Toronto (October 20, 2022) – Friends of Simon Wiesenthal Center (FSWC) is pleased with today’s decision by a court judge in Estevan, Saskatchewan to sentence Travis Patron, former leader of the now-defunct Canadian Nationalist Party, to one year in jail for wilfully promoting hatred against Jewish people.
Today’s sentencing decision came two weeks after a jury found Patron guilty of hate speech against Jewish people. In an online video titled “Beware the Parasitic Tribe,” Patron claimed that Jewish people "infiltrate the media, they hijack the central bank, and they infect the body politic like a parasite," and "what we need to do...is remove these people, once and for all, from our country."
“The judge’s sentencing decision sends a clear message that promoting hatred against Jews has consequences in Canada, including imprisonment,” said Jaime Kirzner-Roberts, Director of Policy at FSWC. “While justice has been served, unfortunately, it took more than three years for a guilty verdict to be reached since the moment police were first notified of Travis Patron’s hatemongering in 2019, which is far too long. Patron is just one of many extremists who use online platforms to spread antisemitic tropes and conspiracy theories, and such hate is having a real impact on the Jewish community’s safety. As we see hate crimes in Canada increase year after year, the country’s government and justice system must make combatting hatred, and bringing perpetrators of such crimes to justice, a priority.”
Patron has also reportedly been placed on a one-year probation order, which includes a ban on posting about Jewish people online.