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In its June 5, 2014 decision in McCorkill v. Streed, Executor of the Estate of Harry Robert McCorkill, the Court of Queen’s Bench of New Brunswick voided the bequest of Harry Robert McCorkill to the National Alliance on the basis of that the beneficiary’s raison d’etre was contrary to public policy. Mr. McCorkill was never married and had no children, he was also not close to his two siblings.

The court found that the National Alliance, a U.S. based group whose publications the court described as ‘racist, white supremacist and hate-inspired‘ violated numerous Canadian statutes and International conventions, including the Criminal Code. Citing evidence that referred to racial cleansing, racial wars, killing their enemies, and condoned violence, the court held that the National Alliance exists to promote white supremacy through dissemination of propaganda which included hatred of various identifiable groups which they deem to be non-white and therefore unworthy. While the bequest itself did not advocate violence, the court held that it would inevitably lead to violence because the National Alliance, in its communications, both advocates violence and supports its use by others of like mind such as skinheads.

As a result, the bequest to the group was void, resulting in the residue of his estate being divided amongst his next of kin, including the plaintiff in this case, Mr. McCorkill’s sister Isabelle.

Marc-Antoine Chiasson, of the law firm McInnes Cooper, in Moncton, New Brunswick, acted for the successful Applicants in this matter.

Two of our firm’s lawyers, Pam MacEachern and Alice Weatherston were involved in the early stages of this litigation in support of efforts to have the bequest voided.

Author(s)

This content is not intended to provide legal advice or opinion as neither can be given without reference to specific events and situations. © 2021 Nelligan O’Brien Payne LLP.

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