Politics

RCMP going after Canadian Nationalist Party for intellectual property violation

Last week, the RCMP launched a hate crime investigation into the leader of the Canadian Nationalist Party. Now, they’re going after the would-be political party for violating their intellectual property.

Mounties also investigating would-be political party for potential hate crime

The Mounties say the Canadian Nationalist Party selling a coin commemorating the RCMP Musical Ride is 'a clear violation of RCMP intellectual property rights.' (Andrew Vaughan/The Canadian Press)

Last week, the RCMP launched a hate crime investigation into the leader of the Canadian Nationalist Party — now they're going after the would-be political party for violating intellectual property.

The Canadian Nationalist Party, which promotes anti-immigrant and anti-LGBTQ views and calls for the removal of "globalists" from the country, is in the final stages of applying for the ability to collect tax-deductible political donations and run a slate of candidates in the October federal election.

To raise cash, the party has set up an online store selling Canadian Nationalist Party hats and shirts.

Its big-ticket item was an RCMP centennial copper coin the party was trying to sell for $625.

The party says the coin was released to commemorate the RCMP Musical Ride, the force's iconic touring equine show.

"Feels good in the hand and in the name of justice," notes the Canadian Nationalist Party page. 

The Canadian Nationalist Party is trying to sell this RCMP coin on its website. (Canadian Nationalist Party)

The RCMP has a different interpretation of 'justice' in this case.

"This is a clear violation of RCMP intellectual property rights. No person or organization may use our protected marks without our permission," said spokesperson Sgt. Marie Damian.

"This is the first we have heard of this infringement. We will be addressing it shortly."

By Thursday afternoon, the coin was no longer for sale on Canadian Nationalist Party's site.

The force is still looking into its validity.

The Canadian Nationalist Party did not respond to a CBC News request for comment about the coin.

Hate speech probe launched

The intellectual property case comes as Mounties in Saskatchewan probe a video posted to the Canadian Nationalist Party website and its Facebook and YouTube pages.

It shows the leader of the group, Travis Patron, denouncing what he describes as "the parasitic tribe" (or "black sheep") he claims controls the media and the central bank in Canada.

"What we need to do, perhaps more than anything, is remove these people once and for all from our country," says Patron to the camera.

The RCMP said they are consulting hate crime specialists to determine whether Patron's comments in the video contravene criminal laws against advocating genocide or hatred against an identifiable group, following a formal complaint by the Canadian Anti-Hate Network, a non-profit watchdog group.

Bernie M. Farber, chair of the Canadian Anti-Hate Network, told CBC News Patron's comments were "clearly" anti-Semitic. Farber said Patron's video repeats the kind of tropes — about controlling the media, for example — that have been used to inspire hatred toward Jews, although he acknowledged Patron makes no explicit reference to Jews.

Patron told CBC News his statements are directed at "globalists" and that his members have not violated hate speech laws.

Elections Canada has given the Canadian Nationalist Party until July 15 to provide the 250 signed declarations from members who are eligible voters that it needs to officially register as a federal political party.

Damian said the RCMP intervenes on a "regular" basis on trademark infringements.

Last fall, it asked the Founders Brewing Co., based in Grand Rapids, Mich., to stop using a picture of a Mountie to sell its Canadian Breakfast Stout.

"While we understand why the brewery chose to use the iconic Mountie in red serge on their 'Canadian' beer, the RCMP's image, crest and name are protected under the Trademarks Act," a spokesperson told the Windsor Star at the time.

"The RCMP Act also prohibits the unauthorized use of the RCMP name, representations of its members and marks, badges or insignia."

About the Author

Catharine Tunney is a reporter with CBC's Parliamentary bureau in Ottawa. She can be reached at catharine.tunney@cbc.ca or @cattunneyCBC.

With files from Dave Seglins

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