Green Party calls for national inquiry into possible white supremacist infiltration of Canadian law enforcement agencies

June 04, 2020

OTTAWA – The Green Party of Canada calls on the federal government to open a national inquiry into whether white supremacist and far-right groups have infiltrated Canadian law enforcement agencies.

“Events in the United States have highlighted that police brutality against black people, other racial minorities and even journalists is far too frequent and wholly unacceptable,” said Green parliamentary leader Elizabeth May (MP, Saanich-Gulf Islands). “That violence has been exacerbated by rhetoric from Donald Trump that has, since 2016, emboldened white supremacists. His recent comments have increased the risk of violence.

“With Prime Minister Trudeau accepting the hard reality that racism persists in Canada, it is essential that we hold a full inquiry to determine to what extent white supremacist organizations are infiltrating our own law enforcement agencies and the Canadian Armed Forces.

“In 2006, the FBI warned that white supremacist groups were urging members to become police officers to blend in and covertly advance their racist cause,” said Ms. May. “That 2006 warning from the FBI appears to have been ignored. We cannot afford to ignore the threat. If indeed, white supremacists are joining the police forces and the military it would explain why we are seeing more acts of violence and killings of black men and women perpetrated by law enforcement officers, few of whom face charges. Indigenous people in Canada are also disproportionately experiencing violence, and even death, at the hands of law enforcement.

“CSIS has confirmed that there are white supremacist groups in Canada. We need to recognize them for the terrorists that they are. If there is one thing worse than a white supremacist with a gun, it’s a white supremacist with a gun and in uniform.”

In 2019, the Liberal government added two international neo-Nazi groups to Canada’s list of outlawed terrorist organizations as part of a series of new measures to combat online hate. A 2019 study conducted by Universite de Montreal criminologist Massimiliano Mulone, Universite du Quebec, Montreal sociologist Victor Armory and Mariam Hassaoui, a sociologist from Universite TELUQ, found “systemic bias” by Montreal police, but stopped short of saying that officers were engaged in racial profiling.

Green caucus justice critic Jenica Atwin, (MP, Fredericton) said: “It’s terrifying to think of police entities harbouring white supremacists, especially knowing what we know about over representation of black and Indigenous people in the prison system, and how many die during police interventions.

“Hate must be weeded out. We need systemic restructuring to vet for white supremacy, along with misogyny and xenophobia. And these attitudes must be denounced by all leaders including the President of the United States.”

“There’s no reason to think that Canadian law enforcement agencies, or armed forces personnel, are immune to infiltration,” said Green Party Interim Leader Jo-Ann Roberts.”Earlier this year we learned that former Canadian Forces engineer Patrik Matthews had been arrested by the FBI on firearms charges and was accused of being a member of a violent neo-Nazi group. A full inquiry would be a proactive step to ensure this is not happening here, and at the same time, help to provide Canadians in racialized communities with more confidence in our law enforcement agencies.”

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