Canada is one of the worst countries when it comes to White Supremacy

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Syed Tahir Rashdi
As human rights advocates continue to try and show how Canada is just as racist. Some data from a new
report has shed additional light on the issue. Researchers from the U.K.-based Institute for Strategic
Dialogue was commissioned to investigate the prevalence of white supremacy in Canada — a nation
that many believe to be kinder and more polite than the U.S. — by investigating online activity from far-
right groups over the past two years. Content on platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, 4chan,
and dedicated right-wing extremist sites was examined. A report by UK-based think-tank the Institude
for Strategic Dialogue illustrates that Canada has a rich system of right-wing extremism comparable to
the US and UK. More than 6,600 right-wing extremist social media pages and accounts and groups have
reached over 11 million users throughout the world. It is suspected that these pages have been growing
in activity amid the Black Lives Matter movement. Co-author of the report Jacob Davey suggested that
these voices are attempting to discredit the idea that racism is a problem in Canada, hence their
increased activity. Leader of the team of researchers who contracted the study, Barbara Perry,
suggested that the economic downturn caused by COVID-19 could further increase this right-wing
extremism as people become more desperate and radicalized, especially with the heavy online presence
and influence of these groups. Perry explained that the appeal of right-wing extremism lay in the fact
that it often has ready-made explanations for people's suffering and can direct these explanations
against groups like non-whites, homosexuals and feminists. Titled An Online Environmental Scan of
Right-wing Extremism in Canada, the report notes in its summary that "acts of terrorism committed by
the far-right have increased by 320% over the past five years, supported by an increasingly connected
and internationalist community of right-wing extremism. Canada has not been isolated from this trend."
It adds that "in recent years, the number of hate groups operating in the country has tripled" and that
"there appears to have been an alarming qualitative and quantitative shift in rightwing activism in most
parts of Canada." According to the findings, there are around 6,660 identifiable right-wing extremist
pages, groups, accounts and channels coming out of Canada, reaching upwards of 11 million people
online. They range in ethos from white supremacy and anti-Muslim hate to incel misogyny and pro-
militia, anti-establishment beliefs. Strong opposition to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is also a strangely,
but perhaps unsurprisingly, prevalent topic of conversation among these users, who mostly seem to
originate from western Ontario, Quebec and Alberta. Alt-right sentiments are also growing significantly
in the Maritime provinces, especially since the pandemic lockdown, as people have been spending more
time stuck inside their homes (or parents' basements). While these groups have grown in number over
the past few years, tripling from 2017 to 2019, they have also sharpened their focuses. "By 2015, the
movement was quite diverse in its targets, often defined by regional concerns that reflected the
demographics or politics of the province or city in question," the document notes. "In the past three to
four years, however, there is a much more united front as Muslims, immigrants and Prime Minister
Justin Trudeau emerge as shared objects of scorn and antipathy, matching trends seen in online
analysis." Along with the social isolation that the health crisis has brought, the consequent economic
fallout may lead to more growth of such beliefs and online enclaves, a representative from Ontario Tech

University, who came up with the idea for the report, tells Vice. "We know that mass killings in recent
years were done by lone actors mobilized by online engagement, and it’s a concern that more exposure
to these narratives during COVID-19, when so many have lost work, might engender similar violence,"
they said to the news outlet.