Prince Edward Island pub removes photos of Trudeau after flood of hateful comments

A PEI pub. has removed photos of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau from his social media accounts after receiving a barrage of hateful comments and phone calls.

Trudeau had lunch at the Lone Oak pub in Charlottetown during a brief stop on the island last week.

At the pub, owners, staff and patrons had their photos taken with the Prime Minister. The pub then posted these photos on its social media platforms.

Jared Murphy, co-owner and CEO of Lone Oak Brewing Company, said he was delighted to welcome the Prime Minister to the pub, which only opened in mid-May.

“We had thousands of comments”

Three of Prince Edward Island’s four Liberal MPs, including Charlottetown MP Sean Casey, Malpeque MP Heath MacDonald and Cardigan MP Lawrence MacAulay, were also at the pub and appeared in some of the photos with the Prime Minister.

While at Lone Oak, owners, staff and guests had their photos taken with the Prime Minister. The pub then posted these photos on its social media pages. (lonely oak)

“So within hours we had thousands of comments, we were getting hundreds of private messages, we are now getting phone calls to the brewery and all of these comments are extremely negative, vulgar, there is a lot of profanity used, sexualizing our staff,” Murphy said in an interview outside the pub.

“To see a group of individuals, who have never even visited our establishment, take a political position, make threats against our brewery, say that they are going to bring us down, that they are going to wait until we declare bankruptcy until until they finish us off, that was really hard for our staff to see,” he said.

In addition to social media comments, private messages and phone calls, photos of the three Lone Oak owners have appeared on a national website calling out suspected Trudeau supporters.

“That, of course, seemed to have backfired”

Casey described the campaign against Lone Oak as “extremely unfortunate”. He said he contacted the Prime Minister’s Office and was told this had happened in other parts of Canada, but this was the first time this had happened in Atlantic Canada. .

Prince Edward Island pub removes photos of Trudeau after flood
Charlottetown MP Sean Casey described the campaign against Lone Oak as “extremely unfortunate”. (Wayne Thibodeau/CBC)

The MP for Charlottetown has floated the idea of ​​Trudeau having lunch at the pub.

“I feel bad for the owners to go through this,” Casey said.

“Even if I had considered the downside, I would still have recommended them. I think it’s an honor to have someone in public life and it’s a good profile for the company,” he said.

“That, of course, seems to have backfired to some extent, but I’m confident that Islanders will buy into this endeavor and most of the people offering this abuse are not from here.”

“It was nothing political”

Malpeque MP Heath MacDonald said the purpose of the Prime Minister’s visit to the pub was to help a small business.

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Murphy, left, speaks with servers Emma MacKinnon and Rachel MacKay. Murphy says he was most concerned about the impact of all the criticism on his staff. (Wayne Thibodeau/CBC)

MacDonald blamed “right-wing extremism” for the campaign against the PEI pub.

“This is a new business, three young men are trying to get started,” MacDonald said.

“It was nothing political, it was a visit to a restaurant and an opportunity for them to introduce themselves to a Prime Minister.”

Back at the pub, Murphy said the negative comments had yet to have a major impact on his business. He said a handful of people who say they’ve supported the pub in the past have told him they won’t be returning.

But he is worried about an online campaign to lower his pub ratings.

“It’s a bit counter-intuitive”

Since launching this online campaign against Lone Oak, the pub’s rating has dropped from 4.8 out of 5 to 2.8.

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Prime Minister Justin Trudeau also met with families at Tea Hill Park in Stratford while in Prince Edward Island last week. (Kate McKenna/CBC)

“And it could negatively impact our business, which is really quite disappointing to see,” Murphy said, adding that PEI is a popular tourist destination and many tourists use those ratings. to decide where to go.

“For the group of individuals who are now threatening a small business, it’s a bit counter-intuitive to the point that they’re going after the prime minister.”

Political commentator and journalist Rick MacLean said the political landscape is deteriorating in Canada and he points the finger at the United States. He thinks it’s a new reality being pushed by social media platforms, and Lone Oak is paying the price.

“I think social media has fundamentally changed the way we get our information and I’m afraid because it’s changed the way we get our information it’s going to change how we behave, not just how we vote. , but how we interact with each other and how we interact with politicians,” MacLean said.

“I would definitely open my business to any elected official”

The owners of the pub have not ruled out making a complaint to the police.

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Despite the online firestorm, Murphy says he would bring the prime minister back regardless of his political stripe. (Wayne Thibodeau/CBC)

Despite the online firestorm, Murphy said he would bring the Prime Minister back regardless of his political affiliation.

“I would definitely open my business to any elected official in our democratic country.”

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