Gus Stefanis is a longtime fixture on the far-right protest scene, appearing most recently alongside White Lives Matter in Ontario. Now he’s taken the reins of the neo-Nazi Canadian Nationalist Party.
Canadian Anti-Hate Network
As the founder of the overtly neo-Nazi Canadian Nationalist Party sits in jail awaiting trial, one long-time white power figure has taken over the party.
Gus Stefanis is now listed as the official leader of the Canadian Nationalist Party, according to the Elections Canada website. According to a brand new Facebook page started on August 25 (the same day the CNP Facebook page was reinstated), Stefanis is running in the federal election in the riding of Scarborough-Guildwood. He ran in the same riding in 2019, securing 88 votes.
While attempting to be more presentable than the former party leader, Travis Patron, Stefanis’ candidacy and leadership of the CNP -- whose now-defunct website advertised its platform of forming an "Ethnostate "in large block letters -- signals they are aiming for a return.
“I am the new leader,” Stefanis said over the phone when reached for comment. “I hope to take [the party] in a more politically correct direction.”
Denying claims of being a “white nationalist,” he asserted that he was “prowhite,” categorizing the Canadian Anti-Hate Network’s previous reporting as slander, pointing to a person of colour who previously ran for the party in Quebec as an example. However, the same candidate posted a friendly interview with a Holocaust denier. His inclusion into the party was not well received by its members at the time.
Patron’s announcement of the candidacy -- as well as a statement clarifying that the party still prioritizes white people over minorities -- upset some members of their web forum, and appeared to contribute to the resignation of the forum moderator.
Gus Stefanis previously attempted to fundraise for a lawsuit against CAHN, our executive director, and the Government of Canada.
Despite these claims, Stefanis confirmed on that phone that he is a participant in the White Lives Matter protests in Toronto. While these protests have yet to draw more than five people at one time, Stefanis is the only one to appear unmasked. Photos of him at these events appear on public social media channels for both him and WLM.
A video recently posted to Stefanis’ personal Facebook page also features an excerpt from William Luther Pierce, author of The Turner Diaries and Hunter, both incredibly influential books in the international white power movement. (The former is often credited as part of the inspiration behind the Oklahoma City bombing perpetrated by Timothy McVeigh that killed 168 people in 1995.)
A January 2020 video posted to YouTube titled “Join Patriot Gus” uses footage of a man identified as Andre Chiasson wearing a Canadian Nationalist Party sweater while burning a copy of the Quran and then throwing the book on the ground. The profile image and name used by the channel is the same used by Stefanis across various social media accounts. Recent videos include footage of him speaking during WLM protests.
Footage of Andre Chiasson holding a burning copy of the Quran in a video posted to Stefanis’’ YouTube Channel.
Another video of Stefanis, posted in January 2021, refers to a Scarborough by-election as “The Great Replacement by-election,” when he proceeds to point out that the large number of Asian candidates means the “great replacement is real,” referencing a white nationalist conspiracy theory that the replacement of white Canadians is part of a larger plot to eliminate the race.
After joining a public chat of an overtly neo-Nazi Telegram chat on July 17, 2020, Stefanis, posting as "Gus Smith," confirmed he is a member of and promoted the CNP. He also promoted neo-Nazi Kevin Goudreau's Canadian Nationalist Front, and pointed to a picture of the group’s antisemitic postering as his reason for being there.
This is far from the only time Stefanis has spouted antisemitic talking points. Other instances include him replying to Hindu nationalist Ron Banerjee’s complaints about Chinese Canadians: "Can you think of another ethnic group that has lots of money and most are heads of media, entertainment and banking but you're not allowed to talk about them? If not then you're politically correct and a fake patriot!"
When Banerjee asked if this group was responsible for creating a "mass pandemic," Stefanis suggested the COVID-19 crisis was a Jewish plot, responding "Maybe it did... Maybe it did."
Notably, William John Beattie, founder of the now-defunct Canadian Nazi Party also endorsed Stefanis on his Facebook page. Stefanis liked the post, and later encouraged Beattie to become involved in the election.
“Legal risks must be taken, whatever approach, or we are finished. Chances must be taken on/with individuals one by one basis according to chosen approach. Gus has a good approach for newbies, with the WLM and It's OK To Be White, etc,” Beattie wrote.
Stefanis is also a supporter of James Sears, the editor of the neo-Nazi newspaper Your Ward News who was found guilty for promoting hatred towards women and Jews. Photos show Stefanis appearing outside of the courtroom during the course of the trial.
The CNP also wants to establish a paramilitary force, create their own court system and tribunal, "revise if not repeal ... the Bill of Rights and Charter of Rights and Freedoms," and bring in the death penalty for people they say are guilty of treason. They have attracted hardcore neo-Nazis with criminal histories like Bill Noble, a former member of the Aryan Guard.
The party has also threatened that they will “pursue alternative methods of implementing the political change we desire” if they are not electorally successful.
In what appears to be the party’s own recording of an interview with the CBC, formerly hosted on the CNP website, Patron claims the media has misrepresented its policy positions and members are being targeted. The organization also gives space on the same page to define itself as “pro-British,” and “anti-Zionist.”
Promotional image of Travis Patron and Gus Stefanis for the CNP.
While claiming in the interview that accusations against the party being a hate group are unfounded or hypocritical, it makes its policy positions clear as firmly acting in the interests of Christian European Canadians, working towards the development of Canada as a white ethnostate.
“We advocate for ethnocentricity because we believe any political stance is rooted in identity. That is, the unifying factor of a country is understood to be a common tradition, lineage, and language,” the About section of the group’s site reads. “In 1971, 97% of Canada’s population was of European-descent. In 2019, this number now stands at a diminished 64%. Therefore, we demand this demographic change (an agenda put forth by Pierre Trudeau and accelerated by Justin Trudeau) be discontinued immediately.”
Prior to his arrest, in 2020 Patron made numerous posts to the old CNP Facebook page looking to recruit “Roman salute people.” He was later photographed giving the salute in front of a government building.
The CNP website went offline around the time Travis Patron was taken into custody. There appears to be no replacement at this time.
Other policy positions previously listed include the “withdraw from the 1969 Convention relating to the status of refugees,” “revise if not repeal legislation such as the Bill of Rights and the Charter of Rights and Freedoms,” and “repeal the Multiculturalism Act of 1988, Immigration and Refugee Protection Act (IRPA), the Employment Equity Act, Bill 69, and revoke Motion-103 Anti-Islamophobia,” as well as the plan to establish a “Monarchical policy” that would establish a national decision making authority “above the democratic system.”