Halifax legion bars group that questions immigration, multiculturalism | The Chronicle Herald

Quite a change from the Legion opposition to Sikh Canadians wearing turbans a generation ago:

A Calgary-based group with controversial views on immigration and multiculturalism is no longer allowed to host a town hall at a Royal Canadian Legion in Halifax.

The National Citizens Alliance was set to host its meeting at a legion branch in Halifax’s north end Friday evening, but the event was cancelled by the legion Thursday.

“The original booking was made by an individual for a private function. When RCL Branch 27 learned that the booking was intended as a town hall meeting for the National Citizens Alliance, the booking was cancelled,” Valerie Mitchell-Veinotte, executive director of the Nova Scotia/Nunavut Command, told Global News.

The alliance promotes the idea of “integration” of new arrivals into what it calls the “basic cultural norms of Canada” and a belief that political correctness threatens Canada’s identity and culture.

The group said Friday it had further been banned from meeting at a church hall and a Halifax hotel, and now plans to hold a rally at a downtown park.

It had also recently been banned from participating in the Annapolis Valley Apple Blossom Festival, whose organizers apologized on Sunday after the NCA walked in its parade.

“We apologize to anyone who may have felt unsafe at the Grand Street Parade because of this political party’s attendance and derogatory messaging,” organizers of the week-long festival in Kentville, N.S., said in a statement.

Stephen Garvey, leader of the NCA, said on Thursday that he rejects the characterization of the party, adding that no one in his party made hateful comments or uttered any hate speech.

Garvey added his party doesn’t tolerate racism, and argued that his organization was taking part in the parade just like other political parties were. The NCA is not an officially registered party but has committed to running candidates in the 2019 federal election.

“They’re the ones dividing people,” he said. “If we offended people, that’s their problem, not ours. As far as we’re concerned, we probably added some nice spice to the festival.”

Garvey said the group wanted to host a town hall at the Halifax legion to clear up the confusion that has plagued the group since it made headlines with its role in the apple blossom festival.

Garvey told Global News that organizers had called the legion on Thursday morning to confirm the booking.

“They had actually confirmed it with us,” Garvey said. “Then someone higher up said no.”

Among the group’s core tenets is the goal of implementing a “strong no nonsense immigration policy that puts the well-being and safety of the Canadian people first and implementing a temporary pause and substantial reduction in immigration.”

via Halifax legion bars group that questions immigration, multiculturalism | The Chronicle Herald

About Andrew
Andrew blogs and tweets public policy issues, particularly the relationship between the political and bureaucratic levels, citizenship and multiculturalism. His latest book, Policy Arrogance or Innocent Bias, recounts his experience as a senior public servant in this area.

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