A 38-year-old Quebec man has been charged with inciting hatred and advocating genocide against identifiable groups, including Jews, following his arrest on Jan. 6 at his home in Granby.
Valentin Auclair appeared in court on Jan. 7 in front of Quebec court Judge Serge Champoux, who ordered Auclair to undergo a psychiatric evaluation before his next scheduled court appearance on Jan. 13, which both the prosecution and defence lawyers recommended.
Auclair has been in police custody since his arrest.
The two counts of inciting hate and one of advocating genocide stem from posts made by Auclair on social media since July 30.
Auclair’s online activity promoting white supremacist views and images over the past couple of years was flagged by Xavier Camus, a CEGEP teacher, who tracks and denounces Quebec extremists using the internet.
He made Auclair’s posts public when they became increasingly threatening.
Camus documented Auclair’s progression from spreading racist propaganda to glorification of Nazism and Hitler to outright calls for the annihilation of certain minorities and immigrants, whom he called “vermin.”
Auclair had been using the Russia-based VKontakte (VK), a social network comparable to Facebook.
Just hours before his arrest, Auclair posted on VK in French, “Our cause is bigger than me. Never am I going to kneel to international Jewry.”
According to Camus, some Quebec extremists are eluding the scrutiny of law enforcement by using VK to disseminate content that is banned on mainstream social media.
Auclair himself posted in October that VK “gives us full and entire freedom of expression. Without constraint or bullshit.”
Besides Jews, Auclair has spoken in the vilest terms about Arabs, Muslims, black people, Asians and Latinos.
Among the numerous screenshots of postings by Auclair that Camus has captured and posted on his blog are the following:
“The concentration camp is the greatest Nazi innovation. That permitted the extermination of a pile of Jews. That is good riddance.”
This past November, he hailed Kristallnacht. “That’s the day our good Fuehrer acted legitimately to defend against the Jewish cancer that was eating away Germany. That’s the beginning of the liberation of Europe from the Jew.
“But alas, after 80 years, we again need crystal nights to purify Europe of international Jewry and … foreign occupation: immigration.”
Auclair was questioned by local police in early October without being apprehended. Then his posts increasingly urged violence.
On Oct. 22, he rejoiced that Canada’s gun laws are not strong enough to restrain the right to bear arms:
“That’s good news for nationalists. In 2021, we will need arms to protect our nation against foreign occupation.”
On Nov. 4, he referred to an online weapons shop called The Armory with the tout, “if you want nice little toys for hunting Jews, niggers and mahomardes, this is a good site.”
By Nov. 17, he spoke of “the hunt” having opened. “This swarm of sub-race has become insupportable. The disgusting shish taouk spoils our daily life all because of the Jew.”
In December, he continued to propagate what Camus terms “genocidal fantasies” glorifying Hitler, ranting about Zyklon B and “a pile of cadavers,” about Jews, black people, Arabs, Asians and Latinos who are “going to bite the dust in 2021,” adding, “No animals in our home.”
Elsewhere, Auclair referred to Quebec mass murderers Marc Lépine and Alexandre Bissonnette, as well as Norwegian terrorist Anders Breivik, as “saints.”
The Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs (CIJA) has been monitoring the matter and has been in touch with Granby police, who say Auclair was not previously known to them before their investigation began.
On Jan. 6, the organization stated it is “deeply concerned by the discovery of online posts by a self-proclaimed white supremacist in Granby, Que. We reviewed the posts and found them to promote violence and hatred against Jews, blacks, Muslims, Arabs, Asians, and Latinos.”
CIJA Quebec co-chair Rabbi Reuben Poupko further commented, “This incident reminds us, yet again, that the Internet is too often used to spread hate and incite violence, and demands vigorous monitoring. We are grateful to the Granby police for dealing with this individual with the urgency these crimes deserve.
“In the backdrop of a worldwide resurgence of anti-Semitism, and in view of the spate of violent and deadly attacks on Jews and other minorities, there can be no tolerance for inciting anti-Semitism, racism, bigotry and violence.”
Granby is a city of about 65,000, approximately 70 kilometres east of Montreal.