A white supremacist group in Calgary is recruiting new members with an offer to pay the security deposit on a new rental apartment if they move to the city. A member of the Aryan Guard made the offer in an online posting at stormfront.org entitled "White Nationlist Relocation Program - Destination Calgary."
"The Aryan Guard is always seeking new brothers and sisters, if you are interested in relocating to our Calgary area, we will pay the damage deposit for your residence," the statement by a user named pitbull-A.G. reads. "We believe that through fortifying our current locations with more White Nationlists we can spread the world more efficiently and than in the future branch out further throughout Canada."
Jason Devine of Anti-Racist Action Calgary said that the Aryan Guard conducts poster campaigns and holds meetings and demonstrations in the city to intimidate non-whites. Devine told CTV Newsnet on Tuesday that if the recruiting drive is successful, the group will give off an air "of coherence and solidarity."
"Anything that comes out of white power, white nationalists, neo-Nazi groups, you've got to take with a bit of a grain of salt," Devine said. "But considering everything that the Aryan Guard has done and said to date I think it should be taken seriously."
Calgary mayor Dave Bronconnier told reporters that the offer is "distasteful."
"It's quite surprising that people would have to resort to using financial support in order to encourage people to join their group," Bronconnier said. "I think that speaks to the support level that's here, which is non-existent."
Alberta premier Ed Stelmach said white supremacists should think twice about taking advantage of the group's offer.
"The province of Alberta, we're home to many ethnic communities, it is the strength of this province," Stelmach told reporters. "We believe in human rights."
CTV Calgary attempted to contact the Aryan Guard for comment, but phone calls were not returned. Devine said that Calgary police have told him they can't shut down the Aryan Guard if the group isn't breaking any laws.
"What's going to have to happen is that everyday, average Calgarians are going to have to get up, stand up and say we don't want this anymore," Devine said.
The online post, which is dated July 4, has a few comments, some of which applaud the initiative.
A forum member with the user name VladImpaler wrote: "Another good idea i think, in order to change the demonized perception of national-socialist movements is organization of periodical charity events like collecting funds, helping the olders etc."
The website has international portals and a slogan that reads "white pride world wide."
In a study released in June, Statistics Canada reported that Calgary has the highest rate of hate crime in the country, with 9.2 cases reported to police per 100,000 people. The national average is 3.1 cases per 100,000 people.