What you need to know about Doug Ford's Conservative MPPs - 2018-06-18
Hamilton MPP Donna Skelly, widely tipped to become a member of Doug Ford's cabinet, came under fire in late May when a photograph emerged of her at a Christmas event brandishing a hat that advertised alt-right news platform Free Bird Media.
Skelly is not the only elected PC MPP who needs to address their connections to extremist individuals.
In response to the uproar over the image, Skelly said she was handed the hat on the day and had never heard of the extremist organization. But Free Bird Media founder Alex Van Hamme, who also spoke at the event, refuted her claims. On Facebook, he wrote that "politicians are fake.… Skelly completely threw me under the bus." By his account, she "stood on stage and declared 'we need more media like this!' while holding the hat."
Bernie Farber, chair of the Canadian Anti-Hate Network, described Free Bird Media as amplifying neo-Nazis and white supremacists — "they give a voice to some of the most dangerous people in Canadian society." He said the issue of two contradictory accounts needs to be addressed. "It's important that we have explanation from Ms. Skelly as to what exactly happened here."