A Court of King’s Bench judge in Estevan, Sask., has sentenced former Canadian Nationalist Party leader Travis Patron to one year in jail for willfully promoting hatred against Jewish people.
He must also refrain from posting about Jewish people for a year after his sentence ends, Justice Neil Robertson’s Thursday sentencing decision said.
Patron, who founded the now-defunct federal party that promoted anti-immigrant and anti-LGBTQ views in 2019, was found guilty at trial earlier this month after a jury deliberated for about an hour.
Thursday’s sentencing ends a saga that began when RCMP began an investigation into an online video featuring Patron in 2019.
The video shows Patron, who is from Redvers, Sask., denouncing what he described as “the parasitic tribe” who he claimed control the media and Canada’s central bank.
“What we need to do, perhaps more than anything, is remove these people once and for all from our country,” Patron said in the video, speaking directly to the camera.
He was charged with wilfully promoting hatred against an identifiable group in February 2021.
Jaime Kirzner-Roberts, policy director at the Friends of Simon Wiesenthal Centre, said it’s troubling that it took three years from the start of the investigation to resolve the case.
“What is really concerning about this case is how long it took, from that first moment when I saw Patron’s material several years ago and first reached out to RCMP in Saskatchewan with our concerns, until today,” she said Thursday.
Kirzner-Roberts said the Canadian Jewish human rights organization is pleased with the judge’s sentence.
Outside court on Thursday, Crown prosecutor Ryan Snyder said it’s important to take individuals to task for online postings like Patron’s.
“We’re only dealing with words but it does have an impact on people,” he said.
Patron will get credit for time served in custody. He has a little more than five months remaining on his sentence.
He has been in custody since March 2021, after an unrelated disturbance at the legion hall in Redvers, Sask.
Earlier this year, another jury found Patron guilty of assaulting two women in Regina in November 2019.
In August, he was sentenced to 18 months in jail. However, because he received 1.5 days of time served credit for each of the 390 days he spent in custody, the sentence was considered served.