FACT CHECK: Did Calgary Mayor Naheed Nenshi Testify Under Oath That COVID-19 Isn’t Real?
An image shared on Facebook claims Calgary, Canada, Mayor Naheed Nenshi admitted under oath in court that COVID-19 is a hoax.
There is no evidence Nenshi gave this testimony.
Nenshi has served as mayor of Calgary, a large city in Canada’s Alberta province, since 2010, according to his “About” page on the Calgary government’s website. The city announced on Aug. 20 that it was pushing back the scheduled date for city employees to return to their offices from Sept. 15 to Oct. 20 due to an increase in COVID-19 cases in Alberta.
The image in the Facebook post shows supposed “testimony taken from the mayor of Calgary” when he was under oath at an unspecified court in the city. The purported transcript shows a lawyer asking Nenshi whether he’d been given evidence justifying his actions in response to COVID-19 and if COVID-19 was “real,” to which the mayor allegedly responded, “No.” Nenshi then supposedly said that he followed through with those actions “because orders came from higher up, from the office of Federal Government” and that he was told to “just go with it and the money will be flowing.”
The image also attempts to suggest Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is trying to ensure the supposed testimony’s erasure or redaction from records. (RELATED: Does This Video Show People Posing As COVID-19 Fatalities ‘For The News’?)
There is, however, no evidence the pictured testimony is authentic. It cannot be found in any judgements from the Alberta Court of Appeal, Court of Queen’s Bench or Provincial Court published on the Canadian Legal Information Institute website. Canadian news outlets such as the Calgary Herald, CBC News and Global News also haven’t reported about Nenshi testifying to the effect in the image or saying COVID-19 is a hoax.
“We can confirm that this is a fake testimony that never happened,” the Calgary Mayor’s Office told Check Your Fact in an email.
Nenshi’s publicly-expressed views on pandemic-related rules do not indicate that he believes the COVID-19 virus is fake. For instance, after Alberta announced that required isolation for people infected with COVID-19 and other rules would remain in place through Sept. 27, Nenshi stated that he was “pleased that the provincial government has listened to the scientists, the doctors, the teachers, the parents, and above all, the data,” according to the Calgary Herald.
On Aug. 13, he encouraged Calgary residents to get vaccinated against COVID-19, retweeting a post from the Calgary Public Library regarding a mobile vaccine clinic. He wrote in his retweet, “Today! Great opportunity to get your first or second jab! Free, drop in, right next to City Hall train station.”
Nenshi has also posted about wearing face coverings and getting COVID-19 vaccines on his Instagram account.