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Monday, May 31, 2010

The Creation of Stephen Harper's Sandbox

A CULTURE OF DEFIANCE: History of the Reform-Conservative Party of Canada

The creation of the Alliance party was the result of efforts by three neoconservative parties: The federal Reform Party, Ralph Klein's Alberta and Mike Harris' Ontario. The creation of the Conservative Party of Canada, came about through a hostile takeover of the Progressive Conservative Party of Canada.

And though there were many warnings about the outcome of a neoconservative takeover, we didn't listen.

The wonderful Dalton Camp, a longtime conservative insider, opposed the notion completely. When he first learned of the attempt to unite the right he was livid, claiming that the conservatism of Stockwell Day "is viewed by most Tories as embedded in the lunatic fringe." (1)

But I think Frances Russel of the Winnipeg Free Press said it best. She felt that this was not going to be a "big tent" party as many were suggesting, but rather a sandbox.

One week into the launch of the latest "great right hope" and the portents are perilous for those who seek a "big tent" party capable of unseating the governing Liberals. So far, the proponents of a united right are making it clear they aren't interested in giving a real option to Canadians. They are only interested in fashioning their own little sandbox where they can play their own narrow ideological games.

Mr. Manning was positively giddy in his article in yesterday's Free Press. He thinks he's finally realized the dream he and his father put into book form back in 1967, the dream to create a party of ideologically pure social and economic conservatism to confront "the collectivist welfare state" that disregards "individual liberties and
responsibilities" and is an affront to "personal salvation."

Moderates within the Progressive Conservative Party must act quickly to ameliorate the harsh, hard-right image of the new party before it solidifies in the public's mind. The Harrises, the Mannings, the Longs -- and the Stephen Harpers -- are not living in political reality. (2)

And she was right, because the only way that Harper has been able to sell neoconservatism to Canada has been to operate in the shadows. Or as his former right-hand man Tom Flanagan once suggested, "fooling Canadians into thinking you're moving to the left when you're not". (3)

Senator Lowell Murray wrote a piece for the Globe and Mail urging Peter MacKay to reconsider.

Stephen Harper called last week for an "electoral coalition" between the Progressive Conservative and Canadian Alliance parties. If our party's leader, Peter MacKay, goes down this road -- and he seems tempted to explore it -- he will waste precious time and political capital. And he will find it's a dead end.

... The fact is that the two parties are fundamentally different. That they are incompatible would soon become clear to Tory candidates trying to defend Alliance policies, and vice versa, in the unstable electoral cohabitation proposed by Mr. Harper and others. Reform conservatism, which is what the Alliance practises, relies on people's fear of moral and economic decline combined with nostalgia for a Canada that no longer exists. It spoils all the good arguments for the market economy by making a religion of it, pretending there are market criteria and market solutions to all our social and political problems. (4)
And even Norman Spector called it the 'Kiss of Death':

Stephen Harper wants to make "common cause" with newly elected Tory leader Peter MacKay in order to throw the Liberal rascals out of office. The Alliance leader says voters expect the two parties to present a single slate of candidates in the next election.

That's eyewash: Most Canadians -- including out here in British Columbia, where the Alliance traditionally elects the plurality of its MPs -- expect Paul Martin to be their next prime minister. They'd be appalled if Tory/Alliance backroom boys and girls came together to carve up the country for political gain. In truth, the proposal is largely tactical, a cleverly designed kiss of death for the Tories. (5)
What we now have is a sandbox, where Stephen Harper and his schoolyard bullies play their ideological little games, and for anyone who disapproves, they can expect to have sand thrown in their face or get a wedgie from hell.

It took Marci McDonald's book, the Armageddon factor (6), for us to realize what has happened to our country. The American Religious Right has accomplished in four years, what it took them thirty years to do their own country. But they couldn't have done it without willing accomplices, a sleeping electorate and the complete lack of an independent media.

And I don't mean that they have turned us into a 'Christian' nation, though a theocracy is definitely on the horizon.

We've been neo-conned, and I suspect we're about to find out just how painful that really is, as we are now on the verge of losing everything that once identified our country. And unless we can convince the parties on the left to unite for the common good, there may be no turning back.

"When I get through with Canada, you won't recognize it". Stephen Harper

That may be the only time he's ever told the truth, because I barely recognize it now.


1. Hard Right Turn: The New Face of Neo-Conservatism in Canada, Brooke Jeffrey, Harper-Collins, 1999, ISBN: 0-00 255762-2, Pg. 381

2. Watch for a purge of Red Tories, by Frances Russell, Winnipeg Free Press, 24 October, 2003

3. The Man Behind Stephen Harper, The new Conservative Party has tasted success and wants majority rule, By Marci McDonald, Walrus Magazine, October 2004

4. Don't do it, Peter: There is no good reason for Tories to climb into bed with the Alliance
by Senator Lowell Murray, Globe and Mail, June 23, 2003

5. An Alliance kiss of death: The Tories should call Stephen Harper's bluff by proposing a common platform for the next election, by Norman Spector, Globe and Mail, June 25, 2003

6. The Armageddon Factor: The Rise of Christian Nationalism in Canada, By: Marci McDonald, Random House Canada, 2010, ISBN: 978-0-307-35646-8 3

Craig Chandler and the Roots of Change

A CULTURE OF DEFIANCE: History of the Reform-Conservative Party of Canada

Craig Chandler, a long time Reform-Alliance-Conservative supporter and organizer, used his Progressive Group for Independent Business (PGIB), to help the unite the right, with the motto "Unite the Right to Unite the Country."

PGIB has contributed to the success of Mike Harris, Stockwell Day and Stephen Harper, to name a few. Chandler would hold three 'Roots of Change' conferences, that greatly impacted the outcome of the subsequent merger, fashioned in part on David Frum's Winds of Change.

Tom Walkom in the Toronto Star, wrote of Chandler's initiatives:
When influential conservatives held a conference to unite the right two years ago, Craig Chandler couldn’t even wangle an invitation. “I called to get in but (organizer and journalist) David Frum wouldn’t let me,” the 27-year-old former Reform party candidate recalled this week. “He said they were full. It was a kind of cliquey, elitist sort of thing.”So Chandler got his own back. Yesterday, he kicked off his own two-day, unite-the-right conference in Toronto. And David Frum wasn’t there. Instead, Chandler’s Roots of Change conference is attracting the kinds of blood-and-guts rightists who sparked the Reform party, but who – as Reform attempts to become more respectable – find themselves relegated to the sidelines. (1)
If they were indeed from the fringe, it's interesting to note that their speakers included not only Stockwell Day, but Link Byfield, Mark Montini from the Leadership Institute, Steve Jalsevic from the anti-abortion Campaign Life Coalition* and Michael Coren who now has his own television talk show on Christian TV.

But Craig Chandler contributed something far more important to the cause. He paved the way for a hostile take over of the Progressive Conservative Party of Canada, and they didn't see it coming.

The 2Cards Campaign:

Craig Chandler, founder of the Progressive Group for Independent Business thought that perhaps the best way to bring the Progressive Conservative party on board, was from the inside. So he joined the party and then ran for it's leadership, drawing many of his followers into the PC fold. His bid failed, but at the 2002 PC Convention in Edmonton, Alberta, he manged to have Resolution 9, which sought to ban dual memberships, defeated. This paved the way for an aggressive campaign launched by the PGIB, called the 2Cards.

As you are well aware both the Progressive Conservative Party of Canada and the Canadian Alliance are sending the Merger Package for full ratification. The Tories and the Canadian Alliance are sending the proposal to their memberships and each party is different and this the real issue. Our polling numbers from The Strategy Group Inc show that 80 - 83.5% of Canadian Alliance members would support any effort for a united conservative movement. Also, since the Canadian Alliance only requires a simple majority to accept the Merger Package our efforts will not be focused on persuading Canadian Alliance members.

However, the Progressive Conservative Party of Canada is where the battleground is. The Progressive Conservative Party of Canada's Constitution requires a 2/3 majority vote from participating members to ratify this Merger package and this is where the problem lies. ... How can we insure that the Tory membership will embrace the Merger Package?

Quite simply, by following the initial plan of the campaign and insure that those that have dual memberships such as the Jim Prentice supporters, many Scott Brison supporters, Peter McKay and Craig Chandler supporters become activated and campaign on the yes side of the merger package. (2)

Chandler encouraged all Alliance Party members to buy PC memberships, so that they would be able to, in effect, vote twice. Without this important initiative, the PCs would never have allowed the merger to take place.

Interestingly, one of the loudest opponents to the uniting of the right was Stephen Harper.

Before Craig Chandler sought the leadership of the Progressive ConservativeParty of Canada with PGIB support, even Stephen Harper was against uniting the two parties. Peter McKay was also very clear about his views on unity with the Canadian Alliance in a very negative way throughout the Progressive Conservative Party of Canada Leadership race ...

Harper had the audience on his side when he dismissed the idea of a merger with the Tories. "And ladies and gentlemen, that's not cooperation, that's surrender, and that's not taking us forward, that's backward. And that's not where we're going to go," said Harper.

But some feel that Harper isn't the right choice, because he's against a merger with the Progressive Conservative Party. Many of Day's old Alberta cabinet buddies aren't backing him but they're also leery of Harper. "I have the greatest respect for Harper," says Alberta's Infrastructure Minister Ty Lund. "I was disappointed, though, to hear that he wasn't interested in working with the PCs." (2)

Stephen Harper had always hated Red Tories and detested the notion of any reference to 'Progressive'. He once said that there would be a showdown between Reform and And the PCs and that Reform would not lose.

However, in exchange for Chandler's support, he took a different approach and when he won the leadership of the Alliance, the extreme right-wing Australian League of Rights was thrilled, since this was an important victory for the movement:
The most notable political developments of the past few weeks were the election of Stephen Harper as the new leader of the Alliance Party, succeeding Stockwell Day; and Mr. Harper's immediate meeting with PC leader Joe Clark, in which he challenged him to stop piddling around and wasting time, and join the Alliance in 'uniting the right,' or else get out of the way as the Alliance moves forward ... Mr. Harper, because of his early background with the Reform movement, his several years' experience in the House of Commons and as leader of the National Citizens' Coalition, should be well equipped for his new role. (4)
Unfortunately, Joe Clark was forced out and the Progressive Conservative party of Canada ceased to exist as of December 7, 2003. The anniversary of the attack on Pearl Harbour, was a fitting date.

Canada no longer has a legitimate conservative party, though there are rumblings that former conservative supporters are thinking of reviving the old party. I hope so. We need a right of centre altrnative to a party so far to the right, they are pulling Canada off the map.

Next: The Creation of Stephen Harper's Sandbox

* "The Campaign Life Coalition, an anti-abortion lobby group backing Mr [Stockwell]. Day, was also censured by party officials for sending out 130,000 letters asking its supporters to donate money so the organization could buy memberships in bulk to help the candidate. Organizers for Dr. Hill and Mr. [Stephen] Harper complained successfully that the actions by Campaign Life violated party rules prohibiting groups from buying memberships."(3)

1. Chandler’s Roots of Change Conference attracts fringe elements: Unite-the-right’s downmarket element. Meeting attracts those relegated to sidelines, By Thomas Walkom, Toronto Star, March 21, 1998


3. Day slips into Bible college for Rally, By S. Alberts, National Post, February 13, 2002

4. Canada Calling, Harper Wins Alliance Leadership, Australian League of Rights Archives

David Frum and the Winds of Change

A CULTURE OF DEFIANCE: History of the Reform-Conservative Party of Canada

In May of 1996, one of Conrad Black's hand picked right-wing journalists, and close friend, David Frum*; held a Winds of Change conference in Calgary, with the purpose of getting together Jean Charest, then leader of the Progressive Conservative Party, and Preston Manning, then leader of Reform.

The goal, according to Frum, was to discuss the prospects for a merger between the Reform and Progressive Conservative parties. He believed that a vigorous airing of views behind closed doors, would help to develop a common agenda, and create the momentum that was needed to unite the right.

The conference turned out to be both more and less than expected. In terms of bridging the differences between the parties of Preston Manning and Jean Charest, the conference made little headway. The conference did endorse a move that had been underway for some time to field a single Reform-Progressive Conservative candidate in the federal riding of Brant. But the chasm in terms of the egos and pride of the leaders; the different attitudes that the parties have towards populist initiatives; Reform's origins in western alienation, Social Credit, and religious fundamentalism; and the fact that Reform emerged in part as an angry protest against the policies of a Progressive Conservative government made a rapprochement unlikely. The conference also revealed deep divisions between so-called fiscal conservatives who wanted a smaller role for the state and a climate that would foster business growth and social conservatives who wanted greater state involvement in legislating morality whether on abortion, criminal justice, or "family" values. (1)

Ernest Manning had attempted such a merger three decades before, but the neoconservative movement now had the media, controlled by Conrad Black; the Fraser Institute and the National Citizens Coalition.
The Winds of Change conference occurred at a time of both political crisis and rising influence for the right in Canada. On one hand, the Reform and Progressive Conservative parties continue to battle each other for supremacy on the right, splintering the vote. The conference did little if anything to alleviate the problem. On the other hand, the entire agenda of Canadian politics has been influenced by an intellectual climate that is shaped more and more by right-wing journalism. (1)
David Frum would go on to become a speech writer for George W. Bush and it was he who coined the phrase "axis of evil." He is still very heavily involved with Stephen Harper and the Reform-Alliance-Conservative movement, especially when it comes to foreign policy, promoting a nuclear attack on the Muslim world.

Next: Craig Chandler and the Roots of Change


1. The Winds of Right-wing Change in Canadian Journalism, By David Taras (University of Calgary), Canadian Journal of Communication, Vol 21, No 4, 1996

Media Manipulation: Conrad Black and the POWER of the Press

A CULTURE OF DEFIANCE: History of the Reform-Conservative Party of Canada
Lawrence Martin has written several articles about the Canadian media's rightward migration. In a January 2003 column headlined 'It's not Canadians who've gone to the right, just their media', he quoted an unnamed European diplomat saying "You have a bit of a problem here. Your media are not representative of your people, your values." Too many political commentators are right of centre while the public is in the middle", the diplomat continued. "There is a disconnect."

Martin believes the disconnect began when Conrad Black converted the Financial Post into the National Post, hired a stable of conservative commentators like Mark Steyn, David Frum and George Jonas, bought the centrist Southam chain and turned the entire package into a vehicle to unite Canada's right and retool the country's values to U.S.-style conservatism. (1)
Conrad Black was definitely a media mogul, but his real claim to fame was as a power broker. A political power broker, who was instrumental in the success of the American style neoconservative movement that brought Stephen Harper to power.
Black was more effective as a conservative political advocate than a businessman. "Yet Conrad Black's business ambitions probably always ran second to his urge to be an intellectual force of conservatism. He did not want to simply own newspapers. He wanted to use them to help to reshape the political culture of his native Canada, and to influence that of the United States, Britain and Israel ..." (2)
From Brian Mulroney and Preston Manning, to Stockwell Day and Stephen Harper. Conrad Black was there.

Connie and Brian

Conrad Black and Brian Mulroney had been friends for a number of years. Mulroney was president of the Canadian Iron and Ore Company, when the Black family were major shareholders, and he was the one who first introduced Black to Power Corporation's Paul Desmarais. (3) Black backed Mulroney during his failed 1976 leadership bid, and the Mulroneys remained members of Black's social circle. That circle also included Murray and Barbara Frum(4), parents of David Frum, and while Mulroney and Black had a parting of the ways, Frum remains a Black supporter.

Connie and Preston
"I don't know about Preston [Manning], Preston went to a Bilderberg [summit] meeting. Rides in a limo with Conrad Black. [He's] hobnobbing with the New World Order." James Keegstra (5)
Ernest Manning had enjoyed corporate support when premier of Alberta, and while the Reform Party was supposed to be grassroots, it was very much a party of the corporate sector. So when the Reform Party decided to expand into Ontario, Manning went on a road trip and was introduced to the the king of the power brokers, Conrad Black.
[He spoke during a reception] at Toronto's prestigious Toronto Club hosted by Conrad Black and Hal Jackman. Afterwards, Black not only gave a favourable review of Manning's economic policies, but also contributed $5000 through one of his companies, Sterling Newspapers .

[Cliff] Fryers announced in June 1991 that the party would soon be embarking on a major corporate drive for funding. 'Corporations are part of our constituency,' said Fryers, a remark echoed several months later by Gordon Wusyk, Reform's chief executive in Edmonton: 'What we have to offer corporate Canada is significant." Based in part on the anticipated success of the campaign, the party raised upwards of $20 million ... Manning kicked off the campaign for corporate funds the following month with another trip to Bay Street. While there, he gave a talk to 450 members of the Financial Services Institute, an organization described by journalist Norm Ovenden as 'an elite organization made up of bank, trust company and insurance executives, top corporate lawyers, accountants, stock brokers and pension-fund managers.' (6)
Connie and Stockwell

After the merger of the Reform and Alliance parties, the leadership was up for grabs. And while both Stephen Harper and Conrad Black originally supported Mike Harris operative Tom Long's bid, Black did use a lot of his money and influence to help Stockwell Day, in his run for prime minister, in 2000.

He traipsed him around to $1,000.00 a plate fundraisers and allowed Ezra Levant to host additional fundraising parties at his house.

But after losing the election, and control of his caucus, Black looked to another hopeful. The president of the National Citizens Coalition, an extension of the corporate world.

Connie and Stephen
The decidedly conservative Conrad Black had taken over the liberal Southam chain of newspapers in May of 1996, and soon replaced soft liberal editors with editors of a more conservative cast at several of his publications, such as the Gazette and the Ottawa Citizen. He now controlled 58 of Canada's 105 daily news papers, and he soon made good on his statement to the Globe and Mail "We're going to try and recruit the very best people we can and produce the best papers we can, and publish them to the highest standards we can. And that means separating news from comment, assuring a reasonable variety of comment, and not just the overwhelming avalanche soft, left, bland, envious pap, which has poured like sludge through centre pages of most of the Southam papers for some time." Black folllowed that up by founding the National Post in the fall of 1998, and the Post would provide [Stephen] Harper with an always available platform for airing his views. The Sun Media Newspapers were also receptive, especially Calgary Sun, founded in 1980. (7)
Conrad Black was also heavily invested in the Fraser Institute, a pseudo-think tank, that gave us Jason Kenney and Rob Anders, and has contributed to the neoconservative success story.

When Harper decided to run for the leadership of the merged Alliance-PC party, it is rumoured that it was Black who paid off Peter MacKay's half million dollars worth of loans, if he agreed not to challenge him. (Harper claims to know who put up the money and that it was all above board, and yet still refuses to name the source. (8))

And not long after winning the Alliance leadership in 2003, Black took Harper to Bildeberg, a treat he once bestowed on Manning.

It's a dangerous thing when a powerful media outlet influences elections, whether they be leadership bids or a run for office. It further threatens our democracy, because they represent only the elite of society, and their goal is to destroy our social safety net.

And Stephen Harper has rewarded Black's world in spades, while promising to destroy the rest of us in the name of austerity.

We need to start fighting back, and we can do that by promoting the few independent news sources still available. it will be a long hard climb, but if we don't take that important first step, we are going to be in serious trouble.

Black's empire may be crumbling, but Rupert Murdoch is waiting in the wings, threatening to put the final nail in our coffin.


Media Manipulation: Setting Agendas and Shielding Your Bum

Media Manipulation: Journalists or Playwrights?


1. Right-wing media covering up political scandal, By Frances Russell, Winnipeg Free Press December 12, 2007

2. "The Guardian profile: Barbara Amiel", The Guardian, September 3, 2004.

3. The Establishment Man: A Portrait of Power, By Peter C. Newman, McClelland and Stewart, 1982, ISBN: 0-7710-6786-0, Pg. 224

4. Newman, 1982, Pg. 267

5. Bentley, Alberta: Hellfire, Neo-Nazis and Stockwell Day: A two-part look inside the little town that nurtured a would-be prime minister - and some of the most notorious hate-mongers in Canada, By Gordon Laird, NOW Magazine, 2000

6. Of Passionate Intensity: Right-Wing Populism and the Reform Party of Canada, By Trevor Harrison, University of Toronto Press, 1995, ISBN: 0-8020-7204-6 3, Pg. 195

7. Stephen Harper and the Future of Canada, by William Johnson, McClelland & Stewart, 2005, ISBN 0-7710 4350-3, Pg. 262

8. MacKay's financial secret safe with Harper: No conflict, party leader says, by Stephen Maher, The Halifax Herald Limited , Thursday, May 13, 2004

The Fraser Institute's Role

A CULTURE OF DEFIANCE: History of the Reform-Conservative Party of Canada

"The Fraser Institute is another formerly obscure group whose rise to prominence coincided nicely with the advent of Canada's neo-conservative politicians, and it has been front and centre of the far right's fight to rethink Canadians' political values and beliefs.... the Institute was set up in the same fashion as several other right-wing groups in the United States, employing a core group of researchers and also engaging like-minded neo-conservative academics from other countries to conduct specific studies.

"To further heighten the international and academic cachet of its work, a second board was set up and given prominence in institute literature, deliberately overshadowing the real power and corporate funds behind the organization. While the Board of Trustees represents a Who's Who of the business elite in Canada, it is almost never referred to; instead, the board of advisers has successfully been established as the academic window dressing. (1)

Friedrich Von Hayek, who is thought to be the pioneer of the libertarian movement, originated the idea of setting up fake scholarly organizations to supply authoritative studies demonstrating the superiority of markets over governments in solving all our problems. Why fake, asks Don Gutenstein. "Because a genuine academic organization would not start with a conclusion and then look for arguments and evidence to support it." (2)

The Fraser Institute was founded in 1974 by Michael Walker, an economist from the University of Western Ontario and businessman T. Patrick Boyle, then a Vice President of MacMillan Bloedel. Most of the original financing came from the forestry giant MacMillan-Bloedel, who commissioned Walker to attack the NDP government of British Columbia, under then Premier Dave Barrett.

The Fraser has since worked continuously to forge greater ties with the United States, and began;

"... setting up a Centre for Canadian-American Relations to promote greater economic integration of the two countries. Harper has often voiced his support for deeper integration. It's another strategy for reducing the role of government."

"The Fraser has churned out books hyping hemispheric integration for 15 years. These studies make the point that Canadian prosperity is a result of trade with the U.S. and the free-trade agreements. If we want more prosperity, we need more integration. A 1996 publication, Money and Markets in the Americas: New Challenges, for instance, advocated a monetary union. Michael Wilson--Bay Street broker, Brian Mulroney's minister of finance, and Harper's ambassador to the U.S.--contributed a chapter." (2)

When Stephen Harper was helping Preston Manning to create the Reform Party, he visited the Fraser Institute to make sure they were still on board with creating a neoconservative alternative to the current conservative government, and they did not disappoint. In fact many of Harper's MPs were plucked from the Fraser, including Jason Kenney and Rob Anders.

The Fraser also had strong ties with Conrad Black, the man who helped to finance and create Canada's sharp right turn.

Former members of the board of trustees include David Asper, whose family owns CanWest Global, Canada's largest media corporation; Barbara Amiel, wife of Conrad Black; and David Radler, Black's former business partner. (3)

In 2004, Stephen Harper attended the Fraser Institutes 30th anniversary, and payed tribute to the organization that had played such an integral role in the success of the neoconservative movement:

The scene was the glitzy Imperial Ballroom of Calgary's Hyatt Regency, where 1,200 adoring libertarians, conservatives, and reactionaries paid $300 each to hear four prominent conservative politicians--Ralph Klein, Mike Harris, Preston Manning, and Harper--pay tribute to the Fraser's success in pushing political thought in Canada to the right, helping make their careers possible. (2)

Next: Conrad Black's Role - Media Manipulation


1. Hard Right Turn: The New Face of Neo-Conservatism in Canada, Brooke Jeffrey, Harper-Collins, 1999, ISBN: 0-00 255762-2, Pg 420-421

2. Harperstein, By Donald Gutstein, Straight Goods, July 6, 2006

3. Wikipedia

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Chapter Thirty-Five Continued: The National Citizens Coalition

A CULTURE OF DEFIANCE: History of the Reform-Conservative Party of Canada

Ernest Manning always had a fear that Communism would take hold in Canada, and declared war on the perceived evils, with as much determination as the Social Credit had taken up the fight against banks and the notion of a Jewish conspiracy.

It consumed him, and he often spoke of the need to intensify a right-wing front against an attack from the left.

Because of this, a group of people from the corporate world, seeing an ally, approached Manning about creating just such a party. According to one of his cabinet minsters, Alfe Hooke:

"On at least two occasions Mr. Manning told me in his office that he had been approached by several very influential and wealthy Canadians and that they wanted him to head up a party of the right with a view to preventing the onslaught of socialism these men could see developing in Canada. They had apparently indicated to him that money was no object and they were prepared to spend any amount of money to stop the socialist tide ... "Mr. Manning indicated to me that he was also working on a book which he would hope to publish ... In which he would endeavour to outline the views these men represented and recommendations he would make in keeping with their views." (1)

The book he was referring to, was written with Preston, and called Political Realignment. It became the framework for a party of the right-wing, that would be based on pure ideology and the 'will of God'. It spoke of individual freedoms, and the need for a two party system, with clearly laid out and completely opposite, ideologies. Only then would Canadians be given a clear choice at election time. (2)
"The Mannings' free-market ideology was not rooted in any expressed community sentiment or shared vision: it was inspired by an imagined threat of a left-wing conspiracy and supported almost exclusively by corporate interests whose principal goal was less government interference. Their aspiration to govern was not driven by new ideas about how government could be more responsive to its citizens but by a negative view of government; a vision of dismantling government, not reforming it." (3)
The Mannings' little book also caught the attention of another wealthy Canadian, Colin Brown. Brown had read Political Realignment and arranged a meeting with the Mannings. They soon learned that they had a shared enemy: Tommy Douglas.

When Douglas was pushing for free health care, Manning stated that; "Giving to the individual societal benefits such as free medical care ... breeds idleness... causing a break down in his relationship with God ... where the state imposed a monopoly on a service ... the sinful philosophy of state collectivism scored a victory." (4)

Fortunately for Canadians, not everyone saw it that way, and with the collective efforts of Tommy Douglas, John Diefenbaker and Lester Pearson, Canadians were given Medicare in 1966. As founder of London Life, Colin Brown saw this as a direct threat on his business, and took out full page ads to denounce such a measure.

However, what Ernest Manning suggested was something more permanent. Why not establish an organization that could draw in financial support from the corporate world, and act as an advocacy group that would stop the spread of government intervention into 'socialist schemes'. Hence, the National Citizens Coalition* was born, and Ernest would be given a position on their advisory board.
"The connections between the National Citizens Coalition and the Reform party go back a long way. Their political agendas are virtually identical: deficit reduction, restriction of immigration, ending universal social programs, lowering taxes for corporations and high-income earners, and ending national medicare. Colin Brown, the founder of the NCC, began his conservative crusade in 1967with a full page ad in the Globe and Mail, attacking the federal Liberal government's plan for a national medicare scheme.

"At the same time, Ernest Manning and his son were launching Ernest's book, Political Realignment, calling for a social conservative party. According to Norm Ovenden of the Edmonton Journal, Ernest was one of the 'moving forces behind the creation of the NCC ..." (5)
However, despite the fact that they now had a behind the scenes corporate network that would solicit funds and act as a 'grassroots' voice for change, Manning still felt that the idea of a new party was a bit too risky. So instead, he suggested merging the current conservative party with his social credit, thereby establishing a single right-wing offense.

So he showed up at the conservative national convention, hoping to use his influence to create such a merger, but he had overestimated his importance. The people who knew him, knew exactly what the Social Credit Party stood for and wanted none of it. Besides, Robert Stanfield had been named the new federal Conservative leader, and Stanfield was a Red Tory! Just one step away from a communist in Manning's mind.

His next strategy was to have his best man, Robert Thompson, run as a PC for the next election, hoping to influence the Conservative party from the inside. Thompson won, but was unable to do much to sell social credit, even though Manning had just been named senator.

So they put the idea on the back burner, and waited for the next wave.


*Stephen Harper would join the NCC in 1980, just as they were launching their anti 'Boat People' campaign. He said he liked what they stood for. He would later go on to become their vice-president and then president. In 2004, he was awarded their 'Medal of Freedom', which means freedom from government interference. The medal is given each year to the person who has best been able to tear down Canada's social safety net. The holy grail is scrapping the Canada Health Act.(6)


1. 30+5 I know, I was There, A first-hand account of the workings and history of the Social Credit Government in Alberta, Canada 1935-68, by Alfred J Hooke, Douglas Social Credit Secretariat.

2. Political Realignment: Challenge to Thoughtful Canadians, By Hon, E. C. Manning, McClelland & Stewart Limited, 1967, Kingston Public Library call no. 320.971 M31

3. Preston Manning and the Reform Party. Author: Murray Dobbin Goodread Biographies/Formac Publishing 1992 ISBN: 0-88780-161-7, Pg. 66

4. Dobbin, 1992, Pg. 9

5. Dobbin, 1992, Pg. 95

6. The National Citizens' Coalition loves you - ha! ha! ha!, 35 years of fighting for fat cats while posing as ordinary citizens, NUPGE: November 8, 2002

Peter Mackay and the Death of the Tory Party in Canada

A CULTURE OF DEFIANCE: History of the Reform-Conservative Party of Canada

"When good people in any country cease their vigilance and struggle, then evil men prevail." Pearl S. Buck (1892-1973)

In 2003 former Progressive Conservative Member of Parliament, Flora MacDonald, had been in Afghanistan, working with a group of war widows.

When she returned to Canada she was surprised to receive a call from a CBC reporter asking for her views on "the merger". Thinking she was inquiring about some amalgamation of business interests, she explained that since she had just returned to Ottawa, she wasn't up to date on the latest business ventures.

But imagine her shock to learn that the merger in question was that of her Progressive Conservatives with the ulta right-wing Alliance Party. After all, Peter MacKay had clearly indicated during his leadership campaign that this was not a process he would endorse.

MacKay was not my first choice at the June leadership convention - I supported Scott Brison on the first two ballots but after that I gave my vote to MacKay because I took him at his word. He said he would support the strongly endorsed decision of the party at its national convention in Edmonton in the summer of 2002 that there would be 301 Progressive Conservative candidates in the next federal election.

My reaction to the agreement in principle, signed secretly by MacKay and Stephen Harper in October, 2003, was first of all one of incredulity, then anger that the party decisions so strongly expressed in Edmonton and endorsed by MacKay during the leadership campaign could be so easily jettisoned. Further, the fact that he would willingly preside over the demolition of a historic 150-year-old institution that has done so much to build this country leaves me asking how he defines integrity and principle. (1)

How he defines integrity and principle?

The leadership convention that had taken place in May, saw David Orchard, a leadership candidate, throw his support to Peter MacKay with the promise that he would not unite the right. In fact, at the the convention, the members voted overwhelmingly, that no such merger should take place.

So a meeting was held with representatives of the Mackay and Orchard teams, resulting in a written contract, that read:

May 31, 2003 Agreement between Peter MacKay and David Orchard

1) No merger, joint candidates with Alliance. Maintain 301.

2) Review of FTA/NAFTA - blue ribbon commission with David Orchard with choice of chair with Peter MacKay's agreement. Rest of members to be jointly agreed upon.

3) Clean up of head office including change of national director in consultation timing within reasonable period in future, pre-election and some of DO's people working at head office.

4) Commitment to making environmental protection front and center including sustainable agriculture, forestry, reducing pollution through rail.

Signed by Peter MacKay and David Orchard (2)

It was a done deal, or so the party thought. What happened? How was Mackay able to renege on a written contract, to "willingly preside over the demolition of a historic 150-year-old institution that has done so much to build this country"?

Next: Ernest Manning and the National Citizens Coalition


1. Flora MacDonald’s Comments, The Toronto Star, November 14, 2003

2. "Tory leadership deal, Peter MacKay won David Orchard's support at the Tory leadership convention based on a deal hastily scrawled on a piece of paper", Globe and Mail, June 5, 2003

Chapter Thirty-Two Continued: The Mark of the Beast

A CULTURE OF DEFIANCE: History of the Reform-Conservative Party of Canada

Antichrist pacing to and fro. Laughs exultantly.

ANTICHRIST: What more could I wish for? It’s only a matter of time now and not long at that. The whole world will soon be at my feet. What fools those Jews were to agree to assist me to this throne of Russia. I do not need their support any longer. Tomorrow I will break my covenant with them. Their religious ceremonies must cease. I will not tolerate such stuff in my realm.

Enter false Prophet. Salutes Antichrist.

ANTICHRIST: What brings you here to me, sir?

FALSE PROPHET: I come to make you a proposition. You already know something of my origin and my purpose in being in this world. There is a work that we can best accomplish by working together.

ANTICHRIST: You interest me. What is your proposition?

FALSE PROPHET: It is this. You well know, my Lord, that the day is fast coming when you will be the supreme ruler of this world. Already you have more power than all the governments of Europe and Asia, together. Your word is law. The kings of this earth tremble at your smallest command. Their thrones will soon be yours. But there is one thing that will always hinder your progress as long as it is allowed to exist. That thing is true religion. As long as people retain even the thought of God, their allegiance will be divided between yourself and Him.

ANTICHRIST: I realize that well enough. That is why I propose to banish religion from the earth. I will not allow the name of God to be mentioned under penalty of death. Just give me a little longer. Tomorrow I intend to break my covenant with those Jews and cancel all their religious rights. Once they are exterminated, what religion there will be left in this world will not be difficult to eradicate.

FALSE PROPHET: My Lord, I highly commend your actions, but why not go a step further still? I suggest not only the annihilation of all worship of God but propose to introduce a new form of worship in which you yourself will take the place of God. In that way man’s natural tendency to worship will be gratified and you will be exalted to a position never before held by a man. I have full control over the apostate religions that at present are worshipping our adviser, Diabolos, and a multitude of his demons. I propose turning all apostate religions into one great channel with yourself as the object of worship.

ANTICHRIST: I like well your proposition. We have all the power of the Devil behind us. We can accomplish our ends without difficulty. Militarism will be the order of the day. Deception shall be our weapon where force is unwise, until we get complete control. Let us proceed with care and the whole world will soon be out our feet.

FALSE PROPHET: One thing we have to consider. Some will refuse to worship you. How can we prevent them from evading us?

ANTICHRIST: That will not be hard. *We will soon have full control of the trade and commerce of the world. We will then make the people swear their allegiance to us and bow down and worship before they will be allowed to buy or sell. When they do, we will brand them like cattle, and no one will be allowed to buy or sell unless they have our mark upon them. We will do away with any who refuse.

FALSE PROPHET: Then our last difficulty is solved. The future is open before us my Lord. Woe to him who opposes or dares to cross our path. Now let us launch our great campaign. You complete your world conquest and cease not until the last king has thrown his crown at your feet. I will see that apostate religion keeps pace with your advancements. Meanwhile we will complete all details of our plan and when we meet again it will be to make dreams come true.

Image, False Prophet, Antichrist, Guards and so forth. Long blast on cornet.

FALSE PROPHET: Here ye all this proclamation and decree hereby issued by the command of the Antichrist, the supreme ruler of this world. (Reads decree concerning worship of image, receiving of mark, etc.) At the sounding of the trumpet this decree shall immediately become law, and woe to any who refuses to worship the image of the greatest man this world has ever seen. (1)

The above is an excerpt from a play written by Ernest Manning and William Aberhart in 1931. Using students from the Calgary Prophetic Bible Institute, they performed it at high schools and church halls, and it is said, scared people half to death.

Based on the popular novel by Sydney Watson: Mark of the Beast*, Manning and Aberhart clearly wanted to scare their audiences into accepting Christ, then and there. In one scene a young girl claims that she goes to church and reads the Bible, but was told that wasn't good enough, and the Antichrist did away with her entire family.

This play was not written for entertainment but was a form of fear mongering.

There has been a lot of debate over the religious fanaticism promoted by Aberhart and Manning, and what kind of influence it had on future generations in Western Canada. James Keegstra, the Alberta school teacher who for 15 years taught his students that the Holocaust was a Hoax, attended the Calgary Prophetic Bible Institute. His parents were also devout Social creditors and anti-Semites.

Ron Gostick, whose mother was a Social Credit MLA, was one of the largest distributors of hate literature in North America.

Stockwell Day's religious fanaticism, may have also come from his parents, who were not only members of Social Credit, but his father once ran for the party against Tommy Douglas.

The Bible broadcasts of Aberhart and Manning played for decades, to a wide audience. To suggest that they didn't have an impact would be naive. And the brand of Christianity they taught often bordered on the occult.

Ernest was there during the darkest days of Social Credit, when his government was being compared with Nazis and called fascists. The social credit board distributed antisemitic material and as a result, they were often taken to task by the Jewish community.

Manning would later "purge" the party of the anti-Semites, but it was mainly for political expediency, since they were starting to demand that he adhere to social credit principles. And in fact, while his caucus was stripped down, anti-Semitism would continue to define this party for many years. (2)

In a revisionist history Ernest Manning has been made to look like Ward Cleaver, but there was definitely a dark side to him.

Continued: Faith Feud of Ernest Manning and Tommy Douglas


*Tim LaHaye and Jerry B. Jenkins, authors of the popular Left behind Series, that is now the blueprint for the Religious Right and Christians United For Israel; also claim to have been influenced by Sydney Watson's apocalyptic novels.


1. Aberhart of Alberta, By L.P.V. Johnson and Ola MacNutt, Institute of Applied Arts Ltd., 1970

2. Beyond the purge: Reviewing the social credit movement's legacy of intolerance, By Janine Stingel, Canadian Ethnic Studies Journal, Summer, 1999

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Chapter Thirty: Ernest Manning Introduction

A CULTURE OF DEFIANCE: History of the Reform-Conservative Party of Canada

The small community of Carnduff Saskatchewan, located 32 km west of the Manitoba border, and 20 km north of International boundary, was created as a train stop when the CPR railway first laid down tracks. Boasting the first post office in the region, the town was named after it's first postmaster, John Carnduff. In fact the CPR station was located on Carnduff's original homestead.

Though postmasters at that time were paid a mere $2.00 per annum, there was a certain prestige that went along with the position, as they were often privy to all the gossip as mail and "news" was sifted through their fingers. (1)

Settlement in Carduff began in the early 1880's and it was a difficult and sometimes dreary life:

Cutting wood, breaking the sod and planting the seeds for their meagre harvests which tided them over the following winter. Blizzards, floods and prairie fires were taken in their stride. Supplies were either freighted or carried in through mud and over frozen roads. Their sod houses were furnished with the barest necessities ...

One of the early settlers, Gavin Middleton, kept a diary and his entry for November 8th, 1882, is is a bit telling of the times: "Started from McArthurs and Welsteads for Sec.18 with two yoke of oxen in the afternoon and one mile from Carnduffs met McArthur. A fine day. Carnduff brothers stable was on fire. Left a ticket on the door to let him know as he was not at home.

Just what you want when your stable's on fire. A ticket on the door. But then there would have been little that Middleton could have done, I suppose. He goes on to say: "In the forenoon shovelling snow out of the porch and in front of the porch. Last night was fearful cold. The bread had been frozen in the bread box for two nights, as hard as a stone. Mrs. M. thinks that she must have got her nose froze a little in bed." (2)

George Manning emigrated to Canada in 1896, while his wife, Elizabeth Dickson arrived in 1903. Both were from England. By the time of the 1916 census, the family included sons William, 11; Ernest, 8 and Roy, 2. (3)

There is kind of a funny story about Carnduff and the train station there. According to historian Brian Avery:

"One little secret of the CPR station in Carnduff has fascinated me for years. There was a trapdoor in the freight shed floor. Below a small space had been dug out and there was a wooden cabinet. My father felt that it had probably been used in the rum-running days when Carnduff was one of the distribution points for alcohol to supply the USA during prohibition. Alcohol may have been stored temporarily below the trap door and boxes could have been piled over the trap door. This is a very distinct possibility considering the amount of alcohol that apparently moved through Carnduff to the USA." (4)

Charles Ernest Manning

Charles Ernest Manning was born on September 20, 1908, at Carnduff, Saskatchewan. His family belonged to the United Church but were not terribly religious. He was educated at Glen Payne School near Rosetown, Saskatchewan, another small railway stop, named after it's first settlers; James and Anne Rose from Lancashire, England.

According to his son Preston:

One Christmas, he [Ernest] and his brother Bill assembled a three-tube radio set they had ordered through a mail-order catalogue. Listening to the radio my father became acquainted with the religious radio ministry of William Aberhart, a high school principal and Christian layman in Alberta. Aberhart was a pioneer in the use of radio to communicate Christian teaching. His broadcasts were heard across western Canada in the 1920s and 1930s.

As a result of listening to Aberhart, my father decided to leave the farm in 1927 to study at the Calgary Prophetic Bible Institute, Aberhart's training school. He was the school's first graduate and became Aberhart's assistant. (5)

Had he not bought that old tube radio or listened to William Aberhart's broadcasts, the political landscape of Alberta and indeed Canada, may have been different. I guess we'll never know.

Continued: Ernest and Muriel


1. The "Soo line" and its people, The Prairies in Retrospect, Weyburn Public Library Branch of Southeast Regional Library, call number 971.244 SOO.

2. The "Soo line" and its people, The Prairies in Retrospect, Diary of Gavin Middleton, 1882-1883

3. "Census returns for 1916 Census of Prairie Provinces." Statistics of Canada Fonds, Record Group 31-C-1. LAC microfilm T-21925 to T-21956. Library and Archives Canada, Ottawa.

4. Master Painter of Railways, Canada Artist William G. Hobbs, The Gallery

5. The New Canada, By Preston Manning, 1992, MacMillan Canada, ISBN: 0-7715-9150-0, Pg. 7-8

Stephen Harper, the Northern Foundation and Nelson Mandela

A CULTURE OF DEFIANCE: History of the Reform-Conservative Party of Canada

The above video is an important one to play as the soundtrack for this story of Stephen Harper and the group he was a founding member of: The Northern Foundation. One of it's initial goals was to fight against the release of Nelson Mandela from prison, the end of Apartheid and our government's economic sanctions imposed on the white South African government.

It would be two more years before Simple Plan's Mandela Day message would be realized, but it was well worth the wait. Mr. Mandela's name is now synonymous with racial struggles, though his 1993 Nobel Peace Prize, came at a hefty price.

Harper's Northern Foundation and the Roots of Reform

"‘The Northern Foundation was established in 1989, originally as a pro-South Africa group . . . lists among the founding members of the Foundation both William Gairdner and Stephen Harper ... " (1)

"... the Northern Foundation was the creation of a number of generally extreme right-wing conservatives, including Anne Hartmann (a director of REAL Women), Geoffrey Wasteneys (A long-standing member of the Alliance for the Preservation of English in Canada), George Potter (also a member of the Alliance for the Preservation of English in Canada), author Peter Brimelow, Link Byfield (son of Ted Byfield and himself publisher/president of Alberta Report), and Stephen Harper." (2)

So what exactly was meant by pro-South Africa group?

The following excerpts are from both Trevor Harrison's and Murray Dobbin's books as sourced at the bottom of the page, and provide the framework for the pro-Apartheid South Africa stand taken by the Reform Party and Harper's Northern Foundation. As Mr. Dobbin stated in his book, Stephen Harper and Preston Manning were always very careful not to write extremist views into their policies, but the people invited to both NF conferences and Reform conventions tell a different story.

"... the notion that some Reform members may have strong Anglo-Saxon nativist inclinations is supported by more than merely the background profiles of its leaders, members and supporters. It is supported also by the words of many of its ideological mentors who depict Canada as not only historically an Anglo-Saxon country but also part of a wider Anglo-Saxon culture that is in need of recognizing and re-establishing its heritage.

"Read for example Peter Brimelow's* words bemoaning the eclipse of Anglo-Saxon hegemony. 'At the end of the nineteenth century, belief in the superiority of the Anglo Saxon values ... (was) the most social norm in every English-speaking country ... For WASP supremacists everywhere, however, the twentieth century has been a most distressing experience.' (3)

And Again:

'The twentieth century has proved bitter. The values that are common to the English-speaking peoples are in a minority in the world, and on the defensive. Future historians might well be surprised that at this late date the English-speaking countries remain so self-absorbed, and despite their common ancestry, show so little conscious awareness of their common interests'.

"Voiced by some prominent Reform supporters, the notion of a 'common heritage' seems to encompass the white settler colonies of the former empire, including white South Africa. Consider, for example, Stan Water's** reluctance to criticize the slow pace of ending apartheid in South Africa: 'If history has any parallelism, you might find a very serious problem emerging in South Africa which may dwarf the objectionable features of the current administration ... I always ask Mr. (Foreign Affairs Minister) Joe Clark, if South Africa's going to change, what black Nation do you want it to imitate? Most of them are despotic...'

"Water's musings are not singular. Murray Dobbin has chronicled extensively the pro-white South Africa actions and sympathies of numerous people within the party, including Ted Byfield*** and Arthur Child. This support for white South Africa, a country whose political system was based on racial group affiliation, by many within the Reform party ... cannot be explained adequately unless one accepts the notion that many Reformers strongly identify with 'Anglo' culture. This identification is nowhere more strongly enunciated than in William D. Gairdner's**** Trouble With Canada" (3)

But Stan Water's views would not limited to South Africa:

"Water's views and his frankness in expressing them covered a wide range of issues. On the topic of despotic governments, he referred primarily to black African governments. And this commitment to democracy was qualified: 'South Africa should think twice before allowing majority rule because most black African countries live under tyranny ... If history has any parallelism, you might find a very serious problem emerging in South Africa which may dwarf the objectionable features of the current administration ... it may be impossible to transport our version of democracy to South Africa.' (4)

And of the Northern Foundation and Reform Party in general:

"It claims that common sense Canadians ... who appreciate Canada's British and Christian heritage and oppose forced bilingualism, destabilizing immigration policies and government promoted official multiculturalism. It adopts the National Citizens Coalition slogan "More freedom through less government.'

"...The foundation's magazine carries a half-page ad in every issue for the Phoenix, a pro-white South Africa magazine, and regularly solicits support from members on special causes, from property rights to English language rights. Attacks on homosexuals and homosexual rights are frequent ..."

"The South Africa Connection: There is good reason to believe that groups sympathetic to (white) South Africa have seen the party as an ally, especially in the days when trade sanctions, strongly supported by Canada, were proving damaging to the South African economy and it's prestige. That was in 1988-89. And it was during this period in particular that a number of pro-South African groups organized efforts to undermine Canadian policy and to spread pro-South African literature across the country. All of these groups had some degree of contact with the South African embassy in Ottawa ... Key individuals in those organizations have also played and continue to play important roles in the Reform party.

"It's not surprising that these individuals and the South Africa embassy would see Reform as a friendly party. Stan Water's frequent sympathetic references to (white) South Africa ... His attacks on Canada's giving aid to black African countries and his labelling of them as despotic, corrupt dictatorships cast Waters as a hero for the extreme right. William Gairdner, the man most often used as a key-note speaker by Preston Manning, is also an outspoken supporter of South Africa. In 'The Trouble With Canada', he repeatedly decries Canada's policy on South Africa and, like Waters, levels attacks on the "One party dictatorships of Black African countries...."

"Ted Byfield is also a prominent figure in the pro-south Africa community.... Byfield has also written for 'International Conservative Insight', a far-right foreign affairs magazine published by the Canadian Conservative Centre and featuring articles by South African ambassadors and many of Canada's far right-wing journalists - including Lubor Zink, Peter Brimelow, and Reform member Doug Collins of Vancouver.

"Water's military background and his business connections got the attention of pro-South African activists long before he became external affairs spokesman for the Reform Party .. and that attention paid off ... Arthur Child the president of Burns Meats ... has openly supported South Africa for twenty years ... he is also on the board of Canadian-South African Society (CSAS) ... founded in 1979 and was involved says Child, in 'trying to counteract the anti-South African sentiment in Ottawa ... we distributed information on South Africa - mostly to MPs.

"(CSAS) was founded to bring together Canadian and American subsidiary business interests in South Africa ...Their profit levels are high - often twice their returns in companies ventures in Canada - due to their ability to pay low wages and almost no benefits to black labour.' "Most of the thirty member board are from Ontario ... a few were from the west ... one of these was Norman Wallace of Saskatoon ... a founding member of the Reform party ... He set up Eagle Staff Import Export Ltd. to further business ties with South Africa.

"Wallace created considerable controversy in 1987 when he and others involved in a group called the Indian Business Development Association put up money for a South African tour for five Saskatchewan Indian leaders ... intended to give the Pretoria regime a public relations weapon - using aboriginal conditions in Canada to demonstrate the Canadian government's hypocrisy. But as active as he was, Wallace was not the most prominent South African supporter to join the Reform Party early on. That title belongs to Donovan Carter, a former television broadcaster in Calgary ... Carter was identified as a paid agent of the South African embassy by the program "The Fifth Estate" in November 1989. He was a member of the Calgary group called the Western Society of South Africa. He was also host of a TV show called 'South Africa Report'....

"... Carter discussed his work with Patrick Evans, the embassy's First Secretary and they decided that the most effective way to undermine Canadian policy was to set up "a friends of South Africa" front groups across the country ... his operation fell apart when two of his recruits from Winnipeg, Geoff Shaw and Ihor Wichacz, became increasingly worried about the tasks they were assigned and went public. At first they were simply engaged in letter writing campaigns .. using their own and other people's names in letters to the editor ... then they were asked to infiltrate anti-apartheid groups. Worried, they spoke to ... CSIS (the Canadian Security Intelligence Service), who told them to go ahead.

[Reform Party member] Carter did not restrict himself to promoting South Africa in his work with front groups. Through him Shaw and Wichacz regularly received material from a whole range of right-wing groups, particularly from the U.S. Wichacz told 'The Fifth Estate'; 'I started getting a lot of right-wing revisionist literature, stuff concerning Lyndon Larouche ... literature that the Holocaust never happened. Literature, let's say, from Posse Comitatas ... ... Carter worked closely with Stan Waters after joining the party soon after its founding. 'I've been sending him certain intelligence reports that we get from England. I happen to be associated with the best intelligence group in the world'.

"Carter confirms that it was Stan Waters who wrote the rather cryptic foreign policy, which appeared in the 1989 Blue Book, and also confirms that it was inspired by Canada's policy towards black African states and South Africa: 'It most definitely was. I have letters from him saying that's what he thought'.

"There is little doubt that many pro-South Africa activists have found their way into the Reform Party. Some have gained prominence. Maurice Tugwell, a friend of Stan Waters, is former head of the Center for Conflict Studies ... An expert in counter-insurgency, he is also on the board of the Canadian-South African Society and an active member of the Reform Party. Angus Gunn, a Reform member in Vancouver, is president of the Canadian Buthelezi .. which has sent $ 100,000.00 to Buthelezi ... the Zulu chieftain ... a rival of Nelson Mandela ...

"Doug Collins is a member of Canadian Friends of South Africa ... and has written numerous sympathetic articles ... Collins is also a member of CFAR ... an extremist right-wing group founded by Paul Fromm. While Manning felt obliged to stop the candidacy of the outspoken Doug Collins (he wanted to run for the reform Party in 1988), he seems less concerned about Donovan Carter, a man whose activities - including organized spying for a foreign power - have been mostly clandestine and therefore not an embarrassment to the party." (5)

But despite Stephen Harper's Northern Foundation and the Reform Party, Nelson Mandela prevailed.


*Peter Brimelow was also around during the early days. Dubbed a paleoconservative, his book: The Patriot Game: National Dreams & Political Realities, was an inspiration to Stephen Harper and his friend John Weissenberger: “Brimelow’s book, that was a big influence at the time,” Weissenberger says. ... We both read it with great interest and discussed a lot of the points in it. Brimelow identified a number of areas of conflict within Canada that the current system was papering over, the Quebec question being the largest one. We were so impressed that we actually went to one bookstore and we said, ‘OK, we want to buy ten copies of this book, what deal will you give us?’ So we bought ten copies and gave them to all our friends.” (6)

**Stan Waters was a founding member of the Reform Party of Canada and the first elected senator, though he never served. He was seen as one of the [Reform] party's most popular early spokesmen and policy communicators, speaking at numerous party rallies and events from 1987 to 1991. (Wikipedia)

***Ted Byfield was not only an early Reform Party member but also the founder of the secretive Civitas Society, that now plays an integral role in the Reform-Alliance-Conservative movement.

****William Gairdner was not only an early Reform Party and Northern Foundation member, but his book the Trouble With Canada ".. helped lay the groundwork for Reform Party policy." (7) He is also a founding member of the Civitas Society.


1. Preston Manning and the Reform Party. Author: Murray Dobbin Goodread Biographies/Formac Publishing 1992 ISBN: 0-88780-161-7, pg. 100

2. Of Passionate Intensity: Right-Wing Populism and the Reform Party of Canada. Author: Trevor Harrison Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 1995. ISBN: 0-8020-7204-6, Pg. 121

3. Harrison 1995. Pg 170-171

4. Dobbin. 1992 Pg. 93

5. Dobbin. 1992. Pg. 100-107

6. Stephen Harper and the Future of Canada. by William Johnson, ISBN 0-7710 4350-3, 2005, Pg. 52

7. Dobbin, 1992, Pg. 165

Canadian Constitution Foundation: Follow the Money to Racism?

A CULTURE OF DEFIANCE: History of the Reform-Conservative Party of Canada

In 1971 a student newspaper, the Ubyssey, ran a story about a university professor who had made some seemingly racist comments to a local paper, resulting in calls for his dismissal.

A stormy controversy involving charges of racism against a history professor has erupted at the usually placid University of Western Ontario. Things came to a head Wednesday night when professor Kenneth Hilborn invaded a students meeting discussing demands for his dismissal and was involved in a scuffle with one of his denouncers .

The demands for the firing of the tenured professor arose from an article he had written, which appeared in the London Free Press. In this article Hilborn attacked those who support what he termed "terrorists" in South Africa . He said that the best way to end the apartheid system in that country was by a process of "erosion" . This could best be accomplished, the article went on, by increasing the prosperity of the white ruling class in South Africa . (1)
One of the first rules when covering a story is to follow the money, and in following the money to the Canadian Constitution Foundation*, one of their financial backers is Professor Kenneth Hillborn, an early Reform Party member who was (is?) on the president's counsel of the National Citizens Coalition**. He was also involved with a group called the Canadian South-African Society.

"The 300 members of CSAS (Canadian South-African Society) were mainly from large corporations, but there were also academics, churchmen and a Quebec Superior Court judge. One of these is Professor K.H.W. Hilborn of the University of Western Ontario on London. He was on the board of directors and is a regular contributor to the right-wing foreign affairs magazine 'International Conservative Insight.' He is one of the people honoured in the Northern Foundation's Northerner magazine, and is on the president's council of the National Citizens Coalition. A recent member of the Reform Party, Hilborn hopes Reform foreign policy will be fleshed out with all this orientation towards the likes of the ANC (Nelson Mandela's party) with it's strong Communist component ... foreign aid should go only to countries not practicing socialism ..' (2)
The Northern Foundation was a vanguard group set up to establish a network of far-right organizations, born out of Reform's decision to allow extremists to join their party.(3)
"... the Northern Foundation was the creation of a number of generally extreme right-wing conservatives, including Anne Hartmann (a director of REAL Women), Geoffrey Wasteneys (A long-standing member of the Alliance for the Preservation of English in Canada), George Potter (also a member of the Alliance for the Preservation of English in Canada), author Peter Brimelow, Link Byfield (son of Ted Byfield and himself publisher/president of Alberta Report), and Stephen Harper." (4)
What the Canadian South-African Society, of which Hillborn was a member, did, was defend apartheid in South Africa:

"(CSAS) was founded to bring together Canadian and American subsidiary business interests in South Africa ...Their profit levels are high - often twice their returns in companies ventures in Canada - due to their ability to pay low wages and almost no benefits to black labour.' (that's what this was really about)
"Most of the thirty member board are from Ontario ... a few were from the west ... one of these was Norman Wallace of Saskatoon ... a founding member of the Reform party ... He set up Eagle Staff Import Export Ltd. to further business ties with South Africa.

"Wallace created considerable controversy in 1987 when he and others involved in a group called the Indian Business Development Association put up money for a South African tour for five Saskatchewan Indian leaders ... intended to give the Pretoria regime a public relations weapon - using aboriginal conditions in Canada to demonstrate the Canadian government's hypocrisy. (5)

Besides being a staunch defender of South African apartheid, and defender of whites to make money, Hillborn has also, like the CCF, been an advocate for "free speech." He has had a long association with people like Paul Fromm***, and his book; The Cult of the Victim: Leftist Ideology in the '90s, can still be purchased on Fromm's C-Far website. In fact Paul Fromm wrote the preface.

Hillborn has also fought diligently against the rights of First Nations, which has earned him a spot on the Nizkor list of those associated with hate groups.

In 1997 when there was a move to make the title of "Masters' more gender neutral, Hillborn spoke out against it.

A second motion was also passed which, if accepted by Senate, would allow current Western masters degree holders the option to change their degree to a magisteriate. "It's a non-existent word for a non-existent problem," said Kenneth Hilborn, Western history professor and Senator. "[Magisteriate] is not in any established dictionary. It's feminist clap-trap." (6)

"Feminist clap-trap". I like him already

I do support the right to free speech and academic freedom on campus, but it's important to expose the money and power behind many of these organizations, like the Canadian Constitution Foundation, who back up the Reform-Alliance Conservative movement.

Is their fight for freedom of speech part of an advocacy group that would allow organizations like C-Far to attack our immigrant communities? Many of the groups that fell under the Northern Foundation umbrella were actually neo-nazi. Will this open the door to overt anti-semitism?

There was a reason for the adoption of human rights commissions, and people like John Carpay, Ezra Levant, John Weston and even Dr. Hillborn, need to understand what they were. These ridiculous lawsuits and constitutional challenges threaten to change who we are as Canadians.

It's time to start fighting back against groups like the CCF.


*The Canadian Constitution Foundation was the brainchild of Reform-Conservative MP John Weston. He stepped down as the head of CCF to run as an MP, and Reform-Alliance-Conservative insider, John Carpay has taken over the reins. "The Ontario Health Coalition described the CCF as an “extremely right-wing” legal advocacy group that uses the Charter of Rights to promote a conservative agenda, including the end of medicare. "In 2005 Weston talked to the Calgary Herald about his counter intuitive approach to the Charter, which has typically been praised by the liberal-left and attacked by the political right. “It’s here, there’s not much point in wishing it weren’t. Now, we need to make it mean what it is supposed to mean,” Weston told the Herald. “Conservatives must reclaim it for conservative values.” "To that end, the CCF and Weston fought the federal Liberal government in the courts, challenging the Nisga’a Treaty ... The CCF is also funding a class action legal challenge to medicare in Alberta and an individual action in Ontario."" (7)

**The National Citizens Coalition is a rather secretive right-wing advocacy organization, heavily financed by corporations. They were initially established to put an end to Canada's medicare system. Stephen Harper has been a member for three decades and has served as both it's president and vice-president.

***Paul Fromm was a Toronto high school teacher who was fired when a video surfaced of him at a Hitler's birthday celebration giving a Nazi salute to a Confederate flag. He was allowed to sell memberships to C-Far at Reform Party assemblies.


1. UWO Prof Attacked as Racist, The Ubyssey, University of British Columbia, November 23, 1971

2. Preston Manning and the Reform Party. Author: Murray Dobbin Goodread Biographies/Formac Publishing 1992 ISBN: 0-88780-161-7, pg. 104

3. Of Passionate Intensity: Right-Wing Populism and the Reform Party of Canada. Author: Trevor Harrison Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 1995. ISBN: 0-8020-7204-6, Pg. 115

4. Harrison, 1995, Pg. 121

5. Dobbin. 1992. Pg. 100-107

6. Fighting for an option to be no one's master, By Kevin Gale, University of Western Ontario Gazette, March 21, 1997

7. New MP profile: West Vancouver-Sunshine Coast-Sea-to-Sky's John Weston. Vancouver Sun. October 18, 2008

Friday, May 28, 2010

Is Money Corrupting Religion?

A CULTURE OF DEFIANCE: History of the Reform-Conservative Party of Canada

The late Charles Templeton (1915-2001), evangelical turned agnostic; wrote a book Farewell to God: My Reasons for Rejecting the Christian Faith. In it he describes his journey from a popular Christian crusader, and colleague of Billy Graham, to his eventual abandonment of organized religion.

At a stage in his life when he was beginning to have doubts about his faith, he went to his friend Graham, expecting some spiritual guidance.

He asked him how he could accept creationism as 'fact' when there was irrefutable evidence that the world had evolved over millions of years. Graham, an intelligent man, told him "I've discovered something in my ministry: when I take the Bible literally, when I proclaim it as the word of God, my preaching has power." (1)

So even if Billy Graham, the scholar, pondered the scientific proofs of evolution, he chose to focus his beliefs on the words in an ancient text, because it was better for business.

Templeton and Graham would eventually part ways, but not because Templeton was losing faith, but because he exposed the enormous amount of money that TV evangelists were pocketing from the collection plates.

He would eventually become an agnostic, because he realized that there was no single god, who was the true God. "We worship the gods of our predecessors." (1)

I often say that the Religious Right has inspired me to become a born again atheist, but I suppose I'm an agnostic, because I do believe there is something bigger than us. But if there is indeed a God, I doubt he'd be pleased that the so-called Christian Conservatives have abandoned him to worship on the alter of the almighty dollar.

Show Me the Money

Classically Liberal, a Libertarian blogger, tells the story of Bob Sirico, once a gay rights activist, and now a Catholic Priest. According to Joseph Bast of the Heartland Institute:
One often hears priests, preachers, and rabbis endorse an activist government able to solve social, economic, and perhaps even moral problems. Fr. Sirico offers a powerful challenge to this conventional wisdom. Religious principles, he says, require that men and women be free to practice virtue or vice, and freedom in turn requires a limited government and vibrant free-market economy. (2)
What the hell? I don't remember that in my Catechism. According to 'Classically Liberal', Sirico was given money from the Atlas Foundation and several other right-wing groups, to start up the Acton Institute, a right-wing think tank, run by a priest who believes in the faith of a free-market economy. Just what god is he following? Nieman-Marcus?

Atlas was, and is, a major sponsor of the Acton Institute run by former faith healer, evangelical, gay community organizer, and now Catholic priest, Bob Sirico. Sirico ran fundamentalist faith healing meetings until he came out as gay. Then he moved on to the Metropolitan Community Churches and started running the Gay Community Center in Hollywood ... He was also one of the first ministers in the country to perform gay marriages as early as 1975. Sirico’s outfit started out as an organization that was going to sell free market ideas to the religious community.

Acton officials got heavily involved in the debate on gay marriage. With Sirico back in the closet (though some conservatives don’t think so) the position they have been taking has been to pander to bigots on the Religious Right.

.... All of them forget that their beloved Father Bob performed same-sex marriages. And in one press interview at the time Sirico told the reporter “I’m hoping to be married to a beautiful man in Los Angeles whose work is translating for the deaf.” By 1977 Sirico was listed by the LA Times as the “organizer of Libertarians for Gay Rights. (3)

Apparently the good father Bob is still living a gay lifestyle, while telling his followers "not to comply with rules and laws forcing them to accept abortion, same-sex marriage and other matters that go against their religious consciences." I guess hypocrisy is now a virtue.

Classical Liberal believes that this trend began when the Atlas Foundation abandoned it's original Libertarian ideals and began preaching the gospel of the wealthy Templeton family.
Over the years institutions evolve, change or slide away from their original purpose. It is inevitable, sometimes good, and sometimes not so good. One depressing change in recent years is with the Atlas Foundation. Atlas began as a libertarian-oriented, free-market foundation that was there to help think tanks around the world with similar purposes.But in recent years Atlas has begun to heavily rely on one specific donor or family, that is the money coming from John Templeton’s foundation or estate. As they have taken millions and millions from Templeton they started pandering to Templeton’s religious bias and prejudices. (3)
One group that falls under the virtue of hypocrisy and the Atlas Foundation, is the Canadian Constitution Foundation. Started in 2002, by a devout Religious Righter, John Weston, they take on cases that challenge the Constitution, in hopes of creating "a limited government and vibrant free-market economy", as handed down from God as the eleventh commandment.

But just in case we doubt they are devout, they will end abortion, same-sex marriage and public health care, while passing laws that allow us to call each other horrific names. Which brings me to the twelfth commandment: "Thou shalt abandon common decency and basheth all gays."

If you go to their website and read their mission statement, they lie and steal in the first paragraph. First off they claim to be non-partisan, despite the fact that their new chief, John Carpay was a long time Stockwell Day supporter, and is currently part of the Fraser Institute and the Manning Centre, both duct taped to the Reform-Alliance-Conservative movement. (did I mention that their founder, John Weston, is a Harper MP?)

And the fact that they are listed as non-profit, meaning they escape paying taxes, but have money seeping from their pores, brings me to the thirteenth commandment: "Thou shalt fooleth some of the people, some of the time ..." Amen.


1. Farewell to God: My Reasons for Rejecting the Christian Faith, By Charles Templeton, McClelland & Stewart, 1996, ISBN: 0-7710-8422-6, Pg. 7-8

2."Religion and Freedom." Heartlander. By Joseph Bast, Heartland Institute. January 1, 2007

3. Conservative money corrupts libertarian thinking, By: Classically Liberal, February 19, 2009