Alleged ‘fake soldier’ case to resume in March
A North Glengarry man charged with impersonating a soldier is scheduled to appear in Alexandria court in early March.
A pre-trial discussion is to be held March 6 in the case of Simon De Rothschild, also known as Simon McDonald, who faces a charge of unlawful use of a military uniform.
The 47-year-old Fassifern resident has maintained his innocence after he was apprehended November 2.
He was arrested when Stormont- Dundas- Glengarry Ontario Provincial Police officers observed a male in a “Canadian military uniform soliciting funds for a charitable organization. The investigation revealed that the male did not have authorization to wear the uniform.”
Mr. De Rothschild, who started a cadet corps, the ACFC No. 1 Donald Highlanders, Alexandria Cadet Force, in 2018, has maintained that he never pretended to be a soldier.
“I was wearing the uniform of our organization. At no time were we wearing a symbol of government of Canada or the armed forces,” he said.
Mr. De Rothschild has fired back at critics on social media, where he says he has been threatened.
“At the end of the day it will be a matter of if the evidence supports the charge, not popular opinion,” he recently posted on Facebook. “I don’t believe it does, and I don’t believe any crime has been committed. A judge will decide.”
A year ago, he had been lauded when as Simon McDonald he helped to rejuvenate the Festival of Lights in Alexandria.
As Chairman of Clan Donald Festivals, Mr. De Rothschild also organized other community events, such as campouts to raise awareness of poverty, and a kilt skate.
In May, Mr. De Rothschild announced the formation of the new cadet group.
“ACFC Cadets is an independent civilian organization, with an army theme and is not part of or affiliated with the Canadian Forces or the Department of National Defence. Cadets have no obligation to join the Canadian Forces,” his press release read.
He said that the program was “largely based” on the British Army Cadet Force, although the British ACF has no official affiliates outside of the United Kingdom.
He has said that “from the beginning DND had input into our uniforms, and their only concern was that we didn’t wear any patches or insignia that belonged to the armed forces or the Government of Canada, which we didn’t.”
CONTENTIOUS FIGURE Simon De Rothschild, also known as Simon McDonald, is shown here volunteering at a walk for the Alzheimer Society last year.