The head of the Trudeau-funded Canadian Anti-Hate Network (CAHN), spread a picture of an antisemitic flier on social media claiming it to have originated with the Ottawa Freedom Convoy, an anti-mandate protest led by truckers.
Bernie Farber, who is listed as the Chair of CAHN on the group’s website, tweeted on Sunday, stating, “Taken by a friend in Ottawa at the Occupation. Apparently in plain sight,” captioning a picture of an antisemitic flier.
The picture of the flier, however, was not from the Ottawa trucker protests against vaccine passports, vaccine mandates and Wuhan coronavirus restrictions – it was from an unrelated event in Miami, Florida, and first posted on Twitter on January 23rd. Farber defended the post before ultimately deleting his claims.
The failure to fact-check his own claims before going public is particularly concerning given Farber runs an organisation paid by the Canadian government to “[monitor] extreme-right groups, report on their activities and file complaints with law enforcement”, and which has been the main authority originating claims the trucker protest is extremist.
Wow Bernie, isn't it incredible that the picture your "friend in Ottawa at the Occupation" sent you is identical to the photo posted on Twitter two weeks ago by someone in Miami, right down to the ceramic design in the background? https://t.co/s4Xf3IbFrI pic.twitter.com/OJGEgrariZ
— Jonathan Kay (@jonkay) February 6, 2022
After being confronted over the picture on Twitter, Farber later deleted the tweet and stated, “Ok for the record a friend from Ottawa told me they saw an antisemitic flyer &sent it to me. I posted it. The photo itself was old and originally from Miami. However, they said they saw the same thing. Since I am not in Ottawa I cannot attest to it.”
At the time of going to press, no evidence that anyone at the Ottawa protests had reproduced the offensive Florida poster has surfaced.
The post remained up for several hours and caught the attention of Canadian politicians and others who also spread the hoax, including far-left New Democratic Party member of parliament Charlie Angus.
“The #ottawaoccupation gang came to Ottawa with swastikas scrawled on Canadian flags. This shit isn’t hidden its right there in the open,” Angus said.
Joe Cressy, the chair of the Toronto Board of Health, also spread the picture writing, “Don’t look away. This vile anti-Semitic hate is being distributed in plain sight. It has no place on the streets of Canadian cities. It has no place anywhere.”
Members of the media also spread the picture, including Angie Seth, a reporter for broadcaster CTV, which has cited members of CAHN as sources for allegations of far-right extremism among the protests in recent weeks.
Calgary Mayor Naheed Nenshi has claimed anti-lockdown protests in Canada are "thinly veiled white nationalist" activities. https://t.co/DacNYCmWDR
— Breitbart News (@BreitbartNews) May 12, 2021
“This is sick,” wrote Kyle Harrietha, who serves as Deputy Chief of Staff and Director of Parliamentary Affairs to Canada’s Minister of Natural Resources Jonathan Wilkinson, a member of the cabinet of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.
The Trudeau government has previously funded CAHN with hundreds of thousands of taxpayer dollars in the past, giving the group $268,400 Canadian dollars (£156,466/$211,526) in 2020 “to carry out the monitoring of extreme-right groups, report on their activities and file complaints with law enforcement.”
Since the start of the trucker protests known as the Freedom Convoy, Canadian media outlets have extensively cited members of CAHN, including Farber himself, for claims of far-right radicalism among the activists and participants in the protests.
Christian-owned funding platform GiveSendGo is hosting a new fundraiser for the Canada Freedom Convoy after its initial fundraiser was shut down by far-left funding platform GoFundMe. https://t.co/HOqbRYb53k
— Breitbart News (@BreitbartNews) February 6, 2022
“We’re saying that this is a far-right convoy because — from day one — the organizers themselves are part of the far-right movement,” executive director of CAHN Evan Balgord told Canadian broadcaster Global News last week.
Canadian politicians and media have previously labelled anti-lockdown protesters as far-right extremists in the past, including former Calgary Mayor Naheed Nenshi.
“Those people at those anti-mask protests, let’s not kid ourselves. They’re not people who [are protesting because they] need to eat. They are people who are marching in thinly veiled white nationalist supremacist anti-government protests,” Nenshi said last year.
Trudeau’s government is violating Canadians’ freedoms of speech, expression, assembly, and religion, a demonstrator in Ottawa, ON, told Breitbart News on Wednesday during the Freedom Convoy protest in Canada’s capital city. https://t.co/9OXyP8TBos
— Breitbart News (@BreitbartNews) February 5, 2022