Former Barrie-area MP issues apology over tweet about anti-pipeline blockade and firing range in the same sentence

Alex Nuttall is campaign manager for Peter MacKay, who is seeking the leadership of the federal Conservative Party

Former Barrie-area MP and current campaign manager for Peter MacKay has backpedaled on Twitter after creating an uproar on social media over an earlier tweet on Sunday regarding a church service he attended.

In the tweet, Alex Nuttall said that his morning at church included complaints from people about the anti-pipeline blockade, as well as an invitation to “the range.”

Nuttall later tweeted an apology and said they were two unrelated thoughts that should not have been communicated together.

A nearly three week blockade of a rail line near Belleville was dismantled by police today and 10 people were charged.

The blockade was in support of Wet’suwet’en hereditary chiefs who oppose construction of a natural gas pipeline through their traditional land in northern British Columbia.

MacKay, who is seeking the leadership of the federal Conservative Party, recently got into hot water himself over a tweet that some people thought seemed to support blockade-related vigilantism.

The tweet was later deleted.

The first tweet sent out by Nuttall was interpreted by some to imply the way to resolve the rail blockade was to use target practice.

Even the Calvary Church in Barrie, which Nuttall attended on Sunday, was forced to respond on Twitter and said as a church it does not endorse acts of violence.

McKay took his campaign for the Conservative Party leadership to Barrie last week.

Peter MacKay arrives in Barrie