Canadian Anti-Hate Network
Source: Landon Parenteau/Unsplash (left), Brian Paré’s Facebook account (right)
A Quebec man who repeatedly posted online accusing the government of starting forest fires is facing 16 charges for allegedly setting a series of fires and is expected to plead guilty in January.
Brian Paré, a 37-year-old from Chibougamau, QC, has been accused of setting multiple wildfires. Arrested on September 7, 2023, investigators with the provincial police force Sûreté du Québec initially only named two fires — a wildfire and another blaze started at a fishing hut. These alleged arsons took place between July 8 and September 5, 2023.
“It was through complex and specific investigation techniques that the Sûreté du Québec was able to trace back to the suspect,” police said in a translated statement on September 7. “However, the Major Crimes Investigation Division is still in the process of determining whether or not the fires in the suspect led to the evacuations of the residents of Chibougamau in the early summer of 2023.”
Since then additional charges have been added for alleged crimes dating back to May 2023. Two of the charges are for breaking and entering and being a public nuisance, the remaining 14 relate to other accusations of arson.
According to the Journal de Montreal, the first two fires in Paré’s case were allegedly set on May 29, in the Chibougamau region. A dozen other fires followed between May 31 and September 5.
Paré is not believed to be responsible for the large blaze that resulted in an evacuation of Chibougamau, a municipality of 7,300 people, on June 6. His actions allegedly did contribute to another blaze where residents were also required to flee, according to Radio Canada.
This same blaze resulted in Paré being charged for knowingly endangering the lives of the region's inhabitants. If convicted on this charge, he could face up to life in prison.
Prosecutors have said there will be no new charges in Paré’s case.
During the time Paré is accused of committing the string of arsons, he was active on social media platforms accusing the Government of Canada of starting wildfires across the country during 2023. Yan Boulanger, a research scientist at the Canadian Forest Service and Natural Resources Canada told author Monica Zurowski that 2023 saw “the most devastating fire season in recent memory, by far.”
“Our government and elite want it to burn,” Paré wrote in a June 26 Facebook post, translated from French by Google. “Not complicated. Since 2020, we are in a conspiracy of the new world order of 2030.”
He added, “it's better to be a conspirator than to be their accomplice in this ultra-evil plan. And for those who are skeptical, well go see all the new laws that have been put in place since 2020 and strangely are all in line with it.”
While often posting support for firefighters — calling them heroes — as well as volunteers pitching in with local fire departments to extinguish hotspots, he bemoaned a lack of rain, saying, “it's NASA who controls the weather and our famous elites.”
In one video shared by Paré, a helicopter hovers over a smoking forest. Red fire retardant material is visible across the ground over a break in the treeline. The aircraft drops what appears to be fire from a container hanging from a line below the helicopter.
“This is happening in Canada,” he captioned the August 26 post. “When I say climate change does not exist but invented and manufactured by our governments and their elite of the United Nations of the World Economic Forum and the WHO for their new world order of 2030.”
By this time, police allege that Paré had already set multiple fires.
Screenshot of a Facebook post made by Brian Paré on August 26, 2023. Source: Facebook
Another video of BC wildfires drew similar speculation in September. The technique is called “controlled ignition” and is used by firefighters to create a “firebreak” and separate the fires from the fuel they require to continue burning.
Far from the only conspiracy embraced on his social media, Paré also made posts about chemtrails, the 15-minute city conspiracy theory, and many others. Paré was given a psychiatric evaluation where he was determined to be capable of standing trial, according to Le journal de Montreal.
Paré’s lawyer did not respond to a request for comment by time of publication. If a response is received we will update accordingly