Commander of reserve unit being probed for far-right exercise is being changed

The commander of a troubled army reserve unit on the centre of a military investigation into far-right extremist exercise is being changed, CBC Information has realized.

Lt.-Col. Russ Meades, who leads the 4th Canadian Ranger Patrol Group (4CRPG), delivered the information to the unit on Friday, defence sources mentioned.

He’ll stay in control of the unit till June, when a member of the common drive will take over command of the Esquimalt, B.C.-based headquarters, mentioned sources — who spoke to CBC Information on the situation of anonymity as a result of they weren’t approved to debate the case publicly.

Meades was knowledgeable of the choice by his rapid superior, Brig.-Gen. Invoice Fletcher. The change of command was sanctioned by the commander of the Canadian Military, Lt.-Gen. Wayne Eyre.

The Esquimalt headquarters — which oversees Ranger patrols in British Columbia, Alberta and Manitoba — got here beneath scrutiny final summer time when an armed member of the Swan River Patrol, Grasp-Cpl. Corey Hurren, was arrested and accused of crashing his truck into the gates of Rideau Corridor and threatening the prime minister.

Picture from the Fb web page of Corey Hurren. (GrindHouse Tremendous Meals/Fb)

A subsequent CBC Information investigation revealed that army intelligence had been warned about one other reservist, Cpl. Erik Myggland, and his open help for and on-line promotion of two far-right teams: the Troopers of Odin and the Three P.c survivalist militia motion.

Myggland’s actions have been recognized to the management of the 4th Ranger Patrol Group and the military opened an investigation into the unit after the CBC Information story was revealed.

That particular investigation has been accomplished, however its findings haven’t been launched publicly.

Probe extent of far-right sympathies in unit

The assessment checked out why Myggland, who served in Valemount, B.C., was not launched from the army when his actions turned recognized, and to what extent far-right sympathies have been shared all through the unit.

On Friday, the military confirmed the plan to change Lt.-Col. Meades however sought to place a ways between the choice and the investigation, presenting it as a routine matter.

“As a part of profession planning, development and the annual rotation of personnel, the Canadian Military intends to alter the Commanding Officer of 4 Canadian Ranger Patrol Group, based mostly in Esquimalt, B.C., in the summertime of 2021,” Brig.-Gen. Fletcher mentioned in a quick written assertion.

Meades nonetheless has one yr left in his reserve contract, in keeping with sources. Fletcher’s assertion didn’t say the place Meades can be stationed or in what capability he would end out his service.

Phrase of Meades’ alternative comes only a few days after the deadline handed for members of the unit to finish a survey about their working setting. The survey requested members of 4 CRPG to reveal whether or not they had encountered far-right extremist views throughout their time with the unit.

A spokesperson for the Canadian Military was not instantly out there to remark.

On the day the commander’s impending departure was introduced, the Division of Nationwide Defence launched a shiny Fb video highlighting the 4th Ranger group’s actions in help of pandemic reduction. The video included an interview with Meades.

The army probe and the far-right controversy weren’t talked about in that video.

Final October, nonetheless, Meades and his chief warrant officer took half in a web based city corridor, throughout which he learn out an order from the commander of the military directing all troops to pay attention to and report incidents of hateful conduct.

“Discrimination in any kind is totally inappropriate,” he mentioned.

The military has turned down requests to interview Meades.

Myggland’s anti-government on-line rhetoric — which included one submit that referred to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau as “treasonous bastard” — was laced with pro-gun rights advocacy and opposition to the Liberal authorities’s current firearms laws.

Anxiousness and anger over firearms legislation

The brand new firearms laws, C-71, was additionally a theme of a letter allegedly left by Hurren close to Rideau Corridor and recovered by the RCMP after the July 2 incident outdoors the governor basic’s residence.

Complaints about C-71 seem to have been pervasive all through the Rangers unit.

On-line posts by the group’s former honorary colonel — author, out of doors fanatic and tv persona Jim Shockey — surfaced in the middle of the CBC Information investigation.

In a Fb essay within the fall of 2018, he attacked C-71. Posing beside an empty Home of Commons chair, Shockey denounced Liberal MPs for not assembly with him to debate the laws.

CBC Information reached out to Shockey for remark final fall however acquired no response.

CBC Information additionally made a number of makes an attempt to interview Myggland. He declined, however he spoke at size to his hometown information publication, The Rocky Mountain Goat. 

He instructed the neighborhood weekly that he was allowed to remain within the army as a result of he had completed nothing unsuitable.

Myggland claimed CBC Information protection of his story had been biased and had did not cite his years of neighborhood service working with troubled youngsters and educating self-defence programs to ladies, amongst different issues.

He was slated to be launched from the military this month.

Hurren remains to be in custody awaiting court docket proceedings. There isn’t a indication he knew Myggland because the two served in numerous patrols, in numerous provinces.

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