August 14, 2017 5:11 pm
Updated: August 14, 2017 8:43 pm

University of Toronto denies ‘Nationalist Rally’ will take place on campus

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The University of Toronto has denied a controversial “Toronto Nationalist Rally” will be taking place on its campus next month after outcry on social media.

The Sept. 14 event, which was allegedly hosted by the Canadian Nationalist Party, aimed to “discuss the nationalist movement in Canada and the future of our country.”

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“What we want to emphasize, throughout the entirety of the campaign, is that a positive and professional message must come first. We will not tolerate verbal threats or attempts to physically intimidate our speakers, our hosts, or our attendees,” a Facebook page for the event said.

“Our policy is very clear: anyone who violates the freedom of expression or the physical well-being of another person will be immediately escorted out and handed over to law enforcement. We will be a space for open dialogue and constructive debate.”

READ MORE: Hate crime in Canada: do our laws allow a white nationalist rally?

The post said organizers were looking for volunteers and that there would be no admission cost for the event, which was open to the public. It also asked “all attendees to be courteous and grateful to our event hosts.”

The university tweeted Monday afternoon they had received numerous requests for information about the event, but added there was “no such booking” and they were not hosting it.

In an updated tweet at 8:20 p.m., the university wrote it has reported the event to Facebook.

“There was never a formal request made, there hasn’t been any communication between the group and the university — they haven’t approached us. There is no affiliation between the university,” U of T spokeswoman Althea Blackburn-Evans told Global News.

“We are looking into it to determine why it is the group has listed the university as the location for their event given that they have no booking confirmed with us.”

The incident comes on the same day dozens of demonstrators gathered in downtown Toronto Monday morning to stand in solidarity with victims of the weekend violence in Virginia that killed one woman and injured 19 people.

On Saturday, a car plowed through a group of people in Charlottesville, Va., as they were protesting a white supremacist rally. James Alex Fields Jr., 20, of Ohio, was arrested shortly after and charged with second-degree murder and other counts.

A vigil was also held in Toronto Sunday night to remember the victims of Saturday’s violence. A rally was also held in Montreal, according to social media and local media reports.

With files from The Canadian Press

© 2017 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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