Ukraine: the leader of the PVQ makes disturbing remarks
Alex Tyrrell will campaign on an ambitious eco-socialist agenda as part of the GPC leadership race.
Neutrality, demilitarization and “denazification” of Ukraine, recognition of the annexation of Crimea and the independence of the separatist regions of Donetsk and Luhansk: the demands set out by Russia with regard to Ukraine should be accepted by the Ukrainian government and Western countries, says the leader of the Green Party of Quebec (PVQ), Alex Tyrrell. These remarks made on Facebook and Twitter on Friday have caused more than one to react since.
“I ask […] the Canadian, American and NATO governments to stop sending arms to Ukraine, to support serious negotiations with Russia now in order to allow an immediate de-escalation and to save lives, Mr Tyrrell believes. The people of Crimea, Donetsk and Luhansk should have their rights to self-determination.”
Recognition of the annexation of Crimea as well as the Donetsk and Luhansk regions could end the Ukrainian civil war according to him.
“I condemn the Russian invasion, the violence on both sides of the conflict and the diplomatic failure that led to this war. We must build a solid anti-war movement around the world in order to prevent this type of situation and escalation from happening again”, also maintains the leader of the PVQ.
Mr. Tyrrell’s remarks generated misunderstanding and anger among many on the politician's Facebook account, who posted several statuses on the war in addition to ;relay certain news articles on this subject.
“I have already voted green. I won't do it again if you're still the leader of this formation. Resign,” said Luc Papineau on Saturday, in reaction to the publication in which Mr. Tyrrell affirmed that Russia's demands were reasonable and that they should be accepted.
“I wonder if your account has been hacked because the claims you are making seem to come straight from Russian propaganda,” wrote Stephanie Goertz in English, in a post in which the PVQ leader criticized the Canadian government's decision to supplying grenade launchers and grenades to Ukraine.
Under another post, in which Mr Tyrrell had shared on his newsfeed the news of a ceasefire reported by Russian media Russia Today, Shaun Hesse wrote: “I can't believe you are using an article from Russian propaganda media Russia Today. Did anyone know that the leader of the PVQ was so stupid?”
In an interview with Metro, Mr. Tyrrell deplored recently receiving hate messages in which people go as far as ;to tell him to kill himself.
“There are more and more people who are leaving politics for that reason. I find it disappointing that it is so virulent. It's an incredible slippage,” he explains.
With his publications, the leader of the PVQ says he seeks to encourage a de-escalation of the conflict.
“What I find in this issue is that as soon as someone says that we should listen to Russia, that we should negotiate with it, that we try to make Russia's point of view understood. Russia, we are immediately demonized. We are attacked, we are treated as Russian agents,” he laments.
Former political candidate for the PVQ in the 2018 elections, Chad Walcott had been, along with six other members, ousted from the party by Mr Tyrrell just over a year ago.
Mr. Walcott, who was critical of Mr. Tyrrell's leadership at the time, said he was not surprised by his recent comments on social media.
“He positions himself as a somewhat supreme leader above the rules. That he sympathizes with Putin's position does not surprise me. But I find it absolutely horrible. That he justifies war crimes… Being the leader of the party, I think that is completely inappropriate. There should be consequences. He should have quit a long time ago. Especially after these remarks which encourage war and the violation of the sovereignty of a country”, he argued in an interview with Métro.
Vincent Carbonneau was a member of the PVQ executive when he resigned from his post in December 2020 before being also ousted from the party a few days later. He too says he is not surprised by Mr. Tyrrell's position on the war in Ukraine.
“It’s very typical of Alex Tyrrell’s modus operandi. This is one of the reasons why we, in 2020, challenged the leadership, among other things because of positions often taken without reflection, without consultation. It's from Mr. Tyrrell, he's at home in front of his computer and he's taking a stand on an issue. The party or the members were never consulted. The position that is taken today, in my opinion, is not even a reflection of the people who still remain in the green party, ”he says.
For his part, Mr. Tyrrell says his recent positions have been discussed “informally” within the party.
“But what you need to know is that pacifism is a value in the DNA of the Green Party of Quebec. We have always been pacifists in all the conflicts that have broken out. So, it makes sense for us to seek de-escalation as soon as possible. My comments point in that direction,” he adds.
Mr. Carbonneau points out that he is in contact with activists within the Green Party of Canada who, according to him, would “unanimously” condemn Mr. Tyrrell's recent remarks.
“If some people agree that there is valid criticisms to be made of NATO, everyone I spoke to strongly condemned these remarks,” he explains.
Mr. Carbonneau also maintains that “several people” are in the process of filing a complaint against Mr. Tyrrell using the internal party mechanisms provided for this purpose.