Editorial Cartoon by Graeme MacKay, The Hamilton Spectator – Thursday July 11, 2019
Maxime Bernier poses with Northern Guard, one flashing apparent ‘white power’ sign
People’s Party of Canada leader Maxime Bernier is being asked about a photo he recently posed for in which he is seen smiling with members of the Northern Guard, a reportedly “anti-Muslim” organization that allegedly has ties to neo-Nazism.
One of the group’s members can be seen flashing what appears to be an “OK” hand sign in the photo — a symbol that has been associated with “white power.”
The photo, first reported by Press Progress, was posted to Facebook by Kyle Puchalski, a Calgary man who identifies himself on his page as the Northern Guard’s provincial president for Alberta.
“Great day gents,” he captioned the photo, which was tagged as having been taken in Calgary.
Bernier said he hadn’t seen the photo yet when Global News asked him about it in Edmonton on Tuesday.
When asked how he responds to criticism for having posed with Northern Guard members, Bernier said he doesn’t look at the background of every person who takes a photo with him.
“I’m a politician at a public event. People who want to come with us and have a photo with me, I’ll have a photo with them,” he said.
Bernier went on to say that people who don’t share the PPC’s values are not welcome in the party.
“People who are racist and anti-Semitic, they’re not welcome in our party,” he said.
The Northern Guard is described as an anti-Muslim far-right group with ties to neo-Nazism by the Canadian Anti-Hate Network.
The group, which has existed since the fall of 2017, is an offshoot of the Soldiers of Odin, according to the network.
The Soldiers of Odin are an organization that has triggered concerns about “anti-immigration vigilantism” within the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA).
The Northern Guard came under scrutiny earlier this year as the Canadian Anti-Hate Network started tracking its activities in Halifax.
A chapter opened in the city earlier this year; its vice-president George Fagen said the group’s mandate is to put Canadian values and issues first.
The group had distributed pizza to people they felt needed food in downtown Halifax. (Global News)
Letter to the Editor, Hamilton Spectator, Friday July 11, 2019
Max Bernier is a patriot
RE: Cartoon (July 11)
Yesterday’s editorial cartoon, which portrays Max Bernier as the fellow traveller of Nazis and Klansmen, is scandalous.
Although your cartoonists have had much sport at the expense of all political leaders, they have never stooped to this level.
This cartoon is unworthy of the rags put out by the lunatic left in Toronto. Max Bernier is a patriot, probably the only one among the whole sorry lot. Shame on you.
Leonard Allen, Hamilton