Article by RAIR’s Miranda Sellick (August 17, 2022)
The launch of a new community space and social enterprise in Ottawa, Canada, to encourage respectful dialogue around the issues that define our times is being met with suspicion and hatred.
The United People of Canada (TUPOC) is negotiating to finalize the purchase of St. Brigid’s, a vacant and deconsecrated Romanesque church in a low-income Ottawa neighborhood. With rumors swirling around the exact nature of this organization, RAIR Foundation USA paid a visit to the community center.
“The United People of Canada is a diverse, inter-generational, inter-faith, inter-racial, women-led, minority-led, social enterprise organization fostering community and unity,” explains board member William Komer. “We are bringing together people who may be of opposing viewpoints to focus on what is common between them and respectfully disagree about things. By creating a safe space for people to gather, regardless of beliefs and backgrounds, we feel that’s going to help heal these divides in our community.”
TUPOC was formed in March 2022. For the last eight weeks, they have been hosting a weekly community barbeque on Sundays and have recently started to facilitate a series of community conversations. Topics for the future include Bias in The Justice System and Cyber-bullying, while those to date have included the Freedom Convoy and Community input into the future of The Embassy, as the organization calls the space. “The Embassy is a name chosen because, in many respects, it serves as a forum for people,” says Komer. “Different people are able to come here to express their beliefs and their thoughts. It’s a safe space to come and gather. It’s not an embassy, but rather The Embassy, the name of the venue space.”
However, these activities have drawn the ire of local residents, largely, Komer believes, due to the spread of misinformation about the origins and goals of the organization. “It seems, from our perspective, that it’s due to misinformation that we are somehow associated with The Freedom Convoy. That’s not true,” he asserts. “Even if we were associated with the Freedom Convoy, which we are not, the things people are saying about us – Nazis, racist, misogynistic – aren’t true either.” Nonetheless, TUPOC and its Embassy have seen eggs thrown and the building, a postering campaign and petition to prevent the purchase, a stolen banner, sprayed graffiti, and harassment at a community barbeque from someone who caused a ruckus, “was disrespectful and belligerent,” says Komer. And that’s to say nothing of the numerous death threats that Komer himself has received.
Mainstream media has suggested that TUPOC will be forming its own security force. “There has been a rumor that we are creating a private militia. It’s just not true at all,” says Komer. “We are not planning to have a private army roaming the streets of Lowertown.”
Komer, who has a marketing, communications, and gaming background, has been working on the ideas embodied by TUPOC for almost a decade. “I’m not new to repurposing institutional properties into community spaces,” he says. “It is our intention to create a network. To me, personally, it made a lot more sense to do this on a larger scale with a number of people, from different backgrounds, from all over the country. What one person can do working privately, a large group of people working together in a public capacity … a lot more can be done. That’s what we are looking to foster; people putting their differences aside to focus on strengthening their communities.”
However, questions have been asked about funding for TUPOC. Komer directed RAIR to Tony Cuzzocrea, the President of PlanMar Financial in London, Ontario, and the founder of Love First International, a non-denominational, non-judgmental event space and learning center. “I love helping people,” says Cuzzocrea, who came to Canada from southern Italy aged 10, “and my most basic wish is to help others.” To this end, he’s been supporting Komer and exchanging ideas, one of which is to create a large, shared space for several organizations to use “so that we can help one another. We are more efficient when working together.”
Cuzzocrea is also involved with initial financing for the project, “But once William can prove that this is going to be a great thing for the community, he will be looking for community support.”
However, at present, community support is exactly what TUPOC does not have. Local community groups such as Horizon and the Lowertown Community Association have mounted a campaign to try to prevent the sale of St. Brigid’s to the group, mainly because they are fearful of the Freedom Convoy association.
“This is a complete misunderstanding,” asserts Cuzzocrea. “TUPOC has nothing to do with The Freedom Convoy. William believes in Free Speech, that’s all. And that’s been taken to mean that TUPOC supports The Freedom Convoy. It’s not true.”
At the time of writing, inquiries via email and telephone to Horizon Ottawa went unanswered. However, TUPOC and Horizon Ottawa’s stated aims, taken from their respective websites, share a similar language. TUPOC reads:
“At The United People of Canada, we celebrate individuality, diversity and treat all people with respect. We are an up-and-coming network of community service club locations across Canada with the goal of making the world safer, kinder, and more accessible.” At the same time, Horizon Ottawa states, “Horizon Ottawa envisions a future where the municipal government protects the environment, expand public ownership of infrastructure, and creates public spaces that are safe, inclusive, and accepting of all its residents. Horizon Ottawa envisions a municipal government committed to dismantling all forms of oppression, including inequity based on gender, race, religion, sexuality, ability and economic circumstance while supporting true and meaningful reconciliation with Indigenous peoples.”
Perhaps TUPOC and Horizon Ottawa can find common ground with their shared aims to create safe public spaces rather than continue a war of ongoing opposition.
The following article is by RAIR’s Amy Mek
After RAIR’s first interview with TUPOC’s spokesman, William Komer, various attacks have occurred against the organization – St. Brigid’s was vandalized; the building was almost taken from them, and the mainstream media has relentlessly harassed and smeared them.
The media attention that garnered the most publicity centered around a dispute over who possessed St. Brigid’s building. On Thursday evening, the owners of the building sent a Bailiff who mysteriously appeared trying to evict them. The Bailiff also threatened the group that he “come back later with friends and the cops” at midnight and finish the eviction job.
Although the Bailiff never showed up that night, he did come back on Friday and changed the locks on the garage, reportedly without giving the group an understanding of why the garage, a separate building, needed new locks. By Sunday, the garage, where the BBQ and water slide for children were stored, was open again.
RAIR spoke with “Rosie Convoy” from TUPOC about the night’s events. Ms. Convoy, who has security training, called 911 after the enraged and aggressive Bailiff grew physically threatening, shouldering her and other members out of his way. She believes that the Bailiff was trying to coax TUPOC members into a physical altercation. Interestingly, as the bailiff attempted to cause a scene, media mysteriously emerged at the location. Watch the following interview with Ms. Convoy:
Watch the following interview with Ms. Convoy:
The TUPOC members and their organization praised the police for handling the Bailiff and their swift action. Furthermore, they thanked them for the respectful and caring way they treated their group.
The following interview RAIR conducted is with TUPOC member “Raven Dark” about the night’s events.
Group calls eviction ‘unlawful’
The owners claim TUPOC owed $10,000 in rent, didn’t have the necessary insurance, and made unauthorized changes to the heritage building.
Komer said St. Brigid’s owners didn’t cash the rent cheques they’d been given, something he said was a violation of Ontario’s Human Rights Code. The group obtained bank drafts to prove it had the money to pay. (see the interview with Komer below)
On Sunday, August 21, Komer showed media bank drafts that were each for $5,650 and dated July 15 and Aug. 15. On its Facebook page, TUPC wrote that it has “honored all of our rent obligations at the time they were due” and that it believes the owners “made false claims … to try to justify an eviction.
“They’ve been refusing to accept this check,” Komer said. “We’ve been making numerous attempts to give them this bank draft … but they’ve not responded to phone calls, not responding to text messages, not responding to emails.”
The group also produced a document which they say shows the proof of their insurance:
Komer said the owner’s refusal to accept them was a “reprisal” and “completely and severely unlawful.” He said TUPOC has countered with notices of trespass against the owners and their agents.
A targeted attack against TUPOC
In a follow-up interview with RAIR, Komer detailed the startling events over the past several days. The TUPOC board member believes that Ottawa’s mayor Jim Watson “current owners this building [ St. Brigid’s], was to not do business with the United People of Canada.” Furthermore, Komer states that police were instructed to ignore calls from the United People of Canada:
In a follow-up interview with RAIR, Komer detailed the startling events over the past several days. The TUPOC board member believes that it’s possible that Ottawa’s mayor Jim Watson asked the “current owners of this building [St. Brigid’s] not to do business with the United People of Canada.” Furthermore, Komer states that police were instructed to ignore calls from the United People of Canada, which is in breach of the Police Services Act:
Justin Trudeau’s connection to St. Brigid’s
In 2007, St. Brigid’s Catholic Church was put up for sale. Canada’s Prime Minister Justin Trudeau attended St Brigid’s church with his father, the then prime minister Pierre Elliot Trudeau, and was confirmed there. Since becoming prime minister, Justin Trudeau has attended St Patrick’s Day festivities at Saint Brigid’s Centre for the Arts.
Four investors purchased the deconsecrated building in the fall of 2007 for $450,000. Patrick McDonald, one of the investors, renovated the building. They turned the former church into Saint Brigid’s Centre for the Arts, an Irish-Canadian heritage center and social venue hosting art exhibitions, plays, and concerts.
McDonald previously ran a pub in the basement of Saint Brigid’s Centre for the Arts, called Tobar Bhríde (Brigid’s Well), which opened on January 6, 2016. McDonald reports that at Saint Brigid’s, Trudeau would always say, ” the Irish have given greatly to Canada. Ireland and its people will always have a friend in Canada, in Justin Trudeau, and in Saint Brigid’s Centre for the Arts.”
Pictured below is Prime Minister Trudeau with Patrick McDonald on the left and his now deceased father, the senior Patrick McDonald, on the right:
The four investors at Saint Brigid’s Centre for the Arts also include Patrick Kelly and Rosemary O’Brien, both past presidents of the Irish Society of the National Capital Region, and Francis Healy, chair of Capital Feis, an Irish dance festival, who chose to rent the building to TUPOC in the spring of 2022.
Why is the left relentless attacking TUPOC
Since The United People of Canada first formed, left-wing groups and the media have relentlessly smeared and reported false information about the group. One tactic to smear the group was trying to link them to January and February’s Freedom Convoy. Mainstream media labels anyone, from politicians to military veterans, who took part in or supported the Convoy as”radicalized.”
All the media claims against TUPOC have been nothing more than trying to link the group to a conservative-leaning person, group or cause they disagree with. Unfortunately, this has become a primary weapon deployed by the left against those who seek freedom of medical choice and freedom of speech.
As journalist and Wikileaks founder Julian Assange said, “nearly every war that has started in the past 50 years has been a result of media lies.” Sadly, the latest war they have launched is with a group whose stated mission is to “create a safe space for people to gather, regardless of beliefs and backgrounds,…to help heal these divides in our community.”
It makes you wonder whether those attacking TUPOC want to keep the public divided and warring with each other. It seems that anyone who gives a voice to people who disagree with Justin Trudeau’s state narrative will be under attack in Canada. And at the moment, especially in the matter of medical freedom.
The attacks and suppression of TUPOC’s isn’t the first incident to occur in under Trudeau’s rule. Canadians saw massive interference by various government agencies during Rolling Thunder, a Veteran led an attempt to hold a ride-around of the War Memorial in Ottawa. They saw the city deny the use of all public parks for family picnics for Veteran James Topp’s event in Ottawa. And what do all these things have in common? Rolling Thunder, James Topp, and the TUPOC are all voices for individual freedoms, especially medical choices. The right to refuse an experimental treatment as the Nuremberg Code itself demands. A code that Canada signed into law in 1950.
The common denominator is that Trudeau’s regime tried to eliminate people and groups seeking individual rights and freedoms, which are the foundation of Western liberal democracy. Something we are watching deconstructed right before our eyes across the Western World.
WHY is just-in Through-The-Ass still not in jail or hanged???????
Together with Schwab in the same jail, he can glide with his Freedom Condom in Schwab’s ass!
Yet blm (which Trudeau supports), is money laundering their ill gotten gains. They bought a 13 million mansion in Toronto.
If the Canadian people get together like this the Trudeau government will lose control and that is what they are frightened of because divide and rule will be gone then so will the Canadian government.