The Saskatchewan Party has named a replacement nominee for the riding of Saskatoon Eastview just one day after Daryl Cooper resigned from the campaign after promoting COVID-19 and QAnon conspiracy theories.
On Sunday, Chris Guérette was appointed by the party as its new candidate for the riding, and she was quick to distance herself from Cooper.
“I can say I don’t share those same views,” Guérette said at a press conference Sunday in Saskatoon.
“Elections are not won on social media. They are won on the doorstep. I still have 22 days and several hours a day to gain the trust of constituents, and that’s where I’m going to be spending my time.”
Guérette has served as CEO of the Saskatoon and Region Home Builders’ Association since 2016 with over 15 years of experience working in the housing, non-profit, health and education sectors.
In 2019, Guérette announced she was seeking the Saskatchewan Party nomination for the riding of Saskatoon Meewasin in the upcoming provincial election. However, she lost to lawyer Rylund Hunter in the contested nomination.
FULL COVERAGE: 2020 Saskatchewan Election
The Saskatchewan Party was forced to replace a candidate in the Saskatoon Eastview riding after Cooper resigned on Saturday.
In recent days the former candidate had come under fire for comments he made on social media about COVID-19 that undermined scientific evidence and promoted QAnon values.
In total, he posted seven theories, including the falsehood that coronavirus is linked to 5G technology, or that sunspots could cause pandemics. Both assertions are unfounded.
As reported and uncovered by Press Progress, Cooper also liked several tweets from people sharing QAnon’s far-right conspiracy theories.
QAnon is a wide-ranging conspiracy fiction spread largely through the internet, centred on the baseless belief that President Donald Trump is waging a secret campaign against enemies in the “deep state” and a child sex trafficking ring run by satanic pedophiles and cannibals. It is based on cryptic postings by the anonymous “Q,” purportedly a government insider.
While candidates in the United States are bringing these QAnon conspiracy theories on the campaign trail, the Saskatchewan Party says the same shouldn’t be done in the province.
On Sunday, Saskatchewan Party Leader Scott Moe joined Guérette on the campaign trail where he denounced QAnon.
“It doesn’t have any place in the Saskatchewan Party. I would condemn the views of this and we should not be sharing or promoting these views in the province,” Moe said.
Moe said the Saskatchewan Party follows scientific theories when it comes to conversations around pandemics, such as COVID-19.
“We take our advice from the chief medical health officer in the province and his team,” Moe said.
With a file from the Associated Press.