MONTREAL — Prime Minister Justin Trudeau had no regrets Tuesday for his veiled insult against members of a nationalist, far-right group during a speech in Quebec City in honour of the victims of the 2017 Quebec City mosque shooting.
Capping off four days of commemorations Monday night for the six men killed last January, Trudeau spoke out against racism as well as people he called "dumdums," who wear clothing with images of a paw print.
The paw print is a symbol for La Meute, a member of which replied to Trudeau on the group's Facebook page Tuesday by hurling insults at the prime minister.
Sylvain Brouillette, an influential member of La Meute, wrote that the prime minister made "revolting connections" between his group and the gunman who murdered six men after prayers at the Quebec City mosque last January.
La Meute is a secretive group that is harshly critical toward Islam and denounces "Trudeau's version of multiculturalism," according to its public Facebook page that has more than 20,000 followers.
Its members have protested against the thousands of Haitians who arrived in Canada from the U.S. to claim asylum status in 2017.
Brouillette also criticized Quebec Premier Philippe Couillard's speech in honour of the mosque shooting victims.
Couillard said he didn't understand why "some people feel they are more Quebecer than others despite the fact their ancestors were also immigrants. ... The date you immigrate doesn't determine your level of citizenship."
Trudeau responded to La Meute's criticism by standing by his comments.
He told reporters in Ottawa he would "always be there to denounce people who aren't building a better and more open society for everyone."
The Canadian Press