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Far-right group leader Jeremy Mackenzie arrested near Halifax on weapons charges


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Far-right group leader Jeremy Mackenzie arrested near Halifax on weapons charges

RCMP in Nova Scotia have confirmed the arrest of Jeremy Mackenzie, founder of the far-right Diagolon group, on weapons charges.

Mounties said Mackenzie was arrested Wednesday in Cole Harbour, near Halifax on a warrant stemming from charges in Saskatchewan.

“At approximately 2 p.m. today, Jeremy Mackenzie was arrested on Bissett Rd. in Cole Harbour, in relation to a Canada-wide warrant for his arrest,” wrote Cpl./Cap. Chris Marshall.

“Mackenzie will be remanded into custody as part of the court process related to his arrest warrant.

“Court details will be provided by the Saskatchewan RCMP once they are available.”

Mackenzie, 36, faces charges of assault, pointing a firearm, mischief and use of a restricted weapon stemming from an incident last November near Viscount, Sask. He was charged in July.

He has been described by the Canadian Anti-Hate Network as the de-facto leader of Diagolon, a group the network characterizes as being central to an anti-government movement with militant accelerationist overtones.

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Mackenzie and his followers (he has more than 14,000 on messaging app Telegram) came up with the notion of Diagolon — a made-up country that stretches across North America in a diagonal line — on a livestream of his. It covered jurisdictions with few COVID-19 restrictions at the time. People on the far right have subsequently attached themselves to Diagolon.

Bath-Sheba van den Berg, who has worked as Mackenzie’s lawyer in other matters, said she could not comment Wednesday.

Mackenzie made headlines recently when he was accused of threatening sexual violence against Anaida Poilievre, the wife of Conservative Leader Pierre Poilievre. He has said he was drunk and joking when he made the comments.

Pierre Poilievre, who took fire for appearing in a photo with Mackenzie during his successful campaign to become Conservative Party of Canada leader, criticized Mackenzie on Monday via social media.

“Frankly, like most Canadians, until about a month ago I had never heard of Diagolon and these losers. They are all odious,” Poilievre said through his Twitter account.

The Conservative leader said his office had referred the comments to the RCMP, which confirmed it was reviewing information provided.

Jeremy Nuttall is a Vancouver-based investigative reporter for the Star. Follow him on Twitter: @Nuttallreports

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