Andy Takagi, The Varsity
Posters that read “If everyone is Canadian, then to be Canadian means nothing” were found along St. George Street and Bloor Street on Monday night, in promotion of a group called “Students for Western Civilization” (SWC). SWC is a white nationalist group that was founded on claims that universities have fostered “extreme antagonism and hostility towards white people.”
According to a blog post on the group’s website about the campaign’s intent, “Multiculturalism and a Canadian National Identity are mutually exclusive.”
The post then goes on to argue against multiculturalism and calls for “European-Canadians” to “enlist” with SWC.
A similar poster campaign from SWC occurred in 2015, advertising a “White Students’ Union,” and again in 2017 at UTM.
According to the SWC website, one of the organization’s goals is to “organize for and advance the interests of European peoples.”
The front page of the group’s website links to a video from white nationalist Faith Goldy’s YouTube channel and a tweet from its Twitter feed reads, “Terms like ‘Racist’ and ‘White supremacist’ are weapons of oppression.”
In response to the presence of the posters on campus, University of Toronto Students’ Union (UTSU) President Anne Boucher wrote to The Varsity, “Being Canadian is not defined by whiteness. Being Canadian is defined by our shared values, traditions, and our embrace of multiculturalism.”
Boucher also questioned SWC’s intentions, calling its actions “malicious and unCanadian [sic],” and encourages students who feel unsafe to reach out to the university’s Anti-Racism and Cultural Diversity Office.
UTSU Vice-President, University Affairs Joshua Grondin echoed Boucher’s sentiments, writing that the union condemns “racism, xenophobia, and white supremacy.”
“Unless you are Indigenous, you came to this country as a settler or an immigrant. If you are not Indigenous, it is hypocritical to condemn multiculturalism in Canada,” Grondin said. “Toronto is a place where people from all countries call home.”