Not Exactly As Advertised – How An Antivaxx/Conservative Alliance Is Organizing To Take Over B.C. School Boards
On the surface, Brian Dominick’s a pretty vanilla guy. He’s running for election to the Maple Ridge-Pitt Meadows school board in the October 15 municipal elections on a program that seems anything but controversial. His campaign ad stresses that the school board’s main task is “providing [children] with knowledge, tools and confidence to succeed” and that his role of trustee is to “represent parents and the community, not unions and special interest groups…. Otherwise, why even have local school boards? (source: https://vimeo.com/741025674/8c2388ca53)
This sounds a little small-C conservative but nothing to get one’s knickers in a knot about, an impression reinforced by the big-C Conservative credentials of his campaign’s organizers. Dominick is one of at least twenty-eight candidates being fielded in ten school trustee races by Parents Voice B.C., a new electoral organization that is is playing a role of coordinating the school trustee campaigns of independent candidates in ten different school districts across the province. The group’s web site offers prospective candidates who are interested in running under its banner the advantage of joining a province-wide brand and receiving training, professional campaign management, fundraising support and platform development.
Interestingly, it also advises prospective candidates to have a “clean background” and to make sure “your social media will not embarrass you or the team.”
They should have followed their own advice.
Until quite recently, Brian Dominick had a social media presence using four different names – Brian Dominick, Brian Paul, Paul Allen and Bob Dobalina. Up until the end of August Dominick’s social media went under the name of Brian Paul. However, on September 1st he deleted his Instagram page, and he switched his Facebook page over to a new name, Bob Dobalina, while preserving his original posts. Two days later he deleted it altogether.
He should have been quicker.
What posts they are.
Brian Dominick is no Conservative.
“They Are The Ones That Need To Be Exterminated”
On May 15, 2022 under the name Brian Paul, he addressed an antivaxx rally at the Vancouver Art Gallery, put on by a group called Freedom Rally World (at the time he was this group’s public relations manager). He told the crowd that the federal government’s Covid restrictions were part of an international conspiracy, saying "this is not a Canadian problem, folks. This is a global elitist parasite problem, and they are the ones that need to be exterminated."
Vancouver anti-lockdown speaker Brian Paul today says that they are facing a "global elitist parasite" problem and that "they are the ones that need to be exterminated," to which the audience cheered— Drew (@nolifeneet) May 16, 2021
After him Marco Pietro, who has made videos denying the Holocaust, got to speak pic.twitter.com/oQGZi6FLWM
Some of his fellow conspiracists feel the same way. Here’s Dominick at an antivaxx picket of Justin Trudeau’s Liberal fundraiser in Surrey on May 24. That’s him in the blue shirt.
Seventeen seconds later his colleague Justin Gordon walks into the frame, carrying a noose.
In Dominick’s world view, the antivaxx movement is the last bastion standing in the way of a looming globalist takeover. "You guys and gals ready for "Digital I D" and a "World Gov" run by the U N and the W E F? If not, buckle up because its coming to a theatre near you this fall brought to you by "YOUR COMPLIANCE".... So, if your reading this saying to yourself..."Is there still time?" (YES there is) or What can I do? Well this fall when themandates comes back just like all your truther friends and family told you they would....you can say NO!!! " (Brian Paul, Facebook, August 23, 2022).
Fielding A Slate Of Secret Antivaxxers
Dominick is far from alone. One of the Parents Voice candidates in SD43 (Coquitlam) is Belinda Wheatley. She too is featured in the PV campaign ad proclaiming meaningless generalities: “nothing is more important to the people of B.C. than the education of our children.” To find out what that means, however, you have to go to her social media feeds. Do that and you’ll soon discover an articulated far right program.
She, too, supported the Ottawa convoy.
She also believes fluoridated water is a plot, posting this Rebel News piece on her Facebook page on August 11.
Most revealingly, she, like Brian Dominick, has posted material from Action4Canada on her page. Action4Canada is a semi-fascist and Islamophobic group that formed before the pandemic started. Its original focus was on the UN plot to install Communism in Canada, and the diabolical alliance between “political Islam” and “political LGBTQ+” to subvert the West, but when Covid appeared Action4Canada quickly pivoted to join the rapidly growing antivaxx movement. The group is profiled by the Canadian Antihate Network as “a case study in how the far-right adopts and packages new grievances to recruit support (https://www.antihate.ca/m_103_pandemic_evolution_canadian_islamophobic_activists_shows_how_hate_movements_adapt)
“Collapse The Education System”
Action4Canada’s leader, Tanya Gaw, made her group’s position on public education clear when she posted a comment to Facebook on August 10, 2022 – calling for the destruction of public education.
In SD33 (Chilliwack) PV is running two candidates to join notorious homophobe Barry Neufeld on the school board. One, Richard Procee, narrowly lost last year’s board byelection despite being publicly supported by Neufeld. Procee is a libertarian who has been quoted as saying "I like Trump because he stirs the pot". He also believes SOGI should be “re-evaluated.” His running mate, Elliot Friesen, describes himself as “proud to be conservative, pro family, and pro life!”
In SD23 (Central Okanagan) PV candidate Teresa Docksteader is an antivaxxer who opposes the New World Order and like Brian Dominick believes the Rothschild family is using Covid restrictions to force the world’s population into submission to globalism.
She believes Justin Trudeau is “a weak little man”, “a piece of shit”, and that he “needs to go to jail.” Docksteader supported the convoy, and even posted an interview with a convoy participant who was wearing a sweatshirt carrying the slogan “Support Your Local Big Red Machine” – a satellite club of the Hells Angels.
In SD 91 (Nechako Lakes) PV is running three candidates. Dave Forsberg is both an antivaxxer and antichoice. Brothers Terah and Daniel Albertson were both involved in a local petition opposing the teaching of critical race theory in local schools. https://www.change.org/p/school-district-91-board-of-education-academics-or-activism
Terah Albertson supported the convoy and on February 22 posted that "Government imposed vaccine mandates are wrong and have led to the violation of many of our countries foundational freedoms.... The Canadian mainstream media, as a whole, have been disturbingly biased, incomplete, and divisive in their coverage of the pandemic, and in particular, the Freedom Convoy and its participants views.... Our Prime Minister is unfit for office! Our Country needs a leader, not a bigot. His divisive rhetoric and policies in the face of these challenging times is shameful!."
Daniel Albertson thinks Justin Trudeau is a “Nazi”. his Facebook page is overwhelmingly given over to posts opposing the Liberal’s assault rifle ban, and includes a 2016 post he put up calling for legislation to legalize the concealed carrying of handguns in Canada.
Following the suggestion on Parent’s Voice’s web site, Teresa Docksteader, Belinda Wheatley, Terah Albertson and Daniel Albertson have followed Dominick in recently deleting or radically truncating their Facebook pages. No wonder.
PV candidates are not the only far right candidates running for school trustee positions in October. In SD61 (Victoria) a slate of candidates is being fielded by the Peoples Party of Canada-aligned Viva Victoria. These include antivaxxer and PPC supporter Leslie-Anne Goodall, pro-Trumper Roberta Solvey and another PPC supporter, Corrinne Torrence. In North Cowichan SD79 antivaxxer Serena Winterburn is running and in Campbell River (SD72) Alaina Kelly will be on the ballot.
Finally, Action4Canada is running its own slate of candidates in SD41 (Burnaby), although their identities have not yet been made public.
This is far from a complete list.
Flying In Under The Radar
Stealth campaigns are a tactic developed by the U.S. Christian right in the 1990’s to take over local city councils and school boards. They are based on the fact of low voter turnout in municipal elections, and the disproportionate impact a well-organized minority can have, especially when it conceals its actual beliefs and goals from the electorate as a whole. The campaigns of the ‘90s were based in the congregations of megachurches, and typically used the church infrastructure – canvassing church membership lists, leafletting in church parking lots on Sunday, getting endorsement from the pulpit – to mobilize parishioners to get out and vote. The goals differed from time to time and place to place, whether getting a fundamentalist school board elected or passing a local antiabortion ordinance, but the pattern remained the same – mobilize your base without advertising your goals to the broader public, as that would risk a bigger turnout to the polls in opposition. The common wisdom at the time was that if you could get 15% of the electorate out to the ballot box you could pretty well be guaranteed to get your candidates elected.
One should not underestimate the support that exists across Canada for the antivaxx movement. It’s a movement involving many tens of thousands, heavily networked, highly active, and with Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and TikTok at their disposal. An estimated 113,000 people made financial donations to the “Freedom” Convoy. When three antivaxx doctors went on tour across B.C. last December, hundreds turned out to hear them in small town after small town. Sorrento (pop. 5,000) saw an overflow crowd of 400 show up. Thousands of movement supporters lined highway overpasses across the country to cheer the convoy on as it passed by on its way to Ottawa. And, not least, the hard right Peoples’ Party of Canada saw its popular vote triple in two years, jumping from 294,000 in 2019 to 841,000 in 2021. Clearly it would be deeply mistaken to discount the impact this movement could have in local elections where turnout is small.
A Precursor To Fascism
The antivaxx movement is not a fascist movement. Despite its obsession with Covid precautions and its tendency to see globalist conspiracies around every corner (the Great Reset! Chemtrails! Gays are recruiting our kids! The UN is going to make us eat crickets!), many, possibly the majority, are not hardened ultrarightists with an agenda so much as small business people hammered by Covid restrictions and a mishmash of libertarians, wellness aficionados, and people whose healthy distrust of the pharmaceutical industry has gotten completely out of hand.
But while it is not yet full-blown fascist, the antivaxx movement is very much the precursor of a fascist movement. The composition of its leadership demonstrates that quite clearly. The Toronto organizer of the convoy was a member of the Soldiers of Odin. So was the convoy organizer for all of northern Ontario. James Bauder, one of the key organizers, is a 9/11 truther who likes to post QAnon memes. He and many other key convoy leaders like Pat King, Les Michaelson and Tamara Lich had their start in the semifascist Yellow Vest movement. And convoy leader B.J. Dichter made it clear to the Canadian public that "Islamist entryism and the adaptation of political Islam is rotting away at our society like syphilis."
Pay No Attention To Those Men Behind The Curtain
So why are two powerful backroom boys in the Conservative Party of Canada organizing a clandestine takeover of B.C. school boards? Marc Vella and Fritz Radandt are not political neophytes by any stretch of the imagination. One is forced to conclude that they know what they are doing and they know the people they are pushing as candidates. Vella is a former president of the Mission-Matsqui federal Conservative riding association who later went on to become a director of the Abbotsford EDA of the Conservative Party of Canada. For five years Vella served on the party’s National Policy Committee under Stephen Harper. And in his spare time he serves as the president of the Christian Civic Affairs Committee of Canada, describing himself as “finance industry professional by day, volunteer do-gooder by night”.
The campaign manager for Parents Voice, Fritz Radandt, has similar credentials. He’s the president of the Port-Moody-Coquitlam Conservative riding association, and has run unsuccessfully for the party’s National Council. He also was the campaign manager for Kerry-Lynn Findlay’s unsuccessful bid to become party leader in 2021, one of at least nine election campaigns he has managed. In the 2020 B.C. election he ran B.C. Liberal James Robertson’s campaign in the Port Moody- Coquitlam constituency.
The problem seems less to do with them as political individuals, and more to do with the Conservative Party’s turn toward the antivaxx movement –
- In March Conservative MP and leadership hopeful Marc Dalton spoke at a rally in Maple Ridge organized by the local chapter of Action4Canada;
- Multiple Conservative MP’s running for the party leadership openly aligned themselves with the antivaxx movement (Dalton, Leslyn Lewis, Roman Baber and Pierre Poilievre);
- Poilievre has made it clear that as leader he wants to steer the party to the right and attract PPC supporters back to the Conservatives;
- To do that he has introduced legislation to ban vaccine mandates, and supported the convoy, telling the media that he supports "freedom, not fear, truckers, not Trudeau."
Perhaps the most telling incident is the handshake with Jeremy Mackenzie. Poilievre was captured in a photo op with MacKenzie, an Afghan vet, neo-Nazi and antivaxxer currently out on bail and facing seventeen firearms charges in Saskatchewan and Nova Scotia as well as multiple charges of assault and criminal harassment. MacKenzie is the main leader of Diagolon, a network of fascist livestreamers.
Now, the problem is not the handshake. Any politician shakes the hands of thousands of utter strangers, and can’t possibly be expected to know who each one of them is.
The problem is that once the media revealed whose hand it was that he had shaken, Poilievre refused to distance himself from a Nazi. Repeatedly. It’s difficult to imagine a more telling example than this of how much weight the antivaxx movement has in the Conservative Party’s calculations. Spearheaded by Pierre Poilievre, the Conservative Party of Canada is consciously allying itself with the antivaxx movement. There are significant practical benefits to be had in doing this by drawing on the antivaxxers’ networking skills and social media expertise. At the same time this courtship marks a serious lurch to the right in the party itself given Poilievre’s ascendancy to the leadership. The only question that remains to be seen is whether this a political expedient marks or a strategic reorientation to the far right.
Think Globally, Act Locally
The antivaxx movement is an international phenomenon, embedded within a broader international surge of reactionary politics. The U.S has Trump, we have Poilievre. Brazil has Bolsonaro, we have Bernier. Florida has Desantis, we have his mini-me, Brian Dominick.
Locally, the city council and school board elections on October 15 represent an important phase in the fight to resist this right wing wave. If nothing else, antivaxx activists know how to use the levers of power once in office, and they will lie, cheat and steal to get there.
The first step in defeating them is making sure British Columbians know exactly who they are and what they intend. So quote them. Word for word. Turn their own words against them. And do it often.
Part 2: https://unmasktheright.org/articles?p=not-exactly-as-advertised-how-an-antivaxxconservative-alliance-is-organizing-to-take-over-bc-school-boards-part-2
Part 3: https://unmasktheright.org/articles?p=not-exactly-as-advertised-how-an-antivaxxconservative-alliance-is-organizing-to-take-over-bc-school-boards-part-3
Part 4: https://unmasktheright.org/articles?p=not-exactly-as-advertised-how-an-antivaxxconservative-alliance-is-organizing-to-take-over-bc-school-boards-part-4