Canadian Anti-Hate Network
Across cultures, the end of the year often signals a time of renewal and change. It is in this spirit that we take a look back at the stories and events that we are most proud of in 2022.
We are proud to be the only watchdog organization of its kind in Canada with a mandate to monitor and report on the far-right. In other words, we go where the threats are. The past year saw some great successes – solid investigations that outed neo-Nazi fight clubs, disrupting the attempted far-right school board takeover, and launching our education programme, and more.
We go where the threats are, and we’re just getting started.
We need to do more. We want to cover more, expose more hatemongers, and keep communities aware of threats in their backyard. Currently, we are not receiving any government funds.
We need you. If you want to stop the far-right from gaining a foothold in Canada, please support our work and help us grow and continue into 2023.
A Motorized Parade Of Conspiracies Decends On A Frigid Capital
Earlier this year, the downtown core of Ottawa was occupied for weeks, impacting residents and businesses. By now the biggest stories from that time are common knowledge. We’re proud of the part we played in ensuring that the public received important information – and context – about this event, the movement that organized it, and the convoy(s) that preceded it.
Tracking its movements from its starting points across the country, when the convoy arrived in Ottawa, we were on the ground to see how the protest developed and adjusted to the realities of occupying a large part of the city’s downtown. As the event dragged on, we spoke with residence and businesses impacted by the constant unwelcome presence disrupting their lives.
We continue to track and report on the movement that spawned the convoy. Many of the people and figures involved did not start their activism on the streets of Ottawa, and have not left the scene since.
White Only Active Clubs A Recruiting Front For Hammerskin Nation
In April, we uncovered a neo-Nazi fitness club networking with Canada’s White Lives Matter – and operating as a recruiting front for one of the world’s oldest, largest, and most violent neo-Nazi networks.
While the concept began with American neo-Nazi Robert Rundo, our investigation revealed that not only are the appropriately named Active Clubs setting up across the country, in Canada, they are being run by the Vinland Hammerskins, the northern branch of the Hammerskin Nation – reportedly the largest skinhead organization in the world. Members of the HSN have been linked to numerous acts of violence and murder, but make efforts to remain out of the public eye.
Our reporting identified several senior (and longtime) members of the Hammerskins operating in Canada.
Since this time, the Active Clubs have continued to grow, and one member recently branched out internationally to their “brothers” in Europe.
The Attempted Far-Right Municipal Election Takeover
Ontario, British Columbia, Manitoba, Northwest Territories, Yukon, and PEI saw municipal elections in late 2022. Following in the footsteps and influence of the United States, many far right and radical right networks attempted to stack school boards and civic governments.
We uncovered dozens of activists committed to advocating against 2SLGBTQ+ inclusion and anti-racist education initiatives. Many, but not all of the far-right candidates, lost their run for office. Much of their failure is due to local, grassroots organizing and campaigning from groups and people dedicated to safe, inclusive schools for all children.
Tips from community members, and our own mandate to act as a watchdog, allowed for us to expose as many people who promote hateful ideas as possible. We wish we could have done more. You can read our reporting on the school board races across British Columbia, Manitoba, and Ontario here.
Importantly, the far-right showed they are very organized and networked within both large and smaller groups.
Next year, other provinces are set to face municipal elections. We need your help to ensure that candidates who take harmful positions are held accountable.
Our Education Programme Is Well-Received
One of our proudest moments of 2022 was officially launching our education programme, Confronting and Preventing Hate in Canadian Schools.
The goal of the Confronting and Preventing Hate in Canadian Schools programme is to help school professionals, parents, and all adults invested in the wellbeing of youth, in establishing around the young people in their lives, a fence of protection against racist, gendered, and anti-2SLGBTQ+ harassment and violence. When used by caring adults in their community, this toolkit and accompanying workshops will help when children and youth are being groomed and recruited by white supremacists, and other purveyors of hate, before situations turn violent
Our resources are not limited to school professionals. In addition to working with educators, we also delivered a variety of workshops to community stakeholders in fighting hate, including museum professionals, labour conferences, and concerned community organizations across Canada.
Neo-Nazi Paralegal Exposed
When we first reported on Everett Field and exposed him as neo-Nazi paralegal Red Serge in 2020, we also filed a complaint with the Law Society of Ontario. We weren’t entirely sure what the outcome would be. Initially, he was investigated for engaging in discriminatory/racist/misogynist conduct, engaging in incivility, and engaging in conduct that was otherwise dishonourable.
However, in the end, the tribunal didn’t deal with any of that. Instead, they found him liable for lying to LSO investigators about his identity as Red Serge.
“Between February and August of 2021, the Respondent misled the Law Society during its investigation into his identity as ‘Red Serge,’ the LSO wrote, “by falsely denying this identity and any awareness of the fora or activities in which ‘Red Serge’ engaged, and thereby failed to act with integrity.”
On November 10, 2022 we reported that the LSO ordered a 4-month suspension and a fine of $3,000, as well as participation in diversity training.
We are frustrated that his neo-Nazi activities were not considered in the decision. Reporting from the Hamilton Spectator included further comments from the LSO ruling that, had they known about Field’s Red Serge identity in 2019 when he applied for licensing, “it would likely have triggered an inquiry into his good character.”
The punishment is a slap on the wrist, but now he can’t operate in secret anymore. The community is aware of who Everett Field is, and that’s what matters.
Travis Patron Finally Catches a Conviction
In October, the embattled former leader of the overtly neo-Nazi Canadian Nationalist Party, Travis Patron, was finally convicted of a hate crime.
Patron was charged with the Willful Promotion of Hate, under s. 319(2) of the Criminal Code of Canada for a 2019 video “Beware the Parasitic Tribe,” calling for Jews to be “removed once and for all” from Canada.
The Canadian Anti-Hate Network filed a complaint against Patron for the video on June 26, 2019. It took the RCMP over 600 days before finally filing charges.
At the time, Patron claimed the video was not about Jews. We knew better.
“Unless you self-identify with the accusations in the video, then it doesn’t concern you. But if you choose to be offended by it, ask yourself why? Is it wrong for Canada to rid itself of a parasitic relationship that has only served to suck us dry?”
While denying accusations of racism, his previous platform suggests otherwise.
The official website for the Canadian Nationalist Party – which is currently blank – welcomed visitors with the word “Ethnostate” in large capital letters.
Patron also has a social media history of supporting “historical revisionism,” a euphemism for Holocaust denial, liking posts quoting Hitler, and promoting the writings of Quebec fascist Adrian Arcand – a Nazi supporter who was arrested and interned during WWII.
He has posted a video giving a Nazi or Roman salute, and published a flyer with the transcript of the first antisemitic video.
“The people we speak of are not truly 'Jews,’” the flyers read. “They are liars and deceivers attempting to shield themselves from criticism using a false identity. Let us be aware and expose them for what they are: a tribe of parasites.”