The founder of “Rebel News,” a far-right Canada-based media organization, is claiming that a bank has denied him a mortgage due to his political views.
Ezra Levant, who co-founded the outlet in 2015, pointed a finger on Wednesday at the Royal Bank of Canada, which he says turned him down for a commercial loan due to his leanings.
He posted his claim on Twitter, saying that Rebel News otherwise qualified for a loan but it was denied anyway.
“Cancel culture has come to @RBC, Canada’s largest bank. Rebel News applied for a commercial mortgage to buy an office,” he tweeted. “I have the banker on tape saying he approved the financing but head office vetoed it because of our political opinions.”
Cancel culture has come to @RBC, Canada’s largest bank. Rebel News applied for a commercial mortgage to buy an office. I have the banker on tape saying he approved the financing but head office vetoed it because of our political opinions. Please help us https://t.co/adJZSm854O 👇 pic.twitter.com/uW9MKGVlHs
— Ezra Levant 🍁🚛 (@ezralevant) December 29, 2021
Levant’s post was accompanied by a video containing a sound clip which he says is part of a conversation he had with a bank official in Calgary, Alberta, who said officials at the head office in Toronto made the decision not to make the loan because they don’t want to deal with “out there” media organizations.
“Yeah, it’s just about the nature of the business altogether,” says a man Levant identified as the Calgary banker. “‘Cause the bank has been, I’ll be blunt with you, the bank has been, you know, trying to pry away from certain, you know, clients where they’re kind of out there in the media and very strong, opinionated, you know, which is your business in a way.
“So we’re just clearing some internal hurdles to make sure that the bank is OK to kind of onboard you as a client, internally,” the man continued.
But, Levant later wrote, his media organization ultimately did not clear those “hurdles.”
“The Royal Bank’s Calgary branch went through our mortgage application with a fine-tooth comb. We showed them everything — our Rebel News financial statements, going back years. My personal finances, because I agreed to personally guarantee the mortgage,” he noted on Rebel News.
“We showed them all the details about the office building. We had an independent appraisal done. We even sent over environmental reports and structural inspections,” he added. “The Calgary bankers were so impressed that they hopped on a Zoom call with me, and even joked that our application was so strong, they wanted to give Rebel News mortgages for two buildings, not just one!”
“And right after that call, they sent me an email confirming it. Not only did they agree to a mortgage, but they wanted to offer us a huge line of credit too. I didn’t ask for a line of credit, but that’s how good they felt about Rebel News as a customer,” he said, adding he was “excited” at the unfolding prospect.
“But then the Royal Bank loans officer who reviewed my application told me my mortgage was only cancelled because Rebel News has the wrong opinions. I recorded that phone call, because it’s too incredible to believe without proof,” he noted.
Levant added: “It’s an absolute scandal: the Royal Bank has a blacklist of Canadians it considers political enemies.”