Far-right extremists are using their photo with Ford to legitimize hate
Ontario Premier Doug Ford will not disavow a group of white nationalists who took a photo with him over the weekend at “Ford Fest,” even as the white nationalists use the photo for propaganda purposes to legitimize their views.
Over the weekend, Ford appeared in a photo with a group of white nationalists led by fringe mayoral candidate Faith Goldy, a former Rebel Media contributor who was fired from the far-right website after she appeared on a neo-Nazi podcast.
Since leaving Rebel Media, Goldy has become a hero to the online alt-right, appearing in videos reciting a white supremacist creed and endorsing a book authored by a 1930s fascist author advocating “the elimination of Jews.”
Appearing alongside Goldy and Ford in the controversial photo are several volunteers on Goldy’s campaign.
One of Goldy’s volunteers is the host of an alt-right podcast who stated he supports white supremacist values in an episode published earlier this month. He is also affiliated with ID Canada, the Canadian branch of Generation Identity, described as a “neo-fascist” and “white nationalist” group operating in Europe that is working to establish a presence in North America.
The volunteer appeared in one of the group’s videos last month, which describes immigration as the “systematic replacement of the founding European people.”
Another Goldy volunteer is a British national who extensively shares alt-right media and promotes UKIP, a far-right party based in Britain. A third volunteer appears in the photo with Ford wearing a hat emblazoned with the logo of the Proud Boys, described by the Southern Poverty Law Centre as an “alt-right fight club” known to instigate riots and hold violent rallies.
But when Ford was asked to disavow Goldy and her alt-right entourage during Question Period on Monday, Ford refused to do so even though the photo is now being used online to suggest Ford is sympathetic to their cause.
— Robert Benzie (@robertbenzie) September 24, 2018
“Faith Goldy, a far-right candidate for Toronto mayor with ties to neo-Nazi groups posted a picture on social media of the Premier posing for a picture with her and her supporters, to which she added ‘Faith Nation is Ford Nation’,” NDP MPP Jill Andrew told Queen’s Park.
“Will the Premier unequivocally denounce Faith Goldy and her hateful campaign,” she asked, adding Ford needs to speak out about the “photo that is now being used as a de facto endorsement.”
Ford did not answer the question, but claimed Ford Fest is “the most diverse group anywhere in Canada,” later bragging about large crowd sizes and line-ups that “couldn’t get in through the door.”
It’s highly unlikely Ford did not recognize the controversial mayoral candidate.
— PressProgress (@pressprogress) May 25, 2018
Meanwhile, Goldy’s relationship with the neo-fascist ID Canada appears to run deeper than relying on the group for volunteers.
The Anti-Racist Canada Collective points out Goldy’s “official” online store appears to be selling t-shirts for $25 under a Shopify account that appears to be operated by the neo-fascist youth group.
The ARC Collective has documented how ownership and contact information contained on the online store’s terms of service and refund policy pages bear the names of ID Canada and an e-mail address connected to ID Canada’s website.
Shortly after ARC Collective published its findings, Goldy’s online store changed most references to ID Canada to “Dominion Productions,” a company which does not appear on Canada’s federal corporate registry.
Goldy’s online store does not restrict sales beyond Ontario’s borders. It also does not indicate whether proceeds from t-shirt sales are considered a contribution to her campaign or if revenue is being funnelled to ID Canada itself.
Despite the name change and attempt to scrub its record, the name of ID Canada still appears hiding in the fine print of Goldy’s “official” online store.
According to campaign finance guidelines posted by Ontario’s Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing, campaigns are permitted to sell goods and services without being considered a campaign contribution so long as it is “sold for $25 or less.”
The Ministry even offers the example of campaigns selling t-shirts “for $25 each.” They explain that the profit on the sale is not considered a campaign contribution if it is under $25, but “the shirts must be recorded as a campaign expense.”
The Ministry did not immediately respond to questions from PressProgress about an unregistered third party selling t-shirts on behalf of a candidate.
In a Facebook post last month endorsing Goldy’s campaign for mayor, ID Canada encouraged its supporters to “order yourself an official t-shirt” through the same “official” online store ID Canada was operating.