A Canadian army reservist whose membership in two far-right teams is being investigated by the military has spoken publicly in regards to the matter for the primary time, telling a native print and on-line publication in British Columbia that the allegations in opposition to him are “rubbish.”
Erik Myggland, who belongs to the Canadian Ranger Valemount, B.C. patrol, spoke lately to The Rocky Mountain Goat, a weekly publication, in regards to the army’s effort to launch him from the service.
A CBC News investigation final month chronicled Myggland’s prolific on-line help for the Three Percenter motion — a survivalist group initially from the U.S. that conducts military-style coaching — and the Soldiers of Odin, a bunch with white supremacist roots in Europe.
Myggland was interviewed by the army’s counterintelligence department, which is charged with maintaining tabs on doable threats inside the service.
He continues to be serving as a Ranger, though his personal unit beneficial he be eliminated greater than a 12 months in the past. The military is now investigating to be taught why he hasn’t been ejected from the Rangers so far. Lt.-Gen. Wayne Eyre, commander of the Canadian Army, stated lately that Myggland is just not anticipated to be formally launched till later this fall.
“I’m fine with being released, but it absolutely matters why,” Myggland informed the newspaper, including that he “can’t stand for” being publicly linked with hate teams.
CBC News reached out to Myggland — who has posted anti-government screeds on-line and described Prime Minister Justin Trudeau as a “treasonous bastard” in a single social media put up — on a number of events earlier than its first story on him was printed in late August. He initially agreed to speak however then went silent.
After publication of his latest interview with the native weekly, CBC News once more reached out to Myggland to confirm his remarks and once more supply him the chance to touch upon his on-line posts and involvement with each teams.
Myggland refused to be interviewed by CBC News. In an e mail, nonetheless, he claimed that protection of his story has been biased and has didn’t cite his years of group service, working with troubled youngsters and educating self-defence programs to girls, and his work with the Rangers and the native volunteer hearth service, which he stated included 400 emergency responses and life-saving calls.
“You see you have no interest in these things. You have no interest in the truth,” he wrote. “You are more interested in trying to destroy a good man that has done NOTHING wrong!”
His e mail didn’t tackle his involvement in both right-wing group and didn’t reply questions associated to his case.
In his interview with The Rocky Mountain Goat, Myggland did tackle the army counterintelligence investigation of his actions.
The media outlet quotes him saying that he was requested by his commanding officer to fulfill with counterintelligence officers and insisting that he “promptly complied and fully briefed them on his past activities with the Soldiers of Odin and his current activities with Three Percenters in B.C.”
‘We weren’t doing something mistaken’
The military launched a abstract investigation after a CBC News investigation reported that the Canadian army counterintelligence department interviewed Myggland about his affiliations however allowed him to proceed serving.
There was no point out of Myggland’s social media posts in The Rocky Mountain Goat article, though it does quote him strenuously insisting he isn’t racist.
“The most intriguing question [asked by CBC journalists …] in that article was why did the Armed Forces allow me to serve for two years after being investigated? It’s a pretty simple answer: because we weren’t doing anything wrong,” the article quoted Myggland as saying.
The story additionally paraphrased his patrol commanding officer, Clayton Gee, as saying Myggland didn’t preach hate or attempt to recruit different Rangers whereas serving.
Myggland vehemently denied being “racist or hateful” in his interview with the weekly and claims that, as a Facebook administrator for the Three Percenters of B.C., he would name out those that displayed such behaviour.
He stated the Three Percenter motion is all about educating survival strategies and making ready individuals for the collapse of society — one thing which its members imagine is inevitable.
Myggland is quoted as saying the B.C. Three Percenters would observe with firearms at an area firing vary and “conducted military drills with Airsoft rifles.”
Section 70 of the Criminal Code of Canada offers the federal authorities the facility to ban assemblies with out lawful authority for the aim of conducting army workout routines.
Barbara Perry is an skilled on far-right teams at Ontario Tech University, in Oshawa, Ont. She stated she was shocked to see a case of suspected far-right exercise inside the army dealt with so “nonchalantly, or so informally.”
A counterintelligence investigation ought to have sounded the alarm all the best way up the chain of command to 4th Canadian Ranger Group headquarters and past, stated Evan Balgord, government director of the Canadian Anti-Hate Network.
“It really needs to be communicated to every level of commanding officer in the Armed Forces that membership in a hate group is anathema to serving in the Forces,” Balgord stated.
The Department of National Defence (DND) wouldn’t touch upon Myggland’s public assertion, saying that in mild of the military’s investigation, “it would be inappropriate for us to publicly discuss further.”
It additionally refused to debate “the sensitive nature of its intelligence work,” including that data collected throughout an investigation by counterintelligence officers is protected beneath the Privacy Act and must be safeguarded to guard present and future investigations.
“That being said, we can firmly say that the entire institution remains unwavering in its commitment to fighting hateful conduct,” stated Dan Lebouthillier, DND’s head of media relations.
“We will not tolerate racist or harmful behaviour in our ranks or among our civilian personnel.”
Myggland identified in his interview that neither the Three Percenters not the Soldiers of Odin are on any state lists of terrorist organizations.
That’s true, stated Perry — however even a easy Internet search 5 years in the past would have revealed the anti-Muslim rhetoric being traded amongst members of the Three Percenters within the U.S., and the blatant white supremacy and anti-immigrant commentary dominating the discourse amongst Soldiers of Odin organizers, particularly in Europe.
“You would have to have been willfully blind” to assert ignorance about these teams due to the “explicitness of the narratives” on the time Myggland joined, stated Perry.
Even earlier than the latest introduction of the anti-racism coverage framework, Canadian army coverage formally barred members from becoming a member of teams “that they knew or ought reasonably to have known” would promote violence and hatred.