Armed Forces

Canadian Military investigating whether White Supremacist in Army Reserve

Canadian Army Reserve members from the 5th Canadian Division conduct a ruck march. (Photo National Defence / Canadian Armed Forces)

Canadian Army Reserves leader a neo-Nazi recruiter 

The Canadian Armed Forces is investigating whether a man who is recruiting in Winnipeg for a neo-Nazi paramilitary group called The Base, is a member of the Army Reserve.

The Free Press has identified Master Cpl. Patrik Mathews, 26, who is a trained combat engineer as the man responsible for neo-Nazi propaganda posters posted throughout the city in recent weeks.

A statement says Mathews joined the reserves in 2010 and he is with the 38 Brigade Group.

According to Vice News, The Base, which is connected to extreme-right groups the Atomwaffen Division and the Feuerkrieg Division, has been promoting its growth on social media with photos announcing its presence in major cities across North America, including New York, Los Angeles, and Seattle, and in Europe, South Africa, and Australia.

Recruitment posters with fascistic imagery and bearing the phrase “Learn, Train and Fight” and “Save your race, join The Base” recently started popping up in the city of Winnipeg.

Posters for The Base have been spotted in various locations around Winnipeg. Photo: Fascist Free Treaty One (FF1) on Facebook.

Evan Balgord, the executive director of the Canadian Anti-Hate Network, told VICE that his group has been watching the growth of The Base in Canada and says that even though the group seems small, it can be dangerous.

Experts on hate groups say The Base represents the most radical, violent fringes of the extremist right.

The Base’s membership, which is primarily located in the U.S. but includes Canadians is on the rise and spreading.

The group is focused on providing paramilitary-style training to far-right extremists and claims to have conducted live-fire training with its members.

The presence of white supremacists such as Mathews in the Canadian Armed Forces is an issue that’s been known to the Military for years.

Master Cpl. Patrik Mathews identified as the one recruiting in Winnipeg for a neo-Nazi paramilitary group called The Base.

In a November 2018 report, obtained by Global News and Montreal radio station 98.5 FM, a Military Police Criminal Intelligence Section warned about the presence of white supremacists and neo-Nazis in the ranks of the Canadian Armed Forces.

The report, made public only through an access to information request, says that between 2013 and 2018 there were 16 identified members of extreme hate groups in the Canadian military. It also noted that members of hate groups go to significant lengths to hide their associations, meaning the number is likely much higher. Another 37 engaged in racist or hateful behavior. The report went on to state that as of November 2018, at least thirty of these individuals were still active in the CAF.

The document says that many hate groups emphasis firearms training and other military skills. As such, Canadian Force members are seen as important recruits for the extreme right. “Drawing on their training and deployment experience, current and former military members find that their skills are valued by these groups,” the military police report pointed out. “Further, they provide structure to these organizations, therefore, affording them the ability to gain positions of leadership.”

The Armed Forces confirmed on Monday that Mathews does hold a leadership position with the Army Reserves and an investigation into his conduct is underway.

The Winnipeg police service are aware of the recruitment posters and is monitoring the situation.

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