Should US White Supremacy Group Forfeit Bequest in Canadian Will?

GEO_edited-1In an intriguing case from New Brunswick a court will decide whether a bequest in Robert McCorkill’s will to an American Neo-Nazi group should be declared void because of the racist views of the organization.

National Alliance, a white supremacy group in West Virginia, was gifted a collection of valuable coins from ancient Rome and Greece, an antique Iranian sword, and other artifacts and investments said to be worth a minimum of $250,000 and as much as $1 million dollars.

Robert McCorkill, who died in 2004 in New Brunswick, lived primarily in Saskatchewan and Ontario during his lifetime. He was a geologist and a professor at Carleton University in Ottawa, who had spent time at National Alliance’s headquarters.

The challenge to his Will was brought by his sister, Isabelle McCorkill, who maintains that it’s not about the money but a reflection of her moral duty to intervene in what she describes as an offensive and illegal bequest.

The Attorney-General of New Brunswick agrees with her, as do B’nai B’rith and the Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs who were granted intervener status and made submissions at the hearing.

In their arguments against upholding the will, the interveners argued that the National Alliance’s profile had declined with the death of its founder ten years before, and that the bequest would provide funds to the organization to resurrect itself and its mandate to deny the Holocaust, and promote racial cleansing and genocide.

However, the Canadian Association for Free Expression (CAFE) argued that the will should stand as representing Mr. McCorkill’s testamentary wishes which are paramount and should not be subject to court intervention simply because the intended beneficiary espouses a message that is unpopular or even contrary to the Criminal Code or the Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

CAFE also argued that it was not up to a judge to determine the worthiness of a beneficiary and to do so would open a Pandora’s box, illustrating their point by querying whether a bequest to the Hell’s Angels or to a drug dealer or even to Greenpeace could be subject to attack.

They also noted that the National Alliance is a lawful corporation in good standing and had no criminal convictions either in Canada or the United States.

A very thorny question and one that will require wisdom. Is such a gift an affront to Canadian public policy and should the Court interfere with testamentary wishes? How do you think the Court will rule?

Lawdiva aka Georgialee Lang

Advertisements

8 thoughts on “Should US White Supremacy Group Forfeit Bequest in Canadian Will?

  1. Not so sure of Isabelle’s $1 million “moral duty” but distasteful as it is to just about everybody, surely a man’s legal dying wishes should be respected and not invoke the State’s intervention. Although I didn’t agree with everything PM Trudeau stood for, his classic philosophical approach to Canadian’s individual rights “there is no place for the state in the bedrooms of the nation” might well apply.

  2. Perhaps this case will illustrate the fact that the government needs to forbid groups that deny the holocaust or believe in genocide, ethnic cleansing or racial hatred from existing period(by making it a serious criminal offence to belong to such groups). The international court recognizes crimes against humanity and prosecutes nations and individuals accordingly. Our government needs to have a stronger stance against such groups and make it a criminal offense to give funds to them. If this were the case, the will would be voided and go to the sister. It doe not necessarily follow that this would open the door to forbid willing funds to a hells angel or someone in the mafia. In that case, Revenue Canada would swoop in and take it anyways as proceeds of crime so there already exists a practical recourse for this issue. But the larger issue is that it is about crimes against humanity.
    The issue is not about the wishes of the testator but the need to protect society from those that wish to perpetrate crimes against humanity and implicitly through terrorist acts. We cannot allow groups to use legal methods to obtain funding for terrorist organizations-and any organization that espouses racial hatred and ethnic cleansing is a terrorist organization by nature. It could perhaps be argued that next it will be members of the sierra club or greenpeace or the communist party but none of these groups believe in genocide or racial hatred. The government needs to send a strong message that this will not be tolerated in Canadian society. We as a society have a duty to protect our citizens from harm and from extremist groups that espouse ethnic cleansing and racial hatred.

    1. The fact that the Goverment can decide whom anyone may leave thier assets to when they die is absolute and utter B.S. People are supossed to have the Rights and Freedoms, Never some person in Ottawa. Next it will be Green Peace or the Sierra Club who does not get the benifits of someones Last Will and Testament. This is thier Last Words on thier Death Bed. No One includeing Goverments should ever have the Rights or any ability to deny anyones Last Will and Testament or thier own personal beliefs.

      70 years ago today, 06 June a s___ load of boys forced thier way upon the beaches of Normandy just so that the Free Peoples of this world could say ” I don’t F____ Think So ”
      Cause if those who have gone before Us did not. Then we, today would have to follow the goverment line like they do in North Korea.

      Just for the Record, I think that Buddy who wants to send all of his wealth to a Neo Nazi organization upon his death is a f___ asshole. But it is his stuff, his money and no one, no goverment, no sister should ever stop his last word from becomeing true.

      But the canadian courts have stopped his last will and testament, why because they think that they should be in charge of everyone and everything. Give them the chance and anyone who dissagrees will get sent to the camps, and into the showers holding a peice of stone soap and then the shower heads will only give out toxic gas instead of water.

      “Those who do not learn from thier History are destined to repeat it”

      Just because some guys sister says “He shouldn’t be able to give that money away, I should have it” Doesn’t mean we should listen to her, but the goverment does, why because chances are they are getting more of the money than she is.

      Nuff Said

  3. We as Canadian citizens need to watch our government(s) and Law Courts decisions in matters like this. I’m a civil liberties advocate in Victoria, BC and would like to post this speech by Canada’s 13th Prime Minister John Diefenbaker; “I am a Canadian, Free to speak without fear, Free to worship in my own way, Free to stand for what is right, Free to oppose what I believe to be wrong, and Free to chose who shall govern my country” Canadian Bill of Rights July 1st, 1960
    My opinion on this topic; I don’t think the government should interfere.

    1. Untill reading this qoute I did not realize that any politician in Canada would stand up for Freedom against the Goverment. Not Bad Diefenbaker, Not Bad

  4. Greetings! I’ve been following your website for some time now
    and finally got the bravery to go ahead and give you a shout out from Lubbock Tx!
    Just wanted to mention, keep up the excellent work!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s