Right-Wing Extremism In Canada
While racism has always existed in Canada, the last hundred years have seen the proliferation of organized and coordinated efforts to promote hatred against minorities in this country.
Virtually all ethnic and religious communities have been the targets of White supremacist racism. The subjugation and degradation of Canada’s First Nations was only the first in a long line of racist bigotry and violence in this country. In the first half of the twentieth century, Quebec was home to the strongly anti-Semitic Nationalist Movement, which was dominated by extremist elements in the Roman Catholic Church. Following the Second World War, the Nationalist Quebec government actively helped French Nazis immigrate to Canada.
The Ku Klux Klan came to this country in the early 1900s, and has been a major player in Canada’s racist scene ever since. Like its American counterpart, the Canadian Klan directs its hate against Blacks, Catholics and Native Canadians. In the last 95 years, numerous hate groups have gained a foothold in this country. These groups, which are intimately interconnected, include Citizens for Foreign Aid Reform (C-FAR), the Western Guard, the Hammerskins, the Heritage Front, and the Nationalist Party of Canada. Homosexuals, Jews, South Asians, and African-Canadians have been the targets of the violence and hate propaganda of these and other groups. The Nation of Islam, a militant Black organization based in Chicago, actively promotes hatred of Asians, Jews, homosexuals, Catholics, Arabs and Europeans on both sides of the border. Furthermore, individuals including Ernst Zundel, Paul Fromm, Malcolm Ross and Jim Keegstra have attained prominence for their active promotion of hate against identifiable ethnic groups.
Canadian hate groups are closely linked with those in the United States and overseas. Ties between Canadian racists and Aryan Nations, White Aryan Resistance (WAR), the Church of the Creator (COTC), and the KKK are well-documented. Furthermore, British Holocaust denier David Irving, until he was deported, was quite prominent in Canadian racist circles for his frequent lecture tours.
Nevertheless, the White supremacist movement in this country, while strongly tied to American hate groups, does have an identity distinct from its southern neighbours. Canadian hatemongers tend to be less violent, instead relying primarily on hate propaganda, racist rock concerts, and rallies. Hate groups in this country tend to promote themselves as legitimate political and academic movements, usually under the guise of free-speech, European or White Pride and Holocaust revisionism. In addition, several members of hate groups have joined mainstream political movements, most notably the Reform and Social Credit parties, although party leaders have expelled them when overtly racist members were exposed.
The Canadian far-right is gaining in popularity as it actively recruits new members in high schools and universities. While the balance of power between individual hate groups fluctuates, the total force of the movement is growing, especially among younger \Canadians. The far-right in Canada is not a loose amalgamation of like-minded malevolents. Rather, it is an organized network of groups and individuals dedicated to the promotion of hate against virtually all of the ethnic groups that form the multicultural fabric that is Canada.