The Nizkor Project: Remembering the Holocaust (Shoah)

The Heritage Front Affair
Report to the Solicitor General of Canada
Security Intelligence Review Committee
December 9, 1994


The Review Committee has provided a large number of reports to the Solicitor General of Canada. Some of them have been voluminous, some quite brief. This report on "The Heritage Front affair" comes somewhere between those extremes.

In order to describe what we set out to achieve in this investigation, we feel that we can do no better than quote from our chairman's statement to the Parliamentary Sub-Committee on National Security on September 13, 1994. Only the readers of the report can judge whether we achieved the goals we set for ourselves.

"First of all, Mr. Chairman, let me explain what we are doing.

As soon as the press report appeared in the Toronto Sun on Sunday, August 14, we commenced an investigation to find out exactly what CSIS was doing in this area.

We had already looked at CSIS activities regarding "extremist groups" in 1990 to early 1991 and reported on the problems we found in our 1990-91 and 1991-92 Annual Reports.

That review looked at all investigations underway at the time. It was designed to make sure that: only leaders who could reasonably be described as "threats to national security" were being investigated; that the intrusiveness of the investigations was proportionate to the possible threat; and that there was no intrusion on innocent people's privacy. Our review focused on the legality of investigative techniques used by CSIS, including human sources.

The review we have underway now will examine every aspect of all allegations that have been made; down to the smallest detail and including everything even remotely relevant to the case.

The law gives us absolute and complete authority to look at every file, examine any document (except Cabinet Confidences), or interview any person we consider necessary. Contrary to the impression you may have received from the news media, there are no limitations whatsoever on our access to information held by CSIS. In this case, we are exercising to the full the extraordinary powers given to us by Parliament.

But, as you know, Parliament also decided that the results of our reviews should be passed to the Solicitor General pursuant to section 54 of the Act. The Minister must then decide how much of our report can be made public without endangering national security. Only in our Annual Report can we decide what to make public.

We are seeking answers to the following questions:

1. Possible CSIS Source in the Heritage Front

a. Was there a CSIS human source or sources in the Heritage Front and/or associated organizations? If so, what was the reason for this?

b. Did a CSIS source either alone or with others prompt the creation of the Heritage Front?

c. Did CSIS allow a source to establish or become an executive member of the Heritage Front? If so, what limitations did the Service place on his or her participation? What were the reasons underlying the CSIS decisions?

d. If there was a CSIS source in place, what is the likelihood that the Heritage Front would have been established if that source had not been present?

e. Did a source direct the development of the Heritage Front computerized hate-line?

f. Did a source help to create and sustain the Heritage Front by providing it with substantial funding directly (donations) or indirectly (paying for accommodation, transportation, etc.)?

g. Did a source actively promote the Heritage Front in a non-financial manner? How?

2. Infiltration of the Reform Party

a. Did the Heritage Front provide security for Reform Party meetings in 1991? In 1992?

b. If so, how did this come about?

c. Did a CSIS source play a role in arranging Heritage Front security for Reform Party meetings in 1991 and 1992? How many rallies and when?

d. Did CSIS authorize a source to collect information on the Reform Party? If so, did CSIS receive political direction in that regard?

e. Did a source attempt to infiltrate the Reform Party and, if so, was it to discredit Reform by publicly revealing a connection to the Heritage Front?

f. Did a source "track" Preston Manning? Did a CSIS employee "track" Preston Manning?

g. Did CSIS know about a source's security duties prior to the rallies? When did CSIS learn about the activity?

h. Did a source provide any information on the Reform Party? If so, what did CSIS do with that information and what was the rationale for the CSIS decision?

i. If a source took part in any of the activities listed above, what was the CSIS Toronto Region and Headquarters response to that information?

j. When and how did the Reform Party learn about the racist security group?

3. Spying on the CBC

a. Was CSIS spying on the CBC or anyone working for the CBC? If so, what were the reasons underlying the CSIS decision?

b. How did CSIS obtain information that the CBC program, The Fifth Estate, was doing a story about white supremacists in the Canadian Forces?

c. Did the Service comply with legislation and policy in (i) retaining this information, and (ii) providing this information to the Minister?

4. Provision of Information to Racists about Jewish Groups

a. Did a source try to obtain information from the Canadian Jewish Congress by impersonating a reporter, or by any other means?

b. Did a source try to obtain information from the Jewish Students Network by impersonating a Citizen reporter or an associate of author Warren Kinsella?

c. Did a source initiate the above himself/herself or was he/she directed to do so and by whom? If directed to do so, what was the rationale for this decision?

d. Did a source provide white supremacists in the USA and Canada with money and detailed intelligence on Jewish groups or individuals in Canada?

5. Harassmcnt Campaign Aaainst Left-Wing/Anti-racists

a. Did a source instigate breaking into voice-mail systems of left-wing persons or anti-racists to acquire information?

b. Did a source teach others in the racist movement how to do so?

c. Did a source directly or indirectly harass or direct the harassment (including death threats) of anti-racist activists?

6. Solicitor-Client Communications

a. Was a source present and did that source report on privileged information exchanged between Wolfgang Droege and his lawyer?

b. Did a source provide legal advice to Wolfgang Droege in judicial or quasi-judicial fora?

7. Assessment of CSIS Human Source Handling

a. Did CSIS management of a human source, if any, comply with legislation, ministerial direction and policy?

b. What supervision and management control did CSIS exercise, and was it adequate?

c. Is ministerial direction and CSIS policy adequate to address the situations encountered in a human source operation?"

In addition to the points made in the Chairman's statement to Parliament, we have addressed the questions posed by the Sub-Committee on National Security, and the questions posed by the Reform Party through the Chairman of the Sub-Committee. The allegation that CSIS spied on Post Office workers is also addressed.

During our investigation, we examined every CSIS file, every internal memo, all reports, threat assessments, reports to The Minister, reports to Police forces and other government agencies, and all other documents having anything whatsoever to do with the "Heritage Front Affair".

We interviewed or contacted one hundred and twenty-one people, many of them several times. We also held five full days of formal Hearings under oath, during which we questioned the principal players in the affair. In the vast majority of cases we received full co-operation from the people we wished to interview. In particular, we received considerable help from members, former members, or supporters of the Reform Party and the Conservative Party.

We regret that despite our best, indeed incessant efforts, we were able to interview very few members or former members of the Anti-Racist Action group. We asked members of this group, both orally and in writing, on many occasions to cooperate with our investigation. We also tried to alleviate their concerns about providing us with information about their experiences at the hands of the Heritage Front. We thought that we had reached an agreement with them in late November, but they did not call us back, as they had promised to do, and we learned from the media that they had decided not to cooperate. We sent a final written request on November 23, 1994 but have received no reply.

The original plaintext version of this file is available via ftp.

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