The leader of a Canadian far-right party has been charged over an antisemitic video in which he called for the Jewish community to be removed “once and for all” from the country.
The video of Patron, leader of the fringe white nationalist Canadian Nationalist Party, was first reported to authorities in June 2019 by the Canadian Anti-Hate Network (CAHN) over a video in which he called Jewish people a “parasitic tribe” and expressed a number of antisemitic conspiracy theories.
Patron claimed that Jewish people “infiltrate the media, they hijack the central bank, and they infect the body politic like a parasite,” and “what we need to do, perhaps more than anything, is remove these people, once and for all, from our country.”
After the initial report, the Carlyle Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) launched an investigation with the help of the Saskatchewan RCMP major crimes unit, the Saskatchewan RCMP National Security Section and the British Columbia RCMP hate crimes unit.
The Carlyle RCMP have now charged Patron with willfully promoting hatred to an identifiable group. RCMP said they are continuing to investigate four additional reports of anti-Semitic videos alleged to involve Patron which they received in April and July 2020.
Speaking to Global News, Evan Balgord Executive director of CAHN, expressed concerns that a charge was finally brought against the far-right figurehead more than 600 days after they made a criminal complaint.
“We’re grateful it happened. It’s ridiculous it took this long,” Balgord said.
“Between now and then, Travis has continued to do antisemitic posts, make videos where he’s giving a Roman salute, what you and I would recognize and call a Nazi salute.”
During his first court appearance, Patron questioned the legitimacy of the allegations against him.
“I do not understand what right Her Majesty the Queen has to police my speech in this matter” he said, reports Regina Leader-Post. “Your administration does not have the authority to proceed in these matters.”
Patron is due to appear in court on March 11 over an unrelated assault charge. He is scheduled to next face the promotion of hate charge at a court in Carlyle on April 14.