By MICHAEL MUI, 24 HOURS
The charges laid last week against two men belonging to a white pride group have barely scratched the surface of growing hate-driven organizations in Canada, according to an anti-racism group.
Alan Dutton, executive director for the Canadian Anti-racism Education and Research Society, said groups are now actively turning young people against visible minorities and blaming immigrants for the economic downturn.
“The crisis domestically, the unemployment, the lack of direction for young people … leads to some people going to radical means,” he said Sunday.
Police announced the arrest and charges against Blood and Honour member Robertson De Chazal, 25, who allegedly set a Filipino man on fire in Vancouver in October 2009. Another man was arrested but not charged.
De Chazal was also charged for allegedly rendering a black man unconscious in September of that year.
Another alleged member of the group, 39-year-old Shawn MacDonald, is charged with three counts of assault involving an aboriginal woman in 2010.
Police, however, are hoping the recent arrests will stem the group’s growth, which reached about 15 members in the Lower Mainland.
“We believe because of the arrests and us being public about it, we’ve really put a dampener on their recruiting,” said Det.-Const. Terry Wilson, adding the investigation is ongoing and may involve other group members.
The men have been conditionally released and are expected in court Dec. 23.
According to Statistics Canada, the number of police-reported hate crimes in Canada has increased 65% between 2006 and 2009.