Montreal

Far-right fringe groups surface in Quebec City police hate-crime incident reports

Québec Identitaire — the far-right group which delivered a severed pig’s head to the Quebec City mosque six months before the deadly shooting there — as well as Adalante and Storm Alliance figured in police reports on alleged "public incitement to hatred."

Québec Identitaire, Atalante, Storm Alliance all named, though police won't say if they're under investigation

The pig's head was found by a regular worshipper at the Quebec City mosque in June 2016. (Radio-Canada)

Québec Identitaire — the far-right group which delivered a severed pig's head to the Quebec City mosque six months before the deadly shooting there — makes an appearance in police reports related to other hateful incidents, CBC News has learned.

Police have never arrested anyone in the pig's head case, in which a "Bonne appetit" (sic) card signed by the group was attached to the head and left outside the mosque during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan in 2016.

Police classified that incident as "general intimidation" in the context of a "climate of hatred."

Québec Identitaire is also named in two other police reports, linked to "public incitement to hatred."

Public incitement to hatred is one of the few articles in the Criminal Code which, by definition, is considered a hate crime. Most of the time, hate crimes are deemed as such by a judge at the time of sentencing, if the judge rules hate was the motive behind crimes such as assaults, threats or harassment.

Atalante, Storm Alliance also named

Since December 2017, CBC has been trying to find out more about the nature of hate crimes and incidents in Quebec City.

A request for incident reports including the names of several far-right fringe groups was refused by the Quebec City police service, and Quebec's Access to Information Commission rejected CBC's appeal.

According to the data which police have been willing to provide, about 80 of 280 hateful incidents reported to police since 2013 targeted Muslims.

And in light of a recent review of its data, the SPVQ says 120 of those 280 incidents are considered crimes.

SPVQ communications officer Const. David Poitras would not confirm if any of the groups named in police reports into public incitement to hatred are under investigation.

Aside from the two police reports of public incitement to hatred in which Québec Identitaire is named, another group, Atalante, is named in one incident report.

Atalante regularly posts pictures on social media of members in skeleton masks brandishing anti-immigration slogans.

A third group, Storm Alliance is also named in at least one report. It has members who have protested against Sharia law at the U.S.-Canada border.

Police spokesperson David Poitras said the appearance of the names of the fringe groups does not mean their members are under investigation.

Members of the Quebec City mosque targeted by Québec Identitaire did not want to speak to CBC News about the pig's head incident, which remains unresolved.

About the Author

Catou MacKinnon started working for CBC in New Brunswick as a reporter and then as the Maritime Noon correspondent. Since 2004, she's been reporting on stories from all over the province of Quebec.