German MEP Christine Anderson Forced To Find New Venue For Ottawa Stop

The event is scheduled to take place tonight at a new venue. Management has not responded to requests for comment.

Peter Smith
Canadian Anti-Hate Network


Christine Anderson and Eva Vlaardingerbroek pictured together on the promotional poster for the Make It Your Business North American Tour. Source: Trinity Productions


A member of the European Parliament for a far-right political party is attempting to move ahead with a speaking date in Ottawa tonight after one capital city venue cancelled the booking following pressure from local activists.

Christine Anderson, an MEP with Alternative für Deutschland (Alternative For Germany – AfD), has already appeared in Vancouver and Winnipeg. The final planned Canadian stop on the tour is in Ottawa on Wednesday. 

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According to a social media post by the organizers, the event is now taking place at the Preston Event Centre, in Ottawa’s Little Italy neighbourhood. 

Anderson has brought Eva Vlaardingerbroek, a far-right political pundit, with her for each Canadian appearance, as well as a number of local speakers for each stop.

The locations of Anderson’s events are not revealed to ticket holders until two days before they are scheduled. 

Initially planned to take place at the Ottawa Conference and Event Centre, an email shared by Tammy Peterson on Twitter — the wife of Jordan Peterson — purports to show an email from the venue cancelling the event. The post was reshared by two of the founders of Trinity Productions, the organizer of this and previous talks by Anderson. 

“At the time of your booking, there was no disclosure to OCEC of the nature of the event Trinity Productions intended to hold at our conference centre,” the email read. “Today it has been brought to our attention that your event features two speakers, Christine Anderson and Eva Vlaardingerbroek commonly associated with hate speech and beliefs that are antithetical and completely unwelcome to OCEC, its management, employees and others who use our conference and event centre.”

OCEC did not respond immediately to a request for comment. 

A post by Ottawa antifascist activist Joe Morin shows an email he received from the venue thanking the Ottawa community for informing the venue about the people involved and that they were unaware when the event was scheduled.

“This booking has been cancelled,” the response reads.

Dubbed Christine Anderson’s Make It Your Business North American Tour, it does include a single stop in New Jersey, the only US date scheduled. 

“I think in one way it’s a victory in terms of making them scramble to find something last minute,” Sam Hersh, a member of the advocacy group Community Solidarity Ottawa told the Canadian Anti-Hate Network. “Of course, it's disappointing to know that, especially where we live, there’s a business that is willing to take this [event] on. I think the fact that this particular place, Preston Event Centre, agreed to take this on so last minute, says a lot about what I think their values and principles are.”

Before leaving the capital, Anderson will also be appearing on Parliament Hill at 10 pm on Thursday to speak and participate in a march to Confederation Park. 

Hersh adds that he would like to see local politicians raise the issue of events like the one featuring Anderson and Vlaardingerbroek.

“It would be great to see them take leadership,” he said. “We need to start seeing these folks materially support efforts to stop these types of things from happening.”

A follow-up to February's What Would Christine Anderson Do tour and a shorter spate of speaking engagements in Southern Ontario in June, her previous visits included meeting with Conservative MPs Colin Carrie, Dean Allison and Leslyn Lewis. In response, Conservative leader Pierre Poilievre issued a statement calling Anderson’s views “vile” and do not have a place in Canadian politics. 

"Frankly, it would be better if Anderson never visited Canada in the first place. She and her racist, hateful views are not welcome here," the statement said, according to the CBC.

The Ottawa stop will be the largest lineup on the tour with six speakers besides Anderson and Vlaardingerbroek. Among those scheduled to appear is Josh Alexander, who appeared on Anderson’s last tour. During his previous appearance, she not only endorsed the young activist but literally embraced him. Alexander has organized a series of anti-2SLGBTQ+ protests, some of them in front of schools, after being suspended from a school in an Ontario Catholic board for what he says are his religious beliefs.

A parent of a transgender student at the school told City News that Alexander had been suspended for harassing her child. 

“You know what guys, this is what we need,” Anderson said from the stage before hugging the 17-year-old. “Young people standing up for what they believe in.”

 

Who Is Christine Anderson?

 

Anderson became a figure of minor renown among the Canadian far-right after she called out Prime Minister Justin Trudeau during a visit to the EU in 2022. 

Responding to health measures imposed during the first two years of the COVID-19 pandemic, and the then-recently put down “Freedom Convoy” protests and blockades, she told Trudeau he was a “disgrace for any democracy” and to “spare us your presence.” 

Independent Croatian MEP Mislav Kolakušić and another AfD MEP, Bernhard Zimniok, echoed her comments. 

The comments were covered by numerous mainstream Canadian media outlets, while also appearing to have received little coverage in Germany or Europe. A report from Press Progress at the time notes how little of the Canadian coverage discussed the far-right allegiances and backgrounds of the politicians in question. 

Besides AfD, Anderson is also part of the Identity and Democracy Group (ID). Both the German political party, AfD, and the EU alliance, ID, are unabashedly opposed to the EU economic pact. 

Far from only opposing the EU, both these political bodies, and Anderson herself, are much more than Euroskeptics. 

“Abortion, climate change, gender delusion,” Anderson told the EU in a translated German video released to her YouTube channel, “what you call ‘defence of democracy,’ I call ideological bullshit which – under the abolition of democratic principles – you intend to impose.”

The words, a response to the EU’s 2022 human rights report, are far from the only time Anderson has used the bully pulpit to push far-right and racist rhetoric. 

Since its inception, the party has taken numerous anti-refugee, anti-Muslim, and anti-immigrant stances.

Anderson told the public after her election in 2018 that her plan was "to lead Germany out of this EU nightmare." She joined AfD after, according to Der Spiegel, time as an activist for Patriotic Europeans Against the Islamicisation of the West (PEGIDA)  – an anti-Muslim advocacy and street protest group with chapters across Europe and North America. 

The Canadian iteration of PEGIDA has not been able to mount a significant protest in several years and the group is largely defunct. It is probably best remembered for organizing a protest that saw some participants brawling with antifascist counter-protesters inside a downtown Toronto shopping mall. 

Much like in Germany, the Canadian branch of PEGIDA believes Western countries are being deliberately invaded by Islamic extremists in a plot to subvert democracy and replace the population.

After the withdrawal of coalition forces from Afghanistan, Anderson told the EU it should “call the devil by its name,” blaming Islam as a whole for the treatment of women under the Taliban regime. 

The youth wing of AfD (Junge Alternative für Deutschland) was confirmed as an extremist organization in May 2023 by the German Federal Office for the Protection of the Constitution (BfV) due to undemocratic elements existing within the party. On November 7, 2023, the Saxony-Anhalt state chapter of the party was also designated as an extremist organization. Despite the designations, AfD made significant gains during the last state elections, coming in second place in Hesse and third place in Bavaria

Vlaardingerbroek, Anderson’s tourmate, appears mostly in Western media to give perspectives on the Netherlands. She appeared on Tucker Carlson’s show when it was still on Fox News and is a frequent guest on GBNews where she has been interviewed by Canadian Mark Steyn.

Educated in legal philosophy, Vlaardingerbroek quickly moved into roles in politics and punditry. Taking stances against abortion, denying the human impact on climate change, she also promotes conspiracy theories about immigration. 

During an interview with The Spectator, she said that the government had restricted nitrogen use by farmers to free up land to house immigrants, a claim she delivered to a much larger audience when talking to Tucker Carlson. 

The Netherlands is the world’s second-largest producer of agricultural products. Figures from Europe and the Dutch government show extensive economic and environmental damage caused by an overabundance of nitrogen in the soil, which can also lead to a variety of medical issues. With 70 per cent of land in the Netherlands showing an excess of nitrogen, attempts to tackle the issue included a significant reduction in livestock. Many farmers, worried about the future of their livelihood, took to the streets in massive national protests, including the occupation of major city centres.

Despite billions earmarked for transitioning farmers into more sustainable options for farming, and an economy reliant on agriculture, Vlaardingerbroek told Carlson that the issue is “the Dutch government stealing our farmers’ land” under the guise of a “made-up nitrogen crisis.”

“It’s clear that the government is not doing this because of a nitrogen crisis, they are doing this because they want these farmers’ land and they want it to house new immigrants,” Vlaardingerbroek said during the broadcast. 

She added that farmers are standing in the way of the “great reset plans they have for us.”

Previous stops on the Anderson tour include local guests, typically recognizable by their allegiance to various far-right political issues. Vancouver’s stop advertised “Billboard” Chris Elston, a prominent transphobic activist. In Winnipeg, one of the speakers included Patrick Allard, a failed candidate for school board trustee and MLA. He was also a regular feature during the COVID protests. Allard has made numerous hateful statements, typically targeting 2SLGBTQ+ people, or boosting organizations that actively work against them.

Other notable meetings during her last trip include one of the February 2022 Ottawa protest organizers, Tamara Lich and Diagolon livestreamer Derek Harrison.

 

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