Lawyer told police of bigoted site in ’05
Featured parent in present custody case
Read this article for free:
Already have an account? Log in here »
To continue reading, please subscribe with this special offer:
All-Access Digital Subscription
$4.75 per week*
- Enjoy unlimited reading on winnipegfreepress.com
- Read the E-Edition, our digital replica newspaper
- Access News Break, our award-winning app
- Play interactive puzzles
*Pay $19.00 every four weeks. GST will be added to each payment. Subscription can be cancelled anytime.
Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 28/05/2009 (5003 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.
WINNIPEG police were warned in 2005 that a man now involved in a high-profile child custody case was part of an online movement calling for the genocide of aboriginal and Jewish communities in Canada, the Free Press has learned.
Richard Warman, a human rights lawyer in Ottawa who frequently monitors the activities of the neo-Nazi movement in Canada, filed a formal police complaint asking for an investigation after coming across numerous Internet postings.
"I think it’s regrettable that charges were never laid, which might have avoided this whole debacle now," Warman told the Free Press this week.
"I think this helps provide greater context… to the true nature of the family environment (to which) these children were exposed."
Warman said he learned of a white supremacist organization in early 2005 that was operating out of Brandon and Winnipeg. The group had a website, which used a series of racial slurs in saying only white people were welcome.
The site included specific reference to the man now fighting to regain custody of his stepdaughter and son from Child and Family Services. The man, along with his wife and children, was living in Brandon at the time.
He was pictured engaging in the Nazi sieg-heil salute and showing off other signs of his support. The Free Press has obtained copies of various images but is not publishing them because the identities of the parents must be kept private to protect the interests of their children.
Warman wrote a letter to the police hate-crimes unit in February 2005 alerting them of the group, their website and the specific members. He noted the lyrics of a song were posted online, which "willfully promote the hatred of aboriginals, blacks, Jews, homosexuals and the mentally disabled."
Members were referred to as "Aryan Foot Soldiers" and there was also an online forum in which visitors wrote "hate-filled tirades against aboriginals, describing them as child-raping (expletives)," Warman noted. There was also a call for violence against natives, saying "we should kill them all."
A Winnipeg police spokeswoman was unable to immediately comment Wednesday as to what, if any action was taken based on Warman’s complaint but said she would look into the matter further.
In an previous interview with the Free Press, the man’s estranged wife described herself as "white nationalist… but not a neo-Nazi skinhead." She admitted to postings made on two different websites, which include a picture of the couple standing in front of a Nazi flag, with her husband raising his arm in salute. She said postings attributed to her husband under a particular pseudonym were made by him. She claimed to have no memory of ones attributed to her under another pseudonym in which she speaks of posting "White Pride" posters, uses racial slurs to describe black people and makes derogatory comments about aboriginals.
"(The children) goose-step all the time. It really is adorable, it’s more fun when we’re in the mall and I do it, too," she wrote. Her husband claims he has "dedicated my entire life to being a skinhead" and vows to never change. He describes the swastika as "an ancient Nordic symbol for peace, life and new beginnings."
In a recent court affidavit, the mother attempted to distance herself from the online postings and claimed she never taught her children that "anyone was bad." She also claims to have "cut all ties with the White Pride community" and says she has made "considerable" life changes.
Mike McIntyre grew up wanting to be a professional wrestler. But when that dream fizzled, he put all his brawn into becoming a professional writer.