Steve Bannon, President Donald Trump’s former chief strategist, talks about the approaching midterm election during an interview with The Associated Press, Sunday, Aug. 19, 2018, in Washington. Steve Bannon, the controversial former strategist for U.S. President Donald Trump, is set to defend the issue of populism in a debate with conservative commentator David Frum in Toronto this fall. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP, J. Scott Applewhite)

Steve Bannon, President Donald Trump’s former chief strategist, talks about the approaching midterm election during an interview with The Associated Press, Sunday, Aug. 19, 2018, in Washington. Steve Bannon, the controversial former strategist for U.S. President Donald Trump, is set to defend the issue of populism in a debate with conservative commentator David Frum in Toronto this fall. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP, J. Scott Applewhite)

Former Trump strategist Steve Bannon to defend populism at Toronto event

The announcement comes days after Bannon was dropped from next month’s New Yorker Festival

Steve Bannon, the controversial former strategist for U.S. President Donald Trump, is set to defend the issue of populism in a debate with conservative commentator David Frum in Toronto this fall.

The announcement of the event — part of the Munk Debates — comes days after Bannon was dropped from the speakers list at next month’s New Yorker Festival following intense backlash and threats of a boycott by other guests.

Munk organizers announced Wednesday that Bannon is expected to argue in favour of the proposition that “the future of western politics is populist, not liberal” at the debate on Nov. 2.

READ MORE: Upcoming book assails Trump’s ‘ethics deficit’ in golf

Rudyard Griffiths, the debates’ organizer and chair, said the event, which is scheduled days before the U.S. midterm elections, will showcase the two men’s “sharply different views” on the surging populist movement and its impact on Western politics.

“We believe we are providing a public service by allowing their ideas to be vigorously contested and letting the public draw their own conclusions from the debate,” he said in a statement.

“In our increasingly polarized societies we often struggle to see across ideological and moral divides. Civil and substantive public debate of the big issues of our time helps all of us better understand the challenges we face as a society and what, if anything, can be done to resolve them.”

Frum, a senior editor at The Atlantic magazine, was a speechwriter for former president George W. Bush and is the author of the recent book “Trumpocracy.” He said the planned debate with Bannon would be an important discussion.

“Liberal democracy is founded on the belief that free people can be inspired to make wiser choices by words and ideas,” he wrote in statement posted on Twitter. “Mr. Bannon comes to the prestigious Munk platform because he believes his words can persuade people to follow him. I will face him there because I believe democratic ideas can defeat him.”

The New Yorker’s announcement Monday that Bannon was invited, then un-invited, to the magazine’s festival set off a heated debate about whether it was better to challenge or shun Bannon.

Bannon, meanwhile, said in a statement Monday that he had welcomed the opportunity to face off with the magazine’s editor, David Remnick.

“The reason for my acceptance was simple: I would be facing one of the most fearless journalists of his generation,” Bannon said. “In what I would call a defining moment, David Remnick showed that he was gutless when confronted by the howling mob.”

Bannon is still set to speak at a festival hosted by The Economist later this month.

Zanny Minton Beddoes, the editor-in-chief of the magazine, said she was deeply troubled by Bannon’s far right stances but believed open debate was more important.

Beddoes will be interviewing Bannon in New York on Sept. 15 at The Economist’s “Open Future” gathering. Some speakers at the event have cancelled because of Bannon.

Bannon, former executive chairman of right-wing Breitbart News, was chief strategist and senior counsellor to Trump until August 2017.

— with files from the Associated Press.

Paola Loriggio , The Canadian Press


Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

(PQB News file photo)
COVID-19: No public attendance or participation for Jan. 18 Parksville council meeting

Citizens can still offer feedback via email, telephone or written submissions

Town of Qualicum Beach council will charge the St. Andrews Lodge Historical and Cultural Society for power and heat for the historic lodge. (PQB News file photo)
Society to pay electric bills for historic St. Andrews Lodge in Qualicum Beach

Group will not have access to building until lease is formally signed

A unique-looking deer has been visiting a Nanoose Bay property with its mother. (Frieda Van der Ree photo)
A deer with 3 ears? Unique animal routinely visits Nanoose Bay property

Experts say interesting look may be result of an injury

The section of Highway 19A between Laburnum Road and Goodyear Road was closed to traffic due to a single vehicular accident. (DriveBC illustration)
Section of highway closed after vehicle hits pole near Qualicum Beach

Traffic disrupted for hours; two people taken to hospital

Keith the curious kitten is seen on Nov. 4, 2020 at the Chilliwack SPCA. Friday, Jan. 22, 2021 is Answer Your Cat’s Questions Day. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress file)
Unofficial holidays: Here’s what people are celebrating for the week of Jan. 17 to 23

Answer Your Cat’s Questions Day, Pie Day and International Sweatpants Day are all coming up this week

(Phil McLachlan - Capital News)
‘Targeted’ shooting in Coquitlam leaves woman in hospital

The woman suffered non-life threatening injuries in what police believe to be a targeted shooting Saturday morning

JaHyung Lee, “Canada’s oldest senior” at 110 years old, received his first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine on Thursday, Jan. 14, 2021. He lives at Amenida Seniors Community in Newton. (Submitted photo: Amenida Seniors Community)
Standardized foundation skills assessment tests in B.C. schools will be going ahead later than usual, from Feb. 16 to March 12 for students in Grades 4 and 7. (Black Press Media file photo)
B.C. teachers say COVID-affected school year perfect time to end standardized tests

Foundational skills testing of Grade 4 and 7 students planned for February ad March

Sooke’s Jim Bottomley is among a handful of futurists based in Canada. “I want to help people understand the future of humanity.” (Aaron Guillen - Sooke News Mirror)
No crystal ball: B.C. man reveals how he makes his living predicting the future

63-year-old has worked analytical magic for politicians, car brands, and cosmetic companies

A still from surveillance footage showing a confrontation in the entranceway at Dolly’s Gym on Nicol Street on Friday morning. (Image submitted)
Troublemaker in Nanaimo fails at fraud attempt, slams door on business owner’s foot

VIDEO: Suspect causes pain and damage in incident downtown Friday morning

Seasonal influenza vaccine is administered starting each fall in B.C. and around the world. (Langley Advance Times)
After 30,000 tests, influenza virtually nowhere to be found in B.C.

COVID-19 precautions have eliminated seasonal infection

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau listens to a question during a news conference outside Rideau cottage in Ottawa, Friday, January 8, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Trudeau says Canada’s COVID vaccine plan on track despite Pfizer cutting back deliveries

Canadian officials say country will still likely receive four million doses by the end of March

Jobs Minister Ravi Kahlon shared a handwritten note his son received on Jan. 13, 2021. (Ravi Kahlon/Twitter)
Proud dad moment: B.C. minister’s son, 10, receives handwritten note for act of kindness

North Delta MLA took to Twitter to share a letter his son received from a new kid at school

Most Read