RCMP say a Manitoba army reservist accused of being a member of a neo-Nazi group has gone missing. Master Cpl. Patrik Mathews, shown in this undated RCMP handout photo was reported missing to police on Monday. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO-RCMP

Reservist with alleged links to neo-Nazis relieved of duties, reported missing

Master Cpl. Patrik Mathews is suspected of having links to a neo-Nazi group

An army reservist relieved of his duties over allegations that he belongs to a neo-Nazi group is missing.

RCMP say Master Cpl. Patrik Mathews was last seen by family members in Beausejour, Man., on Saturday. He was reported missing Monday.

The Department of National Defence said in a statement Wednesday that as a reservist working part-time for the military, Mathews was not under supervision at the time he was reported missing.

It said he had turned in his uniforms and equipment and was never issued any military weapons.

The military said it was leaving the search for Mathews to the RCMP, but would co-operate if needed.

READ MORE: Military reserve member in Winnipeg accused of involvement in hate group

Mathews, a combat engineer with 38 Canadian Brigade Group in Winnipeg, came into the spotlight last week after a Winnipeg Free Press story linked him to a neo-Nazi group called The Base. The allegation further inflamed ongoing concerns about the presence of hate groups and right-wing extremists in the Canadian Forces.

Mathews had requested earlier this year to leave the military.

On Tuesday, the Defence Department said his request for voluntary release was to be fast-tracked and finalized in the coming weeks. In the meantime, he would not be allowed to participate in military activities in any form or return to work.

“This action was deemed necessary considering the seriousness of the allegations and the risk to unit morale and cohesion,” the department said in an email.

Chief of defence staff Gen. Jonathan Vance said last week that the military “did not miss” Mathews’s alleged links to neo-Nazism, as his commanding officers had started looking into the matter back in April.

Soon after, Mathews applied to leave the Armed Forces, Vance said, even as military intelligence officers began a formal investigation.

READ MORE: Canadian military knew about suspected neo-Nazi: top general

Despite Mathews’s release being expedited, defence spokeswoman Jessica Lamirande told The Canadian Press the military’s investigation is ongoing.

“It is incumbent of our leaders to know their soldiers, and to take measures when they have acted in a manner that is not aligned with our beliefs and culture of respect for all people,” she said in an email.

“We have taken decisive action, and we will continue to exert full energy in removing those from our ranks who harbour extremist ideologies.”

The RCMP are reportedly conducting their own investigation, but have only said that officers raided a house in Beausejour, about 60 kilometres east of Winnipeg, last week and seized a number of weapons.

RCMP said they are looking for Mathews as a missing person. There is no warrant for his arrest nor any charges pending against him.

Mathews is believed to be driving a red 2010 Dodge Ram 1500 SLT with Manitoba licence plate HXJ 806.

Defence Minister Harjit Sajjan has asked Canada’s military ombudsman to investigate racism in the Canadian Forces following several high-profile events and a report linking service members to right-wing extremists and hate groups.

Sailors associated with the Proud Boys disrupted a Mi’kmaq ceremony in Halifax in 2017. There have also been media reports of other members associating with neo-Nazi groups such as the Atomwaffen Division.

A military intelligence report last year said officials were aware of 30 active service members who were part of a hate group or had made statements that were discriminatory or racist.

— By Lee Berthiaume in Ottawa. With files from Kelly Geraldine Malone in Winnipeg

The Canadian Press


Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Surrey monitoring traffic as vehicles again clog city streets

Compared with city’s 2019 weekly average, deepest volume reduction was in late March with up to 46 per cent less vehicles

Art’s Scarecrow Festival returns in September

Sixth annual event will be different than previous events because of the pandemic

SPCA partners with Crime Stoppers

Many call in to the SPCA, but want to remain anonymous: Eccles

‘Best of Cloverdale’ contest returns

Voters can cast ballots once a day until Sept. 5; enter to win $250 gift card for Save-On-Foods

Surrey’s top cop is keynote speaker at Surrey Board of Trade AGM

Asssistant Commissioner Brian Edwards will be on deck at Tuesday’s ‘virtual’ meeting

B.C. records new COVID-19 death, 85 more cases; Horgan calls on celebrity help

This brings the total number of active confirmed cases to 531 across the province

Horvat scores 2 as Vancouver Canucks beat Blues 5-2 in NHL playoff opener

Game 2 in best-of-seven series goes Friday night

Teachers to get 2 extra days to prepare for students’ return, now set for Sept. 10

Students will first start with orientation and learn rules of COVID-19 classroom policies

High-volume littering at Cape Scott draws ire from hiking groups

Popular Vancouver Island hiking spot not closing, but frustration about crowding grows

SFU to drop ‘Clan’ varsity team name

The ‘Clan’ name is shortened from ‘Clansmen,’ and was introduced roughly 55 years ago

New Tory leader must build a strong team in Commons and for the campaign: Scheer

Scheer marked his final day in the House of Commons today as leader of the Opposition

B.C. to hire 500 more COVID-19 contact tracers ahead of fall

Contract tracers add an ‘extra layer’ in the fight against the novel coronavirus

Feds commit $305M in additional funds for Indigenous communities during COVID-19

Money can be used to battle food insecurity and support children and mental health

We were a bit tone deaf: Hobo Cannabis renamed Dutch Love after backlash

Hobo Cannabis has various locations in Vancouver, Kelowna and Ottawa

Most Read