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‘We’re going to act:’ Military investigating reservist for hate group link

Invoice Graveland, The Canadian Press
Revealed Tuesday, August 20, 2019 1:37PM EDT
Final Up to date Tuesday, August 20, 2019 5:05PM EDT

WINNIPEG — The commander of the Canadian Military says the army will take motion if an investigation finds {that a} reserve member in Manitoba participated in a hate group.

Grasp Cpl. Patrik Mathews, who joined the reserves in 2010, is a fight engineer with 38 Canadian Brigade Group in Winnipeg.

Lt.-Gen. Wayne Eyre mentioned in Ottawa that he would not be discussing any particular person instances, however did say that service members are anticipated to stick to a excessive degree of behaviour.

“Those that do not embrace those values, those who do not protect those values, have no place in this organization,” he mentioned Tuesday.

The Division of Nationwide Defence mentioned in an announcement that Mathews has not been on any deployments.

It mentioned the army was conscious of “possible racist extremist activities” by a Canadian Armed Forces member in Manitoba previous to current media protection and was already investigating.

The allegations got here to gentle after a narrative by an undercover reporter from the Winnipeg Free Press recognized Mathews as being concerned within the group.

The Free Press mentioned Mathews wouldn’t touch upon the allegation when approached outdoors his dwelling Tuesday.

Brigade commander Col. Gwen Bourque mentioned Mathews final labored with the unit in May and was to return in September.

“We are currently assessing what his employment is going to look like in September,” Bourque mentioned in a teleconference.

“We were not aware of any possible racist, extremist activities.”

Bourque mentioned the general public should not leap to any conclusions.

“We also need to be very cognizant of due process. No military charges have been laid or have ever been laid against him, so there should not be any assumption of guilt at this time.”

Manitoba Mounties mentioned they searched a residence in Beausejour, Man., on Monday night time and seized plenty of firearms.

An RCMP official mentioned an investigation was ongoing and nobody was in custody.

Eyre mentioned disciplinary and administrative motion might be taken in opposition to reservists, even for actions once they’re out of uniform, if it “reflects badly” on the Canadian Forces.

He mentioned he does not imagine excessive views amongst members is widespread.

“Do I believe in my heart that this is systemic? Absolutely not. But when it comes to our attention that there are those who have views that are not aligned with our values we’re going to act.”

Final week, Defence Minister Harjit Sajjan requested Canada’s army ombudsman to analyze racism within the Canadian Forces following a number of high-profile incidents and a report linking service members to right-wing extremists and hate teams.

Sailors related to the Proud Boys disrupted a Mi’kmaq ceremony in Halifax in 2017. There have additionally been media studies of different members associating with neo-Nazi teams such because the Atomwaffen Division.

A army intelligence report final 12 months mentioned officers had been conscious of 30 lively service members who had been a part of a hate group or had made statements that had been discriminatory or racist.

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