Former Canada Green Party candidate accused of hate speech for denying Holocaust

Marcy Oster

TORONTO (JTA) — Human rights complaints have been filed against a former candidate for Canada’s Green Party after she posted online videos in which she denied the Holocaust occurred.

The complaints were launched after two videos surfaced of Monika Schaefer, who ran for the party in Alberta. In one, entitled “Sorry Mom, I was wrong about the Holocaust,” the Canadian-born Schaefer talks about being teased as a child of German immigrants.

She says she now understands her mother’s claim of not knowing about the mass murders of Jews, “because these things did not happen.”

Schaefer, a resident of Jasper, Alberta, describes the Holocaust as “the most persistent lie in all of history;” claims that victims of Nazi death camps “were kept as healthy and as well-fed as was possible;” and asserts “there were no gas chambers” in the camps.

Schaefer appears in a second video produced by a group called Committee for Open Debate on the Holocaust. “If the evidence supported the Holocaust,” she said on the video, “they wouldn’t need laws prohibiting debate. They would show us the evidence. Only lies need to be protected by laws. The truth stands on its own.”

Her statements led fellow Jasper resident Ken Kuzminski to file complaints against Schaefer with the Alberta Human Rights Commission and the Canadian Human Rights Commission, alleging her remarks constitute hate speech.

Schaefer was the federal Green Party candidate in an Alberta electoral district in 2006, 2008 and 2011. She was rejected as a candidate for the district prior to the 2015 federal election and in a 2014 by-election.

Green Party executive director Emily McMillan in a statement called Schaefer’s comments “outrageous and shocking,” adding that Schaefer “has no standing within the Green Party of Canada, and her views are exclusively her own.”

McMillan said the party will request that a motion be put forward at its next meeting to terminate Schaefer’s membership.

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