Wednesday, February 01, 2017

A Brief History of the Far Right in Quebec, 1920s-1990s

servamThe following text was written in 1998, and published in the magazine Antifa Forum under the title The Past is Our Master ?!?; a French-translation was subsequently independently published as the pamphlet Notre Maître le Passé?!?

This study ends 20 years ago – and so precedes the rise of Islamophobia as the central focus of the far right, most importantly – but even within the span of time that it covers, it should not be taken as complete (boneheads are not examined here, not are various far right New Age groups, groups that came in from the u.s. like the Klan, etc.), nor should its political frameworks be necessarily taken as being nearly sufficient (a result of a very incoherent mishmash of preconceptions and ways of looking at things). At best, it provides a narrative of a few currents that occupied a marginal political space, but that managed to reproduce for a while, flowing into one another and occasionally interacting with more significant political forces. Hopefully, it provides a useful broad-brushstroke history, the outlines of which might provide certain useful insights.

 

The Past Is Our Master?!?

Within Canada, Quebec stands alone. The only province with a French majority in an officially bilingual country, it is heir not only to the British conquerors of the New World, but also to their rivals from France.

The Roman Catholic Church has wielded incredible power in Quebec ever since the seventeenth century, back when white people called this country New France. The subsequent British invasion and decisive expulsion of France from the continent did nothing to lessen the Church’s authority; once the bishops ordered the peasantry to obey the new British rulers their power was guaranteed. While Revolution struck down the medieval church in France, a kind of feudalism persisted here until the nineteenth century.

The age of dictators

Prior to 1936, the Right was represented in both provincial and federal elections by the Conservative Party. In 1936 Quebec’s provincial Conservatives merged with a corporatist splinter from the ruling Liberals to form the Union Nationale. Ideologically, the Right was represented by a number of nationalist[1] and Catholic organizations, the most important of which being the Ligue d’Action Nationale, the Ecole Sociale Populaire, the Société St-Jean Baptiste and the newspaper Le Devoir.

While not homogenous, certain characteristics were common to the entire French Canadian Right: corporatism, anti-communism, ambivalence towards parliamentary democracy and a belief in the virtues of order, hard work and religious piety. Its outlook could be summed up in the statement “the past is our master,” made by the right-wing priest and historian Lionel Groulx. In the days before Auschwitz, the word “fascism” did not carry with it the same baggage it has today, and while some Rightists had their differences with this doctrine it did not suffer from the same stigma as Socialism, Freemasonry or Communism.

The 1920s and ’30s were a heady time in Quebec. For the first time in its history most people lived in cities, and the industrial working class was taking center-stage. Immigration was at an all-time high. Montreal’s sweatshops were full of immigrants, many of whom became radical labour organizers. An anarchist immigrant set up the the Jewish People’s Kitchen on Rachel Street in 1933[2]. Throughout this period the vast majority of Communist Party members in Quebec were of neither British nor French origin[3].

These developments terrified traditionalists. As far as the Right was concerned, the immigrant communities in general, and the Jewish community in particular, were hotbeds of subversion[4]. Several newspapers called for anti-Semitic legislation: if not expulsion, at least a moratorium on Jewish immigration and the denial of full citizenship rights. Demagogues denounced Jewish control of the Quebec economy and the corrupt provincial government. The newly founded League for Social Credit used its newspaper Vers Demain to expose the efforts of Jews and Freemasons to destroy Christian civilization. Social Credit pioneer Louis Even bemoaned the fact that even were all the Jews to be exterminated, without extirpating the Jewish mentality Christians would hardly be any better[5]. While Lionel Groulx remained indifferent towards State power, other priests like Pierre Gravel called for a right-wing revolution to set things straight[6].

The Right’s xenophobia was matched by its anti-communism. In 1930 Father J.-Papin Archambault, head of the corporatist and nationalist Ecole Sociale Populaire, set up a Committee of Catholic Works to co-ordinate the Church’s anti-communist campaign. The CCW produced anti-communist propaganda, pressured the reigning Liberal government to shut down the communist Workers University[7] and arranged for loyal Catholics to spy on left-wing meetings. While Papin’s group carried out its work in public, another, secret, committee was formed in 1935 under the guidance of Cardinal Rodrigue Villeneuve[8], a man who described Communists as “poisonous, hypocritical serpents”[9]. Both committees worked closely with the government and shared information with the provincial police. In 1937 the Union Nationale enacted the Padlock Law, making it illegal to use one’s home or business to promote Communism – a term that was left conveniently undefined, Premier Maurice Duplessis insisting that “it can be smelt” [10][10].

Fascism in Quebec

Anti-communism and anti-Semitism provided the manure in which fascism could grow. A number of intellectuals had been impressed with this ideology ever since Benito Mussolini took power in Italy in 1922. Journalists lauded the Italian dictator in the pages of Action Nationale, le Progrès du Nord, le Province and Le Devoir, to give only a few examples.

In 1935 a young lawyer named Paul Bouchard began meeting with a few friends with the idea of launching a fascist newspaper[11]. The first issue of La Nation was published the next year; it soon became the most important fascist organ in all of Quebec. Bouchard attacked Jews, Freemasons and the English and repeatedly called for the creation of a fascist, French and Catholic State. As well as being anti-communist La Nation opposed capitalism, at times even tracing its own pedigree back to the French anarcho-monarchist Proudhon[12].

At about the same time as Bouchard was preparing to launch his paper, the brothers Walter and Dostaler O’Leary set up the fascist Jeunesses Patriotes group (JP; trans: Patriotic Youth) [13]. Over the next four years the JPs would enjoy a stormy relationship with La Nation; sharing the same ideology and approach, competing for support in the same circles, yet unable to agree upon who should lead the movement. Early on Bouchard wrote to Lionel Groulx, complaining that the O’Learys were trying to get him to close down his paper[14]. For his part, Walter O’Leary would later claim that Bouchard’s supporters had kidnapped him, holding him at gunpoint and trying to force him to sign an statement agreeing that Bouchard would be French Canada’s fuehrer[15].

Whatever truth there was in these mutual recriminations, the fact of the matter is that the JPs only published one issue of their newspaper, L’Indépendantiste, before rallying to La Nation. An uneasy peace lasted for a little over a year, until Bouchard purged the O’Learys, or the brothers struck out on their own, depending on who you choose to believe.

In 1936 Bouchard tried his hand at electoral politics, running as leader of the Autonomist Central Committee[16] in the Montreal-Ste Marie riding. Failing to get elected, his Central Committee became the Autonomist Party, modeled on Mussolini’s Fascist Party. Then in 1939 he tried to link up with the short lived National Party, a splinter from the Union Nationale led by Phillipe Hamel, a committed corporatist. By 1940 Bouchard’s menagerie had changed its name again: supported by a broad array of nationalist and right-wing groups, it was as a Nationalist Party candidate that Bouchard garnered 12,700 voted to Louis St-Laurent’s 16,700[17].

Nazism in Quebec

If Bouchard and the O’Learys were enthusiastic about Mussolini and Franco, they were at best lukewarm towards Hitler. Nazi totalitarianism was viewed with some disdain, the German threat to France with some concern, and the widening breach between the Hitler regime and the Vatican with growing alarm. By the time Pope Pius XI released his encyclical Mit brennender Sorge, condemning both Communism and Nazism, most of the Right had already turned its back on the Third Reich.

The most famous exception to this broad anti-Nazism was Adrien Arcand, an occasional asset of the Conservative Party, editor of the Union Nationale newspaper Illustration nouvelle, and a vicious anti-Semite to boot. In the fifteen years preceding World War II, Arcand published a number of rabble-rousing newspapers, each more racist and demagogic than the last. His book Key to the Mystery accused Jews of waging a timeless war against innocent Christians. He campaigned for their exclusion from Catholic institutions, suggesting that to truly get to the root of the problem they should be shipped off to Madagascar. He helped organize boycotts of Jewish stores, and successfully led resistance to a number of pieces of legislation that were meant to protect the Jewish community. In 1934 he founded the National Social Christian Party to put his ideas into practice. The NSCP was not only unique in its Nazism, but also in its pan-Canadian nationalism that sent it looking for allies outside of Quebec, a strategy that eventually led to the formation of the National Unity Party of Canada in 1938.

Arcand repeatedly came under attack in the pages of La Nation, which described him as a sellout to the British Empire whom the Conservatives supported in order to discredit authentic French Canadian fascists[18]. He even came under fire from within his own ranks, several radicals defecting to Bouchard’s camp in 1936. In an open letter these renegades attacked Arcand for running the PNSC on insufficiently fascist lines and being a Conservative Party pawn[19]. Indeed, there was more than a grain of truth in this last accusation: throughout the 1930s Adrien Arcand repeatedly threw his support behind the federal Conservative Party, which paid him handsomely for his services. Several Tory MPs were sympathetic to the PNSC, which senator Pierre Blondin explained to Prime Minister Bennett was simply “a regenerated Conservative Party in Quebec”[20].

At the same time as he enjoyed the good graces of the domestic establishment, Arcand was forging lasting bonds with members of the international far-right. Ironically, the most infamous of these ties – the NSCP’s much vaunted ties to the Third Reich – ended up being the most short-lived: what with the onset of war and their subsequent military defeat, the Nazis’ only real contribution to Quebec fascism was ideological, not practical. More enduring were the links Arcand forged with American, British and French racists in this period. The Key to the Mystery was distributed in France by Louis Darquier de Pellepoix[21], future head of the Nazi collaborationist Commission for Jewish Affairs, and as such personally responsible for the deportation of 9,000 Jews to German concentration camps[22]. In 1937 Arcand shared a New York City podium with numerous fascist luminaries: H.H. Beamish of The Britons, the American anti-Semite R.E. Edmonson, Silver Shirts fuehrer W.D. Pelley, German-American Bundist Fritz Kuhn, and the fascist Rudolph Markham[23]. He was to brag of this evening for decades to come, remaining in touch with some of these men for the rest of his life.

The Patriotic Masses

There was no French Canadian bourgeoisie at this time, the Quebec economy being dominated by British, American and Anglo-Canadian entrepreneurs. Unlike elsewhere in North America, the ideological Right in Quebec was not tied to capitalism by “its own” bosses, and so tended to be loyal to the Church and the Nation more than money or the State. Not only did this allow for a certain anti-capitalist mystique, but it laid the groundwork for consensus between the moderate and extreme right-wings. The same virtues were championed and the same vices condemned. If the latter included Communism, liberalism, feminism and immigration, the former consisted of corporatism, self-sufficiency, Catholic piety and provincial autonomy. Any divergence from this formula led to marginalization within the right-wing political milieu.

The absence of any real discord between fascists, ultramontanists, corporatists and conservatives led to unity against the Left and indulgence towards the hard Right all the way up the power structure. Many businessmen enthusiastically supported the fascists, hoping that they would nip class struggle in the bud. Maurice Duplessis, the Union Nationale’s charismatic leader and personal friend of many foreign investors, repeatedly declared that the only real threat came from the Communists, fascism being a chimera with which the former hoped to scare the masses[24].

This consensus on the Right allowed people who would today be considered “extremists” to enjoy the blessings of the elite. In 1933, when Montreal Jews organized a demonstration against the German Nazi regime, the pro-fascist Jeunes-Canada (which would later work closely with the Jeunesses Patriotes) counter-demonstrated, supported by Le Devoir and the right-wing nationalists from Action Nationale[25]. One year later, when interns at Hôtel Dieu Hospital went on strike to protest the hiring of a Jewish resident, they were supported by Arcand, Le Devoir, the Société Saint-Jean Baptiste and others on the Right[26]. In 1936, when a delegation from Republican Spain visited Montreal as part of a North American tour, over two thousand students took part in a pro-Franco demonstration that degenerated into an anti-Semitic riot. Bouchard, Arcand, Le Devoir, religious authorities and the University of Montreal student association all praised the rioters. The very next day Duplessis publicly congratulated them, noting that by opposing Communism they were following the Church’s teachings[27]. In 1939 the Société Saint-Jean Baptiste circulated a petition opposing immigration, especially Jewish immigration. That same year Montreal Mayor Camillien Houde announced that in case of war “the support of French Canadians will inevitably go to Mussolini’s Italy.”[28]

Quebec and France at War

The Second World War polarized the international far-right.

On the one hand, many fascists were given real power as the German army occupied their countries. Across Europe they carried out the bloody work of the Holocaust, leading death squads and instigating pogroms the likes of which had never been seen before.

Meanwhile, in countries the Germans failed to invade the ruling classes suddenly got the jitters about their fascist guard dogs. The far-right was quickly divided into two groups: those who could be trusted and those who could not. The latter, despite their ultrapatriotic protestations, came under suspicion of treason, of conspiring with Germany against the interests of their own governments.

Arcand would later claim that he and his followers would have fought against the Axis during the war[29]. Like many fascists around the world, their sympathy for the Nazis would not have taken precedence over their nationalism and sense of patriotic duty. Or so he would maintain – the truth is impossible to tell, for, along with a few dozen other Canadian fascists, he was interned in early 1940.

While it is debatable whether or not Canada’s fascists posed a threat to national security, the internments did send a chill through their ranks. Montreal’s demagogic mayor Camillien Houde continued to speak out against conscription and found that his office could not protect him. Paul Bouchard[30] and the O’Leary brothers[31] took the hint and fled to Latin America.

Anti-militarism was widespread in Quebec during the war. Outrage over conscription – imposed by a federal Liberal government that had been elected after promising only voluntary enlistment – and the feeling that this was just another imperialist conflict should not be confused with sympathy for fascism. Nevertheless, an atmosphere did exist in which anti-democratic sentiments flourished.

Even on the Right there was very little actual support for the Nazis. Between 1937, when Pope Pius XI condemned both Nazism and Communism, and 1940, when Germany invaded France, most had distanced themselves from Nazism. To oppose Hitler did not mean rejecting fascism, though. Spain’s Franco and Portugal’s Salazar still figured prominently in the Right’s pantheon of heroes. They were joined in short order by Field Marshal Henri-Philippe Petain, who, following the invasion of France in 1942, established an authoritarian dictatorship in Vichy and sued for peace with the Germans.

A hero of World War I, to his defenders Petain was a brave and noble patriot, under whose benevolent command a slice of France remained free from German control. In truth, Vichy was a collaborationist regime. While not national-socialist, it was an authoritarian Catholic dictatorship, more than willing to help the Nazis to exterminate “undesirables”. Under Petain’s command over 80,000 “enemies of the Reich”, the overwhelming majority of whom were Jewish, were sent to their deaths in concentration camps.

To many right-wingers, the German invasion represented a unique opportunity to get rid of the legacy of the French Revolution. Le Devoir published articles attacking the Free French (as those who resisted fascism under the command of General de Gaulle were known), many of whom it noted had Jewish sounding names. The Société Saint-Jean Baptiste refused to allow the Gaullists to participate in its annual parade. No fringe phenomenon, Petainist sympathies were widespread: in 1942 an opinion poll revealed that three quarters of Quebeckers approved of what they knew of the Field Marshal’s policies[32]. Among political moderates the widely subscribed to view was that de Gaulle was the sword and Petain the shield, both playing necessary roles in the defence of France. Given that Canada maintained diplomatic relations with both Vichy and the Free French until late 1942, it was possible to love Petain and still claim to support the Allied cause.

In 1941 a particularly virulent Petainist newspaper called La Droite (trans: The Right) was launched. It proclaimed that “the ‘Real France’, the France of St. Louis and Joan of Arc, of corporations and crusades, has cast its filthy republican anti-clerical secular clothing into the dirty laundry bin, in order to rediscover, under the guidance of the glorious Marshal, that traditional and Christian and radiant face that it used to have…”[33][33] In one editorial La Droite praised the Romanian Iron Guard as a nationalist alternative to both the Nazis and the Communists, one that should be emulated in Canada[34]. Earlier that year, the Iron Guardists had assured their place in history, carrying out a pogrom in Bucharest in which between 600 and 1,000 Jews were killed. Many of their victims’ bodies were mutilated, hung on butcher hooks in the local meat-packing plant, branded with the words “kosher meat”, and then beheaded.

While anti-Semitic and even fascist propaganda was tolerated in wartime Canada, other things were not. Later that year La Droite warned that French Canadians would resist the war effort if Canada ever attacked Vichy France. A few days later the RCMP closed the paper down[35].

La Droite was not alone. Soon after the RCMP closed it down a new newspaper, l’Unité, appeared. Published by the autonomists Paul Gouin, Philippe Hamel and René Chaloult, all of whom had been close to Paul Bouchard before the war, l’Unité chose as its slogan “Tradition-Family-Fatherland”, which just happened to be the official credo of the Vichy regime[36].

Another magazine, l’Oeil (trans.: The Eye), was launched in 1942. A “literary, political and cultural magazine”, l’Oeil was also anti-Semitic, Petainist and fiercely anti-Communist. Its subtitle “I see everything” was reminiscent of the pro-Nazi newspaper “I am everywhere” that had been published in France and read on both sides of the Atlantic before the war. As an Allied victory in Europe seemed more and more likely, l’Oeil warned readers that Communists and Jews were going to take advantage of the situation to the lasting detriment of the Christian world.

In 1942 two young fascists (Raymond Chouinard and Lauriot Hardy) were arrested for distributing a pro-Axis broadsheet during a demonstration against conscription. Upon searching the young fascists’ homes police found what appeared to be a membership list of a secret, pro-Axis organisation called the Iron Guard[37]. At the same time, Father Pierre Gravel – a fascist who condemned Jews before, during and after the war – held regular politico-religious services in the crypt of his Saint-Roch church, providing what one Robert Rumilly would later refer to as a necessary counterpoint to Allied propaganda[38].

Vichy fell in late 1944. Petain was arrested, but many of the worst collaborators disappeared into the woodwork. All over Europe, people suddenly remembered every little thing they had ever done that could be embellished and declared an act of resistance. Collaborators suddenly became anti-Nazi conspirators. If you had turned in some Jews, it didn’t matter so much if you could recall some others you had left alone. The little acts of kindness were more important than the grotesque crimes. The silver lining was more weighty that the actual cloud.

Nevertheless, the more infamous butchers had good reason to be afraid: some were executed by the new Gaullist State, while others were given a taste of people’s justice. For such gentlemen as these the time had come to make oneself scarce.

Quebec was already known to these fascists prior to Vichy. Not only had Arcand’s publications been available in France before the war, but French Canadian intellectuals had travelled to Europe and met with influential French rightists. When reactionaries from France had visited Quebec, they couldn’t have helped noticing that clergymen and politicians were publicly declaring their fascist sympathies. Especially well favoured was the dictatorial monarchism of Charles Maurras’ Action Francaise; in fact, it was none other than Cardinal Villeneuve who had interceded with Pope Pius XI on Maurras’ behalf when the latter was condemned for preferring political to spiritual absolutism[39].

As the war ended the political complexion of the Quebec Right remained virtually unchanged. To be sure, Nazism was repudiated, but as we have seen the far-right in Quebec had never been pro-Nazi, always preferring Mussolini, Franco and Salazar to Hitler. In 1945 Paul Bouchard returned from Mexico and started planning a comeback. Adrien Arcand and the other PUNC members were released from internment. Corporatist and ultramontane right-wingers continued much as before, careful now to stress the un-Nazi, “Latin” nature of their politics, dwelling less on Jews and more on Communists.

“The Pure must help one another”

Immediately following Petain’s arrest right-wing networks were active across North America. In the United States one Charles Sweeney of Idaho published a booklet simply entitled Petain[40], while professor Harry Elmer Barnes of New York – a Nazi sympathiser who would become one of America’s first Holocaust deniers[41] – protested on his behalf in Crucifying the Saviour of France: France’s New Dreyfus Case[42]. An American Committee to Free Petain was established under the leadership of George Edward Rutherford, and its plea on behalf of the Field Marshal was published in both the Washington Star and the New York Daily News.

Rutherford’s communiqué was reprinted in Le Devoir[43], and both Barnes’ and Sweeney’s booklets were made available to the public at the Montreal Municipal Library. They were placed there by one Robert Rumilly[44], a man whose right-wing views were already well known. A French citizen by birth, and a former member of Charles Maurras’ Action Francaise[45], Rumilly was to become Vichy’s chief apologist in Canada. In 1946 he contacted the media claiming authorisation to speak “directly on behalf of Marshal Petain”[46]. When the Social Credit newspaper Vers Demain claimed that “The clique that is prosecuting the greatest Frenchman of our time [i.e. Petain] is the spiritual daughter of that clique which delivered Joan of Arc to her executioner,” Rumilly congratulated the Socreds on their insight: “You are not mistaken. From Jewry to Freemasonry by way of the [British] Intelligence Service, the same forces that are attacking Petain and Franco are the mortal enemies of French Canada.”[47]

The local elite encouraged Rumilly’s campaign in defence of “the greatest Frenchman of our time”. Dozens of prominent politicians, intellectuals and professionals signed an open letter addressed to the French ambassador, pleading on behalf of those who were now paying the price for their wartime collaboration. They protested that “trials, denunciations and executions are brutally effecting a section of the French elite”, and noted that “The condemned are accused of collaborating with the victor after a legally signed armistice. Is this a crime? It is exactly what the Hungarians, Romanians, and Italians are doing today, to the benefit of the Allies. It is exactly what the leaders of our people, including the religious authorities, ordered us to do that day after the British conquest”[48] of New France.

Petain, however, was just the beginning. Over the following years several former Vichy officials made their way across the Atlantic, hoping that no one would notice as they began new lives in Canada. The ordeal of fleeing anti-fascists in Europe and relocating to the North American hinterland was eased by the generosity of powerful members of Quebec society. There was no shortage of businessmen willing to provide a job, or simply a handout, to these patriots. As one such benefactor, Jean Bonnel, would say about the protection he offered a former Nazi death squad leader, “the pure must help one another.”[49]

Several of these Vichyists came to the Federal government’s attention in 1948, and for awhile it looked like they might be expelled. This led Rumilly, Camillien Houde (who had once again been elected to the mayor’s office), Philippe Hamel and fellow autonomist politician Paul Massé to set up a Committee for the Defence of French Political Refugees. In September 1948, when the government passed an Order-in-Council allowing most of the collaborators to stay in Canada, the Committee’s energies became concentrated on the one individual who the government seemed most intent on deporting: Count Jacques Dugé de Bernonville.

De Bernonville was a French aristocrat who had been involved in a number of fascist organizations prior to the war, including Charles Maurras’ Action Francaise – where he apparently first met Rumilly who was also active in the group[50]. Whereas Rumilly’s disgust with France’s left-wing Popular Front government led him to immigrate to Quebec in 1928, de Bernonville remained, becoming active in the pro-Nazi terrorist organization La Cagoule[51]. He was one of the first to support Petain’s seizure of power in 1940, and was appointed head of the Commission for Jewish Affairs in North Africa, in charge of implementing the regime’s new anti-Semitic legislation. In 1943 he was brought back to France and put in command of a regiment of the Milice, a death squad answering directly to the Nazis. While with the Milice the Count was personally involved in the torture and assassination of suspected “terrorists”[52] (i.e. members of the French Resistance).

As the Allies swept across Europe de Bernonville found refuge in French monasteries and then in Spain, where the Franco regime remained sympathetic towards fascism until the 1970s. Disguised as a priest he crossed the Atlantic to New York, from whence he contacted friends in Quebec. Arrangements were made and he crossed over into Canada, where he had no shortage of admirers[53]. First among his protectors was Robert Rumilly, the bond between the two men being such that Rumilly became god-father to one of the Count’s daughters.

Things began to sour for de Bernonville in 1948, when he was recognized by a former member of the French Resistance doing business in Canada. Afraid of being found out, the Count approached the Canadian government in the hopes of avoiding prosecution for his misdeeds in Europe and Africa by coming clean about his surreptitious entry into the country. It did not take the Canadian government long to learn that de Bernonville had already been condemned to death in absentia by the French authorities.

On September 2nd 1948 the de Bernonville family was arrested by Immigration authorities that intended to deport them to France. Rumilly’s network immediately sprang into action. Federal members of parliament and prominent lawyers were mobilized to combat the deportation order, which in no time at all was postponed indefinitely. The de Bernonville family was freed on $5000 bail, paid by Rumilly’s friend Bonnel[54].

The Committee for the Defence of French Political Refugees got in touch with fascists in France, who were themselves still reeling from the Allied victory. There was talk of inviting prominent members of the French far-right to tour Quebec, plans which eventually came to naught as none of the candidates were deemed to be sufficiently anti-Gaullist!

Newspapers like Le Devoir, Montréal-Matin, La Patrie and l’Action Catholique all supported de Bernonville, as did several Union Nationale cabinet ministers and Conservative MPs. As a favour to Rumilly the provincial police assigned an agent from its red squad to investigate the Resistance veteran who had first recognized the Count[55]. Catholic groups across the province were mobilized, the Knights of Columbus urging Ottawa not to send “His Excellency the Count, a great Catholic Patriot, back to the French Communists.”[56]

Real national inequalities made it easy for right-wing nationalists to discredit the Federal government. It was deeply resented that ever since Confederation preference had been given to British immigrants, and that the cultural standards of Quebec had no influence on the Federal State’s WASP-first policy. These feelings were exploited by Rumilly, who fulminated that in the Immigration Department that sought to deport the Count “the French language can only be heard during one hour in each day: that hour is seven in the morning, the hour of the cleaning ladies.”[57]

While Rumilly’s efforts to mobilize French Canada on his friend’s behalf were a smashing success, Quebec was in no position to impose its views on Ottawa. What’s more, news of the Milice’s atrocities and the broader Holocaust made de Bernonville seem less “pure” than he once had. Although many wanted to believe that the Petainists were simple anti-Communists, in this case overwhelming evidence of direct participation in torture and murder was too much to sweep under the carpet, and several erstwhile supporters began to back away from the cause.

The federal Liberal government just wanted the problem to go away. The Prime Ministers Office started dropping hints that it would be best for all concerned if de Bernonville would just find some other safe haven. Given the declining fortunes of Petainism in Quebec, this idea seemed more and more attractive. On August 17th 1951, deciding that discretion was the better part of valour, the Count and his family departed for Buenos Aires.

The Rumilly clique had fought hard, but in the end they were unable to win a decisive victory. Nevertheless, considering the fact that de Bernonville lived in Canada for five years and that the government did everything it could to avoid handing him over to France, it would be an exaggeration to say that the Petainists had failed. Not only was a known war criminal able to leave Canada a free man, but the controversy surrounding his case had distracted everyone’s attention away from the arrival and settlement of other collaborators.

A Nazi after the War

Adrien Arcand was released from captivity on July 3rd,1945 . He had more than a few admirers, and a friendly notary bought him a house in Lanoraie, close to Jolliette[58]. He wasted no time getting back in touch with Nazis around the world, including Sir Barry Domville and Andrew Leese who had been interned in England; H.H. Beamish in Rhodesia; G.L.K. Smith and R.E. Edmonson in the United States; and a host of anti-Semites eager to continue Hitler’s work in Switzerland, South Africa and the Scandinavian countries. The pre-war international fascist network re-emerged much as before, minus a generation of German, Italian and French fellow travellers who were either in custody, dead or busy scrambling to save their own skins.

It 1947 it was reported that over 500 fascists had met on Arcand’s birthday to re-establish the National Unity Party of Canada (PUNC)[59]. Many pre-war followers who had escaped internment – and several who hadn’t – would end up joining. The unrepentant Nazi sought to promote his ideas through this resuscitated Party, and also through new books and speaking engagements. Indeed, it may have been at one of his lectures at Loyola College (later Concordia University) that Arcand first met a young German student by the name of Ernst Zundel…

In the first years following his release, Arcand found a sympathetic ally in l’Oeil, the same magazine that had trumpeted the marvels of Petainism during the war. While his name was kept out of print, other Nazi sympathisers signed their articles. Arcand arranged for his British friend Sir Domville to contribute a series of pieces on foreign and domestic affairs from a conspiratorial and anti-Jewish perspective[60]. It is difficult to say exactly what happened to the PUNC’s association with l’Oeil – like so much of the far-right’s history in Quebec, this has never been investigated – but correspondence between Arcand and Domville indicates that the magazine distanced itself from the Nazis around 1950.

Upon wearing out their welcome at l’Oeil, the PUNCists began publishing their own newspaper, l’Unité Nationale. Predictably anti-communist and anti-Semitic, typical articles recounted the crimes of “judeo-communists”, particularly in relation to labour conflicts and the opposition Liberal party. Other pieces lauded the Union Nationale, for Arcand’s followers remained staunch supporters of Premier Maurice Duplessis. In one statement responding to allegations that the government was making use of these fascist allies, the PUNCists explained that “the Union Nationale has never helped our movement. We don’t care what it thinks of us. Whether or not it likes our ideas won’t stop us from supporting it as long as it remains what it is today: the only true Christian and National party in the provincial arena.”[61]

At about this time Arcand began working with the Pan-Canadian Anti-Communist League, an amalgamation of Canadian and East European patriots unwilling to repudiate the legacy of the Third Reich. The League’s leading lights were Pat Walsh and Ron Gostick, fervent anti-Semites and “Douglasite” Socreds, and two of Canada’s first Holocaust Deniers. Walsh and Gostick are responsible for helping to maintain some Canadians sympathy for Nazism since the fall of the Third Reich. The PUNC would remain in contact with this duo, reprinting and disseminating writings from the various racist and conspiratorial groups they would set up over the years.

Arcand remained well liked and respected by sections of the establishment. He was on very friendly terms with his local MP, Remi Paul, who invited him to attend the Conservative Party leadership convention in 1963. Arcand declined, explaining that as leader of an “important political movement” (the PUNC) he could not throw his support behind the Conservatives publicly. In other words the die-hard Nazi who had once been funded by the Tories now felt that he would be compromising himself by accepting the MP’s invitation![62] Not that he had always been so self-conscious: during the 1957 federal elections he had publicly involved in the successful campaigns of both Remi Paul and Georges Valade. The latter thanked Arcand in a letter, writing that his support “certainly helped us to cleanse the Ste-Marie riding of the rotten liberal party politicians.”[63]

It should be remembered that some of Arcand’s pre-war followers had escaped the stigma of internment and were now recycling themselves as respectable politicians. Arcand made a point of reminding the Honourable Jean Barrette of this in a letter criticizing the evolution of the Union Nationale after Duplessis[64]. One cannot help but assume that this is what the Conservative MP for the Vaudreuil-Solanges riding, J.M. Bourbonnais, was referring to when he wrote Arcand asking that he “understand that it is not always easy for me to express everything you taught us and I am often obliged to keep quiet rather than speak my mind.”[65]

Nor were politicians the only ones to keep in touch with the grand old man of Canadian Nazism. Father Georges Panneton, who had written a series of books against tomboyism and immoral dancing before the war, corresponded with him about Judaism, a field in which he (like many others) still considered Arcand to be an expert. In one letter Panneton stated that “even if you have not entered the priesthood you are nevertheless an apostle of Truth and Goodness. You have been a valiant Soldier of Christ, and you will receive your eternal reward…”[66]

Indeed, to some Arcand’s reputation was enhanced by his wartime martyrdom. His views were sought by fascists around the world. Francis Parker Yockey looked him up and ended up staying at his home for a brief while[67]. Arcand was very impressed by Yockey’s book Imperium, and became a backer of his European Liberation Front in the 1950s. Such support was not inconsequential as Yockey, who has been dubbed “the American Hitler”[68], failed to charm a number of important English and American fellow travellers, including G.L.K. Smith and Arnold Leese, both of whom suggested he might be Jewish and/or crazy.

Until his death, Arcand remained a player in the international racist Right. Pioneer Holocaust denier Paul Rassinier contacted him from France seeking information regarding the creation of the state of Israel[69]. R.E. Edmonson referred to him as the world’s greatest expert on the Jewish question. Not only did G.L.K. Smith publish a glowing tribute to him in The Cross and the Flag[70], but he also tried to arrange for him to go on an American speaking tour[71]. American Mercury magazine assured the PUNC fuehrer that anything he sent would be published[72]. A young Colin Jordan wrote on behalf of the Cambridge Nationalist Club requesting reading materials[73]. From around the world, a new generation of racist and fascist “researchers” contacted Arcand to get the scoop on the latest “judeo-communist” machination.

Arcand the political leader was nothing compared to Arcand the racist conspiracy theorist. When he died on August 1st 1967 he left behind a tiny political party, leadership of which he passed on to longtime second-in-command Gerard Lanctôt. Over the next thirty years the PUNC puttered on, issuing a regular bulletin (Serviam) and holding annual congresses, but as a political force it was a non-entity. Within the world of the alienated far-right, though, it retained some of its prestige. Father Gravel, the venerable priest of Saint-Roch, continued to address its meetings, and as late as the 1980s some of Montreal’s first boneheads were said to be in the Party’s thrall.

While today a spent force, the PUNC and Adrien Arcand played an important role in the development of the Quebec far-right. Not only does Arcandism define the Nazi element in the 1930s, in the decades following the war the PUNC continued to serve as a rallying point for hardcore Jew-haters. Thanks to its newspaper Unité Nationale as well as its leader’s reputation, it managed to keep a section of the Quebec far-right in touch with developments in the United States, Europe and English Canada. At a time when many French Canadian fascists seemed more corporatist than jingoist, and more tempted by anti-colonialism than racial purity, the Arcandists were outspoken in their hostility not only towards Jews but also towards Blacks, Asians, liberal democracy and socialism. In a society where many extremists would rally to the mainstream, abandoning autonomism for pro-independence and sometimes even defecting to the Left, the PUNC stood strong as a pro-Nazi, imperialist and anti-communist reference point.

Winds of Change

The failure of Arcand’s cronies to find any political base after the war, the inability of the Petainist Right to maintain the necessary support for de Bernonville, and the growing stigma attached to the word “fascist” were small gusts of wind announcing a coming storm. The broad right-wing consensus – including as it did fascists, ultramontanists, corporatists and conservatives – was crumbling. The rapid decline and liberalization of the Catholic Church and the rise of a French Canadian business class forced the old Right to make peace with democratic capitalism in the 1950s. The emergence of a left-wing nationalism in the 1960s deprived it of its final trump card. The combination of these factors, catalyzed by the death of Maurice Duplussis in 1959 and the subsequent defeat of the Union Nationale in the 1960 elections, is often referred to as the Quiet Revolution, and today the period before this Quiet Revolution is known as the Great Darkness.

Yet this was no Robespierrian purification, no decisive break with or extirpation of the past, but rather a process of modernization that included – indeed, required – the integration of the old Right into the new democratic edifice. While an examination of the political trajectories of many former fascists from this era reveals a lot about which of their youthful opinions had to be rejected and which were soluble in the democratic discourse, such is not the purpose of this essay[74]. As an examination of the far-right in twentieth century Quebec, what interests us in this period is resistance to the Quiet Revolution and reaction against it.

Rumilly’s Reaction

Robert Rumilly was a prolific writer; a founding member of the French Canadian Academy, many of his books on Quebec history are today required reading for university students. Of course he also wielded his pen in the service of his political beliefs. He excelled at political hagiographies and partisan vilification, especially in the pages of the Nouvelles Illustrées, a scandal rag full of Duplessiste cheerleaders.

One of Rumilly’s life-long obsessions was the supposed infiltration of Communist elements into traditional French Canadian society. As the 1950s drew to a close he was one of many rightists to latch onto the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, which through the spread of television and radio was considered a dangerously powerful threat to established values. One after another journalists were pilloried for being “Communist agents” or merely corrupt opportunists. Rumilly’s poison pen named names, painting a picture of Communist subversives using the national media to spread Soviet and Chinese propaganda[75]. At times the malady was as much cultural as political, as when one of Rumilly’s associates asked “Who has introduced us to Elvis Presley and his crazy songs and dances? All the radio stations, including Radio Canada, that’s who”![76]

Not only were his newspaper columns used to sound the alarm, but Rumilly contacted several right-wing members of parliament about his concerns. In 1958 he met with L.J. Pigeon, a sympathetic Conservative MP. Politicians like Hubert Badonai and Remi Paul were enlisted, and exposés about Communist control of the mainstream media were trumpeted in right-wing publications across Canada. Far-right red-hunters worked together to show how Communists had honeycombed government institutions. Pat Walsh contacted Rumilly to share information regarding the “Communist” activities of various journalists. The two men would correspond throughout the 1950s, Rumilly occasionally repeating Walsh’s allegations in his newspaper column.

Although his journalistic endeavours failed to root out the CBC “Communists”, Rumilly was not discouraged. When two priests, Fathers Dion and O’Neill, publicly condemned the Union Nationale for fixing the 1956 provincial election[77], Rumilly leapt to the defence of the Duplessis regime. Any talk of bribing or intimidating voters, of political repression or wrongdoing on behalf of Canada’s greatest red-hunter, could only be Communist propaganda. Within a few months Rumilly had publicly answered the Jesuit democrats with his own À propos d’une mémoire ‘confidentiel’, Réponse à MM. Les abbés Dion et O’Neill.

This literary riposte was just the beginning. Encouraged by a few of Quebec’s more fascistically inclined clergy, in 1956 Rumilly called together some like-minded intellectuals and founded the Centre d’information nationale (CIN; trans.: National Information Center). This group functioned for six years with the goal of countering “left-wing subversion” by means of right-wing nationalist renewal[78]. It was under the auspices of the CIN that Rumilly wrote his most infamous screed, L’infiltration gauchiste dans le Canada Francais, alleging that the forces working to democratize Quebec were all part of a sinister Communist conspiracy.

In classic “elite reactionary” fashion, the CIN was never very active in the public sphere, nor did it endeavour to gain a mass following. Rather, by bringing together some of the key reactionaries of that time it attempted to coordinate a right-wing response to the budding Quiet Revolution. Its initial membership included Raymond Barbeau, Gerard Gauthier, Father Gustave Lamarche, Anatole Vanier, André Dagenais, Léopold Richer and Albert Roy[79]. It was supported from day one by Fr. Achille Larouche of Sherbrooke, Fr. Pierre Gravel of Boischatel and Fr. Georges Panneton of Trois Rivières. (As we have already seen, Gravel and Panneton were also very close to Adrien Arcand and the PUNC.)

CIN members were involved in a number of anti-communist, conservative, nationalist publications. Albert Roy published Tradition et Progrès (1957-1962), Gustave Lamarche directed the Cahiers de Nouvelle France (1957-1964) and Léopold Richer published Notre Temps[80][80]. These journals were all notable for their elitist, Catholic and corporatist idealism not to mention their dissatisfaction with liberal democracy. Furthermore, all were nationalist in the sense that they identified with French Canada and sought to champion its national rights. Despite such similarities, each addressed a different audience and retained its own style and point of view.

Despite the participation of so many leading reactionaries, the CIN was unable to counter the forces of change. While it did have internal weaknesses, its lack of success is more likely attributable to the fragility of the power structure to which it was wed, for by this time both the Church and the Union Nationale had become giants with feet of clay. Although theoretically independent, the Centre and its ally publications had all been supporters of the old regime, and had been known to receive financial and moral support from the government. In 1960, one year after Duplessis died, his party was defeated in the provincial elections, signalling the end of an era.

In 1966 the CIN made an abortive attempt to become the “Committee for the National and Christian Unity of Quebec”, and then faded from history. For a brief while Rumilly wrote for La Liberté, an anti-communist and anti-separatist Catholic newspaper started by his friend Jean Bonnel (the one who had bailed out the de Bernonvilles in ’48). This newspaper (whose credo was “Without Truth there can be no Freedom”) did not last, and Rumilly and his reactionary friends were forced to retreat from serious politics.

Raymond Barbeau and the Laurentian Alliance

If the CIN remained unimportant, one of its members, Raymond Barbeau, was to make waves and grab headlines for years to come. In 1957 Barbeau had founded the Laurentian Alliance. The most important group since the Jeunesses Patriotes to embrace independence, the Alliance called for an independent French Catholic corporate State on the shores of the St-Lawrence. Not Quebec or French Canada, this new country would be called Laurentie.

The call for an independent Laurentian State broke with the autonomism of the traditional Right, and was severely criticized by some. Yet others were willing to give Barbeau the benefit of the doubt. Rumilly, although himself a ferocious anti-separatist, put Barbeau in touch with Walter O’Leary, who in turn sent copies of the Alliance’s journal Laurentie to several of his friends.

Laurentie published sixteen issues between 1957 and 1962. One of its regular contributors was Albert Pinel, a former ally in Rumilly’s war against the CBC “Communists”[81]. Another was the historian and CIN-member Séraphin Marion of the Royal Society of Canada. Gerard Gauthier, a member of the CIN and alleged PUNCist[82], penned a long article in its second issue, calling for a national corporatist revolution. The “Capitalist International” and the “Proletarian Syndicalist International” were both described as enemies of the Laurentian nation which – “united by its French blood” – was to enjoy the benevolent rule of an elite that would protect it from “atheistic liberal democracy”[83].

Unlike others on the Right, Barbeau felt no need to attack the pro-Nazi current represented by Adrien Arcand. Despite their diametrically opposed views on so many questions, Barbeau had been charmed by The Key to the Mystery in 1950, and was in awe when he met its author six years later[84]. He corresponded with Arcand about Judaism’s “anti-Christian and demonic”[85] nature and kept him informed about the shrinking world of the Quebec far-right[86]. Barbeau was one of the few pro-independence activists to not be attacked in the pages of Unité Nationale. Indeed, according to one source the Laurentian Alliance included a number of former PUNC members[87]. When fellow-CIN member André Dagenais criticized these associations[88], Barbeau explained that Arcand’s troops were “brave men who denounce the misdeeds of Communists, Jews, Freemasons and socialists, with the goal of strengthening militant Catholics.”[89]

Yet the Laurentian Alliance was different in one important way, not only from Arcand’s PUNC, but also from most other fascists in the so-called white world. As a wave of decolonization was sweeping the earth, with one after another of the old powers losing its overseas assets, the LA took the unprecedented step of identifying with the rebellious masses of the Third World, comparing Quebec to colonized nations in Africa, Asia and Latin America.

The Alliance’s anti-colonialism was an important development. The traditional Right assumed that the former colonies would be drawn towards Communism. In the pages of the ferociously anti-communist Laurentie, decolonization was described as a good thing, and no assumptions were made about newly independent countries being left-wing.

As time passed the Laurentian Alliance opened its doors to non-Catholics, and according to some hardliners it sacrificed its right-wing ideals on the altar of political pragmatism. While remaining to the right of the political mainstream, and representing the conservative extreme within the emerging pro-independence movement, by simple virtue of realpolitik and its openness to decolonization the Alliance managed to be a lot less anachronistic than either the PUNC or the CIN. As the Liberal government of Jean Lesage (1960-1965) undertook a series of measures to modernize Quebec, the Laurentians had the least difficulty finding a place in the new political landscape. Many became members of the new Rassemblement pour l’independence nationale (RIN; trans.: Assembly for National Independence), a rallying point for any and all advocates of Quebec independence. Some retained their right-wing views but others were swept along in the political tumult, forgetting about Barbeau and his corporatist fantasies, and even going over to the Left.

The Quiet Revolution inaugurated an era of modern capitalist democracy in Quebec, and groups like the CIN and the PUNC were hobbled by their close association with the past. New organizations would have to grow in these new conditions.

A Conservative Socialism

If the Laurentian Alliance represented the right-wing of the “new” nationalism, the left-wing seemed to be personified by the organization Action Socialiste pour l’independence du Quebec (ASIQ; trans: Socialist Action for Quebec Independence), its leader Raoul Roy and its journal Revue Socialiste. The first issue of this publication explicitly rejected the Laurentian Alliance’s fascism, stating that “the corporatist State proposed by reactionary nationalists would persecute liberal Catholics as well as Quebec’s non-Catholic minorities [….] it would kill intellectual freedom [….] it would fossilize the (French) Canadian nation in its backwards condition [….] it would freeze Quebec into a retrograde ‘reserve’.”[90]

Predictably, the ASIQ came under fire from Robert Rumilly, who accused its members of being bolshevik subversives. In return, the Revue Socialiste accused Rumilly of “supporting the control of the Quebec economy by Anglo-Saxon monopolies [.…] Rumilly is in favour of our slavery [….] an inveterate Petainist, an admirer of the atheist Charles Maurras, he doesn’t care about slaves or serfs [….] Every Sunday in a colonialist neighbourhood in Montreal, a group of Hitlerite Maurrassians [the CIN?] meets at Rumilly’s. There they preach the gospel of monarchism, anti-Semitism and the hatred of France [.…] All of this is accompanied by military songs of the Nazi SS (recorded by an American company, of course).”[91]

Roy and his allies clearly hated the old-guard nationalists, who in their autonomism and support for the Union Nationale were seen as having sold out the French Canadian nation. The ASIQ distributed Frantz Fanon’s Wretched of the Earth as well as books about the Spanish Revolution and numerous works by the French anarchist Daniel Guerin. Many of the Revue Socialiste’s denunciations of British imperialism and the national oppression of French Canada were salutory, to say the least. Its ringing endorsements of Castro’s Cuba and the coming proletarian revolution seemed to place it on the radical Left.

But nothing is perfect. The new Quebec nationalism, seemingly the harbinger of progressive, even revolutionary, change, carried with it the same potentialities as the old nationalism, indeed as does all nationalism. While its xenophobic and totalitarian tendencies may be suppressed or mitigated in some situations – letting its pluralistic and communitarian aspects take hold – at other times national liberation becomes a mere cover for exploitation, and the patriotic framework becomes treacherous ground indeed.

Right from the beginning the ASIQ parroted the anti-immigrant line of the old-guard nationalists. In the same programme that condemned corporatism as oppressive to non-Catholics, it explained that “Socialists should recognize the right of (French) Canadian proletarians to protect their interests as workers and as (French) Canadians against the anti-worker use of immigrants to maintain low salaries and also against the use of immigrants to drown them as people [….]” Socialists should demand a moratorium on immigration until there is full unemployment in Quebec, and then “should demand that immigrants be recruited only from those countries that are a part of the Latin civilization.”[92]

The ASIQ had a front group devoted to anti-immigrant agitation, the Ligue du main-d’oeuvre native de Québec[93] (LMNQ; trans: Quebec League of Native Labourers). Its president Maurice Dufort dismissed his opponents as “maggoty ‘cosmopolitans’, ‘internationalist’ dreamers, ‘globalist’ eggheads and lunatic ‘mullatists’”[94]. Accusing immigrants of being “footsoldiers of colonialism”, Dufort denounced the trade union movement for not getting behind his racist League.

Such racism must be contextualized. Many North American trade unions had a long history of opposing immigration on the same grounds as the LMNQ. White working class organizations were the motor force behind the disenfranchisement of Asian immigrants in British Columbia at the turn of the century. Some trade unions had called for a moratorium on immigration after the war. Appeals to the “white working man” were commonplace in the nineteenth century, as are “progressive” attacks on Mexican or Korean workers who “steal our jobs” today. Depressing though it may be, in many ways there is nothing unusual about the ASIQ’s early racism.

Yet it is important to note that working class organizations, even ones whose membership is predominantly white and native-born, do not automatically opt for such racism. Racist “leftists” cannot in all honesty claim that their xenophobia is “normal” or par for the working-class course (not that it would be any more excusable or benign if they could). The LMNQ was attacked by the Confederation of National Trade Unions – Quebec’s largest union central – for scapegoating immigrants, Gerard Pelletier pointing out that the only solution to widespread unemployment was social programmes and a labour code that would apply to all[95].

The LMNQ was very short lived, but its racism would prove to be quite enduring, eventually becoming the leitmotif of a certain form of “hard nationalism”.

The Revue Socialiste published eight issues between 1957 and 1963, when a lack of funds resulted in its being replaced by a mimeographed bulletin, l’Indépendantiste. Despite these financial difficulties, the ASIQ had an important impact on the budding nationalist Left. One of its members, Raymond Villeneuve, helped set up the original Front de Liberation de Quebec (FLQ; trans: Quebec Liberation Front), an underground organization whose activities in 1963 quickly escalated from graffiti to symbolic bombings[96]. Raoul Roy knew many of the original members of the FLQ, and has been called the spiritual father of the movement[97].

Like many socialists, Roy considered French Canada to be a “proletarian nation”, and there was indeed a striking class dimension to English-French relations in Canada: in 1961 the average income of a French-speaking household was 35% lower than its English-speaking counterpart. With 27% of Canada’s population, Quebec accounted for 40% of the country’s unemployed, and less than 20% of the provincial economy was in the hands of francophones[98].

Yet if there was a colonial dimension to the condition of the Quebec working class, many nationalists rejected the strategy of putting social change on hold until after independence and adopted an internationalist approach. In 1965 several felquistes were arrested for supplying dynamite to the Black Liberation Front, a revolutionary American organization that was targeted by the FBI’s COINTELPRO[99]. Then in a show of solidarity with the Vietnamese National liberation Front, the FLQ bombed the American consulate in Montreal on May 1st. Later that year Charles Gagnon and Pierre Vallières reoriented the FLQ towards class struggle, carrying out symbolic bombings in support of striking workers[100]. Vallières would later describe his fight as one for a “total revolution” to abolish all forms of oppression, including private property, the market economy, “and even money itself.”[101]

The old-guard fascists watched as a younger generation embraced the revolutionary Left and felt vindicated in their belief that separatism led to Communism. Yet at the same time as the FLQ was reaching its left-wing limits, Roy and company were heading in the opposite direction. L’Indépendantiste attacked “Vallierism” and proposed an alliance of all social classes in French Canada. Roy wrote that socialists should no longer support workers in their conflicts with the French Canadian bourgeoisie. Furthermore, as “French Canada will not be able to become independent without the acquiescence of the Americans [.…] prior to independence and decolonization we must suppress all anti-American propaganda, no matter what its form. This means no more demonstrations against the Vietnam war on the part of indépendentistes.”[102] Those who insisted on speaking  out against the slaughter in southeast Asia were “playing into Ottawa’s colonialist hands, either out of ignorance, treachery or stupidity.”[103]

Raoul Roy’s Neo-Socialism

Between 1966 and his death in 1997 Raoul Roy wrote over a dozen books and countless articles defining his “anti-colonial socialism”. His ideas have a lot in common with the writings of Leftists from other oppressed nations. But taken as a whole what they resemble most are the neo-socialist doctrines developed in Europe in the thirties. The neo-socialists started out on the Left but, rejecting class struggle, they ended up opposing not only Communism but also egalitarianism, and advocating what they called “left-wing fascism”. Like Roy, they eventually submerged themselves in the broader, decidedly right-wing fascist movement, supporting the bourgeoisie and collaborating with the Nazis[104].

Roy’s fascist conversion did not occur overnight. Nor was he alone on this ideological journey. The ASIQ had folded in the sixties, but many of its members continued to meet. In the seventies Roy and these supporters began to publish a sporadic journal, the Revue Indépendantiste. Any insufficiently nationalist French Canadian was now a traitor, and all non-French Canadians who stood in the way of a unilingual, monocultural and “socialist” French Canada were attacked on the basis of their ethnicity. Roy berated so-called “soft nationalists”, rose to the defence of the Catholic Church and got up the courage to attack the United States – just what he had attacked the Left for doing ten years earlier! He castigated Marxists for ignoring the fact that national struggle, not class struggle, was the motor force of history.

In fact, the only area where Roy felt he could maybe agree with Marx was regarding the need to solve the “Jewish question”. Bemoaning the fact that Jews formed “a secret society devoted to self-advancement”[105], Roy could not help but note that “so many rootless Jews are leading the internationalist movement.”[106] In 1979 he devoted an entire book to this subject[107]. He wrote that there was no one Jewish race, nation, nationality, people, culture, religion, culture or lifestyle[108], the true nature of Jewishness being one of a secret society bent on advancing and protecting the interests of its members. Once again he built on the “progressive” universalism that had led certain Marxists to claim that the liberation of the Jew implied abolishing any specific Jewish identity – all the while noting that Marx’s gross materialism proved that he had failed to truly emancipate himself from the capitalistic Jewish spirit[109]. As always, Roy juggled this ethnocidal one-worldism with a fierce defence of French Canadian cultural specificity. This was to become a key element of Roy’s “socialist” racism: the division of humanity between “real nations” and “false nations”, with the latter being obliged to assimilate into the former.

In 1981 Roy founded the Carrefour de la résistance indépendantiste (CRI; trans.: Assembly for Indépendentiste Resistance), which was supposed to carry out narrow nationalist and racist agitation. Like the ASIQ before it, the CRI scapegoated immigrants for the situation in Quebec. Over the next ten years the CRI affiliated with a number of very similar groups, most notably SOS Genocide and the Rassemblement pour un Pays Canadien-Français[110] (RPCF; trans: Rally for a French Canadian Country). Through the RPCF it was tied to the Mouvement pour une immigration restreinte et francophone (MIREF; trans.: Movement for a Restricted and Francophone Immigration) and the Mouvement pour la Survie de la Nation[111] (MSN; trans.: Movement for the Survival of the Nation). All of these groups took public positions and even demonstrated against “massive and suicidal” immigration. They have specified that only newcomers from “Latin” (i.e. French, Spanish, Portuguese or Italian) and Christian cultures should be allowed into Quebec.

By the late eighties Roy was openly reinventing his pedigree. In a special issue of Revue Indépendantiste dealing with the 1930s, he interviewed Walter O’Leary and Paul Bouchard, fascists of another era. If he had once denounced corporatism as medieval, intolerant, anti-working class and anti-democratic, he now described in glowing terms as a halfway point between capitalism and socialism. Roy now bragged of how he had identified with Bouchard’s newspaper La Nation, of how much he had admired the O’Leary brothers’ pro-independence stand[112].

In 1990 Roy summed up his thoughts about the Left he had once been a part of. In a book that took the form of a long open letter to Pierre Bourgault, Roy scolded the former president of the RIN for making positive statements about immigration. Halting the flow of immigrants was now top priority, coming even before independence[113]. Roy also took Bourgault to task for being part of the pot-smoking, foul-mouthed, animalistic and amoral hippy crowd that had ruined the nationalist movement. According to Roy, true French Canadian patriots were at war with feminists, counter-culture types and cultural relativism. He described the Quiet Revolution as “an irreparable devastation inflicted upon our nation”[114], explaining that the rejection of traditional values constituted a form of genocide. As if to make the nature of his “socialism” perfectly clear, Roy claimed that material poverty had been abolished by capitalism, but that cultural poverty had taken its place[115].

By this point Roy’s neo-socialism resembled the third-position fascism of the European New Right[116]. Yet he continued to enjoy the respect and support of a number of people who agreed that history was made by national, not social, collectivities. “Respectable” nationalists like Gilles Rheaume and members of the Société Saint-Jean Baptiste associated with Roy, as did fascists who had never pretended to be on the Left.

Fascism’s pro-Independence Conversion

As has already been noted, the most rabid reactionaries and fascists in the immediate post-war era were opposed to Quebec independence. Both Robert Rumilly and Adrien Arcand feared that an independent Quebec would turn into another Cuba. Yet by the 1980s many of their ideological heirs wished to regain some relevancy, and realized that in order to do so they would have to bring things up to date. This meant not only re-evaluating the independence movement, but also drawing upon recent developments in Europe.

This new strategy came out of a series of far-right discussion groups in the early eighties. The first of these, the Groupe d’Etudes et d’Action (GEA; trans.: Study and Action Group), was initiated by Mario Gagné and Rock Tousignant in 1982[117]. They were soon joined by Francois Dumas, formerly associated with the PUNC. The GEA was directly inspired by the GRECE, a pro-Nazi organization active in Europe that both Tousignant and Gagné had been in contact with for some time[118]. Attracting committed rightists of various stripes, the GEA remained tiny and largely unknown, folding in 1984 when Mario Gagné and several members (including Dumas) enlisted in the CRI[119].

Around the same time as these fascists were flirting with Roy’s “socialists”, Dumas remained in touch with Tousignant and began meeting with French supporters of Jean-Marie Le Pen’s Front National who were living in Quebec[120]. Over the next two years they toyed with the idea of setting up a Quebecois version of the Lepenist organization. As a direct result of these discussions a group called the Cercle Jeune Nation (CJN; trans.: Young Nation Circle) was born. The name “Jeune Nation” was chosen as hommage to a fascist organization founded by Alain de Benoist in France almost 30 years earlier[121] (de Benoist is the moving force behind the GRECE).

Dumas and Tousignant were soon joined by Gilbert Gendron, a racist conspiracy theorist and treasurer of a far-right bookstore[122] which closed its doors when its selection of Nazi and fascist literature was exposed in the media.

During its first five years the CJN functioned much like the GEA before it, as a discussion group whose ideological roots were more European than Québecois. Disenchanted with the marginal status of the far-right in Quebec, the CJN considered the Quiet Revolution to be the greatest disaster to ever befall French Canada. Although Dumas and many other CJN members had already converted to favouring independence, a non-sectarian strategy of “no enemies on the right” allowed them to work closely with members of the anti-separatist far-right who remained hostile to Quebec independence.

The CJN made contact with prominent European fascists as well as official representatives of the South African apartheid government, a feat certainly facilitated by the fact that Gendron worked for a time at the South African consulate in Montreal. The CJN also made overtures towards the rump Union Nationale party, the CRI, nationalist groups, East European anti-communists and the “funny money” Alliance for Fiscal Justice[123]. At the same time, again via Gendron, it entered into contact with Paul Fromm’s Citizens for Foreign Aid Reform[124], a pro-Nazi organization based in the Toronto suburbs.

In 1988 the CJN began organising speaking tours by leading reactionaries from France. Arnaud de Lassus and Michel Berger of the pro-Front National group Action Familiale et Scolaire have repeatedly spoken in Montreal, Sherbrooke, Drummondville and Quebec City under the auspices of these tours[125]. Through organizing such events the Circle came to work closely with other homegrown reactionaries, most notably Canon Achille Larouche in Sherbrooke, Society of Saint Pius X in Quebec City and Father Edmond Robillard of Carrefour Chretien magazine in Montreal.

It was about this time that Pierre Trépanier started working with the CJN. A great admirer of Robert Rumilly, whom he had befriended in the early seventies, as a university professor Trépanier was to prove very useful to the Circle. In 1992 he convinced his student Jean-Claude Dupuis to become the editor of its small and sporadic bulletin; Dupuis transformed it into a 40+ page highbrow journal, the Cahiers de Jeune Nation[126]. The first issue of this journal made headlines across Quebec as Trépanier contributed an article analysing the marginal condition of the Quebec extreme right and proposing a remedy: top on his list of suggestions was the adoption of a flexible pro-independence line by the “national Right”[127] and the creation of a non-sectarian united front, Jean-Marie LePen’s Front National being cited as an example of how this might work[128].

While this call would be enthusiastically embraced by some, others were more circumspect. When Trépanier contacted the Royist journal Espoir proposing an alliance of sorts, its editor replied that the true struggle was anti-colonial, not anti-liberal, and that any association with “embarrassing” right-wingers would only hurt this cause[129]. For its part, the conservative Ligue d’Action Nationale ended up expelling several CJN members due to their political beliefs[130].

The pairing of a respectable historian like Trépanier with a fascist organization surprised and shocked people who were used to only talking about the far-right in relation to boneheads. Despite calls by anti-racists for an investigation, the University of Montreal stood by its professor, maintaining that he had never used his academic position to promote his political views. Trépanier did lose his position as editor of the prestigious Revue d’histoire de l’amérique française, though this blow may have been compensated for by the free publicity the Circle received as a result of the controversy (at least one mainstream newspaper published the group’s mailing address).

Over the next few years the Cercle kept busy despite a membership of less than a dozen. It worked with a number of right-wing and racist organizations, from Yves Ménard’s MIREF to Raoul Roy’s SOS Genocide to Achille Larouche’s Ralliement Provincial des Parents du Québec (RPPQ). The Cahiers de Jeune Nation published articles by Dimitri Kitsikis, a history professor at the University of Ottawa, and Francois-Albert Angers, the grand old man of Quebec nationalism. Foreign contributors would include Michael Walker and Thomas Molnar, European supporters of the GRECE, as well as Gunther Deckert, future president of the crypto-Nazi Nationaldemokratische Partei Deutschland. Articles ranged from the academic (what would Jean-Jacques Rousseau have thought of fascism?[131]) to the conspiratorial (an exposé of neo-Soviet Communism[132]) to the racist ( “the problems of multicultural schools”[133]).

Tensions between religious-absolutist and politically pragmatic members of the CJN came to a head in 1994, causing Tousignant and Dumas to leave the organization. The two founding members would have preferred it had Dupuis paid more attention to politics and less to appearances of the Virgin Mary. For his part Dupuis, who is a follower of Marcel Lefebvre’s Society of Saint Pius X, refused to bow to the politically correct prejudices of the day. With most other members of the Circle backing him up, he argued that the group should stick by its principles and speak the “Truth” even if this did discredit them among most Québecois, including most Québecois rightists[134].

As a direct result of this split the Circle basically fell apart, publishing one final issue of its Cahiers in late 1995. While some of its supporters have since been attracted to two newcomers on the scene, Action Indépendantiste and the Mouvement pour la libération nationale du Québec, their true home undoubtedly remains the Catholic Right.

Rumilly Redux: the second time is even better!

As has already been noted, CJN guru Pierre Trépanier was a great admirer of Robert Rumilly. When the fascist historian died in 1983, Trépanier contributed a biographical lead article to the Ligue d’Action Nationale’s prestigious journal[135][135]. It is perhaps not surprising that the programme for the “National Right” that Trépanier proposed in 1992 would be adopted lock, stock and barrel by a new organization, one that would enjoy a symbiotic relationship with the CJN and would adopt the name Centre d’information nationale Robert Rumilly.

Founded in 1990, this new CINRR did not seek to conserve things as they were, but rather to turn back the clock. Among its founding members were Gilles Grondin (president of the small anti-abortion group Campagne Québec Vie), Rock Tousignant of the CJN, Father Edmond Robillard of Carrefour Chretien and a number of less prominent reactionaries[136], all of whom came from the Catholic extreme right. The mantle of leadership fell upon Canon Achille Larouche of the RPPQ, who had himself been a member of the original CIN in the fifties.

The CINRR’s main activity has been to organize lectures on topics of interest to the Right. Father Denis Saint-Maurice of Opus Dei spoke about the Church’s position on population control and Jean-Claude Dupuis talked about nationalism and the United States. Jean-Claude Bleau was invited to discuss the Knights of Our Lady with CINRR members. Bleau is the North American representative of the Knights, which is a European religious organization imbued with nostalgia for Vichy[137]. Shortly after his meeting with the CINRR he joined the Circle, acting on occasion as its spokesperson.

Sometime in the early nineties the CINRR released its programme. Point for point, word for word, it was the same programme put forward by Pierre Trépanier in the first issue of the Cahiers de Jeune Nation. This programme is an excellent example of contemporary Catholic-Fascism in the Quebec context. The State has a “spiritual duty” to defend and promote the “Christian, Western and French” qualities of the nation, and to struggle against internationalism which – “under cover of anti-racism, pacifism and tolerance” –destroys nations and attacks the “spiritual mission of the West.”[138]

Throughout the nineties the CINRR has worked very closely with the CJN and the RPPQ. Yet this unity has not been a sign of strength, but rather one of weakness and of overall irrelevance. While the CINRR has not yet folded, it has proven itself incapable of attracting more than a very few true believers to its programme. Its main effort at political mobilisation was to try to prevent the secularisation of the Quebec school system, and it failed miserably. To the small extent that it was even noticed, it was as a laughingstock, and to the degree that the media paid attention to its members they served as comic relief.

New Racists against First Nations

In 1990 events transpired that provided fuel for the fire of several racist organizations in Quebec. These events would play a much more important role in the resurgence of the far-right than the high-falutin’ emissions from the CJN or the archaic ideology of the CINRR ever could.

In June 1990 the Meech Lake Accord died, failing to receive the ratification of several provinces. A constitutional proposal that would have recognized Quebec as a distinct society, Meech would have also defined Canada as a nation having only two founding peoples: the English and the French. Despite the fact that there were lots of good reasons to oppose the Accord, there were also bad ones. Images of small towns throughout Canada declaring themselves “English Only”, of organizations like the racist Alliance for the Preservation of English in Canada mobilizing their forces, and the phenomenal growth of other anti-French fringe groups, all combined to make many French Canadians feel like a people under siege.

Nineteen ninety was also the year that Jean Ouellette, the arrogant mayor of a town called Oka, decided to cut down some trees to extend the local golf course. This drew the ire of the Indigenous people in neighbouring Kahnesetake, who pointed out that the trees in question belonged to the Mohawk Nation. As Mayor Ouellette disregarded their protests, the Mohawks set up road blocks to protect their land.

On July 11th over 100 Quebec Provincial Police officers attacked the protesters with tear gas, concussion grenades and live ammunition. In the hail of bullets QPP officer Marcel Lemay was fatally wounded. The wind blew the cops’ tear gas back towards them, forcing them to abandon their cars, which were promptly integrated into the Mohawk barricades. As news of the assault spread, members of the Mohawk Warrior Society took over the Mercier bridge close to the Kahnawake Mohawk community, threatening to dynamite it if the police launched any more attacks.

Provincially, Robert Bourassa’s Liberal Party was in power at the time, allowing the nationalist Parti Québecois to make political hay out of the crisis. There were two obvious strategies to choose from: either attack the Liberals for oppressing Indigenous people or accuse them of being soft on “terrorism”. Under the leadership of Jacques Parizeau the PQ opted for the second choice. Calling the Warriors “terrorists”, Parizeau boasted that if it were up to him the QPP would have attacked the blockade months earlier, and implied that this was all somehow a continuation of the Meech Lake anti-French campaign.

The botched raid and the seizure of the Mercier bridge signalled the rapid escalation of the crisis. The bridge was a major traffic artery linking Montreal with the suburbs of Lasalle and Chateauguay, and many people now had to commute four hours a day to get to work, a situation that brought a fiercely racist reaction to the fore. Daily demonstrations in front of the Mohawk barricades repeatedly degenerated into riots. An ex-QPP officer set up a vigilante group, Solidarité Chateauguay, in order to encourage the anti-Mohawk sentiment. The Teamsters Union local at a brewery in Lasalle offered to pay the legal expenses for a lawsuit Solidarité Chateauguay war preparing against the Mohawks[139]. Right-wing nationalist talk radio host Gilles Proulx repeatedly called for honest citizens to take action against the “Indian terrorists”; whenever Proulx would show up in Chateauguay he and his entire radio team always made sure to be wearing Soldiarité Chateauguay t-shirts[140]. Oil was added to the fire when one protester claimed he had been called a “fucking frog” by an anglophone RCMP officer, who was also accused of making comments about Meech!

Excited racists insulted and attacked anyone who they thought looked Indigenous, which often meant any person of colour. Some shopkeepers refused to serve supposed Mohawks. The worst violence broke out when residents of Kahnawake tried to evacuate their community on August 20th, just as the army was moving in.  The QPP detained the caravan for hours while members of Solidarité Lasalle – a copycat of the Chateauguay group – gathered. When the evacuees were finally given permission to leave, they had to drive through a gauntlet of angry settlers who pelted them with stones. Over forty QPP officers at the scene did nothing to stop the attack; apart from cuts from broken glass and the trauma of the whole affair, one evacuee suffered a heart attack and died in hospital[141].

Any increase in the general level of intolerance and demagogery cannot help but feed the racist Right. In Oka, Quebec’s fascists found a perfect causus belli. Raoul Roy and former Parti Independantiste candidate Michel Larocque, who now headed Montreal’s small Ku Klux Klan chapter, carried out surveillance on demonstrations in solidarity with the Mohawk Nation, occasionally even organizing small counter-protests. Larocque’s group was also spotted distributing literature in Chateauguay[142], denouncing “ethnic criminality” and government leniency towards the Mohawks and ending with the exhortation: “White Quebeckers and Canadians wake up!”.

The nationalist Left was divided by Oka, which was first and foremost a white racist crisis. While a few groups stood by the Mohawks, criticizing the PQ for not extending its own sovereignist arguments to Canada’s First Nations, far more waffled, claiming that both the Indigenous people and the government were equally to blame. Sadly, many actually rallied to the anti-Mohawk cause, trumpeting “revelations” that the Warrior Society was involved in organized crime, was undemocratic, terroristic, etc. A “progressive” PQ supporter by the name of Robin Philpot wrote a book describing the Warrior Society as a North American version of the Nicaraguan Contras, suggesting possible ties to the CIA and the RCMP[143]. He suggested that they had been put up to engineering the Crisis in order to make the Québecois look bad. While admitting that Indigenous people in Quebec suffered oppression, Philpot claimed that there were better off than in English Canada. His book ends with the prediction – since proven false at Stoney Point and Gustafsen Lake – that Indigenous people would never pick up arms outside of Quebec.

One did not have to be a Quebec nationalist to promote anti-Indigenous racism, though. Hardcore federalist Francois Dallaire wrote two books following the crisis, Oka – la hache de guerre (trans: Oka: the war axe) and Mon sauvage au Canada: Indiens et réserves (trans.: My Savage in Canada: Indians and Reservations). Pre-conquest Native America having allegedly failed to take advantage of the continent’s resources, Dallaire asked who should own the land, “The occupant, or the one who makes something of it? The hunter or the labourer?”[144] The tricky Indians, Dallaire wrote in a subsequent opinion piece in Le Devoir, “profit from everything European colonization brought to America while pretending to be victims of this very same colonization.”[145] Using specious arguments about the percentage of “white blood” in the Mohawk community[146], he warned that Indigenous people were becoming a new Canadian aristocracy.

The Crisis ended almost two months after it had begun. On September 1st the army and SQ stormed the barricades at Kahnawake and Kanehsetake; the Warriors at Kanehsetake took refuge in a building which was promptly surrounded by the military. These last resisters held out for almost four weeks; when they left the building many were beaten as they were taken into custody.

While the crisis may have ended, its scars would last for many years. Children’s hockey teams from Chateauguay boycotted the Kahnawake Sports Complex, and years later Mohawk players in the Pee Wee League were still facing racial abuse, being spat upon and called “savages” when they competed with the Lasalle team[147]. Nor was racism limited to children: while investigating a doomsday cult prone to collective suicides, the QPP uncovered unrealized plans to set up a terrorist organization to attack Mohawks[148]. In 1993 some talk radio hosts were still referring to Indigenous people as “savages”, one going so far as to suggest a few French Canadians go and shoot a Mohawk because, “I know the Indians… the very minute one falls (dead) the others run.”[149]

In 1991 Roy shared his thoughts about the conquest of America. In a book whose title read “These Indigenous people we have called savages”[150], Indigenous people were described as cannibals, barbarians, “savages in name and fact” who had not even managed to invent the wheel. Quoting Philpot’s conspiracy theory about the Warriors being agents of the federal State, Roy indignantly insisted that Indigenous people should be grateful that the French delivered them from their squalid pre-European existence. While Roy had previously referred to the dispersion of the francophone Acadians as a Holocaust, he now argued that assimilation and forced francicisation were “the only real solution” to the Indigenous question.

Politically Incorrect Independence

An important pole of attraction for nationalists unafraid to speak their mind about immigrants, Indigenous people and multiculturalism is the newspaper Action Indépendantiste du Québec, published since 1992 by Luc Potvin, former vice-president of SOS-Genocide, contributor to Indépendance and editor of Espoir.

Clearly aimed at a wide audience, Action Indépendantiste has concentrated on shorter, less theoretical articles than Espoir, yet has eschewed none of the latter’s racism. Nevertheless, this newspaper has managed to garner support from mainstream, even “progressive”, nationalists, including Denis Monière, formerly of l’Aut’journal; Andree Ferretti[151], a former left-wing leader of the RIN; and, Louise Harel[152], a “feminist” PQ cabinet minister. Contributors have included a number of nationalists who, like Potvin, had been close to the Royist camp since the early eighties: Aurelien Boisvert, Alice Derome and Jean Simoneau, for instance. These people may even consider themselves to be “progressives”. Others contributors, like Francois Albert-Angers and Yvon Groulx, are well known for their right-wing sympathies: to give just one example, in 1993 both men tried to block the expulsion of Jeune Nation members from the Ligue d’Action Nationale[153]. Still other allies, like Rosaire Blouin and Leandre Fradet, are associated with the reactionaries from the CINRR and RPPQ.

It is shocking to see so-called “progressives” supporting a publication peddling the kind of ethnocentrism and xenophobia as one can find in the pages of Action Indépendantiste. Multiculturalism, “political correctness” and anti-racism are repeatedly condemned, for it is maintained that an independent Quebec must be both unilingual and monocultural. Jacques Parizeau’s statements about “the ethnic vote” are defended, as is the complete work of Canon Lionel Groulx. In one article, regular contributor Michel Viau echoes a line Potvin had already advanced in Espoir, describing Indigenous cultures – “if that is what one wishes to call it” – as irredeemably prehistoric, and questioning whether or not such “small tribes” constitute veritable nations[154]. Similar garbage was expressed by Jean Simoneau, who had contributed several articles to the Revue Indépendantiste in the late seventies. In Action Indépendantiste’s first issue Simoneau wrote that Indigenous people were trying to re-conquer Northern Quebec: “Supported by the English, the Natives could attack our hydroelectric installations. This would be used to justify the intervention of the Canadian army. A pessimistic scenario, but a plausible one nevertheless.”[155]

For his part, former very Quiet Revolutionary Jean-Marc Leger signed the editorial in the August 1993 issue, entitled “Immigration: a suicidal behaviour”. Leger called for a drastic reduction in the number of newcomers to be accepted into Quebec, and a policy favouring those with “easily assimilable” Latin and francophone origins[156]. The RPPQ’s Nation Nouvelle liked Leger’s text so much they reprinted it in its entirety[157]. Many other articles in Action Indépendantiste repeat this line, which was developed by Raoul Roy way back in the days of the ASIQ, and championed in the eighties by groups associated with his CRI, such as SOS Genocide and the MIREF.

Despite, or perhaps because of, what can only be described as this Québecois nativism, Action Indépendantiste has benefited from the generous support of the nationalist establishment. Almost all of the Société Saint-Jean Baptiste chapters in Montreal, the Mouvement Souverainiste du Quebec and the Val d’Or  chapter of the Société National des Quebecois have contributed financially to the project. Two Bloc Québecois MPs, Yvan Loubier and Michel Daviault, have taken out paid advertisements in thanking the paper for its work promoting independence[158]. Among other places, it has been distributed for free in the headquarters of the Confederation of National Trade Unions, the province’s most important union central.

The Big Tent

If Luc Potvin is a little-known racist whose newspaper has received the shameless support of a number of nationalists, his mediagenic bad-boy counterpart may be found in the person of Raymond Villeneuve, who in December 1995 founded a self-consciously “hard nationalist” organization: the Mouvement de libération nationale du Québec (MLNQ; trans: Movement for the National Liberation of Quebec).

It was two months after a provincial referendum on sovereignty, one that the pro-independence camp had come within a few thousand votes of winning. If not for immigrants and English Canadians, the sovereignist option would have have received over 60% of the vote. Speaking at the “Yes” headquarters the night of the defeat Premier Jacques Parizeau reassured supporters that this was only a temporary setback, adding that the federalist camp had only won “thanks to money and the ethnic vote,” a statement that sent political shockwaves out in all directions[159].

The “confiscated” 1995 referendum has surpassed the Oka Crisis in significance for the Quebec Right.

The MLNQ held its first public meeting on December 10th in a church basement. Addressing a crowd of almost one hundred people, Villeneuve explained that his group would fight against the English and their allies, “the neo-Canadians”, i.e. immigrants. A petition was circulated calling for a moratorium on all immigration to Quebec, and fears were expressed about the “yellow menace” (i.e. Asians) descending on Montreal.[160]

Raymond Villeneuve is no newcomer to the struggle for independence. One of the FLQ’s three founding members, he was a political prisoner for five years in the sixties following an armed action in which a security guard was killed. Following his release, he spent sixteen years in Algeria and France. For a long time he was in charge of the FLQ’s foreign mission in Algiers, where he worked closely with anti-imperialists from around the world. Upon his return to Quebec in the early eighties he hooked up with other former felquistes, and got involved in a number of grassroots nationalist and left-wing organizations. At about this time he became a member of the Parti Québecois. In the late eighties he was in touch with Raoul Roy’s gang, which as we have seen maintains itself in good standing with a section of the nationalist Left.

Villeneuve seems to take great pleasure in shocking public opinion. He revels in outrageous statements, for instance his claim that he regrets not killing more anglophones while he was in the FLQ![161] He has warned that Jews would pay the price for their community’s loyalty to Canada[162]. Groups and individuals that stand in the way of a “free Quebec” are either enemies or traitors of “the nation”, and should, it seems, be treated as such.

In the first issue of its bulletin La Tempête, MLNQ co-founder Jacques Binette wrote that nationalists must “stop being indulgent, polite or tolerant towards the Canadian minority living in Quebec, but must rather cause them the most harm possible in the months to come”, to teach them a lesson for opposing independence[163]. In subsequent issues La Tempête would publish lists of “Canadian” businesses to be targeted in this way. Nor was the MLNQ’s anger limited to small businesses: the cartoonist at a local alternative newspaper began receiving threating phone calls after La Tempête published his home phone number. He had committed the sin of drawing Parizeau in a klansman’s hood following the infamous comment about “the ethnic vote”.

Another founding member of the MLNQ was Paul Biron. His brother is Rodrigue Biron, the former head of the Union Nationale, and a contender for the leadership of the Bloc Quebecois in 1997. Paul has been active in the anti-abortion movement for several years, making a spectacle of himself at the anti-abortion vigil held by Campagne Québec-Vie in October 1997: he came with an enormous Quebec flag and explained to all who would listen that he was there on behalf of French Canadian embryos only, not being concerned with “unborn” foreigners. He has repeatedly linked the notion of a French Quebec to that of a Catholic society[164]. These reactionary positions didn’t stop him from taking a leading role in the League, which supposedly demanded legal, economic, political, social and cultural equality for all women in Quebec. Window dressing is, after all, but window dressing.

Biron and other right-wing Catholics notwithstanding, the MLNQ drew most of its support on the simple basis of national romanticism. Many of its backers were young nationalists, often students if not student activists, who felt a visceral attraction to “radical action”. These “radicals” were disenchanted with the official independence movement, not because the latter was xenophobic or insufficiently left-wing, but rather because it had become stuffy and respectable and had lost the wild charm of the RIN and the FLQ. To such individuals the MLNQ offered a radical mystique that could easily be dressed in progressive clothing.

Indeed, over the next two years the MLNQ was repeatedly in the news. Villeneuve’s public statements in favour of vandalizing “Canadian” targets led many to suspect his cadres of being behind the wave of nationalist graffiti and broken windows in Montreal’s more culturally diverse neighbourhoods. His frequent innuendoes about political violence made him a media star – not only is such talk an anachronism in a province with an officially pro-independence government, but Villeneuve seemed to take noticeable pleasure in making these statements in the public arena where they were guaranteed to grab attention.

Quite clearly, the MLNQ’s strategy was to intimidate federalists into keeping quiet, or even to scare them enough so that they would leave Quebec. Members referred to themselves as “the pro-independence Plan B”, in direct reference to the federal government’s “get tough” anti-independence approach, and liked to repeat the tried but true “101 or 401.” (Bill 101 mandates French-only signs for most businesses; one takes Highway 401 to leave Quebec.)

In December 1997 the MLNQ paid the price for its self-styled radicalism. A politician with the hardcore federalist Equality Party initiated legal proceedings against the League. Claiming that his life had been threatened in La Tempête, Keith Henderson is presently seeking $200,000 in damages and calling on the State to suppress the organization. A few days after Henderson set things in motion, Villeneuve made a public statement officially disbanding the MLNQ and launching a “new” group, the Mouvement pour le droit à l’autodétermination du peuple québécois (MDAPQ; trans.: Movement for the Right to Self-Determination of the Quebecois People) [165][165]. Even a very cursory examination of this “new” organization and its “new” publication, La Replique, shows that Villeneuve is merely playing a shell game, changing the name of his outfit in order to protect it from Henderson’s action. The MDAPQ is the MLNQ, nothing more nothing less.

A big tent in which all kinds of political animals are welcome, the MLNQ/MDAPQ has always attracted a diverse bunch of hotheads whose point of unity is found in putting the nation first. Inveterate reactionaries like Biron hold their noses and work with a group that puts a picture of Che Guevara[166][166] on the cover of its bulletin and publishes communiqués from the EZLN[167][167]. Luc Potvin signed an article calling for nationalists to base their struggle on French Canadian culture and history rather than simple residence in the province of Quebec[168][168]. Former FLQ political prisoners Rheal Mathieu[169][169] and Jacques Larue-Langlois[170][170] have associated themselves with this movement, as has the movie director Pierre Falardeau. Jean-Marc Leger contributed to the pages of La Tempête, attacking the “intellectual terrorism” with which B’nai B’rith has abused the memory of Canon Groulx[171][171].

By way of a conclusion

While an overview of one small political current in twentieth century Quebec, this article has necessarily touched upon important historical developments in Quebec. That this is so is only normal, as political movements do not exist in a vacuum and can thus only by understood in their proper context. Despite profound changes in Quebec society, the far-right has never completely vanished from the political landscape. Rather, it has displayed remarkable continuity even in those areas where it has evolved.

As we have seen, throughout Maurice Duplessis long stay in power most of the Right was system-supportive. The Union Nationale, while never fascist, was authoritarian, anti-communist and populist, and as such was appreciated by the Right as the best government that could be hoped for. Those who like to believe that Quebec society is a reactionary lodestone within Canada would do well to remember that this government was kept in power by wealthy benefactors and large corporations, the vast majority of which were based outside of French Canada. These foreign investors loved Quebec, a land of cheap labour where cabinet ministers insisted that class “peace” reigned supreme.

The political modernisation of Quebec, on the other hand, was the result of developments within the province. To call these changes a revolution is an exaggeration, but it is true that society was altered drastically. The working class struck the first blows against the Union Nationale, in desperate strikes in the towns of Asbestos and Murdochville. Yet it was a mish-mash of intellectuals, technocrats and French Canada’s small bourgeosie that inaugurated the Quiet Revolution along with Jean Lesage’s Liberal government in 1960. Despite the ravings of Robert Rumilly, these developments were not the work of Communists or outside agitators, but were a result of the French Canadian experience.

If the old far-right became fragmented and demoralized when Duplessis died, it was not because the Premier was a fascist, but simply because these fascists had supported him so vigorously. The Centre d’information nationale campaigned against modernity, but to no avail: the social, economic and cultural changes were such that a small group of elitist reactionaries could not turn the tide. Adrien Arcand’s PUNC blamed the Jews, and retreated even further into isolation. The right-wing indépendentistes in the Laurentian Alliance were routed, recuperated and made temporarily redundant by the more popular and militant left-wing independence movement..

If social change devastated the far-right, insufficient radicalism planted the seeds of a new fascist movement. It is a cliché that the left and right extremes of the political spectrum meet, and some may be tempted to draw this conclusion from the sad case of Raoul Roy’s Socialist Action for Quebec Independence. What these pessimists ignore is the fact that Roy always represented a conservative extreme within the Left – it is only in comparison with self-proclaimed fascists like Raymond Barbeau that he looked like a revolutionary. Right from the start, the ASIQ was criticized by other leftists, for instance when it was taken to task for its attacks on immigrants. By the mid-sixties it was calling for a tactical alliance with the French Canadian bourgeoisie against all enemies of the nation, including insufficiently narrow-minded nationalists and immigrant and anglophone workers. Roy’s later attacks on the Left are reminiscent of Lyndon Larouche’s: the drug culture, immorality and even swearing are deplored.

In 1972, while serving time in prison for actions he had carried out for the FLQ, Pierre Vallières condemned “a fanatical nationalism” that only served an elite who coveted greater power for themselves. He warned that “notorious fascists” were active in the independence movement, and worried that an independent Quebec might end up resembling Salazar’s Portugal more than the socialist Vietnam so many still believed in[172].

While Roy may have had few friends in the halls of power in those days, the new nationalist movement would give rise to a nationalist establishment, and in time Roy’s neo-socialism would be much more influential than the ravings of Adrien Arcand. All the more insidious because of its deliberately “progressive” stance, the ideology of the CRI and SOS Genocide would slowly win over a section of the new establishment. While the Parti Québecois is no Union Nationale, each has enjoyed the support of fascists and racists, and neither ever repudiated these allies. It behooves us to remember that just as in the time of Duplessis, any such broad consensus on the Right can only have a sinister effect on the wellbeing of the oppressed, the marginalized and other “outsiders”.

Quebec in 1998 is not a fascist society, but nor was it one in 1968, 1958 or 1938. Yet there have always been fascist political activists in this province, and in recent years racism has become commonplace in political discourse here. So much so, that for many it is old news, boring, irrelevant and not worth bringing up. Ex-leftists revel in accusing Indigenous and immigrant communities of being bigoted against “old stock” Québecois. That this racism goes virtually unchallenged is shameful. Almost as bad is the fact that the racists continue to be considered on the Left.

To conclude, as I know some will, that the Quebec nationalist movement is inherently fascist, would be a grave error. Progressive nationalists helped break the stranglehold of the old Right on Quebec society. At the same time, the position that many left-wing sovereignists hold, that reactionary nationalism will somehow be defused by independence, seems to be completely unjustified. Worse, it belittles the extent and seriousness of racism in society.

Racism and fascism will remain useful props for the bourgeoisie as long as there are oppressed and oppressors. The antidote to racist and fascist tendencies is not to be found in independence, nor in confederation, but rather in uncompromising anti-racism and anti-fascism, without any exceptions made.

 

FOOTNOTES

QNARRC: Quebec National Archives, Robert Rumilly Collection

CUWLAASC: Concordia University, Webster Library, Adrien Arcand Special Collection

[1] It is important to note that this nationalism was not normally opposed to Confederation; it was not separatist. Deeply conservative, what was proposed was not the breakup of Canada but a more equal partnership between British- and French-Canadians. Such non-separatist nationalism is often called autonomism. For a good overview of autonomist and nationalist thought at this time, see: Oliver, Michael – The Passionate Debate; Véhicule Press 1991.

[2] Rome, David – The Immigration Story I; Canadian Jewish Archives 1986, p. 30.

[3] Avakumovic, Ivan – The Communist Party in Canada: a history; McClelland & Stewart 1975, pp. 34-5.

[4] The association of immigrants with revolutionary activism was not limited to Jews or Quebec. Following the Winnipeg General Strike in 1919, crushed by  the vigilante Citizen’s Committee of One Thousand in collusion with the RCMP, the Conservative government passed legislation facilitating the deportation of immigrant agitators. Hundreds of  labour organizers would be deported under this legislation in the years to come.

[5]“Vers un super-état judéo-maçonnique,” by Louis Even, Vers Demain Première Année 1939-40, ed. Vers Demain.

[6] Lévesque, Andree – Virage à Gauche Interdit; Boréal Express 1984, p. 128.

[7] Hamelin, Jean & Gagnon, Nicole – Histoire du catholicisme québecois, Le Xxe siècle, Tome 1, 1898-1940; Boréal Express 1984, p. 378-9.

[8] Lévesque op cit. p.138

[9] Hamelin op cit. p.375.

[10] Lévesque op cit. p. 139.

[11] Larose, Michèle – Les Jeunesses Patriotes et La Nation: un courant politique d’extrême droite au Québec, 1934-1939;  unpublished MA thesis, Université du Québec à Montréal 1986, p. 36.

[12] Oliver op cit. p.168.

[13] Larose, op cit. p. 138.

[14] Ibid., p. 139.

[15] Revue Indépendantiste #22-24 (L’indépendantisme des années trente), p. 38.

[16] Oliver op cit. P. 141.

[17] Robin, Martin – Shades of Right: Nativist and Fascist Politics in Canada 1920-1940; University of Toronto press 1992, p. 184.

[18] Ibid., p. 183.

[19] “Adrien Arcand; un Nazi au pays des siffleux”, by Ed. Bourassa on behalf of the renegades, La Nation 18-3-1937.

[20] Robin op cit p.142.

[21] Ibid. p. 115.

[22] Ibid. p. 116.

[23] Ibid. p. 155.

[24] Ibid. p. 77

[25] Betcherman, Lita-Rose – The Swastika and the Maple Leaf: Fascist Movements in Canada in the Thirties; Fitzhenry & Whiteside 1975, p. 35

[26] Oliver op cit. pp. 189-190

[27] Lévesque op cit. pp. 132-133.

[28] “Pas Nazis, juste patriotes et corporatistes”, Commission #1 nov-dec 1996, p. 5.

[29] CUWLAASC, #538-550, “Memorandum and Request re: Claims of Canadian Nationalists against the Government of Canada for unjust internments” 1957.

[30] Revue Indépendantiste #22-24 (L’indépendantisme des années trente), p.4

[31] Ibid., p. 39.

[32] Lavertu, Yves – The de Bernonville Affair; Robert Davies Publishing 1995, p. 41.

[33] Ibid., pp. 39-40.

[34] “La Politique”, La Droite v1 #2.

[35] Lavertu op cit. p. 40.

[36] Ibid.

[37] This list, recently unearthed by historian Esther Delisle in the US State Department archives, includes the leading lights of the Quebec nationalist movement of that era. Alongside Paul Bouchard, Lionel Groulx and Pierre Gravel, one finds the names of J.E. Gregoire, the former mayor of Quebec City who had recommended that his constituents read Adrien Arcand’s pro-Nazi paper Le Patriote; Philippe Hamel and Oscar Drouin of the pre-war National Party; and a number of other nationalist leaders. In fact, the common thread of nationalism, rather than fascism, that connects the names on the State Department’s Iron Guard list has led some to question the authenticity of the document. At the very least it is worth noting that no group by the name of the Iron Guard played any public role in the Quebec far-right at any time during the war or after it, until veterans of the Romanian Iron Guard set up shop here during the Cold War (but then that’s another story).

[38] Soeur Béatrice-du-Saint-Sacrement, F.C.S.C.J. Bibliographie Analytique de l’oeuvre de l’Abbé Pierre Gravel 1917-1941; Ecole Normale Notre-Dame-du-Sacré-Coeur, pp. 1-2.

[39] Oliver op cit. p.89; for a sympathetic fascist account see “Maurras, l’ ‘Action Française’ et le Canada français” by Pierre Guilmette, Cahiers de Nouvelle France, jan.-mars 1957.

[40] QNARRC, P303, S6, SS11, D1, Petain.

[41] Lipstadt, Deborah – Denying the Holocaust: The Growing Assault on Truth and Memory; Free Press 1993, pp. 67-71.

[42] QNARRC, P303, S6 ,SS11 ,D1, Crucifying the Saviour of France: France’s New Dreyfus Case.

[43] “Comité Américain pour la libération de Petain” Le Devoir 29/8/45.

[44] QNARRC, P303, S6 ,SS11 ,D1

[45] Lavertu op cit p. 46.

[46] QNARRC, P303, S6 ,SS11 ,D1. Rumilly was in touch with Petain, by way of his friend Maurice Vincent, who had travelled to France in 1946 and established contact with Petain’s wife and lawyers (Lavertu op cit. p. 44)

[47] “L’hommage d’un historien,” Robert Rumilly, Vers Demain 15/8/1945.

[48] QNARRC, P303, S6 ,SS9, D1/13 194?.

[49] Lavertu, op cit. p 48

[50] Ibid. p. 46.

[51] Ibid., p. 21.

[52] Ibid., p. 97.

[53] Ibid., p. 28.

[54] Ibid., p. 60.

[55] Ibid., pp. 78-79.

[56] Ibid., p. 62

[57] Ibid., p. 68.

[58] Cote, Jean – Adrien Arcand: une grande figure de notre temps; ed. Pan-Am 1994, p. 20. It should be noted that this book is an anti-Semitic hagiography of Arcand.

[59] “Quebec: Fascist Revival” Newsweek 24/11/47.

[60] CUWLAASC, #1220, #1279, #1282, #1325; correspondence between B. Domville and A. Arcand 1950.

[61] “Drapeau nous honore”, Unité Nationale p. 643.

[62] Arcand collection, item #527-8, letter from R. Paul to A. Arcand with reply 2/5/62 & 5/5/62.

[63] Arcand collection, item #1154, letter from G. Valade to A. Arcand 9/5/58.

[64] Arcand collection, item #1142-1146, letter from A. Arcand to J. Barrette 1/8/63.

[65] Arcand collection, item #1840-1, letter from J.M. Bourbonnais to A. Arcand 17/10/62.

[66] Arcand collection, item #626-627, letter from G. Panneton to A. Arcand 15/3/63.

[67] Arcand collection, item #589, letter from A.Arcand to Norfleet 17/11/1961.

[68] “Yockey: Profile of an American Hitler” by John C. Obert, The Investigator Oct. 1981.

[69] CUWLAASC, item #623-624, letter from M.Bandi to A.Arcand 21/1/63 & 31/1/63.

[70] “Arcand – Canadian Nationalist – a Modern Martyr” The Cross and the Flag Oct. 1948.

[71] CUWLAASC, item #914, letter from G.L.K. Smith to A. Arcand 5/2/49.

[72] CUWLAASC, item #533, letter from R. Maguire to A. Arcand 5/10/57.

[73] CUWLAASC, item #1283-1284, letter from C. Jordan to A. Arcand 6/5/50.

[74] It is, however, a key issue that should not be overlooked by anti-fascists. An excellent overview of the this question in regards to the Quebec nationalist camp can be found in “Pas Nazis, juste patriotes et corporatistes” and “Le nouveau visage du corporatisme québécois: économie sociale ou contrôle social?” in Commission #1 nov-dec 1996.

[75] QNARRC, P303, S6, SS16/2.

[76] Ibid.., letter from Chanoine Donat Fréchette to Rémi Paul, 4/6/58.

[77] Dion, Gérard & O’Neill, Louis – Le chrétien et les élections, Ed. De l’Homme 1956.

[78] “Robert Rumilly et la fondation du Centre d’information nationale (1956)” by Pierre Trépanier, Cahiers des Dix, 44 (1989), p. 238. It should be noted that the author of this article is himself a fascist.

[79] Ibid., pp. 244-5.

[80] “Robert Rumilly, historien engagé,” by Pierre Trépanier, Action Nationale LXXIII (sept. 1983), p. 26. See note 78 about the author of this article.

[81] “La propagande communiste continue de plus belle à Radio-Canada… à nos frais,” by Robert Rumilly, Nouvelles Illustrées 12/3/60.

[82] “Du séparatisme québecois,” by Jacques Baugé-Prévost, Science Politique #6 1969. “Alleged” because the author of this citation, himself the guru of Quebec’s tiny pagan Nazi scene, disclosed this fact while “outing” several members of the Laurentian Alliance, whom he obviously considered to be rivals.

[83] “Revolution Nationale”, by Gerard Gauthier, Laurentie #102 nov. 1957,pp. 128-161.

[84] CUWLAASC, item #308-9, letter from R. Barbeau to A. Arcand 17/1/56.

[85] Ibid.

[86] CUWLAASC, Concordia University, Item #439.

[87] “Du séparatisme québecois” op cit.

[88] “ ‘Triadisme’ = ‘Chretieneté’ ”, by A. Dagenais, Salaberry de Valleyfield 7/8/58.

[89] “Lettre ouverte à M. André Dagenais; Des théories irréconciliables,” by R. Barbeau, Salaberry de Valleyfield 21/8/58.

[90] “Propositions Programmatiques de la Revue Socialiste”, Revue Socialiste v1 #1 printemps 1959, p. 13.

[91] “Le duplessisme de R. Rumilly et l’indépendance économique,” by Roger Beausoleil, Revue Socialiste #4 été 1960, p. 38.

[92] “Propositions Programmatiques,” op cit.

[93] Roy, Raoul – Le Genocide en Vitesse/Lettre à Pierre Bourgault: moi aussi je m’en rappelle! Ed. Du Franc-Canada 1990, pp. 97-101.

[94] “De Hal Banks à Gerard Pelletier,” Revue Socialiste #4 été 1960, p. 25.

[95] “Est-ce la haine qui peut guerir?”, Gerard Pelletier, Le Travail 26/6/59.

[96] Fournier, Louis – FLQ: The anatomy of an underground movement; NC Press Limited Toronto 1984, pp. 28-30.

[97] Laurendeau, Marc – Les Québecois Violents; Boréal Express 1974, p. 53.

[98] Fournier op cit. p. 17.

[99] Fournier op cit. pp. 75-78.

[100] Ibid., pp. 89-99.

[101] Vallières, Pierre – White Niggers of America; McClelland & Stewart 1971, p. 219

[102] L’Indépendantiste #2, June 1966 p.10

[103] Ibid.

[104] The standard work on neo-socialism is Zeev Sternhell’s Neither right nor left : fascist ideology in France (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1986). Unfortunately, Sternhell’s anti-leftist distorts his argument, and he tries to claim that neo-socialism is the fascist norm, as opposed to an exception; a good antidote to this is Robert Soucy’s French Fascism: The Second Wave 1933-1939 (New Haven: Yale University Press 1995).

[105] Roy, Raoul – Marxisme : mépris des peuples colonisés? Ed. Franc-Canada 1977, p. 61.

[106] Ibid., pp. 64-5.

[107] Roy, Raoul – Lettre aux Juifs de Montréal; Ed. Franc-Canada 1979.

[108] Ibid., p. 211.

[109] Ibid., p. 201.

[110] “Gagnon-Tremblay dénonce la xénophobie d’un nouveau mouvement autonomiste,” by Jean-Pierre Bonhomme, La Presse 15/2/90.

[111] “Un candidat défait du RSC militait dans un groupe d’extrême-droite,” by Michèle Ouimet, La Presse 16/12/94.

[112] Revue Indépendantiste #22-24 (L’indépendantisme des années trente), p.

[113] Ibid., p. 82.

[114] Roy, Raoul – Le Genocide…, op cit. p. 25.

[115] Ibid., pp. 80-81.

[116] Indeed, he was influenced by the paganistic reactionary writings of the Cercle Ernest Renan, and corresponded with Louis Rougier of the GRECE – see sidebar on L’Oeil. (source: “Mémoires d’un monde pas encore chaviré”, by Raoul Roy, Espoir #5 hiver 1993, pp. 23, 30)

[117] “Quelques jalons pour l’histoire d’une organisation nationaliste de droite au Québec,” by François Dumas, Cahiers de Jeune Nation #2, juillet 1992, pp. 7-8.

[118] Ibid., p. 6.

[119] Ibid., pp. 8-9.

[120] “Quelques jalons pour l’histoire d’une organisation nationaliste de droite au Québec,” by François Dumas, Cahiers de Jeune Nation #3, p. 20.

[121] Ibid.

[122] Ibid., p. 21.

[123] Ibid., p. 23.

[124] C-FAR published two booklets by Gendron, The Viet-Cong Front in Quebec, and The Immigration Threat to Quebec.

[125] “Quelques jalons pour l’histoire d’une organisation nationaliste de droite au Québec,” by François Dumas, Cahiers de Jeune Nation #3, p. 23.

[126] “Bilan des Cahiers de Jeune Nation,” by Jean-Claude Dupuis, Cahiers de Jeune Nation #12 sept. 1995, p. 42.

[127] In the Cahiers de Jeune Nation’s second issue the term “National Right” is adopted instead of “extreme right” for tactical reasons. (Cahiers de Jeune Nation #2 p.3).

[128] “Une doctrine pour la droite?” by Pierre Trépanier, Cahiers de Jeune Nation #1 avril 1992, p. 3.

[129] “Une petite mise au point,” exchange between Pierre Trépanier and Luc Potvin, Espoir #4 aut. 1992.

[130] “L’Action Nationale et l’affaire Jeune Nation,” by Jean-Claude Dupuis, Cahiers de Jeune Nation #6 oct 1993, p. 6.

[131] “J.J. Rousseau, le père du fascisme,” by Dimitri Kitsikis, Cahiers de Jeune Nation #11  juin 1995, p. 14.

[132] “Le communisme est-il mort?” by Gilbert Gendron, Cahiers de Jeune Nation #10 jan. 1995, p. 12. Gendron repeats the fringe Catholic line that communism will only be vanquished when Russia is consecrated to Our Lady of Fatima.

[133] “Les problèmes des écoles multiculturelles,” by an anonymous teacher, Cahiers de Jeune Nation #3 nov. 1992, p. 30.

[134] “Dieu Premier Servi,” by Jean-Claude Dupuis, Cahiers de Jeune Nation #10, jan. 1995.

[135] “Robert Rumilly, historien engagé,” by Pierre Trépanier, Action Nationale LXXIII (sept. 1983), p. 26.

[136] “Qu’est le Centre d’Information Nationale,” Nation Nouvelle, date unknown (1991).

[137]  Monzat, René et Camus, Jean-Yves – Les droites nationales et radicales en France, presses universitaires de Lyon, 1992, pp. 372-373.

[138] “Le Centre d’information nationale; pour une réforme politique, sociale et nationale du Québec,” undated, Centre d’information nationale; for a more accessible copy of this programme see “Une doctrine pour la droite” op cit. pp. 11-12.

[139] “Les Teamsters financeront le recours collectif contre les Mohawks,” by Pierre Bellemare, La Presse 18/9/90.

[140] Champagne, Estrelle – Les Évènements de l’été 1990 d’Oka et de Kahnawake au Québec: Autopsie d’une crise à travers La Presse française, suisse, anglosaxonne et les médias canadiens; Université Charles de Gaulle Lille 3 Nov. 1995, pp. 55-61.

[141] Lamarche, Jacques – L’Été des Mohawks; Stanké 1990 pp.139-141.

[142] “Le KKK est «monté aux barricades» pour distribuer des tracts” by Marie-France Léger, La Presse 31/8/90.

[143] Philpot, Robin – Oka: dernier alibi du Canada anglais; VLB éditeur 1991.

[144] Dallaire, François – Oka – la hâche de guerre; Editions La Liberté 1991, p. 69.

[145] “Indiens du Canada: les Koweitiens du Nord,” by Francois Dallaire, Le Devoir 22/12/92.

[146] Dallaire op cit. p. 59.

[147] “Propose goodwill handshake before Lasalle-Kahnawake games,” by Aaron Derfel, The The Montreal Gazette 9/11/95.

[148] “Oka aurait pu vivre une autre crise,” by Richard Hétu and Martin Pelchat, La Presse 2/4/93.

[149] “Radio station apologizes to aboriginals,” by Alexander Norris, The Montreal Gazette 17/5/94.

[150] Roy, Raoul – Ces indigènes susdits sauvages; Ed. Franc Canada 1991

[151] “Andrée Ferretti rend hommage à Lionel Groulx,” Action Indépendantiste v2 #2 avril-mai 1994.

[152] Ibid.

[153] “L’Action Nationale et l’affaire Jeune Nation,” op cit. p. 7.

[154] “Avant quelles élections, la prochaine crise amerindienne: fédérales ou provinciales?” by Michel Viau, Action Indépendantiste #6 aout-sept. 1993.

[155] “Bourassa vend le Québec?” by Jean Simoneau, Action Indépendantiste #1 sept. 1992, p. 4.

[156] “Immigration: un comportement suicidaire,” by Jean-Marc Leger Action Indépendantiste v1 #6 aout 1993.

[157] Nation Nouvelle v3 #2 sept-oct 1993

[158] “Les vraies couleurs du nationalisme  territorial,” Commission #2 fev-mars 1997 pp. 10-11.

[159] Prior to the referendum, “left-wing” nationalists like Pierre Bourgault and the cadres at l’Aut’ Journal had joined right-wing nationalists like Michel Viau of Action Indépendantiste in warning of the dire consequences of a separatist defeat that could be blamed on immigrant voters. The troubadour Raymond Lévesque had submitted a brief to the Commission on Sovereignty to the effect that immigrants should be denied the right to vote in the referendum, as “This is between the founding peoples.” After October 15th nationalists like PQ Cabinet Minister Louise Harel and Bloc Québecois MP Roger Pomerleau, to give but two examples, echosed Parizeau’s statements blaming immigrants for the defeat.

[160] “La ligue du vieux poêle,” by Loïc Vennin, Voir 14-20 déc. 1995.

[161] “Le leader du MLNQ aurait «aimé tuer plus d’Anglais»”, Marc Thibodeau La Presse 12/7/97.

[162] “Les Juifs anglophones au service des Canadians,” by Raymond Villeneuve, La Tempête #9 sept. 1996.

[163] “Pour en arriver à faire du Québec un pays plutôt que de gérer un état provincial,” by Jacques Binette, La Tempête #1.

[164] “La menace des pantouflards,” by J. Jacques Samson, Le Soleil 18/12/95.

[165] “Déclaration Solennelle de Raymond Villeneuve Devant Le Peuple Québécois,” by Raymond Villeneuve, La Replique #1 dec. 1997.

[166] La Tempête #10 oct. 1996 & #22 oct. 1997.

[167] “Deuxième déclaration de la Realidad pour l’humanité et contre le néoliéralisme,” CCRI-EZLN, La Tempête #17 mai 1997.

[168] “Le nationalisme québecois est cultural,” by Luc Potvin, La Tempête #22 oct. 1997.

[169] Vennin op cit.

[170] “À la défense de Raymond Villeneuve – dénigrement et salissage,” by Jacques Larue-Langlois La Tempête #15 mars 1997

[171] “La chasse aux sorcières de l’organisation B’nai B’rith,” by Jean-Marc Leger, La Tempête #13 jan. 1997, p. 9.

[172] Vallières, op cit. p. 227-8.



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