‘Sad­dened and dis­ap­pointed’

Annapolis Valley Register - - FRONT PAGE - Ashley.thomp­son@kingscountynews.ca

The board also an­nounced the party is pro­hib­ited from par­tic­i­pat­ing in fu­ture fes­ti­val-re­lated ac­tiv­i­ties.

Garvey said there were other po­lit­i­cal par­ties rep­re­sented in the pa­rade and he does not feel any lines were crossed by NCA par­tic­i­pants.

“We were very sad­dened and dis­ap­pointed. We think it’s a beau­ti­ful pa­rade and we thought the crit­i­cism of hate speech, ma­li­cious speech and some­thing about peo­ple not feel­ing safe, we thought that didn’t make sense,” he said.

Party mem­bers did not know­ingly leave any in­for­ma­tion out of the ap­pli­ca­tion form or in­ten­tion­ally set out to stir the pot dur­ing the course of the pa­rade, Garvey said.

“No one said any­thing to us through the whole pa­rade, so we just kept do­ing what we be­lieved we could do.”

The party paid the en­trance fee and used the event as a fo­rum to dis­cuss such top­ics as taxes, fam­i­lies, democ­racy, small govern­ment, cul­ture and heritage, Garvey said.

“Ev­ery group there was pro­mot­ing what they do in one shape or form. We’re not go­ing to go up there and muz­zle our­selves, and not have any ban­ner,” he said.

“What’s the point of be­ing in it?” He de­scribed the fes­ti­val board’s de­ci­sion to ban the party from fu­ture events as a “knee-jerk” re­ac­tion.

“I don’t think it’s fair. We weren’t try­ing to break rules… we’re go­ing to let it sit for now but we will ap­proach them and hope­fully, we can talk,” said Garvey.

“This was our first pa­rade. If we were do­ing some­thing wrong, why didn’t some­one tell us? It was five kilo­me­tres.”

Garvey felt the pas­sion dis­played by the NCA added a “nice spice” to the pa­rade.

“There was a com­plete mis­un­der­stand­ing. I’m a very pas­sion­ate per­son and I feel strongly about some of Na­tional Cit­i­zens Al­liance leader Stephen Garvey.

these is­sues, so I guess my pas­sion came out, but I don’t feel I did any­thing wrong.”

Video footage from the event shows Garvey ad­dress­ing pa­rade­go­ers lin­ing Main Street with a mega­phone.

“We need to pro­tect Canada’s iden­tity, cul­ture and heritage, oth­er­wise we will lose who we are as a peo­ple,” said Garvey.

Im­mi­gra­tion is­sue

Garvey said he does not con­sider the com­ments he made to be ma­li­cious or hate­ful.

“I didn’t men­tion the word im­mi­gra­tion once in that pa­rade … all I said was, ‘Let’s pro­tect our iden­tity.’ The peo­ple who founded this coun­try are be­ing re­placed.”

He said he can see how the com­ments about cul­ture and iden­tity can be con­nected to the party’s con­cerns re­gard­ing mass im­mi­gra­tion.

“We want re­spon­si­ble, balanced im­mi­gra­tion. We do not sup­port the mass im­mi­gra­tion.”

Garvey ac­knowl­edges the party’s stance on im­mi­gra­tion has led to a plat­form that can be viewed as es­pous­ing right-lean­ing poli­cies on the sub­ject.

“We don’t agree with the di­rec­tion of the coun­try and, I’ll be very hon­est, we think it’s head­ing to­wards a glob­al­ist vil­lage where we’re all go­ing to be di­vided,” he said.

“We have strong views on im­mi­gra­tion, there’s no doubt about it … we want a tem­po­rary pause.”

Garvey stressed he be­lieves po­lit­i­cal groups are of­ten clas­si­fied as for, or against, im­mi­gra­tion in the me­dia, but he be­lieves there can be a mid­dle ground.

“Every­one is just fo­cused on im­mi­gra­tion. We don’t un­der­stand. We don’t view that as hate or any­thing. We have strong views on Canada’s iden­tity, heritage and cul­ture,” he said.

“We think it needs to be pro­tected.”

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