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

IN IT TOGETHER: Important to move your butt

Maple Ridge mom offers series of wellness columns aimed at helping navigate through COVID-19

LOOKING BACK: Quarantine back in the day of the Spanish flu kept Maple Ridge safe

When the 1918 epidemic hit Haney, washing hands, respecting isolation rules, and disinfecting helped

Council conduct bylaw under scrutiny in Maple Ridge

Bylaw being questioned at Committee of the Whole Tuesday afternoon

Pitt Meadows to host live virtual city council meeting Tuesday at 7 p.m.

Mayor Dingwall updates on new initiatives and city staffing

Haney Bypass section closed for Easter long weekend

Bypass improvements expected to be completed later this year

COVID-19: 4 new deaths, 25 new cases but only in Vancouver Coastal, Fraser Health

A total of 1,291 people have tested positive for the novel coronavirus

Air Canada says it will apply for wage subsidy to rehire workers after cutting 16,500 jobs

Air Canada said March revenues fell by more than 30 per cent year over year

Canadians urged to include pets in their COVID-19 emergency plans

That includes plans about who will care for them if the owner is hospitalized

COVID-19: Don’t get away for Easter weekend, Dr. Bonnie Henry warns

John Horgan, Adrian Dix call 130 faith leaders as holidays approach

COVID-19 world update: Joy in Wuhan as lockdown lifted; Pope denounces profiteers

Comprehensive update of coronavirus news items from around the world

COVID-19: Trudeau says 30K ventilators on the way; 3.6M Canadians claim benefits

Canada has seen more than 17,000 cases and at least 345 deaths due to COVID-19

RCMP call on kids to name latest foal recruits

The baby horses names are to start with the letter ‘S’

As Canadians return home amid pandemic, border crossings dip to just 5% of usual traffic

Non-commercial land crossing dipped by 95%, air travel dropped by 96 per cent, according to the CBSA

Logan Boulet Effect: Green Shirt Day calls on Canadians to become organ donors

While social distancing, the day also honours the 16 lives lost in the 2018 Humboldt Broncos Crash

Most Read