Canadian Anti-Hate Network
There’s a war on heterosexuality, COVID-19 health restrictions are the “modern Holocaust,” and Shariah law is slowly creeping into Canada.
Welcome to the universe of Lux Média, an alternative media platform promising to cut through layers of “fake news” to provide its viewers with “real” information, all starting from humble beginnings – the basement of a conspiracist Internet troll.
André Pitre is sitting behind a desk, his laptop set in front of him. Behind him is a large green screen displaying the title of his show “Re-Info” – short for “re-information.” On the agenda today: Pitre is blowing the lid off yet another “immense” media cover-up.
This is by far the most elaborate backdrop the 52-year-old Montrealer has used over the course of his career as an online content creator. What first started as a series of Youtube videos filmed in the front seat of his car has effectively transformed into a full-time job.
These early videos, which carried an unserious tone, gradually took on an explicitly political bent, targeting “SJWs” and “feminazis” in long-winded and expletive-filled rants. Now a reformed, born-again Christian, Pitre has moved away from his signature brand of humour. However, the views he expresses on air have continued their marked bent towards far-right conspiracism, with a religious twist.
“There’s no more limits, that’s why I’m calling for Sodom and Gomorrah. The only solution is a flood, a deluge,” says Pitre in one video, following a monologue about the “extreme left,” “LGBT excesses,” and the “destruction of all borders.”
Pitre eventually professionalized his content, using the Stu-Dio, a brick-walled room that gave his streams a more polished look. From this space grew Lux Média, a platform that hosts Pitre’s own shows, as well as nearly a dozen other conspiracy theory-oriented streams.
Today, it is one of the largest online platforms for hate groups and conspiracy theories in Québec, though this has done little to dissuade even elected politicians from appearing on its programs.
From Troll to Hate Peddler
Pitre has been filming video content for over a decade. In his early days, he gained prominence as an associate of Gabriel Roy, a crude shock jock who was convicted in 2015 for sex crimes involving a minor. No stranger to Roy’s brand of edgy humour, Pitre would take to the stage mere days after allegations were first raised against his friends, cracking jokes about an alleged victim, even noting her age.
“Anyways, do 15-year-old girls really want to have relations with another 15-year-old guy?”
From his time as an Internet troll, Pitre has kept a steadfast belief in an absolutist interpretation of free speech, one that led him into the arms of hate groups. Though he now denies having “gravitated” around La Meute, Pitre was once one of their loudest cheerleaders, speaking at a rally attended by the leadership Islamophobic group and even touring Québec to meet with its members.
According to a report by anti-racist activist and professor of philosophy Xavier Camus, Pitre was once a member of the Facebook group of one of La Meute’s regional cells.
Pitre speaking to members of La Meute in 2017. Source: Xavier Camus.
As they gained popularity in the wake of the Roxham Road protests against asylum seekers, Pitre acted as a major mouthpiece for the group, which he described as a “centrist” organization, saying that the group’s values represent those of most québécois.
“Now more than ever, Québec needs La Meute. More than ever, André Pitre needs La Meute” he says in an undated video.
As Pitre made connections in Québec’s hate ecosystem, his following grew, giving him the resources to afford studio space and improve the production quality of his videos. Pitre would come to host some of Canada’s most well-known haters, both as guests on Pitre’s shows, and in the case of Nomos-TV’s Alexandre Cormier-Denis, to host his own.
Pitre (left) alongside Alexandre Cormier-Denis.
When the latter ran for office in 2018, creating controversy around his use of racist electoral signs, Pitre endorsed him, calling him “the most intelligent choice” to oppose then-Québec Premier Philippe Couillard.
Pitre would use this growing platform to popularize conspiracy theories, notably about M-103, a motion presented in the House of Commons to condemn Islamophobia in the wake of the Québec City mosque shooting, calling it “the end of democracy” and likening it to "a little morsel of sharia law."
An early episode of Pitre’s show featured Faith Goldy. Filmed in 2018, a year after her dismissal from Rebel Media after she appeared on a neo-Nazi podcast, the episode shows Pitre fawning over the then-Toronto mayoral candidate. Expressing his appreciation over her work at Rebel Media, Pitre commended Goldy for being “skeptical of the official story” regarding the Québec City mosque shooting.
“We cannot say the word white in our society,” Pitre told Goldy, referring to criticism levelled against the ex-Rebel Media employee for using the white supremacist “14 words” slogan.
A Conspiracy Theory Factory
There are now dozens of shows hosted on Lux Média’s platform, and each begins with the same warning.
“Le Stu-Dio and Lux Média are freedom of expression platforms without editorial policies. The remarks of hosts and guests are of a personal nature, and cannot be attributed to Stu-Dio or to Lux Média.”
Despite these disclaimers, the talking points expressed in Lux Média’s content often cover similar themes, from similar angles. The COVID-19 pandemic, public health measures and vaccines are all depicted as part of a large conspiracy orchestrated by elites pushing a “globalist agenda.”
The nature of these conspiracy theories, however, is more fluid. Pitre’s content was an early breeding ground for Qanon in Québec, with prominent influencer Alexis Cossette-Trudel appearing in dozens of streams until a dramatic falling out in 2018.
Pitre (centre) alongside Ken Pereira (left) and Alexis Cossette-Trudel (right).
Pitre’s longtime co-host, the whistleblower turned conspiracy theorist Ken Pereira, more often than not takes the lead on discussing often bizarre conspiracy theories on air, once giving credence to the idea that aliens might have helped the Nazis build a base on the moon.
This is not the only time conspiracy theories involving aliens have been peddled. Caroline Mailloux, who hosts and appears on a variety of Lux Média shows, is the proud titular of a degree in exopolitics, a pseudoscience that studies politics as it pertains to humanity’s relationship with aliens. In one stream discussing UFOlogy, Mailloux defends her chosen discipline.
“We no longer need to prove that there is an extraterrestrial presence, that aliens exist. There are so many insiders, so much evidence from people who worked within the governments."
Pitre himself also dabbles in conspiracy theories, once even alleging on-air that COVID vaccines might give its recipients HIV, using reports that HIV now infects more heterosexuals than men who have sex with men to support his claims.
Spreading HIV through vaccines, he argues, could be part of a deep state conspiracy to “normalize” mass testing for the virus and impose further lockdown measures after the COVID pandemic ends.
Friends In High Places
Over the years, Lux Média has hosted a who’s who of Québec and Canada’s conspiratorial right, from fringe politicians like Maxime Bernier, Derek Sloan and Randy Hillier to activists like Chris “Sky” Saccoccia, conspiracy theorist Dan Pilon, as well as hate group figurehead Patrick Beaudry (La Meute).
Despite the simultaneously hateful and bizarre nature of the content he produces, Pitre has seemingly had no issues attracting more established politicians to his platform.
Éric Duhaime appeared on a Lux Média program in February 2021, weeks before being elected as leader of the Conservative Party of Québec. His party, once relegated to the fringes of Québec’s politics, is now poised to make major gains in the upcoming provincial elections.
Duhaime (right) appearing on a Lux Média program in February 2021.
Several prominent members of the Conservative Party of Canada, including Senator Pierre-Hugues Boisvenu, Charlesbourg–Haute-Saint-Charle MP Pierre Paul-Hus and party vice-president Valérie Assouline have also been interviewed by or appeared alongside Lux Média hosts.
Assouline, who is also a city council member in the town of Dollard-des-Ormeaux, Québec, has appeared on the platform three times – her last appearance in August 2021.
When reached for comments, MP Paul-Hus’s office told CAHN that “all political parties in Canada stand in solidarity in the face of hate crimes and all forms of hate-motivated speech”, and that the former was unaware of Pitre’s identity when he agreed to an interview.
André Pitre, Éric Duhaime and Valérie Assouline did not respond to our requests for comment.