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Feds fund Ontario university study on right-wing extremism

Last Updated Mar 6, 2019 at 10:33 am PDT

The Peace Tower on Parliament Hill in Ottawa on May 29, 2018. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick)

ONTARIO (1310 NEWS) – The federal government is funding an Ontario university study of things like white nationalism and other right-wing extremism in Canada, in the hopes of preventing future violence.

The University of Ontario Institute of Technology will examine the right-wing extremism movement through interviews with law enforcement, community anti-hate activists, as well as former and current extremists. The university will also partner with the Institute for Strategic Dialogue in London, U.K., to conduct innovative analysis of online content and media coverage.

“They can tell us what’s actually happening out there,” explained Karen McCrimmon, Kanata-Carleton MP and parliamentary secretary to the minister of public safety and emergency preparedness. “They’ve got some proven expertise and experience, and that’s what we’re looking for.”

The study is expected to produce an up-to-date national survey on the beliefs, motivations, activities, and connections that characterize right-wing extremism in Canada, which the government hopes will help it prevent people with those views from crossing the line into acts of violence.

“We have seen violence in Canada, whether it was…Alexandre Bissonnette in Quebec City or Alex Minassian in Toronto on Yonge Street,” McCrimmon told 1310 NEWS. “We have seen that hate speech or hate crime actually manifesting itself in actual violence.”

The federal government is providing UOIT with $366,985 over three years to fund the study.