Harjit Singh Sajjan, defence minister of Canada, made an unprecedented request in mid-August, for the military ombudsman to look into racism in the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) after some incidents and a report connecting CAF members to right-wing hate groups. Sajjan called for aggressive action to eliminate far-right individuals from the CAF. He had said, earlier, that he had experienced racism in the CAF.
As if to prove Sajjan’s point, Ryan Thorpe, a heroic Winnipeg Free Press reporter, published a string of articles in the newspaper two days after Sajjan’s request to the ombudsman.
Thorpe noticed posters all over the city inviting recruits to join an extremist militant group in Manitoba or Saskatchewan. He infiltrated “The Base” (Al-Qaeda in Arabic) by responding to the posters, following the trail to Master Corporal Patrik Mathews, 26, a Canadian Army Reserve (CAR) combat engineer who was recruiting white youth for what he considers an inevitable race war — which The Base would like to speed up.
Mathews was known for racist outbursts, which may be a recruiting tool allowing one to gauge the sincerity and depth of listeners’ responses. The sodality talks of rape, and murdering journalists and racial minorities. He’s an explosives expert who received two promotions in his eight years in the CAR. Matthews told Thorpe he was going to leave the CAR because he couldn’t serve the ZOG (Zionist-Occupied Government) anymore.
The Base’s secret membership, in Canada and Europe but mainly in the US, calls for white terrorism to destabilize society so that it may commence the ethnic cleansing of coloured citizens. To this end, its objective is to establish cells of two to three men all over South Africa, Australia, Europe and North America.
A 2018 military report identified 53 CAF members who belonged to racist groups and/or indulged in racist talk or action. Sixteen of the 53 were ranking officers in racist groups including the “Soldiers of Odin”, “Proud Boys” and “Atomwaffen Division.”
The CAF says it has been “monitoring” Mathews since April, and will release him from the army in the coming weeks.
Thorpe reported in the Winnipeg Free Press that Mathews, against whom, astoundingly, no charges were laid, though he was taken into custody briefly by the RCMP, was reported missing August 26.
Dr. Barbara Perry, professor of criminology, Ontario Tech. University, said in a phone interview, “Propaganda legislation could have been used against Mathews for distributing flyers — but he got off scot-free.”
Sgt. Paul Manaigre, RCMP Media Relations Officer, said in an email, “Our Commanding Officer is not available to speak on this matter. Any information request on this missing person investigation is reviewed and responded to by this office.
“No charges have been laid against Mr. Mathews as he’s committed no crime in Canada at this time. This remains a missing person investigation. The missing person investigation remains ongoing at this time.
“The RCMP is cognizant of the rise of hate-related crime and groups across the country. . . Hate-motivated crimes are criminal offences committed against a person, an organization or property that are motivated by hate, prejudice or bias against an identifiable group. A hate-motivated incident may be motivated by the same factors as a hate-motivated crime, but it does not reach the threshold of being a criminal offence. Such incidents may include name-calling or racial insults.”
Positive mental attitudes
The RCMP found his red pickup truck near the US border Sept. 3 and, perceptively enough, said in a statement they believe “Mr. Mathews may be under a significant amount of pressure due to this ongoing investigation and the extensive media coverage …”
The CAF expressed the tender solicitousness of a new young mother in its statement: “… we hope for the safe return of Mathews to his family,” seeming to hint that he may have been kidnapped. According to an anonymous email from the Media Relations Office, Department of National Defence, Government of Canada, “We would never wish harm on anyone, which is why we stated that we hope for his safe return.”
Dr. Perry said, “I don’t know what they were thinking.”
The Media Relations Office, Department of National Defence email also says, “The CAF was aware of possible racist extremist activities by a CAF member in Manitoba prior to the recent media coverage. The Canadian Forces National Counter Intelligence Unit (CFNCIU) has been investigating the matter for several months . . .
“As they deal with protected information, we cannot however discuss their specific investigations.
“The CFNCIU gathers information from a variety of different sources during an investigation. Like with any investigative body, it’s important that the integrity of that information be confirmed in order to protect the rights and privacy of the individual …
“Patrik Mathews submitted a voluntary request for release in April. The request was completed on August 31 and he is no longer a member of the Canadian Armed Forces.
“As the investigation is ongoing, we cannot discuss further.
“The CFMP produced a report in November 2018 called ‘White Supremacy, Hate Groups and Racism in the Canadian Armed Forces’. The report consists of an examination of Military Police reported incidents occurring between January 2013 and November 2018.
“This 5-year period saw a total of 53 CAF members (30 of which were still serving at the time of the report) who were identified as either being part of a hate group, or who undertook actions and/or made statements which could be viewed as discriminatory or racist:
“As no criminal wrong-doing was found in any of these cases, the instances were shared with the members Chains of Command for further appropriate measures.”
Criminology Professor Perry says, “Though there are an estimated 300 militant hate groups, only ‘Blood and Honour’ has been banned, probably as a symbolic gesture. They were the low-hanging fruit, an easy target. Most such groups may not be seen as serious threats because they haven’t engaged in any violent behaviour. Senior officers may support them, sharing some of their perspectives.”
Ashoke Dasgupta is a freelance journalist and former editor of Compassionate Friend, Beauty Without Cruelty-India's magazine. He won a UNDP - Goethe Institute Award for Environmental Journalism in Nepal 1995, and the Canadian Ethnic Media Association's Best News/Feature Awards for 2004 and 2006. He got a scholarship to study journalism at Sheridan College Toronto in 2007, graduating with high honours. He has done internships at the Winnipeg Free Press and CBC Radio, and been published in the Winnipeg Free Press, the Calgary Herald and the Toronto Star.