HALIFAX — A Halifax city councillor under fire for retweeting a Canadian “ethno-nationalist” group has dismissed criticisms, even as official complaints poured into city hall Friday.
“The attacks on me are political,” Coun. Matt Whitman tweeted.
On Thursday, Whitman had retweeted a letter addressed to Mayor Mike Savage and regional council from ID Canada, a self-described “ethno-nationalist” group created as “a response to Canada’s decaying identity, increased third-world immigration and the prevalence of anti-European sentiments.”
The document was critical of the municipality’s decision to take down a statue of Halifax’s controversial founder, Edward Cornwallis, and place it in storage.
By Friday, the city said it had received 21 complaints about councillors in the last 24 hours, though it could not disclose who they were lodged against.
Whitman accused the media of being “reckless again” in its coverage, and said in his tweet Friday he won’t tolerate racism.
The one-page ID Canada letter said the statue’s removal represented “an egregious affront to our past” and a “brutal disregard toward the accomplishments of Canada’s European founders.”
Another councillor, Deputy Mayor Waye Mason, said he was stunned when he saw the retweet after someone pointed it out to him Thursday.
“I looked at it and went, ‘Holy crap — this is racist stuff,’” he said. “This isn’t a political thing… no man, you retweeted white supremacy, full stop.”
He immediately took to Twitter to scold Whitman for retweeting the letter from the group, which on its website promotes the idea that, “Canada is a nation of European values, traditions, customs and culture. Canada was never meant to be a melting pot of third-world migration.”