Liberal MP Ya'ara Saks said that "honk honk" is equivalent to "Heil Hitler," while speaking at the House of Commons in defence of her government's use of the Emergencies Act to oust protesters in Ottawa who oppose the federal COVID-19 mandates.
"How much vitriol do we have to see of 'honk honk' which is a new acronym for 'Heil Hitler'? What do we need to see by these protesters on social media?" Ya'ara Saks said in the House of Commons on Feb. 21.
On Feb. 22, Saks defended her comment, saying that "for those who think that 'Honk Honk' is some innocuous joke. I'll just leave this here" and shared a tweet posted by an account owner titled "Gwen Snyder is uncivil," who says she is an antifascist.
Saks' comments are the latest in a series of references to "Nazis" by the Liberals and NDP to imply the protesters are associated with Nazis.
On Feb. 16, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said during question period to Conservative MP Melissa Lantsman, who is Jewish, that her party stands with people who wave swastikas.
Lantsman pointed to the contrasting words said by the prime minister in 2015, and his more recent remarks in September 2021 when he disparaged in a French-language interview the portion of Canadians who chose not to receive a COVID-19 vaccination.
"'A positive, optimistic, hopeful vision for public life isn’t a naive dream. It could be a powerful force for change. If Canadians are to trust their government, their government needs to trust Canadians.' Those are the words of the prime minister in 2015," Lantsman said.
“These people, ‘very often misogynistic, racist,’ ‘women haters’, ‘science deniers’, the ‘fringe’—same prime minister six years later, as he fans the flames of an unjustified national emergency," she said, referring to some of Trudeau's more recent comments about the truckers.
"So, Mr. Speaker, when did the prime minister lose his way? When did it happen?”
A couple of flags were seen bearing the Nazi swastika early on in the protest in Ottawa, which the Liberals and NDP have cited when linking the trucker movement to racism and extremism.
"As Mayors of the two cities that straddle Member of Parliament Michael Cooper’s riding, Mayor @CathyHeron and I are troubled by a photo of MP Cooper that is being circulated with an upside down Canadian flag with a hateful symbol of a swastika on it," he said.