith’s press secretary said in a statement to the CBC on the subject.
"Obviously, she does not subscribe to every view of every interviewer or reporter she speaks with whether that's the CBC, the Toronto Star, or Tucker Carlson.”
Take Back Alberta
Beyond the premier, a faction within the UCP, a political alliance under the name Take Back Alberta, has been heavily promoting the event. Describing itself as a grassroots movement, TBA’s goal is to “advance freedom” and “transfer power from the ruling elite to the people of our province.”
Founded by David Parker in 2022, the group formed largely out of the COVID-19 protest movement. They played a role in the removal of former Premier Jason Kenney in favour of Smith and are registered as a third-party advertiser in Alberta.
In May 2023, TBA hosted a talk by Jordan Peterson in Red Deer while he was in the province for a separate book tour.
On its website, Take Back Alberta calls the chance to see Carlson a “once in a lifetime” opportunity to hear from the “biggest media commentator of our time.”
“One who has stuck to his principles and credibility despite many failed attempts to silence him.”
The organization is reselling tickets to Carlson’s Edmonton event, saying it purchased an undisclosed number of them.
“TBA has acquired a block of seats and is excited to offer you the chance to get tickets before the general public (and with a hefty discount). On a first come, first serve basis we will give the seats to people who donate via our ticket portal on this page,” a dedicated portion of its site reads.
Tickets on the site cost a “donation” of $500 for floor seating and $200 for the lower bowl. The form does not indicate where exactly in the stadium the seats are located.
Far from the only organization offering tickets, there has been a tidy order of organizations and publications offering deals or sales of tickets to the Edmonton event.
The Whistle Stop Cafe is also selling tickets to the event. Images on their site show a block of tickets purchased in the first five rows. Whistle Stop’s website lists the tickets at $500. There is also a set of “pay what you can” tickets up for raffle that is also connected to TBA.
If selected for these tickets, the Whistle Stop’s website says a “Taking Back Alberta rep who will process your transaction.” Adding after, “TBA will ask that you make a small donation or sign up for their mailing list.”
The donation is needed to “ensure ticket holders are legit, and not instigators.”
The owner of the Whistle Stop, Christopher Scott, was recently acquitted of charges for violating public health orders in 2021. Demonstrations in support attracted hundreds of people, according to Global News.
The Counter Signal, a publication run by former Rebel News personality Keean Bexte, is offering the chance to win two tickets to anyone who signs up for a subscription or donates $10 to the site. There is also a silent auction being held for the “last available” Calgary tickets.
The Counter Signal has been home to confounding articles boasting about insider information, including the claim that new Environment Canada offices would contain interrogation facilities, "biological labs" and "controlled quiet" rooms.
Similarly, True North, an online publication run by the think tank True North Centre for Public Policy, is offering donors a chance to win a set of tickets for donating.