The Department of National Defence has awarded a grant to a University of Alberta professor to conduct a deep dive into the extent of white supremacy in the Canadian Armed Forces.
Andy Knight, a professor of international relations and the school’s first provost fellow in Black excellence and leadership, made a proposal to the federal department last fall in which he drew attention to racism in the military.
Over the next year, he is to assess just how entrenched radicalization, anti-Semitism, xenophobia and anti-Black sentiments are in the Forces and come up with a suggested policy to respond.
Knight said he decided to pursue the research after noting that there were a number of active Canadian soldiers participating in last year’s “Freedom Convoy” protest in Ottawa, which began with anger over COVID-19 vaccine mandates for cross-border truckers, but attracted some more radical elements as it grew.
Story continues below advertisement
“It piqued my interest,” Knight said in an interview.
In addition to interviewing military officials, Knight said he plans to assemble experts and policymakers from diverse backgrounds to understand what attracts white supremacists to the armed forces and devise strategies to weed them out.
He said it seems that white supremacists are “infiltrating the military in Canada”.
“That is concerning to me because we expect the military to be there to protect the Canadian people,” he said.
U.S. nixes gas stove ban despite studies showing health risks, dangers
Winter storm warning issued in southern Quebec, 25 cm of snow possible in Montreal
“When you have individuals who are directly in opposition to the Canadian government, obviously it is of concern and that’s one of the reasons I thought it would be useful to take