author: taylor balfour | news writer
With Trump’s inauguration over, will we feel the effects in Canada?
It seems as though many Canadian campuses have been having a change of pace recently, as word has rapidly began to spread that alt-right, conservative, views and posters have been popping up in schools country-wide.
While our country as a whole is run by the Liberal Party of Canada, it may appear that Conservative sentiments are, once again, gaining traction.
In a letter sent to CBC Manitoba, Steven Zhou writes that “posters were found on the University of Alberta campus that read “Fu*k Your Turban” And “White Students’ Union” advertisements were also found on several campuses in the Greater Toronto Area at around the same time.”
Zhou claims that the result of these kinds of propaganda flourishing may have to do with the recent election and inauguration of Donald Trump in the United States.
“There has been a re-normalization of these kinds of messages and sentiments, which come on the heels of a rebranding effort by many hard-right groups or circles to re-orient their often white nationalist messaging into a socially acceptable platform that centers on issues like terrorism, immigration, and law and order.”
While the posters referred to in the letter were taken down quickly, the discussion around them has yet to cease with the university’s president, David Turpin, telling CBC Edmonton that “unfortunately, similar posters have also been found on other Canadian university campuses.”
The University of Toronto, Ryerson University, and York University, all located in Toronto, had similar issues as posters were scattered about the campuses calling for a “white students’ union.”
The group supplying the posters calls themselves the Students for Western Civilization, who believe that having such a students’ union “would serve multiple purposes.”
According to their website, they claim “it would serve to promote and celebrate the culture of western civilization. It would serve as a platform to promote and advance the political interests of Western peoples. And most importantly, it would serve as a venue to explore those perspectives on ethnic politics that our Marxist indoctrinators seek to suppress and ignore.”
They end with York University’s motto, “Tentanda Via”, which translates from Latin to, “the way must be tried.”
So, have these string of events affected the University of Regina? While posters such as the ones appearing around the rest of the country have been scarce, the U of R is also not free from alt-right propaganda.
In Oct. 2016, Bill Whatcott, a conservative activist, arrived on campus, setting up posters and signs stating that homosexuality and abortion were wrong, and told CBC Regina that “this is where the future decision-makers are and this is a great opportunity to engage them. Something other than the politically correct narrative.”
While he remained on campus, however, UR Pride set up their own table to counter his messages with signs that read “Do not engage. Keep walking. Hateful messages ahead.”
Alt-right campus views may be on the rise in the country, but it seems as though at the U of R, we have yet to see the same influx as other schools Canada-wide.