Putting Canada First drops anti-Asian activist Bradley Saltzberg over fake IDs

SCMP outed Bradley Saltzberg’s use of aliases to attack Vancouver mayoral hopeful Meena Wong; his own group has now disowned him

PUBLISHED : Monday, 29 September, 2014, 3:23am
UPDATED : Monday, 29 September, 2014, 8:10pm

One of the most vocal critics of Asian immigration in Canada has been fired from the anti-multicultural group he helped found, after the South China Morning Post revealed he had been using fake identities to promote his agenda.

Bradley Saltzberg, one of the directors of Putting Canada First and its British Columbia regional spokesman, was dismissed for having "unnecessarily harmed the organisation through his inappropriate inclusion of race in his discussions, and his use of any unprofessional email techniques", PCF chairman Paul Bentley said, adding that Saltzberg had acted "deceptively".

Saltzberg has recently been targeting Olivia Chow and Meena Wong, two Hong Kong emigrants who are seeking the mayoralties of Toronto and Vancouver respectively. "Voters need to understand the ramifications of these two running Canada's two largest Anglophone cities," wrote Saltzberg in a recent PCF media statement. "Do voters really want two pro-multicultural, ethnocentric candidates running our largest cities? I don't, and from my direct experience, neither do most Canadians of European origin."

However, the South China Morning Post's Hongcouver blog revealed on September 18 that Vancouver-based Saltzberg had also been using two fake identities, "Pascal Brody" and "Paul Bradley", to send emails to dozens of journalists and politicians in support of his views about Wong, without specifically mentioning any connection to Saltzberg or PCF. Brody and Bradley were not merely pseudonymous email addresses; Brody described himself as a "Vancouver community activist" and Bradley responded to email queries in that name, at which point he suggested a journalist contact PCF because he was "not authorised to speak on these issues".

However, both ceased all communications after the Hongcouver blog asked them directly if they were, in fact, Saltzberg. They offered no denial. When asked about this, and confronted with evidence that Brody had been sending photos taken with Saltzberg's smartphone, Saltzberg claimed that both Brody and Bradley were "real people".

He said he knew both men and they supported his views, but was unable to describe their physical appearance. He said he could arrange for the pair to verify their existence via email, but when asked whether they could instead call or meet in person, said "that's probably not going to happen".

PCF posted a brief statement on its website on Friday: "Putting Canada First B.C. Representative Brad Saltzberg will no longer continue with the organisation, and a replacement will be sought shortly."

In an email, PCF chair Bentley said the group had "disassociated itself from Brad Saltzberg in light of his professional misconduct", although he said in a phone interview that he could not definitively state that Saltzberg used fake identities.

"Brad, who had been a member of PCF for several months, had received prior warning from the group regarding his non-compliance with communication protocols, and for undertaking his own interpretation of PCF policies as it relates to public communications. It is most unfortunate that Mr Saltzberg incorporated his personal viewpoints onto PCF," Bentley said by email.

Saltzberg has been by far PCF's most active member, sending hundreds of media statements on the group's behalf. His views have been widely cited by Canadian media.

Despite Bentley's description of Saltzberg as only a member of PCF, "although we did recently permit [him] to speak publicly as our B.C. Representative", Saltzberg is listed in corporate documents as a founding director of the group.

In his email and a subsequent interview on Saturday, Bentley rejected Saltzberg's linking of PCF's agenda to race and apologised. "Our organisation disagrees wholeheartedly with his personal viewpoints in this context, and his approach to act in any way deceptively," Bentley wrote.

"As a relatively new organisation, we are striving to ensure quality control with our members. This can sometimes be challenging, but we are creating safeguards to ensure that incidents like this do not recur," wrote Bentley, who is based in Hamilton, Ontario.

Saltzberg could not be reached for comment on his dismissal. However, in an interview last week, he said: "OK, I got it. No more fake identities, then." He later denied that this amounted to an admission he had employed such tactics.


Anti-multicultural group is pro-Canada, not racist, says chairman

Putting Canada First is a non-profit political organisation that has dedicated itself to challenging Canadian multiculturalism and large-scale immigration. 

Although the ousted British Columbia director of PCF, Brad Saltzberg, had vocally championed the rights of what he called “CEOs”, or Canadians of European Origin, in his media statements for the group, its chairman Paul Bentley said it was not the group’s intention to single out any race.

Bentley said by phone on Saturday that PCF opposed multiculturalism and the current scale of immigration to Canada, although it was not opposed to all immigration. It was not pro or anti any race but was pro-“Canadian culture”, he said. “I would like people to think that we are a very reasonable organisation, and that we are very reasonable people… We’re very Canadian in our approach,” Bentley said.

The group also advocates increased transparency in Canada’s trade negotiations.

He said PCF was primarily involved in conducting research, and that Saltzberg’s widespread media activities had “gotten away from us” and created an “understandable” but false impression that Saltzberg was the group’s primary participant.

Corporations Canada records show that the group was only officially incorporated on March 14 this year, with Saltzberg, Bentley, Dan Murray and Jacob Rivers listed as the founding directors. However, Bentley said the group had been working unofficially for a few years prior to Saltzberg’s involvement, and that its active membership numbered more than 100.

In a letter to Vancouver’s North Shore News in July, Bentley said it was inaccurate to suggest that PCF was invoking a “European Canada”. “We support a ‘Canadian Canada’, and we are not interested in creating European ethnic enclaves in Canada any more than we would support Filipino or Iranian enclaves,” he wrote.

Ian Young in Vancouver