Valentin Auclair, a 38-year-old resident of Granby, Quebec, a town approximately an hour’s drive east of Montreal will be faced with a count of wilful promotion of genocide against an identifiable group, two separate counts of wilful promotion of hatred against an identifiable group, as well as a charge of hate speech.
These charges come after concerning online activity that has been active as recently as Jan. 5 of 2020. The activity of Auclair was first noticed by Quebec college professor Xavier Camus, who monitors extremism within Quebec and sent a detailed tip to Granby authorities.
It was learned that the hate speech used by Auclair was coming from VK, a popular Russian social media platform.
A quick investigation led by Granby Police resulted in a Tuesday court appearance by Auclair.
According to CTV News, the content Auclair shared “allegedly included images promoting Aryan white supremacy and hateful comments about Jews, Muslims, the LGBTQ community and other minority groups. He also allegedly sympathized with neo-Nazis and applauded several mass killers, including the men behind the Quebec City mosque attack and the Montreal Polytechnique massacre.”
As reported by the Canadian Jewish News, Auclair “continued to propagate what (Professor) Camus terms ‘genocidal fantasies’ glorifying Hitler, ranting about Zyklon B and ‘a pile of cadavers,’ about Jews, black people, Arabs, Asians and Latinos.”
Caroline Garland, a spokesperson for the Granby Police said in a statement that “this is an accusation which is still rare in the past few years and it is an individual with no criminal priors.”
Auclair’s case is believed to be the first case that deals with online hate to be tried this year.
Online hate continues to be a reoccurring issue in Canada and was studied in depth by the Standing Committee on Justice and Human Rights in the previous session of Parliament.