Regina is the latest community to be fooled by a white supremacist group into declaring a “European Heritage Week.”
The city says it received the request from a group earlier this year and set aside the week of Oct. 14–20 for the designation.
Mayor Michael Fougere even signed a proclamation. The mayor says he didn’t realize that it was the Nationalist Party of Canada that made the request.
“We made a mistake, I admit that,” Fougere told the Regina Leader-Post, noting that a letter was sent on Tuesday to Bob Smith of the European Heritage Week Celebration Committee in Toronto. “But once we realized what it was, who they were, we absolutely want nothing to do with this group at all.
“It’s being a bit underhanded, a bit unfair to us,” he continued, saying Smith’s request was professional and made no mention of the Nationalist Party of Canada.
The organization’s website on Tuesday carried a post on its home page that congratulated Fougere for the declaration, as well as urging “white nationalists to write words of congratulations to the City of Regina and to the Mayor’s office.”
Fougere’s letter to Smith, however, forbids the group from publishing the event in association with the City of Regina.
“The City of Regina does not condone racism or hate in any form but rather takes great pride in and celebrates the diversity of all cultures and recognizes all ethnic backgrounds and their contributions to Regina and Canada’s history,” said the letter, which was obtained by the Leader-Post. The Toronto address on the letter is the same as the address on the party’s website.
Over the years Halifax, Victoria, Fredericton have made the same mistake, as have the three small towns of Midland and Parry Sound, Ont., and Cranbrook, B. C.