Other political parties and B’nai Brith Canada have chastised Ontario’s New Democrats for supporting a long-deceased Nazi naval officer through one of their candidates. Others are challenging Steve Parish’s suitability as a candidate, despite the NDP’s support.
Parish, who was mayor of Ajax from 1995 to 2018, stands behind his decision to rename a street in the city after Hans Langsdorff, a German admiral who admired Adolf Hitler’s leadership and referred to him as a prophet who knew how to nurture Germany’s youth. Parish defended the naming honour when Ajax council decided to take it from Langsdorff in 2020 because of his ties to the Nazis
In a statement earlier this week, Parish said that it would be “highly unfair and inaccurate” to suggest those backing the naming of the street after Langsdorff “were in any way supporting or condoning the Nazis and any of their atrocities.” Yet Parish’s support of Langsdorff, who he has claimed was not a Nazi, isn’t enough for some who are calling for Parish be removed as the NDP candidate.
“B’nai Brith is disappointed that Mr. Parish continues to defend naming a street after a Nazi admiral who repeatedly expressed his admiration for Hitler. It is particularly bizarre that the NDP, which claims to be a leader in combating white supremacy, would allow him to stand as its candidate in Ajax,” B’nai Brith president Michael Michael Mostyn told the Sun via email.
Amber Bowen, the Liberal candidate for Ajax invoked her Holocaust surviving grandparents in calling out Parish.
“Mr. Parish’s comments are not only offensive to Ontario’s Jewish community and victims of the Holocaust, but also our brave soldiers who fought against Nazi tyranny,” the party said in a statement. “Andrea Horwath must condemn this behaviour.”