Canada has fascists?

I am so disappointed. Down here in the poisonous south we’ve been dreaming of Canada as the perfect utopia — the place our souls go to when we’re crushed under the heel of the neo-Nazi jackboot. Now I learn that you’re infected with alt-right assholes, too.

The five showed up to a Halifax park on Canada Day, waving an early variant of the Canadian flag, with the aim of interrupting a ceremony being held at a statue of Edward Cornwallis — the military officer who founded Halifax, but who also ordered the killings of the area’s Indigenous people.

The five say they are part of the “Proud Boys,” a small group started by far-right commentator Gavin McInnes, expressly for males who consider themselves “Western chauvinism” — a blend of sexist and white nationalist themes that have become central to the alt-right.

I hadn’t realized that transphobic, homophobic, misogynistic, racist Gavin McInnes was Canadian. You’ve got a few nasties up there, too, eh?

At least a couple of stereotypes were preserved.

The five left after roughly ten minutes, without incident, after being confronted by the larger crowd at the the statue.

Alt-righties are cowards, and Canadians can intimidate with niceness. And the Proud Boys are just weird, sick people.


  1. HappyHead says

    Harper would have been proud of them. He was the leader of the far-right christian supremacist party out west before they decided it was much more marketable to co-opt the no longer in use “Conservative” party title, to trick people into thinking they were Brian Mulroney’s old PC party. The damage he did to Canada is nowhere near what Trump’s probably going to do to the states before he’s done though. Hopefully your country will know enough to at least not give the facists a second term in office.

  2. Siobhan says

    The more a Republican idea seems to approach absurdist comedy, the more our right-wingers like the sound of it.

    To say nothing of how most of America’s foreign policy disasters received logistic and intelligence support from Canada.

    I’ll grumble more about our seemingly bulletproof PR, but it does piss me off that Canada is so well-received despite its activities. -_-

  3. prostheticconscience says

    On that last link, the comments have been brigaded by alt-righties. Apparently the no masturbation rule is linked to the idea of White Genocide. All of this is weird as shit with food coloring.

  4. says

    A request to PZ. The paragraphs from Vice you excerpted don’t make it clear that the ceremony at the statue was an indigenous ceremony of remembrance, and NOT to honor Halifax. (The Vice piece clarifies this in a paragraph below the excerpted ones.)

    Absent this clarification, it’s not coming off clearly, from what you wrote, that these Alt-Right White Supremacist arseholes went there to disrupt an Indigenous ceremony decrying their hero, Halifax.

    Please, PZ: Would you mind including, perhaps, that additional Vice paragraph in your post?

  5. emergence says

    Why would you openly call yourself a chauvinist? It’s like proudly calling yourself an asshole. Chauvinism is never a good thing.

  6. doubter says

    Sadly, we’ve had far-right groups in Canada for a long time. This book is an excellent investigation into the topic:

    These young men, all serving members of the Canadian Forces, have let themselves in for a world of hurt. Multiple flag officers and the Minister of Defence had to publicly apologize for their actions. As one commenter on Reddit said, if the Admiral of the East Coast Fleet knows your name, it had better be because you just saved a child from a burning building. Otherwise, welcome to Hell…

  7. jrkrideau says

    What the devil are those idiots doing with a Red Ensign? Clearly they have the historical knowledge of a retarded flea.

    Judging by some CBC reports this morning their little demo may have had some seriously career-limiting effects. It does not sound like the military is too impressed. And I suspect a lot of their fellow service people are not going to be too happy either. Service members tend to be sensitive to bad publicity.

    I had never heard of Gavin McInnes before but Wiki says he lives in Brooklyn continuing a long Canadian tradition of shipping the worst of the lot south. We thank the USA.

    And we certainly do have our home-grown fascists and other warped characters. You must never have encountered Ezra Levant of The Rebel. Ezra, the man who never met a lawsuit he could not lose.

    He, really, is a vile piece of work. His Sun Network hatch job on Omar Kadhr in conjunction with the amazing ignorant but very biddable psychiatrist who “evaluated’ Kadhr in Guantanamo was an amazing display of pure racism, religious intolerance and just general hatred.

    And then there was his tirade against the Roma

    Quite honestly, how he dodged a hate crime charge escapes me.

  8. blf says

    Does Canada have its own Donald Trump on the horizon? (April 2017):

    Right-wing populist candidates in Conservative party’s leadership contest are finding appeal. Canada is not immune to trends upending politics elsewhere


    Three of the most talked-about Conservative candidates running in their current leadership race (vote to take place on 27 May) appear to be appealing to base populist instincts, which has led to some movement in the polls.

    Kellie Leitch, a cabinet member in the former Conservative government, has argued for a Canadian values test for immigrants and refugees applying for Canadian residency and citizenship. […]

    Kevin O’Leary […] has all the bluster and bravado of a purported man of the people.


    Maxime Bernier, the most experienced candidate and widely perceived as the frontrunner, issued a public statement calling O’Leary a “loser”. Bernier added: “I’m a winner.” This, coming from the candidate who most closely resembles an adult.


    [… S]everal candidates in this leadership race are in a giant Trump-off, a panicked rush to see who can appeal to the lowest common denominator of the angriest, most reactionary voters.


    The contest was won by Andrew Scheer, who is not one of the three wingnuts discussed in the column. From the very little I’ve read about him, he also seems to be a nutter.

  9. numerobis says

    Tabby: Canada has a big sign out saying “[ ] days since colonialist activities have occurred”

    It’s stuck at zero.

  10. Ed Seedhouse says

    What amused me was that these assholes were apparently carrying the “Red Ensign”, Canada’s colonial flag which we changed back in the 1960’s.

    We didn’t become less of a colony when we changed it (that came later) but we picked a flag that at least celebrated something Canadian (eh?). The Right Wing in Canada is still clinging to a flag that celebrates the colonization of the country by Great Britain, so yeah we still have Nazis here.

    But even though we elect the Conservatives for a decade or so every now and again they at least have enough of a sense of shame to pretend that they aren’t the colonialists that they are.

    Maybe we will have the sense, when the Queen dies, to replace her with a Canadian sovereign, preferably a member of one of our original nations. Maybe we could let our first nation population choose the monarch – it’s not as if they’d have any real power. But nah, ain’t gonna happen and we will stick with Good King Charles,

  11. cartomancer says

    I forget which stand-up comedian it was, but one of my favourite comebacks to a heckle has always been “Patriotic? No, I have personal accomplishments”.

  12. militantagnostic says

    Let’s not forget members of the Canadian Airborne Regiment beating a prisoner to death in Somalia as well the general racism displayed by members of that regiment. A year or so before they were deployed to Somalia, CDC Calgary did a series on White Supremacists and in the segment on white supremacists in the Military, the Airborne Regiment was specifically mentioned as being infested with white supremacists. In spite of this they were sent to Africa.

  13. shikko says

    @13: Because another thing Canadians love doing is believing they’re better than Americans. Anything bad that happens in the US “can’t happen here”, because Canadians KNOW they’re, well, better. Therefore if Canadians are doing it, it’s different, and OK.

    This is not to say that there aren’t pieces of Canadian society that are manifestly better/more just/egalitarian than American society, but that doesn’t give Canadians an automatic pass on the darker parts of their society, beliefs, and history.

  14. efogoto says

    “Canadians KNOW they’re, well, better”

    Except for the Arrogant Worms: “It’s not that we are better, it’s just that we’re less worse.” Not that it’s a high bar …

  15. says

    coreyschlueter @15

    Both are acts of vandalism and, if caught, the perpetrators should face the appropriate penalties.


    I see no difference between these incidents…

    That’s just a huge steaming pile of bullshit right there.

    If you don’t see the difference between vandalizing a symbol of the historically oppressed and vandalizing a symbol of historic oppressors, then there’s probably no hope for you.

  16. KG says

    we will stick with Good King Charles – Ed Seedhouse@9

    Hey, if you find Good King Charles, the Old Country has first dibs! We look like being stuck with Ineptly Interfering King Charles – if he manages to outlive his old mum.

  17. cherbear says

    Unfortunately the Canadian armed forces have always had a small group of these bigoted, moronic, jerks that like to stir the pot. They used to hang around with nazi skinheads in Toronto when I used to live there. We would always confront these guys when they tried to hang around the concerts and stuff downtown. They are cowardly cowards who are cowardly.

  18. secondtofirstworld says

    @doubter #5: I was first informed about Canada’s indifference when I learned, that the guy who collected money for an expedition to seek out Hitler’s UFO army in Antarctica lived there, especially after he was banned from the US. He was the reason, that David Irving and Robert Faurisson got famous. Fortunately he was extradited to Germany years ago, and sentenced to prison, but he hasn’t left a void back in Canada, McInnes is just one contender.

  19. ck, the Irate Lump says

    Lauren Southern is Canadian, too. She’s a “libertarian” and nationalist who spends a hell of a lot of time hating Muslims. She also ascribes to and promotes the idiotic “Great Replacement” idea (formerly known as the “White Genocide” conspiracy theory). I’m sure it comes as no surprise that she also has ties to Ezra Levant’s The Rebel Media.

  20. Rob Bos says

    I really wish people wouldn’t idealize and semi-fetishize Canada. We are a deeply problematic country in many ways, and pretending that somehow Canada is this utopian paradise does nothing helpful. Our medical system is in a different kind of shambles than the US, it has some serious problems. Culturally we have idiots and extremists.

    It’s condescending to wag your finger and go “I’m disappointed in you, Canada”. What are we, your clean-cut younger brother? Screw off, eh. :)