Foot soldier in B.C.'s so-called freedom movement demands more transparency about donations
For nearly two years, Brian Paul has been deeply involved in the movement opposing mask mandates, vaccine passports, and other government measures intended to reduce the spread of COVID-19.
He's worked closely with high-profile leaders on events, including a rally last year at Vanier Park in Vancouver.
But in a livestreamed March 18 commentary on Facebook, Paul turned his sights on some of those very same organizers.
In particular, he questioned what's happened to donations from the movement's supporters.
"I'm guessing over a million dollars have probably been raised in the freedom movement [in B.C.] in the last couple of years," Paul said. "That's a number that I'm throwing at the dartboard."
He urged anyone watching the livestream to send polite emails to groups such as Action4Canada, Police on Guard for Thee, and Freedom Rally World to ask where their donations went.
Paul alleged on Facebook that some donations went missing but he provided no evidence in the video to back up this claim.
He also made an unproven allegation about a cryptocurrency scam associated with the movement, disclosing that he's "a few days away from calling the Mounties".
Paul's 40-minute commentary came on the eve of the March 19 Vancouver WWR 7.0 rally at Jack Poole Plaza in downtown Vancouver.
Organizers of the rally issued a news release earlier this month declaring that antivaccine activist Chris Sky has not been invited to speak.
Sky has racked up several charges, including uttering threats in connection with an allegation that he said all the premiers in Canada should be shot. This allegation has not been proven in court.
Meanwhile, Police on Guard for Thee has distanced itself from one of its members, retired B.C. sheriff Bert Mayo, for allegedly agreeing to speak at an event hosted by Sky in March.
This elicited a critical response from Paul, who praised Mayo as a good "Biblical Christian" and "one of the most integral, hardworking freedom fighters".
"Bert is actually not standing with Chris," Paul said.
He also demanded that these organizations get off their pedestal and get off their egos. In addition, he declared that B.C. has become a "laughing stock across the country" because of the infighting.
"When did you forget what you were fighting for: freedom of speech, freedom of bodily autonomy, freedom of choice?” Paul said.
In particular, he singled out his former colleagues Alicia Johnson, Danielle Kinchella-Pistilli, and Marco Pietro for becoming "gatekeepers of the freedom movement and protectors of the microphone".
"How did this happen?" Paul asked. "Did I fall asleep?"
Paul also claimed that after volunteering his time and donating money to the movement, he was "literally ousted from the inner elitist freedom circle dinners and events, even Christmas".
"They’re fulfilling their long-life aspirations of being famous on-stage right, with all the lights shining forever upon them,” he said.
He described Action4Canada organizer Tania Gaw as "a warrior with misguided objectives, good intentions, novel intentions, and a failed approach".
Paul is a former corporate manager with United Auto Parts. Last May, he told a Freedom Rally World event at the Vancouver Art Gallery that COVID-19 health orders were "not a Canadian problem".
"This is a global elitist parasite problem, and they are the ones that need to be exterminated," Paul said.
The Straight has previously reported that many high-profile members of the movement are firearms enthusiasts. (Check out this message.)
In his recent video, Paul issued a call for nonviolence at the March 19 rally at Jack Poole Plaza.
"Be peaceful, be peaceful," he said. "Show these people that they're wrong."
This was the scene from Jack Poole Plaza after 1:30 p.m. on March 19.
A group opposed to freedom convoys has tweeted that there has been violence at the rally.