Community Intelligence Brief: October 4, 2023

October 4, 2023


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Latest News

Trudeau 'Looking Carefully' at Releasing Names of Ex-Nazis in Canada

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said Wednesday senior bureaucrats are reviewing the Deschenes Commission report — a 1980s-era independent inquiry that looked at alleged Nazi war criminals in Canada — with an eye to making more of it public.

"The expression 'sunlight is the best disinfectant' could not be more relevant to this situation," said FSWC President and CEO Michael Levitt in an interview with CBC News. "If there was ever an issue in Canadian history that requires disinfecting, it's our shameful record of covering up Nazi war criminal immigration to Canada in the 1940s and 50s."

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Neo-Nazis, White Nationalists Go on Pilgrimage to Galicia Waffen-SS Memorial

Neo-Nazis and white nationalists have gone on a pilgrimage to an Ontario memorial to the Waffen SS Galicia division, the Ukrainian Nazi-led unit, after one of its veterans received a standing ovation in Parliament last month, prompting renewed calls for the monument to be torn down.

"Hopefully the attention of neo-Nazis demonstrates once and for all to St. Volodymyr Ukrainian Cemetery why having monuments to Nazi collaborators is inappropriate, and they do the right thing by taking the monument to the 14th Waffen Grenadier Division of the SS down," said FSWC President and CEO Michael Levitt.

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FSWC President and CEO Presents Lecture on Rising Tides of Antisemitism in Canada at St. Thomas University

This evening, FSWC's Michael Levitt will be speaking on the rising tides of antisemitism in Canada as part of the St. Thomas University Vigod Memorial Lecture in Human Rights. In an interview with CBC New Brunswick's Jeanne Armstrong, he discussed why this lecture comes at a critical time.


FSWC Welcomes Apology from Governor General for Canada Having Previously Awarded a Nazi War Veteran a Prestigious Civilian Honour

FSWC acknowledges and accepts the Canadian governor general’s apology for one of her predecessors having appointed a Nazi veteran to the Order of Canada. According to news reports, Governor General Mary Simon issued a statement apologizing for awarding the Order of Canada in 1987 to Peter Savaryn, a former chancellor of the University of Alberta and former member of the Nazi Waffen-SS, an award that was rescinded in 2017 upon his death.

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House of Commons Elects Greg Fergus as First Black Canadian Speaker

MP Greg Fergus was elected yesterday as Canada's new Speaker of the House of Commons, becoming the first Black Canadian to hold the position. The election was triggered by last week's resignation of Anthony Rota, who stepped down over his decision to invite a former member of the Nazi Waffen-SS to Parliament.

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82 Years Ago, Nearly 34,000 Jews Were Massacred Outside Kyiv. Now a Toronto Exhibit Is Telling the Story

Last week marked the 82nd anniversary of the Babyn Yar massacre during which Nazis murdered more than 33,000 Jewish men, women and children in a ravine on the outskirts of Kiev, Ukraine. An exhibit at Toronto’s Koffler Centre of the Arts tells the story of the massacre - one of the largest mass killings at a single location during the Holocaust - its sometimes forgotten history, and recent efforts to make sure that those who were murdered are not forgotten. The exhibit in Toronto will end in November, after which it's set to go on a worldwide tour to multiple continents.

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Red Deer School Board Trustee Won't Apologize for Posting 'Brainwashing' Meme: Lawyer

The lawyer for Monique LaGrange - a Red Deer Catholic Regional Schools board member who was recently found to have violated the board's Trustee Code of Conduct after posting a meme comparing the LGBTQ+ community to the Nazi regime - said the trustee won't be saying sorry for her actions. This comes after the board determined LaGrange can remain in her role under several conditions, including issuing a public letter of apology and completing sensitivity training.

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Sharon Osbourne Weighs in on Roger Waters Antisemitism Allegations: 'Is the Pope a Catholic?'

On the heels of the release of the documentary The Dark Side of Roger Waters, which showcases allegations of Roger Waters' antisemitism, English TV personality Sharon Osbourne shared her views on the issue during a talk show interview.

"He laughs, he’s always telling jokes about Jews, always making comments about money, the cliché, you know, old time opinion," Osbourne said. Asked whether she thought of Waters as an antisemite, she replied: "Is the Pope a Catholic?"

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Drew Weissman, Jewish Immunologist, Wins Nobel Prize for His Work on COVID Vaccines

Drew Weissman, a Jewish scientist who identified the technology that made possible the mRNA vaccines against COVID-19, has won the 2023 Nobel Prize in medicine, sharing the prize with Katalin Kariko, his Hungarian-born research partner at the University of Pennsylvania.

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Poland's Jewish Population Growing for the First Time Since Holocaust

The "National Census" published by Poland's Bureau of Statistics, found that currently there are more than 17,000 people who identify themselves as Jews in Poland, a dramatic increase from 2011 when 7,500 people identified themselves as Jews.

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Report Antisemitism and News of Concern to FSWC

If you would like to report antisemitism or news of concern to Friends of Simon Wiesenthal Center, please email

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