So I guess it's time to jump right in, to a topic I've been skirting around, not sure exactly what to do with.
However, the evidence is a little overwhelming, so I think that Canadians have a right to know what Stephen Harper was up to when forming his Reform/Alliance Party (now calling themselves Conservatives).
I'm not going to make any assumptions, I'm just going to share what I've read from reliable sources and you can be the judge.
Apparently the revelations were discovered several years ago, but Conrad Black, the media mogul, was able to silence his journalists.
In an attempt to remake Mr. Harper and his party from being ultra right, into a fabricated image of a non-threatening "moderately conservative" party.... “He [Mr. Harper] had little trouble doing so, as the media had been largely muffled by one fact: press baron Conrad Black, then reaching the height of his powers was also a member of the Northern Foundation and equally shy about having it publicly known. ... Journalists feared incurring his wrath as he employed many of them at the time, and was a potential employer for those whom he didn’t employ. Had they made the membership list public, Mr. Black would have been exposed." (Trevor Harrison - Passionate Intensity) (Conrad Black was also a member of the National Citizens Coalition)
I have no idea what is silencing them today, and why no one is going after this, but here goes.
Stephen Harper - The Northern Foundation and the Heritage Front:
I've already mentioned that the Reform Party emerged from the old Social Credit Party, with many of it's policies and original members.
Ernest Manning, father of Preston Manning, was the Social Credit Premier of Alberta from 1943 and 1968, and was the only Social Credit senator in Canadian history.
Stockwell Day's father was also involved in the Social Credit party and once ran against Tommy Douglas NDP.
James Keegstra was an activist for Social Credit and his lawyer, Doug Christie was a close personal friend of Stockwell Day Sr.
We also know from Mr. Harrison's book that the Reform Party adopted a motion at it's inception, to allow Right Wing fringe groups to join them, including Doug Christie's Western Canada Concept, a separatist party. (Of Passionate Intensity - Harrison - 1995, pg. 115-116)
And we know that Stephen Harper was writing policy for the party at the time, much of it, according to former National Citizens Coalition president, David Somerville; cribbed from their handbook. However, the bible, as it were, for the party was apparently William Gairdner's The Trouble With Canada. (Of Passionate Intensity - Harrison - 1995, pg 171 )
1. Preston Manning and the Reform Party. Author: Murray Dobbin Goodread Biographies/Formac Publishing 1992 ISBN: 0-88780-161-7
‘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 ... "
2. Web of Hate: Inside Canada's Far Right Network - Author: Warren Kinsella Toronto : Harper Collins, 1994 and 2001.
"Back home, Droege held low-key meetings with his new group in his apartment. They discussed their plans for their new group, and they discussed a name: the Heritage Front. One man, James Scott Dawson, registered the name; another Gerry Lincoln, designed a logo and some letterhead. Then, in November 1989, the Heritage Front went public. Droege, Lincoln and a few others travelled to Ottawa for the founding conference of the Northern Foundation. Droege had chosen a good place for his coming-out party."
The Northern Foundation's president was Rita Ann Hartmann, widow of former Western Guard activist Paul Hartmann. Hartmann had moved to Ottawa in 1987 with her six children, two of whom were skinheads who would go on to recruit on behalf of the Heritage Front in the national capital.
The Hartmann family lived in a huge home at 25 Delaware Avenue, in the well-to-do Golden Triangle neighbourhood. From there, Hartmann maintained connections with Neo-Nazi groups across North America. In March 1990, for example, she wrote to the ultra-violent Confederate Hammerskins of Tulsa, Oklahoma, using an alias she favours, Eleanor Cameron. Out of the same address, Ann Hartmann busied herself with REAL Women of Canada.
Hartmann, who has a law degree from the University of Toronto, provides legal advice to REAL Women. In April 1989, for example, she gave an anti-abortion speech to a REAL Women conference at the Radisson Hotel in Ottawa. Not all of the Northern Foundation's members were neo-Nazis. Along with the Heritage Front, the group's inaugural conference was attended by a well-known Conservative MP; a founder of Alberta Report magazine;a senior representative of the Alliance for the Preservation of English in Canada; and a columnist for the Toronto Sun.
Yet many of those associated with the Northern Foundation would go on to play keyroles in the Heritage Front, among them Steve Dumas, the foundation's research officer, who would write a regular column in the Front's Up Front publication under the pseudonym Steve Baker; Geoff Lupton, who had made an unsuccessful attempt in 1989 to establish a Nationalist Party club at Carleton University and who used the pseudonym Geoff Edwards when working on behalf of the Heritage Front; and Eric (Stilts) Hartmann, son of Paul and Ann, who was moved to pen an anti-abortion editorial for Droege.
"The Northern Foundation Conference was the start of it all for the Heritage Front," recalls Droege. "From that point on, things really took off.
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
"After leaving Tory MP Jim Hawkes' office in 1986, Harper had enrolled in the University of Calgary's master's program. At the same time, he had continued to "network" with some of the conservative think-tanks, such as the National Citizens' Coalition and the Fraser Institute, trying 'to mobilize some of the conservative resources,' and also helped to establish a right-wing organization, the Northern Foundation." (pg. 110)
"A number of organizations continued to arise, moreover, which threatened to splinter the Tory's right-wing support in the belief that Mulroney's government was not going far enough or fast enough in reversing the policies of the previous Liberal regime. One of these organizations - a kind of umbrella organization for many of the other single-issue, right-wing groups - deserves particular mention because of its links to the Reform party: the Northern Foundation.
The Foundation's own literature describes its history and purpose:
"The Northern Foundation was started in 1988 by individuals who were concerned and angered by the continuing deterioration of their country. In Canada, common sense had been drowned out while unprincipled politicians, arrogant bureaucrats, and leftist media elites did all the talking -- and thinking -- on behalf of everybody? ... There was no party, movement or organization to fight for the needs and aspirations of the majority of Canadians who were common-sense, small-'c' conservatives in both the social and economic sense.
In short, the Northern Foundation portrays itself as a kind of 'radical vanguard' for the dissemination of social and economic conservative ideas.
Complaining of socialist/progressive thinking, and a media/political system controlled by 'lib/left' elites, who had been 'able to impose their agenda on the Canadian people because small-'c' conservatives had been divided, 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.
The roster of conservative adherents speaking at foundation conferences in 1989, 1990 and 1992 is equally instructive. Among speakers were Dr Walter Block (the Fraser Institute), Ed Vanwoudenberg (leader of the Christian Heritage party), Lubor Zink (an extreme right-wing columnist with the Sun chain), Dr. John Whitehall (of the Canadian Christian Anti-Communist Crusade), Ron Leitch (president of the Alliance for the Preservation of English in Canada), Gwen Landolt (founder of REAL Women), Ken Campbell (founder of Renaissance Canada), Paul Fromm (former member of the Western Guard, a neo-fascist group, and later of CFAR), and author William Gairdner.
The foundation's quarterly tract, The Northern Voice, regularly provides advertising space for these same individuals, their ideas, and their organizations. Ostensibly, therefore, the Northern Foundation is a vehicle for bringing together several disparate right-wing groups and otherwise disseminating an extreme conservative ideology.
Significantly, it also has substantial connections to the Reform Party. (pg. 121-122)
Later it was discovered by CSIS (Canadian Security Intelligence Service) that several radical right-wing groups had infiltrated the Reform Party. (Remember at their first convention they voted to allow them in), and that the Heritage Front actually provided security for Preston Manning when he visited Ontario. Several websites claim that Harper himself arranged for this, but I don't think so.
I've yet to find evidence of that but according to the Canadian: "Stephen Harper was Reform Party Policy chief, at a time when it had numerous members of the white supremacist group Heritage Front as members. Trevor Harrison, further documents that Mr. Harper even had Heritage Front members doing security for Preston Manning at Reform Party events in Ontario." I've read the book and couldn't find that quote, though he does say that "The links between the Heritage Front and the Reform Party need to be fully examined" (Pg. 295), so maybe it appeared in a later version of the book. Mine was published in 1995 and looks to be the first printing.
Another interesting side note in this story deals with Ms Hartmann, former president of the Northern Foundation, and co-founder along with Stephen Harper. Apparently, after everything died down, she moved to Eugene Oregon where she opened a spa. In 2002, a local resident found the information about her past and posted in a local forum (still available). Ms Hartmann responded by saying "I was active in a movement to impeach a former Canadian Prime Minister. The Canadian Government smeared me, my late husband, and even my children - and many other people in the impeachment movement - and continues to do so. End of story"
This just keeps getting better. The PM she'd be referring to was Brian Mulroney. I guess I'm going to take Mr. Harrison's advice and examine more fully the "the links between the Heritage Front and the Reform Party" and of course Stephen Harper.
I'll keep you posted. If the Conservatives think it's a good idea to cherry pick Michael Ignatieff's lectures and books, going back decades, I guess they've given me permission to do the same.