The 2016 election of President Donald Trump and the rise of neo-Nazis have stoked tensions among the black community in Canada.
The most recent example of this was in Quebec City, where a white nationalist group called the National Front called for the burning of the Quebec flag and attacked an Indigenous community gathering.
The far-right group, which claimed responsibility for the attack, also threatened to attack a Jewish school.
“The white supremacists in Quebec were also at the Quebec city Jewish school,” said David Williams, a researcher at the University of Toronto.
“That was one of the first instances where the far right in Canada is directly targeting people of colour and that is what we saw in Quebec.”
Williams is also a professor of law at the Ryerson University Law School, and was an associate professor at the Université de Montréal for more than a decade.
He says there is evidence that the far-Right has been emboldened in Canada over the past year.
“I think there has been a real shift in white nationalism and xenophobia in Canada,” Williams said.
“It’s not only white supremacists that are going after Jews, it’s also the far Right.
There is an increasing tendency of the far Left in Canada to be more aggressive and take more aggressive positions.”
Williams says there has also been a shift in the media in Canada as well, with the mainstream media becoming less sympathetic to the far left.
“It’s a very sad state of affairs that in this day and age there are still some publications that are more sympathetic to people on the far leftist side,” he said.
Williams says the farRight has not only targeted Jews in Quebec, but has also targeted Muslims in Quebec and African Americans in the United States.
“There are some people in the far east who have joined the far ends of the political spectrum, but the majority of Canadians are not.
They’re not going to go and support the far fringe in Canada, because they’re not in the mainstream.”
The far right has also started to target immigrants, which has put pressure on the Canadian government.
In April, the Federal Government of Canada, led by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, announced a new strategy to combat the rise in the radicalization of young people, including by offering asylum to anyone who can prove they are fleeing a terrorist threat.
Williams said the Government should take a more proactive approach in terms of offering asylum and other help to people fleeing a radical ideology.
“One of the things that we saw during the Trump administration is that the Government of Canadian has actually started to provide support for asylum seekers in particular, which I think is a good thing, because the Government needs to start taking this very seriously,” he explained.
“We have seen in Canada and the United Kingdom, and in other parts of Europe, that the governments have been very supportive of asylum seekers.
There’s also been some positive stories about the positive effects of asylum in the Canadian refugee program.”
Williams believes that while Canada should welcome refugees and migrants, it should also be a source of solace to people of color in Canada who are struggling with racialized marginalization.
“We are a country of people of brown skin, and we’re also a country where we have a very different relationship with black people,” he told CBC News.
“If we’re going to be successful in creating a better society for black people, we have to be able to find some solace in the country, and I think we’re certainly not there yet.”