Canada group accepts Toronto Mayor Ford’s rejection of alleged white supremacist
July 27, 2012
(JTA)—A Canadian Jewish group said it is satisfied with the explanation by Toronto’s mayor that he did not know that a person he posed with for a picture allegedly has ties to white supremacists.
A photo of Jon Latvis with Mayor Rob Ford was posted on the blog of Liberal Party strategist Warren Kinsella, who titled the entry “The Toronto Mayor’s Far-Right Friend,” according to the Vancouver Sun.
On the site, Kinsella said Latvis is a member of the band RaHoWa, which is short for Racial Holy War.
The photo shows Latvis wearing a military uniform with the caption: “Me meeting with Toronto’s Mayor, Rob Ford to get an endorsement for the Latvian Homeguard,” the Sun reported.
The picture was taken at a 2012 New Year’s reception at Toronto City Hall, Ford said in a statement, noting that he poses constantly for pictures at such events.
While the photo was being taken, Latvis requested a meeting with the mayor and the two men talked briefly this past March, but discussion was about public transportation, the mayor’s office said, according to the Canadian Jewish News. The statement said that during both the levee and the meeting, Latvis identified himself by a different name.
“At no time was the mayor aware of allegations that this individual had made racist, hateful or otherwise offensive comments, nor were any such comments made during his meeting with the mayor,” the statement said. “Mayor Ford is a strong supporter of Toronto’s Jewish community and strongly deplores anti-Semitism in any form.
The Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs said it was satisfied with the explanation.