Fascism in Canada (French: Fascisme au Canada) consisted of a variety of movements and political parties in Canada during the 20th century. Largely a fringe ideology, fascism has never commanded a large following amongst the Canadian people, and was most popular during the Great Depression. Most Canadian fascist leaders were interned at the outbreak of World War II under the Defence of Canada Regulations and in the post-war period, fascism never recovered its former small influence.
The Canadian Union of Fascists, based in Winnipeg, Manitoba, was modeled on Oswald Mosley's British Union of Fascists. Its leader was Chuck Crate. Parti National Social Chrétien was founded in Quebec in February 1934 by Adrien Arcand. In October 1934, the party merged with the Canadian Nationalist Party, which was based in the prairie provinces. In June 1938, it merged with Nazi groups from Ontario and Quebec (many of which were known as Swastika clubs), to form the National Unity Party.
Fascist concepts and policies, such as eugenics, formulated in the US, found a friendly reception in Canada in some provinces, such as Alberta, where, under a Social Credit government, alleged mental defectives and other 'non-producers' were involuntarily sterilized to prevent the birth of more similar people. Social democrat Tommy Douglas, Premier of Saskatchewan, wrote his 1933 master thesis paper endorsing some of the ideas of eugenics, but later abandoned and rejected such notions.
Adrien Arcand (October 3, 1899 – August 1, 1967) was a Montreal journalist who led a series of fascist political movements between 1929 and his death in 1967. During his political career, he proclaimed himself the Canadian Führer.
He was detained by the federal government for the duration of the Second World War under the Defence of Canada Regulations.Aryan Nations
Aryan Nations is an anti-Semitic, neo-Nazi, white supremacist terrorist organization that was originally based in Hayden, Idaho. Richard Girnt Butler founded the group in the 1970s, as an arm of the Christian Identity organization Church of Jesus Christ–Christian. The Federal Bureau of Investigation has called Aryan Nations a "terrorist threat", and the RAND Corporation has called it the "first truly nationwide terrorist network" in the United States.Canadian Union of Fascists
The Canadian Fascist Party was a fascist political party based in the city of Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada in the 1930s. The formative core of the party was a splinter group from the Canadian Nationalist Party that found the principles of corporativism to be more important than the largely racial motivations of the Nationalist Party. This disposition is highlighted in one official statement that "anti-semitism was a symptom of Germany not of Fascism". The party was founded as the British Empire Union of Fascists and was affiliated with the British Union of Fascists. It later became known as the Canadian Union of Fascists and Canadian Union. It published its own newspaper, The Thunderbolt.
The party was led by "Chuck" Crate, who became leader at the age of 17. He had contacted the British Union of Fascists, who put him in touch with the party. John Ross Taylor of Toronto became the party's secretary and organizer.The party had a hard time attracting supporters because most Canadians who supported fascism leaned towards the racist brand espoused by Adrien Arcand and others. At the party's first meeting, there was an attendance of roughly 200 people.This disparity between the party and Arcand's would continue throughout its existence. Before the government took action against Canadian fascist parties, the Canadian Union of Fascists and Arcand's group held simultaneous fascist congresses in Toronto. While Arcand's group, dubbed the "National Union" drew a crowd of around 4,000, the Canadian Union managed to draw only some 30 local residents to its cause.The party was dissolved when the Second World War began. The party told its members to obey the law but to work for a negotiated peace. Crate escaped a treason charge and ended up in the Royal Canadian Navy.
The party, though not officially racist or anti-semitic, had strong connections to Adrien Arcand's National Unity Party.Conservatism in Canada
Conservatism in Canada is generally considered to be primarily represented by the modern-day Conservative Party of Canada in federal party politics, and by various centre-right and right-wing parties at the provincial level. The first party calling itself "Conservative" in what would become Canada was elected in the Province of Canada election of 1854.
Far-right politics have never been a prominent force in Canadian society. Canadian conservative ideology is rooted in British "Tory-ism", rather than American liberalism. Stemming from the resettlement of United Empire Loyalists after the American Revolutionary War with traditionalist conservative views alongside pro-market liberalism ideals, is the reason that unlike the conservatives in the United States, Canadian conservatives generally prefer the Westminster system of government. The United States of America is a federal republic, while Canada is a federal parliamentary democracy with a constitutional monarchy.
Originally, Canadian conservatism tended to be traditionalist. Conservative governments in Canada, such as those of Sir John A. Macdonald, Sir Robert Borden, R. B. Bennett, and John Diefenbaker, were known for supporting an active role for government in the economy of the creation of government-operated businesses (early Crown Corporations such as the Canadian National Railway) to develop and protect Canadian industries, protectionist programs such as the National Policy. Canadian conservatism thus mirrored British Conservatism in its values and economic and political outlooks. Canadian conservatives have generally favored the continuation of old political institutions and strong ties to the monarchy.
In the latter half of the 20th-century, Canadian conservatism embraced neoliberal economic policies including free trade, seeking balanced budgets, and support of privatizations of Crown Corporations claimed to be better provided by the private sector. In this time division arose between the conservatives in Eastern and Western Canada as Western conservatives perceived Canada's federal parliament as being dominated by Eastern interests. This schism led to the creation of the Reform Party of Canada as a Western-based populist protest party promoting constitutional reform to balance the regions' interests and sought to expand into the East - especially Ontario - to displace the Progressive Conservative Party of Canada. While the PCs and Reform had some similar economic policies, Reformers wanted deeper cuts to government services than the PCs and Reformers had strong social conservative stances whereas the PCs were more neutral on controversial social issues. The PCs faced an unprecedented collapse in the 1993 Federal Election and Reform surpassed the PCs as the largest conservative party in Canada's parliament, after several elections of neither party making significant gains the two parties agreed to merge into the new Conservative Party of Canada in 2003.Heritage Front
The Heritage Front was a Canadian neo-Nazi white supremacist organization founded in 1989 and disbanded around 2005.The Heritage Front maintained a telephone message line with a different editorial each day. The voice on the hotline was Gary Schipper. The line resulted in complaints to the Canadian Human Rights Commission and hearings into allegations that the group violated Canada's hate crime laws. The group organized a series of white power rock concerts in Toronto and elsewhere. Immediately after one of these concerts, a Tamil man, Sivarajah Vinasithamby, 41, returning home from work was beaten and partially paralyzed by several white power skinheads who had just left the concert.Ku Klux Klan in Canada
The Ku Klux Klan is an organization that expanded operations into Canada, based on the second Ku Klux Klan established in the United States in 1915. It operated as a fraternity, with chapters established in parts of Canada throughout the 1920s and early 1930s. The first registered provincial chapter was registered in Toronto in 1925 by two Americans and a Torontonian. The organization was most successful in Saskatchewan, where it briefly influenced political activity and whose membership included a member of Parliament.Liberalism in Canada
Liberalism has been a major trend in Canadian politics since the late 18th century. Canada has the same features of other liberal democracies in the Western democratic political tradition. This article gives an overview of liberalism in Canada. It includes a brief history of liberal parties with substantial representation in parliament. Canadian liberalism is different from the American use of the term, as it contains ideas such as support for economic liberalism.National Unity Party (Canada)
The Parti National Social Chrétien (English: National Social Christian Party) was a Canadian political party formed by Adrien Arcand in February 1934. The party identified with antisemitism, and German leader Adolf Hitler's Nazism. The party was later known, in English, as the Canadian National Socialist Unity Party or National Unity Party.Neo-Nazism in Canada
Neo-Nazism (French: le Néonazisme) is the post World War II ideology that promotes white supremacy and specifically antisemitism. In Canada, Neo-Nazism has existed as a branch of the far-right and has been a source of considerable controversy during the last 50 years.Socialism in Canada
Socialism in Canada has a long history and is, along with conservatism and liberalism, a political force in Canada.Western Guard Party
The Western Guard Party, founded in 1972 as the "Western Guard", was a white supremacist group based in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. It evolved out of the far-right anti-Communist Edmund Burke Society that had been founded in 1967 by Don Andrews, Paul Fromm, Leigh Smith and Al Overfield.
In 1971, the EBS had taken over Social Credit Party of Ontario. Fromm was elected as party president and EBS installed members to the party's executive. However, in 1972, the Social Credit Party of Canada declared Western Guard membership incompatible with Social Credit and expelled the group.
Andrews became the dominant figure in the EBS, and relaunched it as the Western Guard, narrowing the group's focus to racism, anti-Semitism and white supremacy. Fromm left the group later in 1972 as the Western Guard descended into violent activity.
In 1975, Andrews was charged with offences ranging from plotting arson, possession of weapons and explosives, and mischief, and was sentenced to two years in jail. Although Western Guard did plot to bomb a visiting Israeli soccer team, Don Andrews was not convicted of this crime. In order to fulfill his bail conditions, Andews separated himself from the Western Guard. Veteran fascist John Ross Taylor became the group's leader in 1976. Taylor changed the name of the group to Western Guard Party. The group's membership declined under his idiosyncratic leadership. Many members, including Wolfgang Droege, left to join the Nationalist Party of Canada which had been founded by Andrews when he was released from prison in 1978.
In 1979, Taylor was charged with hate speech for the Western Guard's telephonic messages and was brought before the Canadian Human Rights Commission. He was ultimately imprisoned for contempt of court when he continued the Guard's racist answering machine messages. The group became an essentially one-person party in the 1980s, and was defunct by the middle of the decade.
Despite calling itself a party, the Western Guard never registered as a federal or provincial political party and is not known to have ever nominated candidates for office under its name.
Hate and the ultra-right in Canada
|Organizations and movements|