A Tory MP has accused the deputy leader of the New Democratic Party of "championing" the conspiracy theory that 9/11 was an inside job.
Manitoba MP James Bezan made the charge in the House of Commons Thursday after it was discovered that the events listing on Megan Leslie's website included a Halifax talk hosted by Richard Gage, founder of Architects & Engineers for 9/11 Truth.
The group maintains the World Trade Center was actually destroyed by an explosive demolition, not hijacked airliners.
The listing for the March 31 event is just one of hundreds to appear under the "events" section of Leslie's website, which allows constituents to promote what is happening in the community. Like, say, a free workshop on raising hens.
There is a disclaimer on the site that the topics and events do not necessarily reflect the views of the MP or party.
But that's not good enough for Bezan, evidently.
The Tory backbencher began his statement by referencing comments made by now-NDP Leader Thomas Mulcair in 2011, in which he expressed doubts that photos proving Osama bin Laden's death existed.
Bezan said Mulcair's party is now soldiering on with "the NDP's legacy of adhering to conspiracy theories."
He said Leslie is "championing the truther cause on her website" by promoting Gage's national tour.
"He is advertised as coming to Halifax to share his wealth of knowledge on what actually happened on September 11, 2001," Bezan said.
"What is that truth the member for Halifax is advertising? Is it that the World Trade Center towers were brought down by internal demolition? In other words, it was an inside job by the U.S. government?"
Bezan ended his speech by calling the tour shameful and disrespectful to 9/11 victims.
The listing sparked plenty of chatter on social media Thursday afternoon and some lively debate.
— kady o'malley (@kady) March 27, 2014
.@MeganLeslieMP Please find a way to review events before they’re published. An MP’s website shouldn’t help spread conspiracy theories.
— Craig Silverman (@CraigSilverman) March 27, 2014
The Halifax MP took to Twitter to defend the listing, pointing to the disclaimer on her site.
— Megan Leslie, MP (@MeganLeslieMP) March 27, 2014
And others came to Leslie's defense:
Lib partisans, give it a rest. If you have *evidence* @MeganLeslieMP Is a truther, show it. Screengrabs from a community events pg aren’t it
— Andrew Coyne (@acoyne) March 27, 2014
But others still questioned how the event listing made its way onto her site, disclaimer or not:
— GlenStromquist (@GlenStromquist) March 27, 2014
And others wondered if the disclaimer was added after the criticism surfaced. One person pointed out that a cached version of her website from Dec. 1, 2013 did not show any disclaimer.
— Diamond Isinger (@diamondisinger) March 27, 2014