October 8, 2019
OTTAWA – The Estonian Central Council in Canada (EKN) is calling on the Leader of the Liberal Party of Canada to remove their candidate in the Nova Scotia riding of Sydney-Victoria in light of a report about a number of deeply offensive social media posts by the candidate, Jaime Battiste.
The sexist and racist nature of the posts are inexcusable, including the grossly insensitive glorification of Soviet symbols which is deeply insulting to Estonian Canadians and the millions of Canadians whose families fled Soviet terror.
This Fall, our community commemorates the 75th anniversary of the Great Flight of Estonian Refugees when nearly 100,000 Estonians fled the Red Army’s occupying forces whose repression and bloody terror were committed under the banner of the same hurtful symbol Mr. Battiste glorified on social media. In the same post, Mr. Battiste even references the “Red Army”. Many had family and friends that were murdered and deported to gulags under the same soviet regime.
The Estonian community in Canada, along with many other communities, find the candidate’s behaviour is reprehensible and hateful. No political party should have a candidate representing them with such a track record of offensive behaviour.
The Liberal Party and Justin Trudeau made a commitment to our communities to support the national Victims of Communism Memorial and all it represents. Allowing Mr. Battiste to continue to speak for, and represent the Liberal Party, contradicts this commitment to recognize the crimes of communism and to memorialize the more than 100 million people worldwide who perished or suffered under communist tyranny.
EKN is nationally elected by Canadians of Estonian heritage. The Council represents the interests of the Estonian community in Canada and works to support them. It represents the Estonian Canadian community with all levels of government in Canada, Estonia and elsewhere.
For more information, please contact:
Estonian Central Council in Canada