Although it was dubbed the “Million Canadian Deplorables March,” both The Daily Caller and Breitbart claimed about 5,000 people showed up in Ottawa to protest Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and to show favor for Donald Trump, whom protest organizer Mike Waine called a “smart man.”
“Most Canadians are asleep because fake news is telling them stories that just aren’t true,” Waine told The Daily Caller in its article “Thousands Of Canadian ‘Deplorables’ March To Support Trump And Oppose Trudeau.”
Ironically, Ottawa police now say there weren’t thousands, let alone 5,000 or a million, protesters at the March at all.
“We average about two or three (demonstrations) a day. It would be like Washington D.C. for you guys,” said Ottawa Police Constable Marc Soucy. “This one would be on the small side for sure.”
Soucy said that, while the Ottawa Police doesn’t officially provide crowd estimates, there were not 5,000 people at the rally’s “gathering point” in Ottawa’s Confederation Park.
“There were less than 100 [at the park],” he said.
A spokesperson for the Parliamentary Protection Services estimated to Canada’s iPolicy, who first reported on the discrepancy, that 300 to 400 people in total went to the rally in at the Canadian capital.
Still, a Breitbart headline blared “5,000 Canadians March in Support of Trump, Against Liberal Trudeau Administration” on Saturday. Meanwhile, 504 people RSVP’d to the event on Facebook, where the protest was labeled as a “march against Trudope and his tyranny.”
This isn’t the first time Breitbart has inflated crowd sizes of pro-Trump events. The website, whose former CEO Steve Bannon is now a Senior Advisor to President Trump, posted a photo of the Cleveland Cavaliers’ NBA Championship victory parade in a story titled “Trump’s Jacksonville Rally draws 15,000” last August.
And in March, The Daily Caller published an article arguing in favor of Donald Trump’s incorrect claim that the media had downplayed the size of the crowd at his January inauguration, arguing that “context has been severely lacking.”
The Daily Caller article about the Candian march, written by David Krayden, quoted organizer Waine saying a recent motion in Canada could “lead to the implementation of Sharia Law in Canada.” The text of that motion, M-103, condemns Islamophobia and "all forms of systemic racism and religious discrimination.”
Waine appeared happy with the turnout, according to the Caller.
“I was hoping for a million but I guess this will do,” he said.