Old video of Canada's opposition leader criticizing Trudeau shared as recent

By: Praveen Kumar
September 25 2023

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Old video of Canada's opposition leader criticizing Trudeau shared as recent

A 2018 video of a Canadian Opposition MP accusing PM Trudeau of damaging relations with India is being shared as a recent incident. (Source: X/Screenshots)


The Verdict Misleading

This video of opposition leader Andrew Scheer accusing Trudeau of damaging Canada-India relations is from 2018, not 2023.

Claim ID acdf838a


On September 19, a week after Prime Minister Justin Trudeau visited India for the 2023 G20 Summit, he alleged in the Canadian Parliament that the Indian government had a hand in killing Canadian national and Khalistani leader Hardeep Singh Nijjar. Two masked gunmen shot the latter dead as he left a gurdwara in Surrey in June this year. This was followed by both countries expelling diplomats in tit-for-tat moves. According to Reuters, India has suspended visa services across Canada as the standoff continues, and trade talks between the two countries have halted.

What is the claim?

Amid this souring of India and Canada’s international relations, social media users shared a video that showed Canadian opposition leader Andrew Scheer accusing Trudeau of damaging their relations with “the world’s largest democracy” and asking the Canadian prime minister if he had any proof for his “conspiracy theory.” Many have shared the video, saying that it happened over the diplomatic row with India, implying that it was after Trudeau’s recent announcement.

On September 25, news websites like Republic World and Punjab Kesari also published reports on this video, claiming that it happened recently in Canada’s Parliament. The archived articles can be found here and here.

Some Indian news websites published this claim as recent news. (Source: Republic World/Punjab Kesari/Screenshots)

Posts on X and Facebook have raked up hundreds and thousands of views. The archived posts can be seen here, here, here, here, and here.

This video and claim have been shared on X which has gained hundreds and thousands of views. (Source: X/Screenshots)

The same video and claim have also been shared on Facebook. (Source: Facebook/Screenshot)

However, this video is not from 2023. It is five years old.

 What we found

As stated in the claim, the man speaking in the viral video is Andrew Scheer, the Conservative Member of the House of Commons of Canada. We found that the video dates back to March 1, 2018, uploaded to YouTube by The Canadian Press. The video shows the MP speaking at the Canadian Parliament on February 28, 2018.

The original video of MP Andrew Scheer accusing Trudeau is from 2018. (Source: YouTube/Screenshot)

The caption of the video reads, "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)"

What was the issue?

The context behind Scheer’s accusations and questions directed at the prime minister is that when Trudeau visited India on February 22, 2018, a Khalistani separatist was invited to an official dinner reception. Jaspal Atwal, convicted in the attempted murder case of former Punjab Minister Malkiat Singh Sidhu in 1986, was photographed with Trudeau’s wife at a reception in Mumbai. After the media reported on this, further invitations for Atwal were rescinded by Canada in a move to limit the damage. Later, reacting to the incident, Trudeau said, "The photo-op with Jaspal Atwal was an unfortunate event. We have rescinded his invitation.”

Canadian MP Kirsty Duncan had also reacted at the time, saying Atwal "of course shouldn't have been invited" and that they were "looking into how it happened." According to reports, Indo-Canadian MP Randeep Sarai took responsibility for inviting Atwal, apologized, and resigned as chair of his party's Pacific Caucus over the issue.

The Globe and Mail reported on February 28, 2018, that Trudeau had come in for criticism from Conservatives after he supported his national security adviser, Daniel Jean, who suggested Atwal's presence had been arranged by factions within the Indian government. This accusation was denied by India’s Ministry of External Affairs, who labeled the theory "baseless and unacceptable."

The verdict

A 2018 video of a Canadian MP accusing Prime Minister Trudeau of damaging Canada-India relations over Khalistani elements has been used to claim that it is recent. However, it is not a reaction to Trudeau’s recent allegation that the Indian government is linked to the assassination of a Khalistani leader on Canadian soil in 2023. Therefore, we have marked this claim as misleading.

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