Oct. 6, 2022
Estevan, Sask. –The former leader of the now-defunct Canadian Nationalist Party has been found guilty by a jury in southeast Saskatchewan of promoting hatred against Jews.
The decision comes years after B’nai Brith Canada advocacy led to an investigation and charges against Travis Patron, 29.
It took a jury in southeast Saskatchewan about an hour on Wednesday to decide the former leader of the now-defunct Canadian Nationalist Party was guilty of hate speech against Jewish people.
Patron is notorious for producing a video that referred to Jews as “the parasitic tribe.” He also advocated for the removal of Jews from Canada. In addition, he claimed that Jews control the media and Canada’s central bank, trying to perpetuate antisemitic tropes.
The charge and subsequent jury trial at Court of King’s Bench in Estevan, Sask. — about 200 kilometres southeast of Regina — came after the Royal Canadian Mounted Police investigated Patron in 2019.
“We are pleased with the conviction of this man following such blatant, offensive and appalling hate messages,” said Michael Mostyn, Chief Executive Officer of B’nai Brith Canada. “Patron advocated for the destruction of Canadian Jewry using dehumanizing language. His rhetoric is genocidal and we are grateful that the jury recognized the vile behaviour that our organization emphasized while seeking justice.”
Crown prosecutor Ryan Snyder told the CBC that the video evidence spoke for itself in this trial.
He cited the testimony of a “woman from Ontario” who made a difference. The woman was associated with B’nai Brith Canada.
“You start out with what looks like a victimless crime. It’s hate speech on the internet — where’s the victim? And yet we heard from a complainant during the course of this trial who really brought home the fact that words do matter,” Snyder was quoted after court adjourned on Wednesday. “Her visceral reaction to the wild words that Mr. Patron put on the internet — that was a good reminder to me that hate speech has a victim and that it has a real impact on people.”
B’nai Brith previously issued a number of exposés regarding Patron’s activities. One resulted in a virtual office banning his group.
Snyder said court also heard from three other Crown witnesses: an RCMP criminal analyst who gathered the video evidence, a Mountie from Carlyle, Sask., who helped identify Patron in the video, and a Jewish history professor from Harvard University who broke down the meaning behind what was said in it.
Patron will return to court later this month for sentencing. B’nai Brith will keep you posted.