Dec. 15, 2020
By STEVE ARNOLD
Royal Canadian Navy commanders are recommending a reservist with a history of ties to a racist organization be discharged from the military.
Navy leaders have told Friends of Simon Wiesenthal Center the decision to recommend tossing Calgary-based Leading Seaman Boris Mihajlovic from the Navy was made following a command-level review of his case, including a previous decision to reinstate the sailor.
“We strongly commend the Canadian Navy for its renewed efforts to combat hate and extremism in their ranks and for the decision by Naval chain of command to pursue a release of an individual with deep and longstanding ties to neo-Nazi groups and activities,” said Jaime Kirzner-Roberts, Director of Policy at FSWC, in a news release.
As a supporter of the neo-Nazi terrorist organization Blood and Honour, Mihajlovic was found to have used the neo-Nazi website Iron March to call for a “race war” and offer to sell weapons to white supremacists.
He was suspended from the reserves earlier this year but was reinstated in July after telling commanders he had been rehabilitated by his time in the forces and no longer held racist views.
A senior Navy official told FSWC that Mihajlovic has been informed of the chain of command’s recommendation and will have the opportunity to make representations during an administrative review. That review, which will be independent of his chain of command, will be considered by the Director of Military Careers and Administration, after which a final decision will be made.
At the same time, the commander of the Army has promised to remove a soldier from the famed Canadian Rangers who, according to the CBC, has a history of involvement with the white supremacist group Soldiers of Odin.
Army commander Lieutenant-General Wayne Eyre has promised that Master Corporal Erik Myggland will be out of the Armed Forces “within weeks.”
A Forces spokesperson told the CJR on Dec. 10 that it’s estimated Myggland’s release will be finalized next month.
Meantime, “we simply must ensure he is afforded the same treatment as any other member whom we intend to release. The details of this process related to any particular case are protected under the Privacy Act, so we cannot comment further,” stated spokesperson Major Karina Holder.
The Forces remain committed “to the elimination of hateful conduct and has taken strong measures to equip our leaders with the ability to do so,” Holder said.
The Canadian Army Order on Hateful Conduct “makes everyone’s obligations clear at all levels and we have distributed this policy widely across the [Forces], including sharing it with stakeholder groups, posting it to the [internet] and promoting it on our social media channels.”
The decision on Myggland was also welcomed by FSWC.
“We support and appreciate this decision by the Canadian Army to finally remove an individual involved in far-right activity and hateful conduct from its ranks, a decision that sends a message that those who are involved in hate groups and activity are not welcome in the military,” stated FSWC president and CEO Michael Levitt.
In a later statement to the CJR, Sajjan said, “Canadians expect every member who wears the maple leaf on their shoulder to uphold our values, both at home and abroad. If an individual does not believe in values of Canadians and instead promotes hate and intolerance, there is no place for that person in the Canadian Armed Forces.”
FSWC has urged the government to adopt a zero-tolerance policy that includes quick dismissal of any members found to be involved in extremist activity.