Long-time Jason Kenney supporter John Carpay, who Kenney once compared to civil-rights icon Rosa Parks, equated the gay pride flag to swastikas at a Rebel Media event.

Carpay apologized for the comments, though many social media users weren’t buying it.

John Carpay is a long-time supporter of Jason Kenney and runs the Justice Centre for Constitutional Freedoms (JCCF), a far-right advocacy group with connections to the Koch brothers.

The JCCF takes on lawsuits that it deems are encroaching on free speech. In reality, the JCCF primarily represents groups pursuing anti-LGBTQ and anti-abortion agendas, including:

  • Barry Neufeld who refuses to teach curriculum-mandated Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity. Neufeld called educational resources aimed at supporting LGBTQ students “nothing short of child abuse”.
  • Groups opposed to gay-straight alliances in schools. The Bill at issue in the case allows students at any school to form GSAs and makes it illegal to punish kids who join a GSA. Observers say the JCCF’s challenge is unlikely to prove successful.
  • An anti-abortion organization trying to force a city to fly a flag opposing abortion.
  • An anti-abortion student group distributing disturbingly graphic flyers at Brandon University.
  • A Manitoba Marriage Commissioner who refused to perform same-sex marriage ceremonies.

JCCF is closely connected to other rightwing organizations. We outline the connections here between JCCF, other rightwing advocacy groups in Canada and far-right American organizations.

Members of the Board of Directors of the JCCF are connected to some of Canada’s most prominent rightwing groups:

  • Marco Navarro-Genie, President, Atlantic Institute for Market Studies. He is the President of Civitas Canada, which hosts a secretive rightwing conference every year.
  • Troy Lanigan, President and CEO, Canadian Taxpayers Federation, Regina. The CTF has a history of supporting rightwing causes and, similar to the JCCF, refuses to divulge their funding sources.
  • Michael Taube, former Stephen Harper speechwriter.

The JCCF also advertises endorsements from prominent figures at right-leaning think tanks in Canada:

  • Michel Kelly-Gagnon, President and CEO, Montreal Economic Institute. They received funding from the Koch brothers’ Claude R. Lambe Foundation.
  • Matt Bufton, Executive Director, Institute for Liberal Studies. He graduated from the Atlas Network’s MBA for Think Tank Management and its Think Tank Leadership Academy.
  • Brian Lee Crowley, Managing Director, Macdonald-Laurier Institute. He’s a respected policy wonk, but has existing connections to the Atlas Network through the Atlas Economic Research Foundation
  • Gordon Gibson, Senior Fellow, Fraser Institute.  A far-right think tank that is funded by the Koch brothers.

Carpay’s comments, when understood in the context of issues his organization represents, really isn’t that surprising. It’s part of a rightwing agenda in Canada and around the world to undermine minority rights.

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