This page is long, so use the links below to jump straight to a specific candidate or learn more about hate supported by candidates.
John Koury ❌ not elected
Christopher Shaw (United Independents) ❌ not elected
Joseph Enslow (United Independents)
❌ not elected
Adrienne Richards (United Independents)
❌ not elected
❌ not elected
❌ not elected
Serena Winterburn ❌ not elected
Marina Sapozhnikov ❌ not elected
Hate lurking in the shadows
Kari Simpson (Doctors on Tour, CVA, Culture Guard)
Hey North Cowichan, did you know that convoy/freedom group We Unify Canada has been organizing municipal candidates?
We Unify Canada has also platformed people like Tanya Gaw of Action4Canada.
In a October 1, 2022 blog post, outgoing North Cowichan Mayor Al Siebring wrote:
<<There are some other “interesting” candidates in the running as well. But, while their campaign pitches were appealing on the surface, their motivation(s) for running have concerned me. For at least four of these candidates, I suspect they would never have considered running in this election if it hadn’t been for the controversies that were engendered by COVID. And if their motivation for running is even tangentially connected to stopping vaccine mandates, supporting trucker convoys, or some of the other so-called “freedom” issues, they need to understand that local governments really have very little authority in these areas. While getting elected to local government may be the easiest route to political “influence”, the reality is that the influence that can be exerted on these larger issues from the local government table is pretty much non-existent. These folks are certainly entitled to their opinions, but my fear is that electing people with these priorities will detract from the real and serious issues that local governments are facing, and divert attention (and staff time) away from those more serious matters.>>
So let’s get down to business.
Some interesting takes in there…
Looks like John tried to clean up his social media presence, but he definitely didn’t clean up his Youtube channel.
Christopher Shaw (United Independents)
Chris supports the convoy/freedom movement, wrote a book about the dangers of vaccines for Robert J. Kennedy’s Children’s Health Defense disinformation organization, appears in the convoy/freedom movement’s new “documentary” Uninformed Consent, hangs out with Gareth Icke (David Icke’s son), and was on the roster to speak at a September 17, 2022 World Wide Freedom Rally at Elk Lake. Chris believes that the World Economic Forum is a legitimate problem.
Chris wrote the book Dispatches from the Vaccine Wars: Fighting for Human Freedom During the Great Reset, for Robert F. Kennedy‘s Children’s Health Defense organization (RFK Jr. also wrote the forward for Chris’ book). Children’s Health Defense is a massive disinformation campaigns against vaccines. Based on data from 2018 and 2019, Children’s Health Defense was one of two organizations that bought 54% of Facebook ads. The organization is part of the Disinformation Dozen, a group of twelve antivaxx organizations that poison social media.
Chris is a contributor to the antivaxx and conspiratorial “documentary” Uninformed Consent, presented by Vaccine Choice Canada and Librti (sic), a social media site from Liberty Talk Canada’s Norbert and Odessa Orlewicz. The documentary is being promoted by a laundry list of hate and christofascism, but there’s one name in particular that needs to be highlighted. On July 22, 2022, Chris was a guest on Right Now with Gareth Icke. Gareth Icke is the son of famously anti-Semitic conspiracy theorist David Icke (and to bring it back home, Canada’s loudmouth anti-Semitic antivaxxer Chris Sky rallied with David Icke in London, UK in September).
Chris Shaw was scheduled to be a speaker at the September 17, 2023 Word Wide Freedom Rally at Elk Lake along with people like Stand United‘s Marcella Williams a.k.a Marcella Desjarlais. Chris was promoted by Marcella as one of “various doctors trying to bring you the truth at great cost to themselves.”
Joseph Enslow (United Independents)
Joseph is concerned about the WEF.
Adrienne Richards (United Independents)
WEF fear-mongerer. Convoy aficionado. Chris Sky fan. Supports the antivaxx “documentary” Uninformed Consent. Keeps showing up with the Stand United crew.
Andrienne was a local organizer for Doctors on Tour, which was was organized provincially by Kari Simpson of the horrifically transphobic and homophobic Canadian Voters Association/300K.ca and Culture Guard.
From the Cowichan Valley Citizen:
<<A wide-ranging interview with Borg is posted on the Veterans 4 Freedom Facebook page (he is a member of the group), in which Borg compares pandemic mandates to fascism and communism, and talked about wanting to “take back our community and hopefully flourish up to the province, to the country and we can live in peace and prosperity once again.”>>
<<Charles Borg — a ‘freedom’ supporter and North Cowichan council election candidate — says municipal governments are the first step in taking back Canada.
In an on-line interview with Jeff Evely of Veterans 4 Freedom, Borg says: “We must take back our councils, then we’ll take back our legislator (sic), then we’ll take back the House of Commons — the Parliament building in Ottawa.”>>
Read the entire Twitter thread here.
A mess of the usual COVID-related conspiracies and antivaxx misinformation.
School trustee (SD 79)
a.k.a Serena Freedombear
Serena spoke at We Unify Canada’s convoy and rally on February 5, 2022, continues to participate in local convoy events, supports Stand United‘s bizarre fake legal action against pharmacists and hospitals, is an antivaxxer, and is proudly extremist. That makes our job easier. (And she shares WEF conspiracy theories, of course.)
Serena’s wants to use municipal governments to create a “safe zone” for convoy/freedom extremism. In a TikTok, she says:
“So what if our mayors were supported by councillors who are also awake and so when these mandates that are coming back and we know they are coming back and when these mandates come in, guess what….we vote them down.”
(Her TikTok is also full of COVID disinformation, monkeypox disinformation, and conspiracy theories.)
Marina spoke at We Unify Canada’s convoy and rally on February 5, 2022, which also featured Brian Peckford and Marcus Ray.
World Economic Forum (WEF)
World Economic Forum conspiracies come up several times in North Cowichan debates. The WEF is an NGO and lobbying organization. It’s well-known, it’s well-funded, and it attracts celebrity–but it’s not the only one. Like many other lobbyists at every level of government, there are legitimate criticisms to be made around it’s finances and transparency and impact and corporate influence in politics. But that’s not what we’re here to talk about.
During the COVID pandemic, the WEF became a shadowy superanational force that secretly controls the world. The Great Reset is totalitarian communism, you will own nothing, you will eat bugs, you will get the boosters. The WEF conspiracy is an extension of the well-established New World Order (NWO) conspiracy, which states that a cabal of powerful elites (often Jewish people, because it’s based in anti-Semitism) secretly control the world. NWO and WEF conspiracies are staples of QAnon adherents, who also say that the NWO is a cabal of pedophiles preying on children. Here are some posts and articles if you want to learn more and see why this conspiracy is spectacularly problematic when someone seeks political office:
Antisemitism in the Digital Age: Online Antisemitic Hate, Holocaust Denial, Conspiracy Ideologies and Terrorism in Europe
“The Great Reset” Conspiracy Flourishes Amid Continued Pandemic
Rudyard Griffiths: WEF conspiracies are antisemitic and a moral stain on conservative politics
Why this matters
From the Vancouver Island Free Daily:
<<At the all-candidates meeting in Maple Bay on Oct. 4 for those running for office in North Cowichan, candidates were asked if they believed the municipality’s process of developing its official community plan was influenced by the World Economic Forum and/or the United Nations, as some conspiracy theorists contend.
The moderator asked those who believe that to stand, and councillor candidates Chris Shaw, Joseph Enslow, Adrienne Richards and Charles Borg stood up.>>
This is Action4Canada
Action4Canada promotes far-right extremism based in religious fundamentalism. From their website: “Our mission is to protect Canada’s rich heritage which is founded on Judeo-Christian biblical principles. Inherited through our British Commonwealth and embedded in the Magna Carta, these principles form our laws and values and are the basis of a system of governance that sets us apart from totalitarian, extremist and communist regimes.” (Others might describe that as “white supremacist-flavoured Christofascism.”) They rally against SOGI education, LGBT2S+ rights, Islam, abortions, climate change science, immigration, and 5G. Action4Canada predates the pandemic, but quickly began rallying against public health mandates, vaccines, and basic medical science.
This is Kari Simpson
Doctors on Tour is a project of the Canadian Voters Association and organized by Kari Simpson also of Culture Guard.
The Canadian Voters Association and Culture Guard are just thesauri of Christofascist dog whistles like “traditional values” and “cultural values” and “wow Prime Minister Trudeau recognizes LGBT2S+ rights which makes him the real fascist.”
As with other regressive organizations, Culture Guard predates the pandemic by many years, then pivoted hard to push COVID conspiracies and disinformation.
This is Stand United
Stand United rallies around COVID conspiracy theories and the usual far-right talking points. Their rallies regularly include transphobia, including delightful songs like “boys have peepees and girls have vajayjays” (because the world will literally end if children learn proper names for their body parts). They platform people like anti-Semitic holocaust denier and elementary school science failure Chris Sky and disinformation specialist Daniel Nagase. Stand United organized regular Media is the Virus rallies, such as the event that held downtown Vancouver hostage and harassed Vancouver hospitals on February 5, 2022. In BC, Stand United is organized by Marcella Williams, a.ka. Marcella Desjarlais, 2021 People’s Party of Canada candidate for Burnaby South, and James Davison. Currently, Stand United is serving fake legal documents (“notice of liability”) to scare and harass BC pharmacists, health care providers, city councils, and other who support vaccinations or public health measures. This is their crew:
This is Chris Sky
Chris Saccoccia aka Chris Sky denies the Holocaust and thinks Hitler was a pretty smart guy. Here he is talking about the “Rothschilds,” a deeply anti-Semitic conspiracy.
Later that day (September 19, 2022, to be exact), his supports explaining why this is correct…using a neo-Nazi website. Nice.
This is Vaccine Choice Canada
Vaccine Choice Canada is a large anti-vaxx organization that has rallied against vaccines and basic public health since the 1982 (then under the name Vaccine Risk Awareness Network). When then pandemic started, they upped the ante and decry pandemic-related health measures as unbearable tyranny and partner with people like Charles Hoff. Vaccine Choice Canada promotes pseudoscientific alternative health practices and products, such as foregoing tetanus vaccination in favour of magnesium supplements. You can read more about Vaccine Choice Canada here.