Three things the government can do to fight far-right extremism
Comments by Prime Minister and Cabinet suggest government considering meaningful actions
April 2, 2019
Canadian Anti-Hate Network
Top left: III%ers; top right: La Meute; bottom left: Northern Guard; centre: Darren Jones, former Saskatchewan VP for the Northern Guard posing in front of Nazi flags; bottom right: the Soldiers of Odin
The Canadian government is currently considering legislation to address the problem of far-right extremism and far-right terror. While legislation is only one part of a larger solution that must include anti-racist activism, quality journalism, and social and legal consequences, we are cautiously optimistic about the prospect of any new tools to counter hate groups.
Here are three things the government can do to fight far-right extremism.
1. Bring back Section 13 of the Canadian Human Rights Act so that the worst of the worst individuals and groups can be held accountable for authoring and sharing hate content.
Section 13 made it possible for any Canadian to make a complaint to the Canadian Human Rights Commission regarding individuals or groups communicating hate online. If the CHRC found the complaint to be reasonable, it would go to the Canadian Human Rights Tribunal, a semi-judicial body which could order a cease and desist and a small fine. If the individual refused to stop, they would be in contempt of court and may face jail time.
This legal tool to address the spread of hatred was found constitutional by the Supreme Court, but removed by the Conservative government nonetheless in 2013. There are relatively few tools to address unrepentant hate propagandists in its absence.
This will only be useful if the CHRC and Tribunal are sufficiently resourced.
2. Enforce the Canadian Human Rights Act regarding social media companies
While we welcome the news that Facebook will begin removing white nationalist content from their platform in the wake of the Christchurch terrorist attack, social media companies have a demonstrated track record that they are unwilling to sufficiently self-regulate and will only act on hate if compelled by extreme public outcry or legal tools.
The Canadian Human Rights Act prohibits discrimination or harassment in the delivery of a service in Canada to members of the public.
In allowing overt racist and bigoted discrimination and harassment to exist on their platforms, social media companies provide a service that exposes some individuals to materials that dehumanize, demean, and endanger them on the basis of prohibited grounds of discrimination. Under Canadian law these companies already have an obligation to remove hate content but the Canadian Human Rights Commission has failed to enforce the law. We need to see this enforced and billion-dollar social media companies need to respect the domestic laws in Canada and other countries in which they operate.
Additional legislation introducing significant financial penalties for social media companies that fail to quickly review and remove content designed to expose a person or persons to hatred or contempt on the basis of a prohibited ground of discrimination would add teeth to this preexisting obligation.
3. The RCMP and CSIS should invest a significant amount of resources towards monitoring right-wing extremism and undertake proactive interventions in the community.
All available information suggests that the RCMP and CSIS are not investing resources to properly monitor right-wing extremism. In October 2018, a RCMP spokesperson went on record to say that the Soldiers of Odin aren’t a threat - despite evidence, including a report from the Canada Border Services Agency, which states the SOO are “not afraid to use violence to achieve objectives.”
Another spokesperson told a reporter that they don’t know who or what the Proud Boys are. CSIS stopped investigating right-wing extremism in March 2016, and only started again after the Quebec mosque shooting in January, 2017.
Former CSIS analyst Jessica Davis echoes these concerns, calling for "resources [to] be assigned proportionally and in line with those that have been assigned to combat the al-Qaeda and Islamic State terrorism threat."
On March 28, foreign affairs minister Chrystia Freeland told the UN Security Council that “neo-Nazis, white supremacists, incels, nativists, and radical anti-globalists who resort to violent acts are a threat to the stability of my country and countries around the world,” and that it "need[s] to be at the top of our agenda when we talk about confronting terrorism.”
Ralph Goodale has said more than just research needs to be done to address right-wing extremism in Canada, which may include legislation targeting social media companies.
The Prime Minister acknowledged that right-wing extremist, white nationalist and neo-Nazi terrorist groups are “alive in Canada” in his remarks following the Christchurch terrorist attack.
Several media reports, including those by the Calgary Herald and Toronto Star, have reported on the Yellow Vests Canada Convoy, also calling itself 'United We Roll', without making any reference to the overt racism and death threats which have come to characterize the movement.
In response the Canadian Anti-Hate Network sent a press release to every newsroom in Canada. We hope this will contribute to more factual reporting on the movement and convoy as it continues towards Ottawa, arriving on February 19th.
Important context about the Yellow Vests Canada (YVC) convoy, aka ‘United We Roll’
For immediate release
February 14, 2019
• Convoy organizer Glen Carritt says his group still “identifies with the yellow vests” and are welcoming them to the convoy. YVC organizer Tyler Malenfant calls it a Yellow Vests convoy on their main Facebook page.
• The organizers of the convoy express support for anti-Muslim hate groups including Canadian Combat Coalition, Soldiers of Odin, and Worldwide Coalition Against Islam.
• The rebrand from a Yellow Vests Convoy to ‘United We Roll’ is diverting attention from the overt racism and death threats that have come to characterize the Yellow Vests Canada movement. We, Yellow Vests Canada Exposed and Anti-Racist Canada have documented hundreds of examples.
• The hate is mostly directed at Muslims, left-leaning individuals, government, media, and, occasionally, law enforcement. They share conspiracy theories such as: Muslims are behind the Fort McMurray wildfire so they could build a super-mosque. Oil and economic concerns are an issue, but not their primary concern.
• The Yellow Vests movement has been entirely co-opted by the far-right including most extreme anti-Muslim groups in Canada. Their rallies are attended by neo-Nazis like Paul Fromm and Brian Ruhe. Faith Goldy, a self-proclaimed propagandist for the alt-right neo-Nazi movement, spoke at the first Toronto rally and promotes the convoy on Twitter.
• Tony Green, a YVC supporter, was arrested on January 28th after allegedly pointing a firearm at an off-duty RCMP officer. They seized over 100 guns and explosive materials from his house.
• Gregory McNeil, who made death threats towards law enforcement on the YVC page, was sentenced to over five years in prison after pulling a weapon on RCMP officers in 2010. The RCMP found a hidden room full of illegal weapons at his house.
• Yellow Vests Canada represents a public safety threat, according to a briefing note authored by the Canadian Association for Security & Intelligence Studies – Vancouver.
• For more, please see
This context is important. Thank you.
For more information:
Using a wire service to send this news release across Canada cost the Canadian Anti-Hate Network $520. If you agree that this was a worthwhile effort, please consider helping us recoup that cost by giving at antihate.ca/donate.
Correction 2019-02-19: We originally reported that Faith Goldy "held" the first Toronto rally. In fact she was a speaker. We regret the error. Goldy continues to promote the Yellow Vests Canada movement and convoy.
James Sears and Leroy St Germaine have been found guilty of wilfully promoting hatred towards women and Jews. What follows are key passages from the 11 June 2018, 37-page expert report by Professor Derek Penslar on anti-Jewish hate propaganda published by James Sears (aka Dimitrious Sarafopoulos) and Leroy St Germaine in Toronto tabloid newspaper Your Ward News.
This summary was originally published at http://www.richardwarman.ca/penslar-expert-report-on-your-ward-news-anti-jewish-hate/ by Canadian Anti-Hate Network board member and human rights lawyer Richard Warman.
The report was prepared as part of the criminal prosecution against Sears and St Germaine for the wilful promotion of hate contrary to s. 319 of the Criminal Code of Canada. The report dissects the anti-Jewish hate propaganda content of Your Ward News and places it in the historical context from which Sears and St Germaine found inspiration. Both Sears and St Germaine were found guilty and the full criminal judgment can be found here.
Penslar Report Key Excerpts:
The full 37-page Penslar Report is here.
My name is Derek Jonathan Penslar. I am the Samuel Zacks Professor of European Jewish History at the University of Toronto and a Visiting Professor of History at Harvard University. On July 1, 2018, I will assume a permanent appointment at Harvard as the William Lee Frost Professor of Modern Jewish History. I hold a B.A. in History from Stanford University, and an MA and PhD in History from the University of California at Berkeley. In addition to Toronto and Harvard, I have taught at Indiana University, Bloomington, where I was a professor of history and of Jewish studies, and at the University of Oxford, where I was the Stanley Lewis Professor of Modern Israel Studies. I have research and teaching expertise in the history of Jewish civilization, Jewish-Christian relations in medieval and modern Europe, antisemitism, the Holocaust, and the state of Israel.
As per your request, I have studied all issues of Your Ward News (hereafter, YWN) published between 2015 and Spring 2018 and have considered whether YWN’s language and imagery are antisemitic. I have read YWN against the background of my intimate familiarity with antisemitic texts and images produced in Europe, North America, and the Middle East over several centuries. My reading is also informed by a substantial body of scholarly literature on antisemitism, some of which I have authored or edited.1 Based on my reading, I have determined that YWN espouses antisemitic doctrines and that both its textual and visual representations of Jews are rooted in antisemitic concepts with a long historical pedigree. I have further determined that YWN’s antisemitic rhetoric frequently echoes or resembles language employed by neo-Nazi extremists in the United States and disseminated either in print or, more recently, via the internet.
YWN consistently expresses hatred of Jews via five distinct yet overlapping mechanisms:
1) Expressions of revulsion against the Jewish faith and its practitioners;
2) Accusations that Jews were collectively responsible for Bolshevik
atrocities in the USSR;
3) Claims of Jewish conspiracies to conquer and control humanity, especially through banking and finance;
4) Demonization of the state of Israel; and
5) Holocaust denial.
Undergirding these five forms of antisemitic expression is a consistent and explicit admiration for Nazism in general and the
German dictator Adolph Hitler in particular. Since antisemitism was a key component of German National Socialism and motivated the Nazis’ persecution and genocide of European Jewry, YWN’s emulation of Nazi Germany deepens and intensifies the various forms of Jew-hatred that the newspaper espouses.
The scope and range of conspiracies attributed by YWN to the Jews is part and parcel of modern antisemitic thinking. The classic antisemitic texts mentioned earlier in this section presented Jews as responsible for the cruelties of communism and capitalism alike, for the decline in religious observance and other rapidly changing social mores, for any form of art, literature, or cinema that they found avant-garde and distasteful, and for universalistic (as opposed to militant-nationalist) political ideologies. In neo-Nazi writings of our own day, Jews are associated with contemporary processes of social and cultural transformation, such as globalization, mass migration, racial and economic protest, feminism, and gender fluidity. In antisemitic thought, Jews are akin to a universal solvent, which eats away at any social mooring. Antisemitism’s hatred of the Jews rests in fear of what antisemites believe to be Jewish preternatural power and unshakable determination to attain global domination. In its most recent iteration, antisemitism maintains the fear of internationalism, be it governmental (e.g., the United Nations) or economic (transnational corporations).
In this report I have demonstrated linkages between YWN and a long historical legacy of antisemitic writings. YWN’s depictions of Jews are consonant with antisemitism as set out in the IHRA’s definition with which I began this report. YWN makes “mendacious, dehumanizing, demonizing, or stereotypical allegations about Jews as such or the power of Jews as a collective.” It preaches numerous myths “about a world Jewish conspiracy or of Jews controlling the media, economy, government or other societal institutions.” YWN presents the state of Israel as a point of origin of or prime beneficiary of these conspiracies. In its writings on politically-motivated persecutions in the former Soviet Union’s security services, YWN “accuses Jews as a people of being responsible for real or imagined wrongdoing committed by a single Jewish person or group, or even for acts committed by non-Jews.” YWN explicitly denies “the fact, scope, mechanisms (e.g. gas chambers) or intentionality of the genocide of the Jewish people at the hands of National Socialist Germany and its supporters and accomplices during World War II (the Holocaust).” Moreover, it “accuses the Jews as a people, or Israel as a state, of inventing or exaggerating the Holocaust. In its depictions of Jews, YWN resembles a variety of North American neo-Nazi publications that, since the 1970s, have preached antisemitism as a prominent component of a fearful, hateful, and conspiratorial world-view.
Judge rules that James Sears and LeRoy St. Germaine are guilty of two counts of wilfully promoting hate towards women and Jews.
"Sears, 55, a former doctor and pickup artist, was found guilty of promoting hatred against women and Jewish people."
One of the less offensive images from the pages of Your Ward News.
Mayor Dale Bumstead
MLA Mike Bernier
MP Bob Zimmer
Dawson Creek RCMP
We represent the Canadian Anti-Hate Network (antihate.ca), a non-profit organization which monitors hate groups and their activities in Canada. We deliver information to the public and media and we provide information and evidence to law enforcement, and have done so on several criminal investigations across Canada.
Our advisory group is made up of Canada’s leading experts on hate groups and hate crimes, including human rights lawyers, academics, journalists, court-recognized experts, and leaders in targeted communities.
We are writing you this public letter today because we are deeply concerned by reports that the Soldiers of Odin are active in your community, engaging in volunteerism and participating in civic events, seemingly with the tacit acceptance or support of some public officials.
The Soldiers of Odin are an anti-Muslim hate group. They were founded in Finland by a self-identifying neo-Nazi who has been found guilty of racially motivated assault. It’s well documented that the Canadian organization has attracted white supremacists and neo-Nazis.
Several political parties and figures in Canada have disavowed the support of the Soldiers of Odin, like the United Conservative Party in Alberta. Others have found associating with the Soldiers of Odin to be a setback to their political aspirations. There is a growing recognition of what the group represents.
The statement by the RCMP that the Soldiers of Odin are not a concern is incorrect. The Canadian Anti-Hate Network and others have documented overtly racist statements targeting Muslims and other groups, and posts celebrating or encouraging violence.
Whether the local chapter engages in these behaviours is besides the point – you wouldn’t welcome a chapter of the Ku Klux Klan in your backyard even if they were doing garbage pickups and promised never to burn a cross. By using the same name, engaging in volunteerism, and finding the tacit acceptance of prominent figures in your community, they are whitewashing the Soldiers of Odin brand Canada-wide.
We call on you to send a strong message that you do not support hate groups such as the Soldiers of Odin operating in your community, and that they will not be part of any community policing plan.
Bernie Farber, Chair
Richard Warman, Board Member
Amira Elghawaby, Board Member
Evan Balgord, Executive Director
Large coalition of far-right, anti-Muslim groups in Ottawa this weekend
They are holding a protest against the UN agreement on migration, the newest cause célèbre of the far-right
December 4, 2018
Canadian Anti-Hate Network
Top left: III%ers; top right: La Meute; bottom left: Northern Guard; centre: Darren Jones, former Saskatchewan VP for the Northern Guard posing in front of Nazi flags; bottom right: the Soldiers of Odin
On December 8th, a collection of far-right groups are going to hold a rally on Parliament Hill in Ottawa to protest against the United Nation Global Compact for Migration. The compact, which aims to promote human rights and make conditions safer for migrants, is not legally binding. However, the far-right have labeled it, among other things, a ‘suicide pact’, and have made it their cause célèbre of the past few weeks.
A petition against the Compact sponsored by Maxime Bernier and shared by far-right and alt-right neo-Nazi figures has garnered nearly 35,000 signatures, led by Ontario which has contributed 11,000.
On November 24th, Faith Goldy, a self-proclaimed propagandist for the alt-right neo-Nazi movement, held a similar, but only 40-strong, rally in Toronto. They were counter-demonstrated by an equally large crowd of anti-racist and anti-fascist demonstrators who were loud enough to ruin Goldy and her supporters’ livestream broadcasts.
Two different event pages are promoting the far-right rally on December 8th - one in English hosted by the Canadian Coalition of Concerned Citizens, and one in French hosted by representatives of several far-right and anti-Muslim groups.
One of the organizers claims to have an event permit, which would require approval by the Committee for the use of Parliament Hill.
According to the French Facebook event page, fifteen far-right groups are involved and have convened a ‘round table’ including a leader from each group. While La Meute says they aren’t organizing the event, they are arranging for transportation and sending a ‘security team’. The rally plans to include groups such as Storm Alliance, Northern Guard, the Canadian Coalition of Concerned Citizens, Le Meute, “Patriote” (likely Patriotes du Québec) and the III%ers.
All of the above groups are a regular feature of anti-Muslim demonstrations. While the anti-Muslim movement and its associated groups claim to only be critical of Islam, in both their public, but especially their private, online spaces, they have been exposed as overtly racist. Many celebrate or promote violence towards Muslims. Some, like the III%ers, are proudly militant. The III%ers are an armed militia-style group that have stockpiled weapons, conducted paramilitary training, and staked out mosques. Several groups also have ties to neo-Nazism, like the Northern Guard, an anti-Muslim group with a biker aesthetic.
Last week La Meute denied any association with Patriotes du Québec following revelations that a member of ‘Patriote’, who may also be a member of La Meute, was discussing creating “a fake terrorist attempt” to “scare the hell out of Quebecers,” according to an article in the Montreal Gazette.
La Meute spokesperson Slyvain Bouillette tells the Canadian Anti-Hate Network that several groups use the 'patriote' name and claims that, despite there being a ‘round table’ of leaders organizing together, that doesn’t constitute an endorsement of any other group.
Anti-fascist and anti-racist activists in Ottawa are planning a counter-demonstration on December 8th.
The Canadian Anti-Hate Network would like to thank a contributor from Ottawa for their help in researching and authoring this article.
Canada Post should donate the hundreds of thousands of dollars they earned delivering hate propaganda to anti-hate efforts
November 28, 2018
A relatively inoffensive image on the home page of the Your Ward News website.
Carla Qualtrough, the Minister in charge of Canada Post has issued a final order that the neo-Nazi newspaper Your Ward News can’t be sent out through Canada Post’s bulk mail program anymore.
Before the ban, Canada Post is believed to have earned hundreds of thousands of dollars to deliver Your Ward News. We are calling on Minister Carla Qualtrough and Canada Post to donate the proceeds for distributing hate propaganda to organizations that work to counter hate groups and promote equality and multiculturalism in Canada.
Your Ward News spread hatred towards women, Jews, Muslims, LGBTQ+ persons and other groups of Canadians. It encouraged raping women, compared Jews to Satan, and pictured its critics in a gas chamber. The hate propaganda was so bad, its editor and publisher were ultimately charged criminally for the wilful promotion of hate propaganda and their trial starts today in Toronto.
From March 2015 to May 2016, Canada Post delivered individual issues of Your Ward News to as many as 300,000 households in Toronto per edition.
Canada Post started receiving complaints immediately from postal workers and the community about the fact they were delivering hate propaganda. Canada Post incorrectly claimed it wasn’t their job to review mail. Your Ward News was an open newspaper and its content was self-evident from each cover. Canada Post’s own regulations bar people from using the mail to break any law and Canada Post must respect the Canadian Human Rights Act that prohibits them from discriminating against or harassing their employees or the public on the basis of race, gender, religion, sexual orientation, etc. If Canada Post had really felt their hands were tied, they could have asked the Minister to review the problem.
But Canada Post didn’t stop delivering Your Ward News voluntarily. Minister Qualtrough, had to issue an order prohibiting them from continuing. The order was then appealed by the editor and publisher of Your Ward News, triggering a lengthy Board of Review process.
The independent Board of Review was composed of two lawyers and a political science professor. While not a criminal court, they found that Your Ward News is likely criminal hate propaganda and the postal ban was justified.
While community advocacy was ultimately successful, Canada Post profited from delivering hate propaganda for sixteen months before being forced to stop. During the Board of Review process, one of the delivery contracts for Your Ward News was disclosed and indicated Canada Post was paid in excess of $40,000 to deliver one edition. While earlier editions were not as large, Canada Post delivered the paper 14 times and therefore likely earned hundreds of thousands of dollars in total.
Now, Canada Post and Minister Qualtrough have the opportunity to invest that money earned by distributing hate propaganda into efforts to fight overt hatred towards groups of Canadians.
James Sears (editor) and Leroy St. Germaine (publisher) have been charged with the wilful promotion of hate, Canadian Criminal Code S319(2). Sears is appearing in court today (November 28, 2018) at the College Park courthouse, room 508 at 10AM.
"Experts say Canadians should also be concerned about the rise of hate groups in this country. There are at minimum 130 active right-wing extremist groups across Canada according to Dr. Barbara Perry, an expert on hate crime — a 30 per cent increase from 2015.
Most of these groups are organized around ideologies against religion and race — with anti-Muslim and anti-Jewish sentiments being the most common, followed by hate against immigrants, Indigenous people, women, LGBTQ communities and other minorities.
. . .
[Evan Balgord, Executive Director of the Canadian Anti-Hate Network,] says the radicalization process happens quickly and that people typically go from consuming hate material online to organizing offline. Balgord says they are increasingly involved in mainstream politics. 'Now we’re seeing in terms of real-life organizing, they are coming out to support Faith Goldy’s campaign for mayor of Toronto. They are also excited by Maxime Bernier’s party,' he shares."
Faith Goldy is a prominent member of the alt-right movement who associates with neo-Nazis and promotes their ideology.
She is running to be Mayor of Toronto, endorsed by the alt-right neo-Nazi movement in Canada, who volunteer for her.
After a campaign by the Canadian Anti-Hate Network, Bell and Rogers made the principled decision not to run her advertisements.
Goldy took Bell to court to try to get an injunction and had her case thrown out, wasting $50,000.
The evidence that Faith Goldy is deep in the alt-right neo-Nazi movement is extensive. For example:
Goldy has said the infamous Fourteen Words on air, a neo-Nazi slogan coined by the neo-Nazi group The Order, which murdered a Jewish radio host. She continues to defend her use of the Fourteen Words.
She appeared on The Krypto Report, a neo-Nazi podcast associated with the Daily Stormer, one of the most popular alt-right neo-Nazi sites which often refers to Jews as “Hooknosed kikes” and is currently running a banner image calling itself the “#1 rape-legalization website.” The leaked style guide instructs authors that “All enemies should be combined into one enemy, which is the Jews.”
She said that the alt-right Charlottesville manifesto, including its position on the JQ (Jewish Question; that Jews don’t count as white people to the alt-right neo-Nazi movement), was well thought out.
David Duke, former Grand Wizard of the Ku Klux Klan, tweeted her video on Charlottesville.
She's called for Canada to return to being a 96% white, European country.
As a point of analysis, given the current demographics of Canada, discriminatory birth policies and ending nonwhite immigration isn't sufficient to reach a 96 per cent white country. It would require mass deportations and mass murder.
She's already been banned from the fundraising site Patreon and a number of other platforms for spreading hate.
Her activism also targets the Muslim community, and she has called for another crusade in the Middle East.
She endorsed For My Legionaries, a pro-fascist book dealing extensively with "the Jewish menace" and eliminating the Jews. (She later claimed she never read the book).
She has referred to herself as a "propaganda arm" for the alt-right movement in a livestreamed broadcast with Roosh V, an infamous misogynist.
Updated 2018-10-18 with additional information.