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Shofar FTP Archive File: orgs/canadian/league-for-human-rights/heritage-front/csis


Newsgroups: can.politics
Subject: [15/18] CSIS & The Heritage Front
Summary: The League for Human Rights (B'nai Brith Canada) 1994
         report on the extremist organization The Heritage
         Front

Archive/File:
pub/orgs/canadian/league-for-human-rights/heritage-front/csis
Last-Modified: 1995/11/30

                     Recent Developments

                CSIS and the Heritage Front 

On August 14, 1994 Bill Dunphy reported in the Toronto Sun 
that the Canadian Security Intelligence Service (CSIS) has been 
giving money to Grant Bristow since the late 1980s. Brislow, the 
former intelligence chief and co-director of security for the 
Heritage Front, allegedly used this money to finance the 
organization's campaign of hatred. Dunphy's story  also alleged 
that Bristow directed a Heritage Front harassment campaign to 
incite violence between the Front and anti-racists. This programme 
apparently involved illegal  access to the answering machines and 
voice mailboxes of anti-racists. 

The following week produced equally stunning revelations and 
allegations. The Globe and Mail reported that Bristow, who resigned 
from the Front two months before Dunphy's story, received  between 
$50,000 and $60,000 annually from CSIS. Gerry Lincoln, the editor of 
_Up Front_, confirmed that Bristow gave start-up money to the 
Heritage Front. In fact, the total amount of money given to Bristow 
could be in excess of $300,000.  

Lincoln also said that Bristow, who joined the Nationalist Party 
in 1989, helped found the Heritage Front in 1989; the suggested 
timing of the alleged early payments corroborates this  fact. It 
appears that Bristow was hired by CSIS to infiltrate the Canadian 
far-right. A Winnipeg Free Press editorial on August 19 noted the 
irony of CSIS creating an enemy only to destroy it. The Heritage 
Front hotline boasted in August 1994 that "CSIS created something 
that can't be  stopped. White Canada should be grateful." Gary 
Schipper called Bristow a "tremendous asset to the organization."  

Bristow allegedly used his money to finance networking trips for 
Heritage Front leaders from across Canada. Lincoln professed that 
Bristow was a major asset to the Front, saying "the positive things 
he did for us outweigh any negative things...l'd like to have 10 
more [men] like him." These remarks were made on August 16, the 
same day that Anti-Racist Action held a rally at Toronto's City 
Hall to condemn the alleged collaboration between CSIS and the 
Heritage  Front.  

The Toronto Star reported that CSIS used a Heritage Front mole to 
spy on the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation as the network was 
preparing a segment on racism in the Canadian Armed Forces. The 
Star reported that classified documents in their possession 
substantiated these allegations. CSIS responded by demanding that 
the Star return the papers or face penalties under the Official 
Secrets Act.  

In fact, _NOW_, a Toronto weekly, had reported in May 1993 that 
Heritage Front members were approached by CSIS agents about the 
possibility of becoming informants. Droege made public the names 
of the two agents, but neither would confirm Droege's account. 
When the HF leader filed a complaint with CSIS, he was told that 
"CSIS is an intelligence gathering operation and that Parliament 
wants to have certain information about specific groups."  

Alleged targets of other investigations by CSIS included the Reform 
Party and Canada's Somali community. In addition, Bristow was 
revealed to have been a volunteer security guard for Reform Party 
leader Preston Manning during rallies and speeches. On August 28, 
1994 a Reform spokesperson stated on CTV that the former Tory 
government used CSIS moles, inclucling Bristow, to spy on an 
opposition party. Allegedly, infiltration of Reform in Ontario was  
one of Bristow's priorities in 1991 and 1992; Manning now wants a 
parliamentary investigation into whether Bristow was spying on his 
party on behalf of CSIS.  

On August 24 and 25, 1994 the Canadian Jewish community was shaken 
by two allegations. First, it was reported that Bristow spied on the 
Canadian Jewish Congress (CJC). Then, the CBC reported that Bristow 
had given inforrnation on both the CJC and B'nai Brith Canada to 
White Aryan Resistance (WAR), a violent neo-Nazi hate group dedicated 
to the idea of an armed race war in which "Aryans" will prevail. 
Tom Metzger, the leader of WAR confirmed that he had received this 
information from Bristow. Both Jewish organizations agreed that CSIS 
was, through its support of Bristow, endangering the lives and safety 
of Canadian Jews.  

Solicitor General Herb Gray could not confirm nor deny Bristow's 
involvement with CSIS, pending the outcome of an investigation by 
Security Intelligence Review Committee public hearings starting on 
September 13, 1994.  [Transcription note: 
See ftp://ftp.almanac.bc.ca/pub/orgs/canadian/sirc/heritage-front - 
transcription of the SIRC report noted above began on 30 November,
and the complete document should be available by the end of 1995. 
knm.] However, on August 25, CTV reported that Brian McInnis, a 
communications advisor to former Solicitor General Doug Lewis, had 
leaked the secret documents to the media. After weeks of allegations, 
McInnis' admission became the first concrete evidence of CSIS 
involvement with neo-Nazi groups.  

McInnis was quoted as saying that "apparently some good came out 
of what I did," citing that there was "no need to create" the 
Heritage Front. It is unclear as this report goes to press whether 
he will be charged with any criminal offences, although McInnis has 
stated that he does not want his legal troubles to overshadow the 
issue of CSIS involvement with neo-Nazis. More than 70 anti-racist 
activists demonstrated in Toronto on August 27 to protest CSIS 
involvement with the Heritage Front and to pressure Ottawa not to 
press charges against McInnis.  

Despite the hundreds of thousands of dollars allegedly given to 
Bristow by the Canadian government, he has never served as a crown 
witness for any prosecutions; nor have hate-related charges been 
pressed against the Heritage Front. In light of five years of hate 
activities by the Heritage Front, it is as yet unclear what CSIS got 
from its investment in Bristow. Frank Dimant, Executive Vice-President 
of B'nai Brith Canada, stated publicly on August 25 that if all the 
allegations are proven to be true, then "CSIS has clearly overstepped 
its mandate, and appears to have lost control of its own operations." 
Concerned Canadians are still awaiting the results of the SIRC 
investigation into the allegations.  

~
The League for Human Rights of B'nai Brith Canada, 15 Hove
Street, Downsview, Ontario M3H 4Y8. 416-633-6224.



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