Former neo-Nazi, Pegida Canada official among People’s Party of Canada signatories

Vetting issues plus part of the pond the PPC fishes in:

The former leader of a U.S. neo-Nazi group, a former Soldiers of Odin member and a Pegida Canada official were among those whose signatures were submitted to Elections Canada last year to officially register the People’s Party of Canada, records show.

All three of their names appear on Elections Canada documents, obtained by Global News, that confirmed a minimum of 250 party members had signed membership declarations. The forms were required to obtain party status for the PPC and its leader, Maxime Bernier.

The Canadian Anti-Hate Network said the revelation that the party’s founding members included associates of extreme far-right, anti-immigrant groups should be grounds for removing Bernier from the televised election debates.

“These people speak to who is really excited about the People’s Party of Canada and who got in on the ground floor,” said Evan Balgord, the anti-hate group’s executive director. “It’s become impossible to separate the PPC from this kind of white-supremacist ideology.”

To register as an official political party, the PPC had to submit the names of at least 250 members to the chief electoral officer. Each member had to then sign an Elections Canada “confirmation” form verifying they had signed a membership declaration.

A spokesperson for Elections Canada said the process was meant to ensure that parties applying to register met all requirements under the Canada Elections Act.

“The Act is agnostic when it comes to ideology or platform,” Natasha Gauthier said in an email. “There is no mechanism allowing the Chief Electoral Officer to reject an application solely based on ideology.”

Under Canada Elections Act, parties do not have to disclose information about former or pending criminal backgrounds or investigations regarding those involved with the party, she said.

Released to Global News by Elections Canada, the forms list Shaun Walker among the PPC’s signatories. Walker, who now lives in St. Catharines, Ont., once led the National Alliance and was convicted in Utah over his role in a conspiracy to intimidate minorities.

U.S. prosecutors called the National Alliance a “U.S.-based white supremacist group.”

“Although it purports to be non-violent, the National Alliance is generally recognized as a group that condones and promotes the use of violence to achieve racial separatism,” prosecutors wrote.

The party cut its ties with Walker last month after his past involvement in the white nationalist movement came to light. While his position in the PPC was unclear at the time, the Elections Canada forms disclose his role in registering the party.

Walker did not respond to requests for comment. But in a message obtained by Global News last month, he said he was “innocent” of the U.S. charges and was “framed.”

The PPC submitted 489 membership declarations when it applied to register as a party. Elections Canada accepted 485 of them as “valid.” Of those, 314 members later signed confirmation forms, exceeding the 250 required for registration.

Among them was Janice Bultje, who is active in Pegida Canada and a group called Fighting Hate in Canada. Pegida, whose slogan is “Patriots of Canada against the Islamization of the West,” denies it is a white-supremacist group.

“As a founding member of both Pegida Canada and Fighting Hate in Canada, I believe in the importance of having a government that keeps the separation between church and state and fights hate regardless its origin, from the far-right to the far-left,” Bultje responded when asked why she had agreed to serve as one of the signatories during the registration of the PPC.

The Canadian Anti-Hate Network describes Pegida as an anti-Muslim group and says that while it isn’t militant or physically dangerous, Pegida’s rallies often attract more violent far-right groups.

Another signatory was Justin L. Smith, who was formerly active in the Soldiers of Odin. When reached by Global News, Smith confirmed his past involvement in Soldiers of Odin but said he had not been active in the group for “quite a long time.”

The Sudbury Star reported that Smith was president of the Soldiers of Odin in Sudbury as recently as September 2017. Smith said the local group kept that name and logo after splitting away from the Finland organization because it was too costly to remake.

“We are not racists or anti-anyone,” Smith told the Star.

Smith confirmed he was one of the PPC members whose signatures were submitted to register the party and that he was the financial agent for Kevin M. Klerks, the People’s Party candidate for the Huron-Bruce riding in Ontario.

“His activities with the People’s Party of Canada, according to the document you provided dated 2018 and since, are not connected to nor affiliated with the Soldiers of Odin organization in any way,” Klerks said in an email, calling him an “honest and respectful individual.”

“We have discussed his past involvement with the [Soldiers of Odin] organization. I am sorry to disappoint you but there is no story here.”

Source:  Former neo-Nazi, Pegida Canada official among People’s Party of Canada signatories

The Legion tells neo-Nazis to get lost

I remember the stories about Sikh veterans being discriminated by the Legion:

An extreme right political group whose supporters were involved in recent punch-ups at Toronto and Hamilton Pride events held its last meeting in a Legion hall, the Royal Canadian Legion said Wednesday.

The group held a meeting in the Redvers, Sask., branch earlier this month to announce an update on its efforts to register as a political party for the October election.

Party leader Travis Patron thanks the Legion at the beginning of a video uploaded to YouTube. “Welcome. Thank you for coming. And also thank you to the Legion who is hosting us here today.”

Chad Wagner, executive director for Saskatchewan Command of the Legion, said Wednesday that the local Legion branch didn’t realize what kind of group they were hosting and it won’t happen again. “We contacted the branch and put an end to it,” he said. “It violates our anti-hate policy. They simply just didn’t know who these guys were. When they found out, started listening to what these guys talk about, they didn’t want them there anymore.”

The legion implemented a new anti-hate policy earlier this month after the Soldiers of Odin held an April event at the Grande Prairie branch.

The Canadian Nationalist Party advocates for lower immigration levels and policies to favour Canadians who have been here for generations, which critics say is code for a neo-Nazi agenda. A video posted to YouTube in May shows a man wearing a Canadian Nationalist Party T-shirt and a red MAGA hat burning a Koran. It was posted by Rise Canada, an anti-Islamic group. In another recent video uploaded to YouTube, Patron speaks at length about “the parasitic tribe.”

Although Patron doesn’t name the tribe, it’s clear that he’s talking about Jews, says Bernie Farber, chair of the Canadian Anti-Hate Network.

“They certainly espouse neo-Nazi ideology. It is so obvious anti-semetic trope. It’s the exact type of thing that Hitler and his henchmen used in the late 30s when they tried to demonize Jews.”

Farber is unhappy that the party is on its way to becoming an official political party.

In the video, Patron says the party has almost collected the 250 names required to officially register and put candidates’ names on ballots.

“I can confirm that we received an application to register as a new party on April 17 from the Canadian Nationalist Party,” said Elections Canada spokeswoman Natasha Gauthier.

The group first applied last year but didn’t have enough names. Patron has expressed confidence that he will get enough names this time.Elections Canada says there is nothing in the act to prevent the registration of a party based on its ideology.

Farber says he would like to see the law changed to prevent anti-democratic parties from registering, as is the case in Germany, because of the tax advantages that official parties enjoy. Donors to political parties get tax credits of up to 75 per cent.

“This idea that they could become a political party is a horror story and it should put everybody in fear of the future,” he said.  “Why? Because they can now issue tax receipts. The state, our country, will be funding a white-supremecist, a neo-Nazi-enabling organization.”

On Tuesday, Patron complained about media coverage of his party’s involvement in violent incidents. “The people who run the media propaganda machine have a vested interest in seeing us fail. We will not, but rather expose them as the maggot infestation they represent. #CanadaFirst”

Source: The Legion tells neo-Nazis to get lost