Amid the ongoing tensions between India and Canada following Canadian prime minister Justin Trudeau’s allegations regarding the killing of Khalistani terrorist Hardeep Singh Nijjar, a video of Canadian opposition leader Andrew Scheer lashing out at Trudeau has gone viral. Several news outlets and social media accounts seized on Scheer’s criticism of Trudeau in the video, suggesting a connection to the Canadian Prime Minister’s recent allegations against India.
One particular social media account, @NorbertElikes, posted the viral video with the caption, “News: In the Canadian Parliament, Opposition Leader Scheer takes aim at @JustinTrudeau over the diplomatic row with India: “Do you have any evidence for your conspiracy theories? The Prime Minister’s incompetence has damaged Canada’s relations with a key Asian power and the world’s largest democracy, India. The presence of a convicted terrorist on Canadian soil is not India’s responsibility.” #IndiaCanadaRow”
It’s worth noting that this handle was impersonating the genuine X account of Norbert Elekes. As the viral video continues to gain traction, it is important to understand the context and timeline of this video to avoid misinterpretation and misrepresentation of events.
What is the video about?
The video featuring Andrew Scheer’s critique of Trudeau is not a recent one and dates back to March 2018.
In fact, it is pertaining to events from Trudeau’s India visit in February 2018. It is not at all related to the recent India-Canada diplomatic tensions arising from Trudeau’s allegations regarding Hardeep Singh Nijjar’s murder.
It is from the Canadian parliamentary session where Scheer is seen bashing Trudeau’s handling of Indo-Canadian relations following an adviser’s suggestion that the Indian government played a role in the attendance of a convicted terrorist at events with the Canadian PM during his February 2018 visit to India.
The video is being inaccurately presented as recent, misleading viewers about its relevance to current events.
News: 🇨🇦 In the Canadian Parliament, Opposition Leader Scheer takes aim at @JustinTrudeau over the diplomatic row with India:
“Do you have any evidence for your conspiracy theories? The Prime Minister’s incompetence has damaged Canada’s relations with a key Asian power and the… pic.twitter.com/HcVraFBrUY
— Norbert Elikes (@NorbertElikes) September 24, 2023
Some news outlets have also erroneously reported the video as recent, further contributing to the confusion.
As per fact check, the viral video was originally posted on YouTube by The Canadian Press on March 1, 2018, titled “Scheer accuses Trudeau of damaging Canada-India relationship.”
The caption of the video read: “Justin Trudeau is defending an adviser who suggests the Indian government played a role in a convicted terrorist attending events with the prime minister. Tory Leader Andrew Scheer is accusing Trudeau of “incompetence” over the incident. (Feb. 28, 2018).”
It depicts Scheer taking aim at Trudeau over the controversy surrounding Jaspal Atwal, a Sikh convicted of attempting to assassinate an Indian cabinet minister in 1986, attending events with Trudeau during his India visit in February 2018.
The controversy during Trudeau’s India visit in 2018 arose after reports in the Canadian press, attributed to an unidentified Canadian official, suggested the involvement of factions within the Indian government in sabotaging Trudeau’s visit to India.
However, these allegations were later deemed “baseless and unacceptable” by the Indian government.
Later, Trudeau accepted the resignation of Liberal Party MP Randeep Sarai, who had taken responsibility for inviting Jaspal Atwal to events attended by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in India.
Subsequently, the X account that posted the video made a follow-up post acknowledging that the viral video is not recent but from 2018.
The recent India-Canada diplomatic tensions have nosedived after Trudeau’s allegations regarding the Indian government’s involvement in the killing of Hardeep Singh Nijjar, a pro-Khalistan leader, in British Columbia.
This led to the reciprocal expulsion of diplomats, with India suspending visa services for Canadian citizens.
Canada’s Conservative Party Leader Pierre Poilievre has called on Prime Minister Trudeau to provide clarity on allegations of India’s role in Nijjar’s murder.