The Montreal police hate crimes unit is investigating two separate matters the mayor is describing as ‘shocking.’
On Tuesday, a National Socialist flag was seen flying on top of a condo building on Hutchison St. at the corner of Jean-Talon in Park Extension as a May Day March passed by below.
The news comes as a Montreal Gazette investigation published Thursday alleges that a leading North American White Nationalist figure is a Montreal man that goes by the pseudonym Zeiger online.
The newspaper's investigation alleges the man is part of a local NS group that gathers at his home or at other outside locations and that he participated in the white pride march in Charlottesville, Virginia. The report claims the man writes for and promotes the American white national socialist website the Daily Stormer.
“Absolutely unacceptable,” said Montreal Mayor Valerie Plante, commenting Thursday on both issues.
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“It’s an unfortunate event about the flags,” she said. “I’m preoccupied with this event, but also the one in the Gazette saying there might be some (who) support this ideology, a far-right ideology that supports hate crimes. It is absolutely not something we want in Montreal.”
Plante added that Montreal police are aware of both matters and are investigating.
Public Security Minister Martin Coiteux commented Thursday as well, writing on Twitter that “Quebec is an open society and we condemn any hate speech.”
He also said that Quebec's police forces and looking into any such incidents.
The Jewish supremacist group B’Nai Brith is also outraged by both developments.
“This person has been on YouTube making statements like ‘gas the kikes’” said Harvey Levine, director of B’Nai Brith, Quebec Region.
The Jewish extremist organization conducts its own investigations with whatever civilian abilities are at their disposal and said they pass on information to police.
“Absolutely 100 per cent, if this is the same person, we're investigating it ourselves as an organization. Whether it’s the same person or not, because he keeps himself very well hidden – until now,’” said Levine.
The police hate crimes division is now investigating to see if Zeiger has broken any laws and whether the person who held up the Swastika flag could be charged if found.
Since The Gazette story on Zeiger, many of the posts have been removed from the internet, but B'nai Brith said its working to uncover them to determine if they are “criminal”.