FSWC Working with Canada’s Armed Forces in Effort to Address Hate and Extremism

October 5, 2020

Media Release

Toronto (October 5, 2020) - Friends of Simon Wiesenthal Center (FSWC) is working with the Canadian Armed Forces on an education and training strategy to support their new policies and directives on hate activity and extremism. While details of this partnership are still being firmed up, a virtual meeting was held on Friday, chaired by Lieutenant-General Wayne Eyre, between senior staff from the Army, Navy and Air Force and members of the FSWC team.

The discussion focused on the development of specific initiatives to support the military’s new policies and leveraging FSWC’s experience delivering front-line training to law enforcement, educators and other public officials. FSWC brought to the table actionable strategies for providing tailored education programs regarding hate and extremism for senior leadership, new recruits, members who have been involved in hate incidents and regularly scheduled training opportunities for all military staff.

“We are witnessing an extraordinary and ground-breaking effort by leaders in Canada’s military to root out hate and extremism within its ranks,” said Michael Levitt, President and CEO of FSWC. “We are looking forward to strengthening our relationship with all branches of our Armed Forces as we work together to develop educational programming to reinforce their commitment to addressing and eliminating hateful conduct in the military.”

The meeting followed the Army’s release of a new directive instructing members to report to their superiors cases of hateful conduct, which must then be followed by an “immediate and decisive” response on the part of Army command. It also followed months of active advocacy efforts by FSWC, sparked by news that the Navy had reinstated a Calgary-based sailor with neo-Nazi ties. Since then, FSWC has met with Canada’s Minister of National Defence and members of senior military leadership urging for reform and a new and committed strategy for addressing hate and extremism within the military ranks.

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