The National Citizens Alliance (NCA) “Canadians First Rally” was quickly met with opposition in Dartmouth on Sunday.
The groups says it had a permit and intended to hold a peaceful rally.
“We’re fighting for Canadians, all Canadians, and we just wanted to give out some information,” said Adrien Bordage, Maritimes Regional Coordinator for the National Citizens Alliance.
“Unfortunately, this group of people, they don’t want to let us.”
The National Citizens Alliance is a Calgary-based unofficial political party.
The NCA says it is committed to running candidates in the next federal election. The party believes multiculturalism and mass immigration policies are a failure and that immigrants should adopt Canadian values.
It’s those kind of views that many are calling controversial. Some go even further, calling it alt-right hate speech.
“They only want to portray us as anti-immigration and they’re anti-hate, but in fact we’re the ones that are anti-hate because we’re willing to have a constructive dialogue and this is what they want to offer — nothing but shouting, calling us racist,” said Bordage.
Dozens of people came out to confront those who showed up for the National Citizens Alliance Rally. The group says less than 10 people came to their event.
“I’m really impressed with the turnout,” said Daniel Whitten, a counter-protester with Industrial Workers of the World.
“I’m really glad that so many people were able to come out and show communities in Halifax that they have our support, everyone’s support and that there’s no place for this here.”
Whitten says he has a number of concerns about the National Citizens Alliance, especially their views on multiculturalism.
Before the rally, the founder of the NCA told Global News he didn’t want any issues, only to have their constitutional right to free speech respected.
In the end, the group didn’t stay in Dartmouth long before packing up and leaving.
“I think we achieved exactly what we needed to achieve, which was to deny them a platform,” said Whitten.
“If nobody had shown up then they could have just stayed here all day and spread their hate and just sort of mask it — as they’re trying to do — as legitimate political rhetoric. They’re trying to present as sort of mainstream views what are actually sort of far-right, white nationalist conspiracy theories.”
The NCA founder says the party has zero tolerance for racism and white supremacy — something the protesters aren’t buying.
“Every time they come back, we’ll be back until they learn,” said Whitten.