Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Canadian Constitution Foundation: Follow the Money to Racism?

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 whic 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

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