By: Tim Kitz/EditorialAs we contemplate the shocking (yet unsurprisingly) fascistic mob attack on the US Congress, it’s easy for Canadians to feel a giddy mixture of horror and relief. At least it couldn’t happen here, right? Well… actually…
As former Alberta NDP chief of staff Brian Topp pointed out in the wake of Capitol Hill riot, rightwing conspiracy theorists already regularly threaten democratically-elected politicians in Canada.
This threat is also starting to translate into real action. Remember Corey Hurren, the Canadian reservist who drove from Manitoba to crash through the gate to the PM’s residence — armed with multiple guns — to stop Trudeau from turning Canada into a “communist dictatorship”?
Canadian vigilante militias have patrolled Canadian cities and borders, surveilled mosques, provided ‘security’ at rightwing protests, and trained for a war they’re anticipating.
If you pay attention, you can also see Conservative politicians playing with a Trump-like rhetoric that encourages this kind of behaviour — with a pinch of plausible deniability thrown in. The Conservative Party has accused Trudeau of “rigging the next election,” in posts they quietly took down after the Capitol Hill putsch. New Conservatice leader Erin O’Toole has made “join our fight to take Canada back” something of a mantra, as well as adapting Trump’s catchphrase into “Canada First.” Former Conservative cabinet minister and leadership candidate Chris Alexander denounced NDP premier Rachel Notley in a speech, then smiled and nodded as a crowd in Edmonton chanted “lock her up.” Randy Hillier, a formerly Conservative but now independent provincial MP, has comparing the pandemic to a bad flu season and used his official website to peddle conspiracy theories like “COVID is being exploited as a Trojan horse to advance the CCP [Chinese Communist Party] agenda around the world.”
Things are a lot less restrained when it comes to private individuals on the internet. Online, Canadians are world-leading trolls. We’re the most active nationality per capita (beating out the US and UK) on a number white supremacist and fascist online forums, according a report on online right-wing extremism in Canada by the Institute for Strategic Dialogue.
These keyboard warriors are more than just talk, however. In the last five years, an array of right-wing militias and vigilante groups like the Northern Guard, Three Percenters, and Stormfront have become active and patrolled Canadian cities and borders, surveilled mosques, provided ‘security’ at rightwing protests, and trained for a war they’re anticipating.
These toxic ideologies have already inspired acts of mass murder and mayhem — and a few near-misses:
- On January 29, 2017, Alexandre Bissonnette opened fire in a mosque in Quebec City, killing 6 and wounding 19 others. He was a supporter of Donald Trump, Marine Le Pen, and Ben Shapiro.
- On April 23, 2018, Alek Minassian drove a van into multiple pedestrians, killing 10 and injuring 16. He was a self-proclaimed incel, a self-pityingly misogynist group prone to fantasies of nihilistic violence to avenge sexual rejection. (They want to kill people because they’re virgins.)
- On January 16, 2020, Patrik Jordan Matthews was arrested in Maryland as he planned an imminent mass shooting with two other members of the Base, a neo-Nazi accelerationist hate group. Matthews was a Canadian Forces reservist and a trained explosives expert, who went underground and travelled to the US after being outed in Winnipeg.
- On September 18, 2020, Guilherme Von Neutegem was charged with the murder of Mohamed-Aslim Zafis, the caretaker of local mosque in Toronto. Zafis had his throat slit — something probably connected to the stabbing murder of Rampreet Singh a few days and metres away. Von Neutegem is a member of the Order of Nine Angles, an actual Nazi Satanic cult who advocates rape and human sacrifice to channel magical energies — which will help bring about a galactic Aryan Imperium that will colonize the Milky Way.
- On December 16, Toronto Police raided the apartment of Daniel Dubajic, an anti-mask conspiracist and anti-semitic defender of Hitler. Dubajic had $18 million of drugs and 65 guns, including an Uzi submachine, eight long guns, some banned over-capacity magazines, and over 15,000 rounds of ammunition. Fortunately, police figure he was just going to sell the guns to local gang members.
Not depressed yet? Here: given our current cultural trajectory, there will be more of this sort of thing.
Canada is also supplying an impressive number of reactionary online influencers and thought leaders who sugarcoat white supremacy, the alt-right, alt-light, the new misogyny, and crypto-fascism of all kinds. Here’s a list of these influencer über-creeps that we’ve put together here at the Leveller:
- Gavin McInnes, pioneer of modern hipster culture at Vice and creator of fascistic street thugs the Proud Boys
- Stefan Molyneux, “anarcho-capitalist” pseudo-therapist, amplifier of “scientific racism,” manosphere podcaster and ex-youtuber
- Jordan Peterson, transphobic defender of of the “male dominance hierarchy,” who lives in fear of cultural feminazi-Marxism and thinks the “cure” for incel violence is “enforced monogamy”
- Lauren Southern and Faith Goldy, alt-right “journalists,” cool girls, and advocates of the white genocide conspiracy theory
- Stephen Crowder, conservative cyberbullying “comedian,” one-time abstinence columnist for Fox News, “change my mind” meme-daddy
- Ezra Levant, far-right Islamaphobe who initially platformed several of these figures on Rebel Media, a media source so poisonous its co-founder and Sun Media alum Brian Lilly quit after its Charlottesville-friendly coverage, denouncing its “lack of editorial and behavioural judgment that left unchecked will destroy it and those around it”
- Alexis Cossette-Trudel, leading QAnon influencer in the francophone sphere, who just wants to tell the truth about how “everyone around Justin Trudeau is bathed in pedophilia” but that Trump the hero will save us, etc.
So, even as we keep an eye on the dumpster fire of American politics, those of us north of the border need to face facts. Despite Canadians’s reputation for niceness, we’re actually world leaders in hatred.
If you are or someone you know are going down a dark path, we encourage you to check out Life After Hate, and the stories of people like Caleb Cain, Derek Black, and TM Garret. Also, go check out the videos of Contrapoints — they’re fun and subversive and some have called her the alt-right whisperer. Finally, “The Alt-Right Playbook: How to Radicalize a Normie” by Innuendo Studios is still the most insightful take on online radicalization that we know of.