A Century of Struggle between Left-Right Camps in the Ukrainian Canadian Community

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A Century of Struggle between Left-Right Camps in the Ukrainian Canadian Community

This Captive Canada article looks at the century-long struggle between opposing political camps of Ukrainian Canadians. The government's collusion with ultraright Ukrainian nationalists, and its repression of progressives, is illustrated by examining four Canadian internment programs: 1) WWI/Red Scare-era concentration camps, 1914-20, 2) Depression-era "Relief Camps," 1932-36, 3) WWII prison camps, 1940-45, 4) the Cold-War "Profunc Program," 1950-80s.

This article was written for and first appeared in

Press for Conversion cover #68Captive Canada
Renditions of the Peaceable Kingdom at War,

from Narratives of WWI and the Red Scare
to the Mass Internment of Civilians

Issue #68 of Press for Conversion (Spring 2016), pp.40-55. Published by the Coalition to Oppose the Arms Trade (COAT).  If you quote this article, please cite the source above.  And, please consider subscribing, ordering a copy &/or donating. Thanks!

A Century of Struggle between Left-Right Camps in the Ukrainian Canadian Community

By Richard Sanders

Canada’s WWI-era internment of about 5,000 Ukrainian immigrants is still memorialised as a defining moment in this community’s history. Because the narrative of these forced-labour camps is so key to rendering this community’s self-identity, many Ukrainian Canadians remain understandably indignant if not traumatised by this state-sponsored crime against humanity.

Canada’s first slave-labour camps (1914-1920) were also a turning point in our national tradition of using mass internment to control perceived enemies of the state. By WWI, Canadian authorities were already entrenched in the genocidal habit of holding Aboriginals captive on reserves and in church-run boarding schools.  However, the War Measures Act of 1914 ushered in a new, 20th-century pattern of physical containment that targeted European and Asian civilians.

WWI was not the last time that Ukrainians were corralled into Canadian prison camps. Over the ten decades since then, the guardians of Canada’s “Peaceable Kingdom” have relied on three other major programs of mass civilian incarceration. These social-control programs to physically immobilise supposed threats to Canada’s political and economic order, were also intended to intimidate and deter other members of the public from becoming (more) politically active. 

To understand why some Ukrainian Canadians have been disproportionately targeted for internment, we must recognise that for more than a century this ethnic community has been sharply divided along political lines.  By putting themselves on one side or the other of a political boundary separating Left from Right, Ukrainian Canadians have segregated themselves into two distinct, rival camps.

It is also instructive to understand the political alliances that these two factions have forged with those outside their shared ethnic base. For example, those on the Ukrainian-Canadian Right have built strong ties to successive, antiCommunist government bureaucracies and national security establishments, whether led by the Liberals or Conservatives.

Meanwhile, the Ukrainian Left has always worked with radical, multiethnic unions and political parties. In struggling for peace, justice, labour rights and other causes, progressive Ukrainian Canadians have teamed up with leftists of Finnish, Jewish, Russian and Anglo heritage, as well as with radical Croats, Serbs, Hungarians, Poles, and others.  For their trouble, these leftists has been targeted for surveillance, intimidation and internment by Liberal and Conservative regimes alike.

The Ukrainian Canadian Left has included a diverse range of activists from moderate reformers and social democrats, to radical socialists and Marxists.  Despite this, government authorities and the Ukrainian Right have denigrated the entire spectrum of Ukrainian progressives by labelling them all Communists.

Those on the Right side of the po- litical fence have closely identified with Ukrainian nationalism and have found great unity in their fervent opposition to anything even hinting of socialism.  To members of this camp, anyone entertaining Marxist ideas, or even willing to cooperate on a common cause with socialists, has been denounced as a Communist. 

The Left-Right schism has also been reflected in differing attitudes to monarchism and imperialism. The nationalist camp has included those seeking a Ukrainian monarchy akin to the British system.  This faction was led by veterans who came to Canada after losing the fight for independence during the civil war in Soviet Russia (1918-1921). (These nationalists, shared a keen interest in antiCommunism with the Canadian, British and other imperialist powers that intervened in this conflict to squash Russia’s 1917 revolution.)

Ukrainian monarchist émigrés are said to have been “eager to demonstrate loyalty and commitment to Canada and the [British] Empire by participating in military exercises with the Canadian militia.”1 Meanwhile, the Ukrainian Left has long distinguished itself with decidedly anti-imperialist and anti-monarchist ideologies.

Religion has also been a major factor in the Right-Left schism.  The Ukrainian Left has been skeptical of religious elites, if not prone to reject the church entirely for supporting slavery, imperialism and other crimes. Meanwhile, the Ukrainian Right has largely embraced either the Catholic or Orthodox faith. Ukrainian monarchists, for example, were tied to Catholicism which has long been this ethnic community’s dominant religious force.  Other Ukrainian Canadian nationalists embraced AngloProtestantism after conversion to evangelical churches. But, regardless of their religious leanings, ultranationalists have seen Leftists as reflecting the twin evils of communism and atheism.

Early Rifts and Alliances

The unscalable wall between Ukrainian leftists and their conservative brethren has been evident since the turn of the 20th century.  At that time, Ukrainians in western Canada’s urban centres were organising cultural, educational and artistic activities.  By 1903, Ukrainian activists in Winnipeg formed social groups sponsoring concerts and plays. Peter Krawchuk, in his book, Ukrainian Socialists in Canada, 1900-1918, noted that:

     "these reading clubs or societies met with a great deal of opposition from reactionary groups and individuals who did not wish to see the Ukrainian immigrant workers organised, especially since most of these societies were under the leadership of radicals and socialists. Particularly strong was the opposition from the clerics of the Ukrainian Catholic...and Greek Orthodox... churches.”2

This factionalism had its roots in the Ukraine.  During the late 1800s, the Ukrainian Radical Party, in the Hapsburg provinces of Galicia and Bukovyna, confronted the Ukrainian Catholic Church’s control over the peasant population. Divisions in Canada, explained Ukrainian Canadian historian Orest Martynowych,

     "first appeared within the immigrant community when members of the village intelligentsia [in Canada], who had been influenced by the Radical movement [in the Ukraine], attempted to establish the life of the Ukrainian peasant immigrant masses on enlightened and rational foundations.”3

Martinowych has described several factions that “struggled to retain or to capture the allegiance of the immigrant masses” within Canada’s Ukrainian community.  Each of these “mutually antagonistic camps” used a unique narrative, he says, to “capture” the imagination of their fellow Ukrainians.  To build identities and institutions free of Catholic control, these camps organised around three main foci: (1) conversion to evangelical protestantism, (2) solidarity among working-class socialists, and (3) Ukrainian nationalism associated with the Orthodox church.4

After the failed Russian revolution (1905-1907), thousands of Ukrainians fled Czarist repression. In 1907, when Ukrainians in Winnipeg formed a section of the Socialist Party of Canada (SPC), they provided a meeting place for radicals of other ethnic backgrounds. Before long, many Ukrainian socialists felt they were getting second-class treatment by the SPC’s Anglo leaders. They also objected to the party’s “Impossibilist” doctrine which opposed efforts to “reform” capitalism. (The SPC’s antireformist views led it to reject international solidarity campaigns, oppose union activism and dismiss the idea of taking any steps towards women’s equality.5)

In 1909, when representatives of eleven Ukrainian socialist groups from western Canada met in Winnipeg to split themselves away from the SPC, they created the Federation of Ukrainian Social Democrats (FUSD).6  The next year, the SPC’s German and Jewish branches in Winnipeg also broke with the party and worked with the FUSD and others to build a multiethnic, social democratic party.7 

Winnipeg was a centre for Ukrainian language publications including the Canadian Farmer (1903), the Presbyterian Church’s Dawn (1905), the Ukrainian Voice (1910) for nationalists who later founded Canada’s Ukrainian Orthodox Church, and the Ukrainian Catholic Church’s Canadian Ruthenian (1911).8 The first issue of FUSD’s Robochyi Narod (Working People) in 1909, described the split between socialists and nationalists in the Ukrainian community.9 

By 1911, many Ukrainians, Jews, Germans, Poles and other nonAnglos left the SPC to form the Social Democratic Party of Canada (SDPC). This reformist party vowed to “support any measure that will tend to better conditions under capitalism.” It eventually elected an alderman and a Mayor in Ontario, two MLAs in BC10 and two Manitoba MLAs in Winnipeg North (1915 and 1920). By helping build the SDPC, Ukrainian social democrats strengthened working-class solidarity across a variety of ethnic divides.

Ukrainians, both Left and Right, joined cross-cultural alliances that were defined by politics, not ethnicity. Ukrainian Social Democrats, said Martynowych, “were convinced that the interests of Ukrainian labourers and those of Ukrainian businessmen and government employees were fundamentally at odds.” For this reason, he explained, they “refused to support ‘bourgeois’ Ukrainians who entered politics.” For instance, during Winnipeg’s municipal elections in 1911 and 1914, and the provincial race in 1915, they

     "opposed Ukrainian candidates like Theodore Stefanik, a Conservative agent, and Taras Ferley, an Independent Liberal, and chose...to support Anglo-Canadian and Jewish Social Democratic and Labour candidates.”11

During Manitoba’s 1914 election, the Ukrainian Right teamed up with former Premier Sir Rodmond Roblin’s Conservative Party. Notably, Bishop Budka, the Winnipeg-based leader of Canada’s Ukrainian Catholics, was credited with the Tories’ re-election.12  In fact, it “was generally conceded that the Roblin regime held on to office because of the [rightwing] Ukrainian vote.”13  However, within a year, a huge corruption scandal forced the Conservatives to resign and, in 1915, the Liberal’s took power.

Bishop Budka 

World War I Conscription: 
 For and Against

In 1915, with the help of Ukrainian radicals in Winnipeg North, the SDPC elected its first Manitoba MLA, Richard Rigg.  In 1917, he resigned to run federally. Rigg and his Ukrainian allies, opposed Borden’s WWI conscription policy and called for the nationalisation of banks and major industries. “[I]f the state had adopted the policy of the conscription of money, industry and natural resources,” said Rigg, “there would be absolutely no necessity for the passing and enforcing of any scheme to conscript men.”14

During WWI, Ukrainian social democrats spoke out against the war and conscription. “The war brings nothing good to the poor, only losses, and ever more victims,” they said in September 1914.  “From a moral point of view war is a crime of present-day society. For workers the war is of no use at all.”15

In contrast, the Ukrainian Right supported WWI. To prove their loyalty to Canada, these nationalists still commemorate the Ukrainians who enlisted by anglicising their names or pretending they were Russians.  One of their greatest heroes, Corporal Filip Konowal, received the Victoria Cross from King George V in 1917.16

Canadian governments have also raved about the Ukrainian Right’s aid to imperialism.  In 2014, Chris Alexander, Canada’s first resident Ambassador to Afghanistan, stated that as Minister of Citizenship and Immigration, he was

     "very proud that in our Discover Canada guide...we recall that the first Victoria Cross anywhere in the British Empire awarded to one who was not born in that empire went to Corporal Filip Konowal, born in Ukraine, who showed exceptional courage in the battle of Hill 70 in 1917.”17

But the Ukrainian Right was not always so sure which empire to support. On July 27, 1914, Ukrainian Catholic Bishop Nykyta Budka—who the Vatican sent to Canada in 1912—issued a pastoral letter to his flock of 80,000.  In it he said that:

     "all...Austrian subjects ought to be at home...to defend our native country Whoever will get a call to join the colours ought to immediately go to defend the endangered Fatherland.”18

Embarrassingly enough, just a few days later, on August 4, Britain declared war, and Canada stepped into line. Within two days, Budka issued a second letter stating:

     "We to-day, as faithful citizens of this part of the British Empire...have before us a great and solemn duty, to flock to the flag of our new land, and under this standard to give our blood and lives to its defence.”19

Although Budka’s flip-flop was a total about-face, he had remained entirely consistent in his decree that Ukrainian Canadians should fight. The Bishop had merely reversed direction on which imperialist army they should kill and die for.  Many, like socialist Peter Krawchuk, thought Budka should share blame for the fact that Ukrainians were soon forced into Canadian internment camps. By his “chameleon-like action,” Krawchuk said, the          "bishop saved his own skin, but his first pastoral letter gave the Canadian government reason to regard all Ukrainian immigrants from Austro-Hungary as ‘enemy aliens.’”20

The First Red Scare:
When Right Informed on Left

Top officials of Canada’s state security establishment used Bishop Budka as a highly-placed informant in their domestic war against Ukrainian socialists.  Research by historian Donald Avery cites once-secret documents to demonstrate that

     "Dominion security officials had regarded Bishop Budka as a firm ally against the Bolshevik element in the Manitoba Ukrainian community since the fall of 1918.”21

As an informant, Bishop Budka exaggerated the threat of Ukrainian socialists. In a letter from Ernest Chambers, Canada’s Chief Press Censor (1915-1919), to Martin Burrell, Secretary of State (1917-1919), Chambers reported:

     "Bishop [Budka] states that there is a distinct and well organized revolutionary Bolshevik movement in Canada, looking to the overthrow of all established authority and to the introduction into Canada of the chaotic conditions of affairs which exist today in Russia.  He mentioned the Robotchy Narod and Rabotchy Narod as being mouthpieces of those... engineering this revolutionary movement.”22

One week later, on September 27, 1918, Borden’s Cabinet bypassed Parliament to issue Order-in-Council PC 2384. This decree banned 14 leftist groups and anyone even linked to them could get five years in prison and a $5,000 fine. (Over $74,000 in 2015.) Five of the groups were either Russian or Ukrainian, including the Ukrainian Social Democratic Party (USDP). Its paper, Robotchyi Narod, had just been informed on by Bishop Budka.

In October 1918, just weeks after Budka’s denunciation reached the Secretary of State, the Jewish Ukrainian editor of Rabotchy Narod—the other socialist paper fingered by the Bishop—got a three-year sentence, and a $1,000 fine ($14,700 in 2015). A campaign in his support quickly united many radical Anglo labour activists with Ukrainian Canadian socialists.23

The Ukrainian Left was well aware that there were spies in their midst. A 1917 issue of Robotchy Narod urged its readers to tell Anglo-Canadians that “we are not ‘Austrian’ or ‘Galician,’ or a wild, uneducated people as portrayed by ‘our own native’ undercover agents, who have sold out and are traitors to our people.” On this split between the USDP and the Ukrainian Right, Avery noted that “those opposed to the Bolsheviks often appealed to Canadian security agencies, supplying information about Ukrainian socialists.”24 

When the government outlawed the USDP in 1918, police raided their offices across the country. At that time, they had 1,800 paid-up members in 54 branches.25  Depending on whether they were naturalised citizens or unnaturalised “enemy aliens,” police either ordered them to stop work or interned them. Within months, the USDP renamed itself the Ukrainian Labour Temple Association.26 In 1925, they grew to become the Ukrainian Labour-Farmer Temple Association (ULFTA).

ULFTA was then, by far, the largest secular group of Ukrainian Canadians. By 1929, they had 187 branches, four publications, several  schools and 63 libraries.27 Saskatchewan alone had ULFTA Labour Temples in 25 communities. Besides holding cultural events, they defended labour rights, started literacy programs and organised political campaigns.28 ULFTA’s Winnipeg temple was a key meeting place before and during the 1919 Winnipeg General Strike. Since then, Labour Temples have hosted countless events for radicals of diverse backgrounds across Canada.

Canada's Slave Camps (1932-1936)The Dirty Thirties:
Rounding up the Reds

By 1930, a third of Canada’s Communists were Ukrainian.  The rest were almost all Jewish or Finnish.  In 1931, the RCMP raided Communist offices, took documents and arrested nine. Seven were sentenced to five years in prison. Three of the jailed leaders were Ukrainian, including Matthew Popovich, an ULFTA activist and former editor of Robotchy Narod.  However, thanks to the Canadian Labour Defense League, and its petition—with 459,000 signatures—all were released from prison in 1934. (See p.33 "Cdn. Labour Defence League")

The Depression served as a convenient pretext for rounding up masses of Canadians citizens who had long been seen as a threat to the establishment.  Between 1932 and 1936, more than 170,000 single, unemployed, urban men were forced into army-run “Relief Camps.”  As during WWI, authorities could not contain their phobia that this particular demographic was prey to radicalisation by socialist agitators. Although the 1930s’ forced-labour program did not specifically target newcomers, many ended up in the camps. 

In outlining the internment plan, General Andrew McNaughton29 was clear about its political purpose. He told Methodist Prime Minister R.B. “Iron Heel” Bennett that: “In their ragged platoons, here are the prospective members of what Marx called the ‘industrial reserve army, the storm troopers of the revolution.’”30 McNaughton also told Bennett that “[b]y taking the men out...of the cities” and forcing them into remote work camps, “we were removing the active elements on which the ‘red’ agitators could play.”31

In When Freedom was Lost, Regina-based political science professor Lorne Brown cites numerous official letters and memos revealing this prime function of Canada’s labour camps. For example, Roderick Finlayson, the PM’s executive assistant, wrote in October 1933 that it “would be a great mistake to lose sight of the main objective” of the camps, “namely to keep urban centres clear from such single men as more readily become amenable to the designs of agitators.”32

The camps themselves bred agitators who led hundreds of  strikes. They also formed the Relief Camp Workers’ Union (RCWU) which held many events at ULFTA Labour Temples. As RCWU leader Ronald Liversedge recalled, in “every crisis” of “the hungry thirties,” the

     "Ukrainian Labor Temple was a refuge for labor in distress. In Vancouver, thousands of relief camp workers at different periods found at the Temple sleeping accommodation.”33

In 1938, when the RCWU’s successor group held a month-long strike in Vancouver, Mounties threw tear gas into the building and clubbed those who fled.  Some 10,000 to 15,000 protested the police brutality which injured dozens. “We tore up sheets to make bandages and set up a first-aid station in the Ukrainian Labour Temple,” said Mildred Liversedge.34

Ukrainian Right Saluted Nazism

While ULTFA was central to struggles for working-class justice during Canada’s “hungry thirties,” the Ukrainian Right had a very different agenda.  Martynowych has revealed what he called “disturbing” evidence that by 1931, Canada’s largest Ukrainian nationalist groups were pushing the notion that dictatorship is better than democracy. They also lavished much praise on German Nazism and Italian Fascism. 

Martynowych studied the three largest Ukrainian nationalist groups in Canada: the Ukrainian Catholic Brotherhood, the Ukrainian National Federation (UNF) and the United Hetman Organization.  Their newspapers, leaders’ letters, as well as RCMP and External Affairs’ documents show that from the early 1930s, Ukrainian veterans who fought the Soviets in the 1918-1921 civil war,

     "played a highly influential role in major Ukrainian-Canadian organ-isations [and] shared an affinity for Nazi Germany, sympathized with its domestic and foreign objectives, and displayed an alarming indifference to the fate of its Jewish victims.”35

By 1931, Canada’s top rightwing Ukrainian organisation, the UNF, was cheering Nazi leaders and their programs.  Its official weekly, Novyi shliakh (New Pathway), said that in the Ukraine they wanted to create, Jews would be denied citizenship.  By 1933, when Hitler was taking legislative powers away from Parliament, outlawing opposition parties and dissolving unions, the UNF heralded Nazi victories over democracy and hailing Germany as the model for Ukrainian nationalists. “We may welcome with joy the triumph of the new German world over the old world,” said the UNF, and “we can in large measure model our own national liberation struggle and our future nation-building efforts on it.”36

The UNF was founded and led by immigrants with close ties to the Organization of Ukrainian Nationalists (OUN), a European group promoting Ukrainian independence from the USSR, Poland and Czechoslovakia.  In subservience to the OUN, the UNF openly supported sabotage, armed robbery and political killings. The OUN was “anti-Semitic, markedly military, authoritarian, and anti-democratic” and was “outlawed in Poland for...campaigns of murder and terrorism.”37  So said Watson Kirkconnell, an Oxford-trained Canadian poet, linguist, founder of Canada’s Baptist Federation, Fellow of Canada’s Royal Society and recipient of the Order of Canada.38  During his WWI military service he guarded two Ontario prison camps: Fort Henry in Kingston, and “the internment camp for Ukrainians in Kapuskasing.”39

Although Kirkconnell did call the UNF a “modified branch” of the OUN, he parroted their rationale for supporting Nazism. “It was not that they favoured the Nazi regime and its political ideals,” he wrote in 1940. They merely “deduced the desirability of...German intervention” as the best route to Ukrainian statehood.40

The antiCommunism of Kirkconnell—and his close friends among Canada’s Ukrainian Right—was rooted in religion. “Communism,” Kirkconnell wrote, is in “essence... a sin against the Holy Ghost, and its deepest iniquities are iniquities towards God, and man in the image of God.”41 In support of Canada’s ultranationalist Ukrainians, he said:

     "Some 99 per cent...are strongly religious and detest the Communist group [the AUUC] for its attempts to destroy Christianity among Ukrainian Canadians. They would as soon sleep with a rattlesnake as admit the atheist revolutionaries to their councils.”42

Kirkconnell saw the UNF’s antiRed gospel as an asset in battling godless socialism, at home and abroad. The Christian narratives that he shared with the UNF, helped justify their ties to Nazism and the OUN’s antiSemitic terror.

The OUN, said Per Anders Rudling, openly welcomed the Holocaust. To exemplify this, Rudling, a historian at Sweden’s Lund University, cites an official OUN publication which stated:

     "Jews will not have the right to own land. They will work as common labourers. If not—as forced labour… He who does not speak our language, who does not call himself a Ukrainian ...this person is a zaida [slur for ‘outsider’] and your enemy and must leave the land or die on it. The Muscovite, the Pole, and the Jew were, are, and will always be your enemies!”43

The OUN’s official “Decalogue of Commandments” included:

     "7. You shall not hesitate to commit the largest crime if the good of the cause requires it.

8. The enemies of your nation shall be met with hatred and deceit....

10. Aspire to expand the strength, riches, and size of the Ukrainian State even by means of enslaving foreigners.”44

UNF support for OUN terror was not mere rhetoric. Between 1928 and 1939, the UNF and Canada’s Ukrainian War Veterans Assoc. (UWVA) raised $40,000 for the “combat” and “liberation funds” of the OUN, and its precursor, the Ukrainian Military Organization.45 (This was the equivalent of $600,000 in 2015.) The UWVA was founded in Winnipeg in 1928 by veterans of the failed war for Ukrainian statehood (1918-1921). During that war, Canada and a dozen other capitalist countries invaded Soviet Russia to overthrow the revolution. Later, it was the UWVA’s “dedication and hard work,” says the UNF, that led to its formation in 1932:

     "The UNF was the child of the UWVA .... These...veterans were the true knights in shining armour who fulfilled their mission to God, their comrades-in-arms and country!”46

Another key UNF member group in the 1930s was Canada’s Ukrainian Catholic Brotherhood (UCB).  Researcher Anton Shekhovtsov notes that only a small minority of Ukrainian Catholic priests during the interwar period opposed fascism.  The rest were either “clerical collaborators” who “saw the OUN as an instrument for proselytising the expansion” of their church, or, outright “clerical fascists” whose “explicitly pronounced religious totalism...served to legitimate violence against the Ukrainian nation’s ‘foes.’”  For example, an editorial in the Lvov Diocese’s official paper stated on April 17, 1931:

     "Ukrainian nationalism must be ready to use all means of struggle against communism, not excluding mass physical extermination, even at the cost of millions of human lives.”47

Canada’s UCB was seemingly captured by just such “clerical fascists.”  Its paper, Buduchnist natsii (Future of our Nation), featured many proNazi and antiSemitic diatribes. A 1939 article is described by Martynowych as implying “that Hitler was the God-sent saviour of the German people.”48 UCB leader, Father Wasyl Kushnir, invoked that favourite Nazi bogeyman, the Jewish-Red conspiracy. “Let our culture be national rather than serve the international Jew,” preached Father Kushnir at the First Ukrainian Catholic Workers’ Congress in 1937.49

Another member organisation of the UNF was Canada’s United Hetman Organization (UHO), a Ukrainian monarchist group led by Michael Hethman. In the late 1930s, his letters, lectures and articles promoted Hitler, Mussolini, Franco and Japanese militarism. Especially important, he said, was Ukrainian cooperation with Nazism in “the great armed struggle” of “nationalism” against “Judeointernationalist” forces, because Germany “inscribed the destruction of Bolshevism on its banner.”50

In 1936-1937, when Winnipeg North elected a Communist school trustee, two Communist aldermen and a Communist MPP, the UCB teamed up with the UHO. Their campaign blamed the “unbridled greed” of “Jewish-Muscovite terrorists” and a “Bolshevik-Jewish clique” for “suck[ing] the last juices out of” Ukraine. Their phobic scaremongering went so far as to warn that godless communists were going to burn down Canadian churches and impose the death penalty on priests, nuns, the faithful, and Ukrainian nationalists.51

In the 1930s, while Canada’s Ukrainian Right was singing the praises of Hitler and fabricating phoney, incendiary threats by imaginary blood-sucking Judeo-Communists, the Ukrainian Left was arousing government concerns with its unbending support for antiFascist causes.  For example, when ULFTA joined worldwide Communist efforts to unite progressives in “Popular Fronts” against fascism, RCMP spies reported that the delegates at its 1935 convention spoke at every turn about

     "Fascism, war and the defence of USSR ...also the freeing of political prisoners throughout the world, strikes, wage-cuts and working conditions and how to abolish capitalism and fight fascism.”52

During the Spanish Civil War, 1936-1939, many Ukrainian Canadian socialists volunteered to fight against Franco’s fascist regime. By 1938, at least 200 of these Ukrainian leftists had joined the International Brigade’s Mackenzie-Papineau Division. Half of them were killed in Spain.53

WWII prison campsWorld War II:
Outlawing and Interning the Left

During WWII, Canada was again a virtual dictatorship.  In fact, Prime Minister Mackenzie King’s Liberal government was even more repressive than Borden’s Conservatives had been during WWI.  (King wrote glowingly in his diaries about the friendly meetings he had with Mussolini, Hitler, Gestapo-founder Hermann Göring, SS Gruppenführer Konstantin von Neurath and other Nazis. Besides being a hardcore antiSemite, King greatly admired Europe’s Nazi and Fascist leaders for their ardent zeal in persecuting  Communists.)54

The Liberal’s most draconian excess in WWII was to intern tens of thousands of Canadians in forty, army-run facilities. Some of the forced-labour camps from WWI and the 1930s, were back in business, with a vengeance, holding supposed enemies of the state.  Besides interning 22,000 Japanese Canadians, 632 Italians and 847 Germans, the government also forced about 2,300 Jewish and communist refugees, who had fled Nazi Europe, into Canadian POW camps. (See p.39.)  King’s government also interned hundreds of Canadians who were deemed guilty of either pacifism or communism.

This repression began in September 1939 when Liberals dusted off the Conservative’s 1914 War Measures Act.  King’s cabinet escalated its war against civil liberties by imposing the “Defence of Canada Regulations.” This law waived habeas corpus rights and allowed the internment without charge of anyone they even suspected might potentially act in a “manner prejudicial to the public safety or the safety of the state.”55  Besides interning leftists, 325 publications were banned.

In June 1940, Canada outlawed 16 groups and their publications.  Eleven of these groups were antiFascist and proCommunist, including ULFTA and its affiliate, the Canadian Ukrainian Youth Federation. This draconian move was welcomed by nationalist Ukrainians. They, said political scientist Reg Whitaker, “had been calling for years for the police to smash their rivals’ organisations and deport the lot back to the Soviet Union.”56

Also banned were the Communist Party, the Young Communist League, the League for Peace and Democracy, and the Canadian Labour Defence League, which all included many Ukrainian activists. Other ethnically-based groups were also banned, including socialist associations of Finnish, Russian, Polish, Croatian and Hungarian activists.57

Meanwhile, only five fascist groups were banned, including the German Nazi Party, the National Unity Party, and the Canadian Union of Fascists.58 Even the Ukrainian groups that hailed Hitler and Nazism went untouched, and there were no known arrests of UNF or UHO members.59

In July 1940, Canada began what Peter Krawchuk called a “general arrest of the leading cadre of the Ukrainian progressive movement.”60 As editor of ULFTA’s daily paper, Narodna Hazeta (People’s Gazette), he went into hiding for two months before being arrested. The Ukrainian Right benefited from the ban. Between December 1940 and April 1941, they began published Narodnia Gazeta, “an antiSoviet weekly, sent to former subscribers” of “Narodna hazeta in a bid to win their sympathies.”61 How they got ULFTA’s mailing list is not explained. In Krawchuk’s narrative of the July 1940 arrest of 17 Ukrainian radicals, he describes going to Hazeta’s Winnipeg offices and being told: “police were just here looking for the editors and rummaging through the offices.”62

        In his book, Interned Without Cause, about antiFascists like himself who were locked up in Canada’s WWII prison camps, Krawchuk says leftwing internees included English and French Canadians, plus “Ukrainians, Jews, Hungarians, Germans, Scandinavians, a Finn and a Pole.”63 Most of antiFascists in the Kananaskis prison camp, near Banff Alberta, were Ukrainian.  Another AUUC activist interned there, Myron Kostaniuk, recalled that its Commandant, Lt.-Col. Watson,

     "ordered that one communist be placed with 11 fascists in each of the huts or shanties that held 12 people, [telling] the German representatives ‘to wipe the floors with them.’”64

(This was not Kostaniuk’s first internment.  In 1932, he had served “seven months hard labour” for leading 600 people in Sudbury’s May Day parade. While many of the marchers were clubbed by police and right-wing vigilantes, eighteen Finns and Ukrainians were arrested because the rally used a Red Flag instead of a Union Jack.65)

About 130 antiFascists were interned during WWII: 39 at Kananaskis, Alberta, 70 at Petawawa, Ontario, and 20 more in various prisons. About one-third of Canada’s communist internees were Ukrainian.66  Among the first antifascists arrested was Jacob Penner, a Russian-born Communist alderman who represented Winnipeg North from 1933 until 1960. J.S.Woodsworth, leader of the NDP’s predecessor, the Co-operative Commonwealth Federation, refused to help gain the release of Penner and other Reds from Canadian prison camps. (See p.35 "Why the Social Gospel turned a Blind Eye to Mass Internment.")

After Germany invaded the USSR in 1941, the Canadian government had “a delicate problem,” said professors Gregory Kealey and Reg Whitaker. While interned “pro-communist Ukrainians” were “vociferously supporting the war,” Canada’s “anti-Soviet nationalist Ukrainians” were not interned, although many had Nazi loyalties that “might be considered suspect.”67 

Even after Canada and the Soviets were allied to fight Nazism, Canadian Communists remained locked up. This was “after most suspected German and Italian fascists had been paroled,” said historian John Thompson. Most Communists were not released for another year, and the last was interned until September 1942. The RCMP commissioner justified this, said Thompson, because Canada’s “large foreign population” was a “fertile ground for agitators.”68 In Krawchuk’s words, Communists remained interned because their “activity in the Canadian labour movement ...was hostile to the ruling class.”69

The WWII-era repression of radicals went far beyond holding them captive. Canada’s “Custodian of Enemy Property” stole from the Left to give to the Right.  At least one leftwing group’s printing press was confiscated for use by an antiCommunist paper.70 Far worse however was the transfer of ULFTA buildings to the Ukrainian Right. In Krawchuk’s words, at the

     "very same time that the government was applying unjust measures against Ukrainian antifascists and had confiscated their property, it had honoured the Ukrainian friends of Hitler and Mussolini and had handed over into their disposition the Ukrainian Labour Temples in a series of localities.”71

Winnipeg Labour TempleIn 1943, the Civil Liberties Association of Toronto campaigned for the return of 108 ULFTA halls that were seized in 1940.72 However, an outspoken voice for the Ukrainian Right, Lubomyr Luciuk—a political science professor at Canada’s Royal Military College—falsely claimed that only 16 Labour Temples were seized.  In reality, “[s]ixteen of the Labour Temples were sold at prices that were up to 85% less than the assessed property values,”73 said Suzanne Hunchuck.  Luciuk did correctly note that some ULFTA halls were “sold to rival Ukrainian Canadian organisations, mainly local branches of the UNF or Ukrainian Catholic and Ukrainian Orthodox parishes.”74  For example, ULFTA’s Winnipeg, Montreal and Edmonton Labour Temples were all “sold,” at fire-sale prices, to Canada’s proNazi UNF. 

The government burned thousands of books that they took from ULFTA libraries in Calgary, Oshawa and Fort William. And, while half of ULFTA-Edmonton’s 1000 books were burned, the rest were dumped.  ULFTA libraries in Winnipeg were sold for recycling as were five tons of ULFTA Toronto’s books.75

The crusade against ULFTA forced the Ukrainian Left to reorganise itself, just as they had done during the First Red Scare.  In 1940, ULFTA reconstituted itself as the Association of United Ukrainian Canadians.  Between 1940 and 1945, it raised $700,000 from its members for “Victory Bonds, the war effort and war orphans of Ukraine.”76 (This was the equivalent of about $10 or $11 million in 2015.)

Consolidating the Ukrainian Right

While “the Canadian government attacked left-wing Ukrainians exclusively,”77 it was simultaneously working to strengthen the Ukrainian Right.  In 1940, the government unified antiCommunists into the Ukrainian Canadian Committee (UCC).  As the group’s own narrative of this now states:

     "The federal government...moved to arbitrate differences within the [Ukrainian Right] community. It sponsored a meeting in Winnipeg, in November 1940, which led to the formation of the Ukrainian Canadian Committee, known as the Ukrainian Canadian Congress since 1989. This national coordinating body...spoke for all but the Communists, who rejected it and were rejected by it...”78

To Krawchuk, “fabricating the notorious UCC” in 1940 was a Canadian government ploy to “mask the pro-Hitler orientation of the leaders...of the nationalist forces” as well as to “strike a blow...at the Ukrainian progressive movement.”79

The ultraright UNF, being the strongest grouping of Ukrainian nationalists at that time, had a major role in creating, organising and leading the UCC. Another key group was Canada’s monarchist United Hetman Organization (UHO) with its “uniformed members, and strong ties to the Ukrainian Catholic hierarchy.”80 A secret 1941 RCMP report on the UHO, by Ukrainian undercover agent Michael Petrowsky, said its “evil spirit” centred around leader Michael Hethman. Although Petrowsky was an antiCommunist playwright, translator and spy,  he reported that the UHO was a “potential danger”:

     "This clique has anti-democratic and pro-German tendencies.... These people secretly endorse Hitler’s invasion of the Soviet Union. They still hope that Hitler will create a Ukraine with [Hetman] Skoropadsky enthroned as the supreme leader....”81

Another group under the UCC banner was the Ukrainian Workers League, led by Danylo Lobay, a former ULFTA activist.  In 1949, the Winnipeg Free Press reported that the League was “Out to Battle Red Influences” and that a Lobay resolution to this effect was passed by the UCC’s Winnipeg Branch. The resolution asked “all loyal Canadian citizens to be on guard against the destructive activity of Communist elements...carrying on subversive work.”  It praised Canadian and US governments for their “steadfast defence of the Christian world against the inroads of the Communists in the international forum.”82

Canada’s Ukrainian Catholic and Orthodox churches have always been central to the UCC. Kushnir, who spouted anti-Semitic and proFascist beliefs for the Catholic Brotherhood in the 1930s, became the UCC’s longest-serving president, holding that position for 25 years, from the UCC’s creation in 1940 until 1953, and then again between 1959 and 1971.  

The Orthodox church was represented within the UCC by the Ukrainian Self-Reliance League (USRL). After forming in 1927, it “quickly emerged as the leading rival” of ULFTA socialists. The USRL’s founding president, Wasyl Swystun, had—at age 20—been J.S.Woods-worth’s chief researcher for his government report, Ukrainian Rural Communities in 1917.  As a key USRL activist within the Nazi-leaning UNF, Swystun helped create the UCC in 1940.  He was the Vice President of its Presidium and the first Chairman of its coordinating body.  However, in 1943, Swystun quit the UCC. By 1946, he had joined the AUUC in decrying UCC support for Ukrainian Nazis.83

The UCC was brought together by the Nationalities Branch of the Liberal government’s War Services Department. Throughout WWII, said historian Franca Iacovetta, the Branch “engaged in political surveillance” and “censorship” of the “ethnic left wing press.”84 Key to the government’s creation of the UCC were two friends of the Ukrainian Right: Tracy Philipps, an upper-crust British imperialist, soldier and spy; and Watson Kirkconnell, the WWI prison-camp guard turned poet-academic, who is called “the architect” of the Nationalities Branch.85

Another Branch bureaucrat with a major hand in creating the UCC was Vladimir Kysilewsky (anglicised, Kaye). Iacovetta calls Kaye an “active leader within the nationalist, antiCommunist Ukrainian-Canadian community.”86 With both parents from Ukrainian Catholic clerical families who were descended from nobility, he served in Austria’s WWI Army. Then, when fighting the Poles and the Soviets (1919-1920), Kaye was the liaison officer at Britain’s military mission in Odessa, Ukraine.87  In the 1930s, he worked for the Ukrainian Bureau, a nationalist centre in London England, funded by Prince Leon Mazeppa von Razumovsky, a Ukrainian-US veteran of WWI, who claimed descent from Ukraine’s last Hetman (i.e., its supreme political/military ruler).88 

Martynowych described Kaye as a moderating influence on Ukrainian nationalists, saying “totalitarian organizations and ideologies that made idols out of the ‘worker’s state’ or ‘the nation’ were equally abhorrent to Kysilewsky.”89 While privately concerned about Ukrainian chauvinism, says Iacovetta, “Kaye and his ilk did not say so publicly.”90 While Kaye helped unite antiCommunists to create, organise and lead the UCC, groups like the AUUC —with their antiFascist vision of a “worker’s state”—were shunned and targeted.

The “Second Red Scare”

After WWII, Kaye’s efforts to capture the hearts and minds of newcomers came under a new bureaucratic cover, namely Citizenship and Immigration Canada’s Citizenship Branch. (See p.33 "The Next Generation: Charles Woodsworth, Our Man in Saigon")  Kaye’s posting as its chief liaison officer (1945-1954) corresponded with Canada’s “Second Red Scare.” During that period, he “continued to put plenty of energy into fighting the Ukrainian-Canadian left and seeking ways of undermining it.”91

As Iocovetta has noted, Citizenship Branch worked with

     "anti-Communist groups and communities in an effort to combat communism and undermine and discredit left-wing ethnic Canadian groups and their newspapers.... [W]ith the help of journalists, [they] openly denounced the Communist press, directly encouraged the anti-Communist newcomers...to start their own newspapers and then sought to bolster their role as ‘democratic tools’ of integration.”92

Iocovetta cites a speech in which Kaye preached that Communism was “a Godless religion...with all the violent attributes of a militant” faith, using propaganda to “arouse mass psychoses.” Ironically, Kaye himself was inciting mass fears of a devilish Red Menace bent on world domination. As Iocovetta said, Kaye’s work “reflected the anxieties and hysteria of Canada’s political and social elites.”93

Gatekeepers, Spies and Terrorists

Kaye epitomised the state’s post-WWII “gatekeepers” who strived to force newcomers into the mould of antiCommunism. Iocovetta notes that while Cold-War citizenship officials pretended to be “enlightened liberal integrationists who, unlike earlier assimilationists, would guide, not dictate, newcomers’ adaptation” to Canada, gatekeepers like Kaye shared the “ideological agenda of a ruling elite that encouraged new groups to ‘flourish’ so long as they did not threaten the authority of the dominant groups.” While bragging about “Canadian democracy” and “freedoms,” officials wanted “a loyal and obedient citizenry.” To get this they urged “Canadians and newcomers...to spy on neighbours and help quash signs of dissent.”94

And “spy” they did. For example, an RCMP informant, spying on a meeting at the Toronto Labour Temple in 1949, described AUUC efforts to stem the tide of fascist Ukrainians.95 Although between 1920 and 1945, immigration officials rejected most east Europeans, in the late 1940s and early 1950s, gatekeepers allowed 30,000 to 37,500 largely ultraright, antiSoviet Ukrainians to enter Canada.96

Lobbying for this mass influx was Canada’s Ukrainian Right, which informed the Liberal government that: “These displaced persons, if assisted to settle in Canada, would spearhead the movement and combat Communism.”97 And “combat” they did.  Luciuk describes their welcomed impact on Ukrainian Canadian socialists:

        "Canada’s civil servants and gatekeepers... had certain expectations about the role these militantly anticommunist and anti-Soviet political refugees would play in undermining the influence of the Ukrainian Canadian Left. Their presumption was well founded, and they were...well served, for shortly after the displaced persons began arriving..., these ‘newcomers’ actively challenged pro-Soviet groups like the Association of United Ukrainian Canadians [AUUC].”98

Fresh from the Nazi’s unfinished, antiRed war in Europe, some ultraright Ukrainian newcomers were open to using violence. On Thanksgiving Sunday 1950, the Toronto Labour Temple was bombed during a children’s concert. The attack leveled part of the hall, injured eleven, and coincided with an AUUC campaign to stop the immigration of far-right Ukrainians.99

Scared that involvement in “the Left might well endanger life and limb,” and “increasingly worried about the RCMP, which, allegedly, was collaborating with the Ukrainian nationalists, sheltering them from exposure,” many left the AUUC in “fear of falling prey to terrorism.” The government, said Luciuk, allowed “nationalists a chance to emasculate their opponents,” and “debilitate... that element within the Ukrainian Canadian society which had long represented nothing but trouble for the authorities.”100

While the post-war incursion of ultranationalists had a terrifyingly malevolent impact on Canada’s Ukrainian Left, it was a godsend for the Right. The influx swelled their antiCommunists’ ranks, breathed life into the government-created UCC, and fuelled Cold War phobias.

 

Nazi Veterans in CanadaNazi SS Veterans come to Canada

Canada’s postWWII newcomers included thousands of Ukrainian veterans from military formations tied to Nazism. These groups, still venerated by Canada’s Ukrainian Right, are now listed as national members of the UCC: (1) The “Society of Veterans of Ukrainian Insurgent Army–UPA [Ukrayins’ka Povstans’ka Armiya]” (see pp.44-45 "Glorifying Ukrainian-Canadian Veterans of OUN/UPA Terrorism") and, (2) The “Brotherhood of Veterans 1st Division UNA [Ukrainian National Army] National HQ.”101 (See pp.48-49 “Waffen SS Galician Division Revered by Canada’s Ukrainian Right.”)

The irreconcilable split between the Right and Left camps of Ukrainian Canadians peaked in 1950, when the UCC and AUUC fought over Canada’s admission of thousands of veterans from the 14th Waffen Grenadier Division of the SS (1st Galician). This Nazi SS Division is what the UCC now euphemistically calls the “1st Division UNA.” This whitewashed name was only given to the Galician SS on April 25, 1945, a mere 13 days before its surrender to the Allies.102

After WWII, while most of the 15,000 captured Galician-SS soldiers were interned by British forces at a camp in Rimini, Italy, thousands were in US camps in Germany and Austria. Although the US freed its share of these Nazi veterans in 1947, Britain moved its 8,000 Ukrainian SS veterans to the UK.103

In 1946, Canadian and British political, military and intelligence officials allowed UCC president Kushnir to visit interned Galician SS veterans in Europe. The UCC campaign to bring these veterans to Canada was opposed by the AUUC which called them “war criminals” and “former collaborators with German occupation authorities.”104 The Canadian Jewish Congress also denounced this flood of former SS soldiers.

In 1950, the Liberals opened Canada’s gates to welcome between 1,200 and 2,000 veterans of the Waffen-SS Galician Division.105 This was heralded as a humanitarian victory by Canada’s Ukrainian Right, which still continues to salute these veterans as heroes of the noble, antiCommunist crusade for Ukrainian nationhood. 

The repeated mantra of Ukrainian nationalists is that the Galician SS did not aid the Nazis but merely fought Canada’s Soviet allies in order to gain Ukrainian freedom from the evils of communism. They were, as Myroslav Yurkevich put it, “anti-Soviet, not pro-Nazi.” To prove this, Yurkevich (senior editor of the Canadian Institute of Ukrainian Studies at the University of Alberta) quoted from Galician-SS recruitment bulletins calling for the destruction of “the Bolshevik monster, which is insatiably drinking our people’s blood.” Yurkevich said this rhetoric was “inflated, but...perfectly accurate.”106

 No one disputes the antiRed credentials of the Galician SS or its Ukrainian Canadian admirers. At issue are the vehement denials of those who blindly refuse to see that this Nazi SS division was “pro-Nazi.” A concerted effort is required to remain unconscious of this obvious reality.  As Rudling says, Canada’s Ukrainian Right has “an ideological narrative, based upon selectivity, omission, and focusing on (and inflating) crimes committed by others against [their]... imagined community.” Such mythmaking, he says, “passes over in silence atrocities committed by the OUN, UPA, Waffen-SS Galizien, and other Ukrainian armed forces in the service of Nazi Germany.”107

Stuart T. Wood, RCMP Commissioner (1938-51)

The Cold War
Profunc: Internment/Surveillance

While the 1945 armistice ended WWII, it did not stop the war against communism that the Nazis had spearheaded. Although Canada’s Soviet allies suffered 30 million deaths, and the Red Army was instrumental in defeating fascism, the USSR and communism in general was soon rebranded as the West’s worst enemies.

Throughout the Cold War, the Ukrainian Canadian Left was continuously targeted for surveillance and internment.  In contrast, the Ukrainian Right continued to receive the very generous support of its allies withinthe Canadian government.

In 1950, while the UCC rejoiced that Mackenzie King’s Liberal government had released thousands of Ukrainian SS veterans from UK internment camps by granting them Canadian citizenship, it began a top-secret plan to intern thousands of Canadian citizens who were active in the AUUC and other left-leaning groups.

This long-hidden, Cold-War program was in operation from 1950 until the early 1980s. Each year during those decades, successive Liberal and Conservative governments tasked the RCMP to prepare detailed lists of Canadians who were to be rounded up in case of war, insurrection, public disorder or some vague “national emergency.”  Underpinning this government program of mass captivity was the notorious War Measures Act of 1914.

  The program’s name was Profunc, a contraction of “prominent functionaries.” Although usually described as a plan to intern Communist Party (CP) leaders, it was much more. The government’s sights were aimed not just at top CP officials, or even key activists in what RCMP functionaries called “the Communist movement.” Profunc used the Red Scare as a pretext to monitor tens of thousands of people involved in peace, solidarity, labour and other issues. (For examples, see pp.7 and 35.)  In short, Profunc was not just about interning top Communists, it was about spying on and subverting a large social movement.

In a “Top Secret” 1950 letter describing Profunc’s origins, RCMP Commissioner S.T.Wood told Liberal Justice Minister Stuart Garson that in case of war,

     "the first task of this Force [i.e., the RCMP] is a colossal one in that we must detain or maintain surveillance over approximately 16,000 Communist Party members, and something over 50,000 sympathizers.”108

For decades, even before Profunc, the Mounties had been amassing thousands of files on the radical Left.  “The PROFUNC program was not created out of thin air,” said the CP in 2010, “it was a more organized and sweeping version of earlier repression.”  Putting Profunc into its historical context, it noted that the

     "mass suppression of civil rights and democratic freedoms has been a constant political factor from the origins of this country. The military defeat of the Métis resistance struggles, the War Measures Act, the mass internments of ethnic groups during the First and Second World Wars, relentless police attacks against the labour movement.... [F]rom its very beginnings, the Canadian capitalist state has used the police, military, courts and spy agencies against its ‘enemies.’”109

To create Profunc, the RCMP used their files on those “known or suspected to be part of the Communist movement.” From these files they selected those to “be considered for internment should a national emergency demand this action.” The RCMP initially used a “card index system” that “listed and graded” activists “according to their importance in the movement.” This system for “carding” Communists, “subversives” and their “sympathesizers,” evolved into “the Profunc system.” In a “Top Secret” 1957 document about Profunc, the RCMP said “the object of the system is to eventually card every known and suspected subversive in Canada over and above these prominent functionaries.”110

Ottawa-based historian John Clearwater, who uncovered the Profunc files, said that when the plan began in 1948, the Liberal cabinet’s defence committee suggested interning 2,500.111 At its peak (1954-1962), annual lists “approved” for internment, averaged 2,700 names.  The RCMP also created annual lists of activists for whom not enough evidence existed to justify their internment. For example, in 1954, the Profunc list had 6,558 names, but only 2,710 of these were to be rounded up.112

Under Profunc, the RCMP planned to strike a sudden blow against the radical Left by carrying out mass arrests across Canada. Thousands were to be taken from their homes and forcibly interned on “M-Day,” or “Mobilization Day.”113 Activists were not targeted for committing any crimes. They were to be held captive—indefinitely and without trial—for their legal political beliefs and actions.  Those who resisted would face severe discipline and could be shot dead if trying to escape.

Profunc also specified which groups would be banned. First on the list was the Communist Party of Canada. Since its creation in the early 1920s, it consisted largely of Ukrainians, Finns and Jews. The Quebec party, and the Young Communist Leagues, were likewise outlawed. Profunc also targeted four so-called “Front Organizations” and seventeen “Ethnic Organizations.” All were to be outlawed during a war, or vaguely-defined emergency.

Profunc’s alphabetical listing of “Ethnic Organizations” was bookended by two leftwing Ukrainian groups. The first was the AUUC, while the last was the Workers’ Benevolent Association (WBA). Created in 1922 by the AUUC’s forerunner, the WBA provided health insurance, a retirement home and an orphanage for its members. Although “frowned on” by Canada’s Communist Party, which said “such tactics would undermine the class struggle by placating the working class,” the Ukrainian Left “continued to promote and expand”114 the WBA. The WBA grew beyond its Ukrainian roots in Manitoba to include Russians, Ruthenians and Poles in six provinces. By 1963, when the WBA was joined by the Independent Mutual Benefit Federation (IMBF), it also had Czechs, Hungarians and Slovaks.115 (The IMBF was also on Profunc’s list of “subversive” groups to be banned.)

Profunc also targeted specific “Ethnic Organizations” for Canadian leftists of Bulgarian, Finnish, German, Jewish, Lithuanian, Macedonian, Polish and Russian heritage.116 Since the early 1900s, Ukrainian socialists had worked on many progressive campaigns with these same radical groups and their forerunners.

Leftwing Ukrainians also found their way onto Profunc lists through activism in what the RCMP labelled “Front Groups.” For example, in 1950 the AUUC helped found the Canadian Peace Congress. The AUUC describes it as having emerged in the 1950s as “one the strongest and most consistent supporters of the peace movement.”117  However, because the Peace Congress included communists, many progressives were loath to support it. For example, the NDP’s predecessor, the Co-operative Commonwealth Federation (CCF), had—since its creation under leader J.S. Woodsworth—opposed all co-operation with any groups linked to communists. The CCF executive told its members that they could not also belong to the Peace Congress.  They also threatened disciplinary action against any CCF members who signed the Helsinki Peace Appeal.  This international petition circulated by the Peace Congress in 1950, demanded a worldwide ban of all nuclear weapons and said their “first use” should be treated as a war crime.118  With AUUC help, the Peace Congress gathered 300,000 Canadian signatories. (Of the 400 million who eventually signed the Appeal, most were citizens of the USSR, China and eastern Europe.)119

Other so-called “Front Groups” that were on Profunc’s radar also benefited from the Ukrainian Left’s strong support.  For example, the Congress of Canadian Women (CCW), like the Peace Congress, was created in 1950, promoted anti-war initiatives and had key AUUC activists. Thanks to the CCW’s ties to the AUUC, said historian Rhonda Hinther, “a unique brand of feminism emerged influenced by Progressive Ukrainian women’s experiences with class and gender roles.”120

Among the CCW’s feminists was Mary Kardash. She was a communist and a leading voice in ULFTA and the AUUC, like her father Myron Kostaniuk. (In 1940, Mary wed Bill Kardash, a wounded Spanish Civil War vet who was Winnipeg North’s Communist Party MPP between 1941 and 1958. Mary too was elected as a Communist Party politician.  She represented Winnipeg North on the Winnipeg School Board for almost all of the years between 1960 and 1986.121)

Mary KardashMary Kardash was also among the progressive Ukrainians who worked with the Canada-USSR Association, another so-called “Front Group” pegged for surveillance and internment by Profunc.  She was on the National Council of the Canadian Soviet Friendship Society and a key activist in its Winnipeg branch in the early 1950s. Besides including communists, it also had members from “many... ‘progressive, ethnic’ groups” such as the AUUC, the United Jewish People’s Order, the Federation of Russian Canadians and the Finnish Organization of Canada.122 All of these groups were on Profunc’s list of “Ethnic Organizations” to be watched and interned.

Throughout the Cold War, progressive Ukrainians remained in Profunc’s crosshairs.  But, by the mid-1970s, the RCMP’s Security Service (SS) had a plan to replace Profunc with the “Special Identification Program” (SIP) which it said  was

     "a system of identification through which...those persons and organizations that pose a threat to Canada’s internal security...can be immediately immobilized during times of national or international emergency.”

The idea was to “immobilize” (i.e., intern) dissidents during “an attack or other hostile action against Canada by a foreign power,” or “an insurrection, apprehended insurrection or widespread public disorder in Canada.”123   Dovetailing with the War Measures Act, SIP used the fear of an emergency—whether real or imagined—as a pretext for the mass roundup of progressives seen as potential enemies of the state.

Internment is Dead,
Long Live Internment

In terms of the laws and institutions used to spy on and “immobilize” Canadian activists, the 1980s was a period of great flux, at least on paper. Profunc seems to have been replaced by SIP around 1983.  A year later, the RCMP’s “countersubversion” and “national security” roles were absorbed by the newly-formed Canadian Security Intelligence Service.  At that time, tens of thousands of secret RCMP files were transferred to the National Archives. These files, dealing largely with surveillance of the radical Left, now occupy more than a kilometre of the Archives’ shelf space.

In 1988, Canada’s 1914 War Measures Act was finally replaced by the Emergencies Act.  Despite this, Canada’s top-secret security elites did not really change their spots. Neither is it likely that Canada’s new spy agency replaced the red spots which had long occupied the centre of the RCMP’s political, target sheets.

While Canada’s Emergencies Act specifically prohibits “detention, imprisonment or internment...on the basis of race, national or ethnic origin, colour, religion, sex, age or mental or physical disability,”124 it does not rule out “politics” as an acceptable basis for interning Canadians.

Adding to this legal framework to allow politically-based internment is Canada’s so-called “AntiTerrorism Act,” which became law in June 2015. Like the 1914 War Measures Act, Conservatives passed Bill C-51 with the overwhelming support of Liberal Party MPs. Under this new law, “terrorism” is rendered to include “interference with the...economic or financial stability of Canada.”  This equates terrorism with Aboriginal, labour, peace and/or eco-activists whose efforts “interfere” with the profitability of arms bazaars, oil/gas pipelines, the Tar Sands, or any other harmful manifestation of corporate capitalism.

Canada’s new law also specifically targets anyone who is “unduly influencing a government” by “unlawful means.”125 As such, nonviolent protests in the tradition of Gandhi and Martin Luther King Jr., as well as native blockades and “unlawful” labour actions—could put totally peaceful activists into the crosshairs for pre-emptive arrest, as if they were terrorists.

Many Ukrainian leftists opposed Bill C-51, and the AUUC opened its Labour Temples to those organising against this latest state obsession with curbing civil liberties to protect corporate power. For example, Wilfred Szczesny, a 55-year veteran of the AUUC, who is editor-in-chief of its paper and the CEO of Ontario’s Communist Party, was instrumental in planning a Toronto protest on the National Day of Action against Bill C-51 in March 2015.

Rather than opposing Bill C-51, the UCC demanded that the government use the Anti-Terrorism Act to fight Ukraine’s proRussian separatists. The UCC website’s only mention of Canada’s new law is an “Urgent Call to Action!” to “Stop Terrorism in Ukraine!” This UCC demand, made in July 2014, stated that “Canada must immediately give military equipment and training to Ukraine” and use the Act to stop “Kremlin-backed terrorist activity.”126

In April 2015, the UCC “applauded” Canada’s promise to join the US in aiding Ukraine’s far-right, coup-installed regime with military hardware, and by deploying warships for provocative NATO exercises, and sending 200 troops to train Ukraine’s Army and National Guard.127  The latter in particular contains antiSemitic, neoNazi and white-supremacist fighters tied to two of Ukraine’s extremist parties: Svoboda (formerly the “Social-National Party”) and Right Sector.

During its 2014 Independence Day Celebration in Toronto, the UCC facilitated fundraising for Ukraine’s far-right, anticommunist paramilitary forces by allowing a Right Sector booth staffed by camouflage-clad militants.  Decorated with images of OUN leader Stepan Bandera, the booth’s goal included funding the purchase of weapons for their warriors.128 This UCC event, featuring speeches by Ontario’s Liberal Premier and the Tory Minister of Immigration, was attended by then-Toronto Mayor Rob Ford and NDP mayoral candidate Olivia Chow, the widow of Jack Layton. Such multiparty support for UCC events reflects the fact that mainstream Canadian political parties are courting the vote of ultraright Ukrainian nationalists.

The UCC also works closely with Army SOS, a group that has raised more than $1 million for Ukraine’s war effort.  It has admitted funded aerial drones, Humvee jeeps and “parts for sniper rifles and trip-wire detonators”129 for use by Ukrainian soldiers and volunteer militias.

In contrast, the AUUC has opposed all support for the warfighting goals of Ukraine’s “far right,” which it calls “a serious threat.”  Its National Executive has called on Western governments:

     "to stop encouraging, aiding and abetting the far-right groups in Ukraine. A fascist Ukraine will pose no less a danger to the world than did Nazi Germany, also encouraged by western countries for many of the same reasons, including the expectation that it would be a weapon aimed eastward.”130

UCC president Paul Grod praised “Canada’s leadership as Ukraine’s greatest supporter” and “staunchest international champion.” But this, he said, “will not be enough.”131  The UCC has repeatedly asked Canada to also provide lethal weapons to Ukraine.132  In June 2015, the Conservatives declared their interest in selling prohibited weapons to Ukraine, such as automatic assault rifles.133  Then, during the 2015 election, the government assured the UCC that if re-elected they would allow these weapons exports.134

The Liberal government has been vague about whether it will follow through on Conservative promises to allow prohibited arms sales to Ukraine. (During the election, the Liberals and NDP both agreed to honour similar contracts with Saudi Arabia.) Responses from Canada’s four main parties to UCC election-campaign questions show more similarities than differences. In fact, they answered almost identically on more than two thirds of the questions.135 All four parties share the UCC’s bellicose antiRussian narratives and its ardent anticommunism. For example, there is all-party support for having a “Victims of Communism” monument in Ottawa.  Considering this political unity, Canada’s UCC-friendly foreign policies are likely to continue apace under the Liberals. 

Norman Bethune's diagnosis

Dictating the Narrative on Ukrainian Internment

Government support for the UCC is well-illustrated by their joint effort to frame the narrative around Canada’s WWI-era internment policies. During the 2014 centenary of WWI, 100 official plaques were unveiled to remember Canada’s internment camps. This resulted from efforts that began after the “Internment of Persons of Ukrainian Origin Recognition Act” was passed in 2005.  This law named the UCC, the Ukrainian Canadian Civil Liberties Association (UCCLA) and another nationalist Ukrainian-Canadian group as co-partners in a $10-million, state-funded “public education” program.136  With unanimous support from the Liberals and the NDP, the law excluded the Ukrainian Left from the process. This belittled the AUUC’s historic importance and sidelined its input into crafting the official rendition of events.

The media gatekeeper for this project, Prof. Lubomyr Luciuk of the Royal Military College (RMC) in Kingston Ontario, is the UCCLA’s former president, chair and research director.  He has engaged in “continuous championship” of the Nazi-linked OUN(B), UPA and Waffen-SS Galician Division.137 (According to Luciuk, his father was “covertly provisioning” OUN(B) units and “providing security” for their headquarters during WWII. Luciuk’s mother was “secretary and courier for the nationalist leadership” of the OUN.138)

Luciuk’s RMC credentials have long been enlisted to shepherd the official narrative on WWI-era internment. (Canada’s Parliament created the RMC in 1874 to provide training in “military tactics, fortification, [and] engineering.”139 Appropriately, the military—for whom Luciuk works—designed, fortified, engineered and staffed Canada’s prison camps with guards and commanders, not only during WWI and WWII, but during the 1930’s  forced-labour, “Relief Camps” as well.)

The Ukrainian Canadian effort to secure financing from the government to redress WWI internment, began in earnest during the late 1980s after Japanese Canadians reached a settlement with the Mulroney government for their internment in WWII. In 1988, AUUC activist Wilfred Szczesny, though agreeing that the government should apologise, said that channelling compensation payments through the UCC would be a “travesty of justice”:

     "The Ukrainian Canadian Committee, apparently, is starting with an initial request for a grant exceeding half a million dollars just to research the whole question. This is the same UCC that discriminates against a significant section of the Ukrainian Canadian community, the same UCC some of whose members think that Ukrainian Canadian history starts after their arrival following World War Two, the same UCC whose constituent organizations fell under the control of the post-WWII immigrants and set about excluding (by expulsion or derision) the very part of the community (that is, the earlier immigrants) whose cause they have now supposedly begun to champion. To charge the UCC with the administration of a compensation payment to the community would indeed be a travesty of the justice.”140

The UCC, which calls itself “the voice of Canada’s Ukrainian community,” states unequivocally that it “brings together under one umbrella all the national, provincial and local Ukrainian Canadian organizations.” The UCC also claims that it “represents the Ukrainian Canadian community,” and that it “has been leading, coordinating and representing the interests of one of Canada’s largest ethnic communities (1.2 million) for 70 years.”141 Clearly however, the UCC has never represented socialist-minded Ukrainian groups like the AUUC, but has done its utmost to work with government to deride and derail them.

The government’s 2005 “Recognition” Act, while providing public recognition and support to the UCC and other nationalist Ukrainian organizations, has also served to consolidate the official narrative on WWI internment. The Act’s stated purpose is to promote “public understanding of...the consequences of ethnic, religious or racial intolerance and discrimination.”142 While this sounds progressive, it turns our gaze away from the important role of class, economics and politics in targeting Ukrainians for internment during the WWI/Red Scare era. The Act’s narrative ignores the fact that almost all internees were unemployed, working-class east European men who had been forced into Canadian cities by the economic recession of 1913-1915.

AngloProtestant elites were extremely fearful that these men, largely Ukrainians, were ripe for radicalisation by dangerous alien agitators seeking a socialist revolution. Driven by their growing phobia that anticapitalist labour organisers, antiImperialists and anti-war activists were a dire threat to the established order, Canadian authorities used WWI as a convenient pretext to round up thousands of people whom they considered potential enemies of the state. The elite’s virulent antiRed phobia—which had been cultivated even before WWI by narrative gatekeepers in the Social-Gospel tradition—grew to a feverish pitch after Russia’s 1917 Bolshevik revolution. This Canadian psychopathy was acted out in a war to physically contain radicals, not only in forced labour camps on the homefront, but overseas with the allied military invasion to contain the spread of revolution in Soviet Russia (1919-1921). By that time, the elite’s antiRed phobia had gone viral and Canada’s polite mainstream society was taken hostage by an ideological framework that has now lingered for almost a century.

Since before WWI, the Ukrainian Canadian Left has struggled not only against state-sanctioned witch hunts by xenophobic, AngloProtestant elites, but also against ultranationalist Ukrainians who share the establishment’s rabid fear of socialism, especially in its untamed atheist and anticapitalist iterations.

Ukrainian Canadian radicals have also had to contend with the ethnocentrism of leftleaning progressives. Despite its good qualities, the Social Gospel—which dominated Canada’s early mainstream progressive culture—was preoccupied by missionary ambitions such as the Canadianisation, civilisation and Christianisation of “strangers,” including First Nations. Social Gospellers helped vilify newcomers, especially Ukrainians who had escaped the repression of imperial monarchies, and were framed as godless, socialist radicals. The Social Gospel’s righteous narratives of assimilation were key to the regressive process that enabled good, well-meaning citizens to blindly accept the injustice of internment, just as they had worked so diligently to facilitate the mass captivity and cultural genocide of Aboriginal peoples who they saw as barriers to progress.

By partnering with the Ukrainian Right to memorialise WWI internment, the government has effectively whitewashed Canada’s persecution of radical socialists. Their alliance has ensured that the official story covers up embarrassing references to the political and class phobias that helped form the Canadian state’s real reasons for repeatedly interning leftwing radicals.

To render an alternative version of this history, the Canadian Society for Ukrainian Labour Research sponsored a public symposium in June 2015, on “Civilian Internment in Canada.” Held at the AUUC’s Winnipeg Labour Temple, the event linked WWI and WWII internment with the 1970 October Crisis, the War on Terror, eco-protests and the mass arrests of activists at global summits held in Canada.  By bringing together these renditions of history, the Ukrainian Canadian Left has helped to build a counternarrative about the ongoing crimes of mass captivity that have long permeated our so-called “Peaceable Kingdom.”


References/Notes

1.   Orest T.Martynowych, “Sympathy for the Devil: The Attitude of Ukrainian War Veterans in Canada to Nazi Germany and the Jews, 1933-1939,” in Rhonda Hinther and Jim Mochoruk (eds.) Re-Imagining Ukrainian Canadians: History, Politics, and Identity, 2011, p.173.

     http://books.google.ca/books?id=H1Rb6Owne6gC

2.   Peter Krawchuk, Our History: The Ukrainian Labour-Farmer Movement in Canada, 1907-1991, 1996.

     http://www.socialisthistory.ca

3.   Orest T.Martynowych, Village Radicals and Peasant Immigrants: The Social Roots of Factionalism among Ukrainian Immigrants in Canada, 1896-1918, 1978. (MA thesis, Univ. of Manitoba)

     http://www.collectionscanada.gc.ca/obj/s4/f2/dsk2/ftp04/MQ36804.pdf

4.   Martynowych, Op. cit., 1978, passim.

5.   Krawchuk, Op. cit.

6.   Orest T.Martynowych, Ukrainian Section of the Socialist Party of Canada/Social Democratic Party of Canada, undated, p.1.

     http://umanitoba.ca

7.   Krawchuk, Op. cit.

8.   Ukrainians in Canada, Immigration and Settlement patterns, p.3.

     http://www.ucc.ca/ukrainians-in-canada/

9.   Krawchuk, Op. cit.

10.   William Walling, The Socialism of To-Day, 1916, p.238.

     http://www.forgottenbooks.com/readbook_text/The _Socialism_of_To-Day_1000226794/253

11.   Martynowych, Op. cit., undated, p.2.

12.   Don Avery, “Ethnic and Class Tensions in Canada, 1918-20: Anglo-Canadians and the Alien Worker,” J.H.Thompson and F.Swyripa (eds.), Loyalties in Conflict: Ukrainians in Canada during the Great War, 1983, p.83.

     http://books.google.ca/books?id=OyuRz9ov2g0C

13.   Orest T.Martynowych and Nadia Kazymyra, “Political Activity in Western Canada, 1896-1923,” in Manoly Lupul (ed.), A Heritage in Transition, 1982, p.93.

     http://umanitoba.ca

14.   Ross McCormack, Reformers, Rebels and Revolutionaries: The Western Cdn. Radical Movement, 1899-1919, 1991, p.134.

     http://books.google.ca/books?id=qixxVyYBVVAC

15.   Ivan Stefanitsky, Hromadskyi holos, September 2, 1914.  In Krawchuk, Op. cit.

16.   Ukrainian Heritage Day

     http://www.ucc.ca/wp-content/uploads/2011/08/Ukrainian-Heritage-Day-Program.pdf

17.   Hansard, January 27, 2014.

     http://www.parl.gc.ca

18.   Pastoral Letter, Bishop N.Budka, July 27, 1914, The Times, Documentary History of the War, Overseas-Part 1, 1918, p.231.

     http://scans.library.utoronto.ca

19.   Budka’s Second Pastoral, Ibid., p.244.

20.   Krawchuk, Op. cit.

21.   Donald Avery, “The Radical Alien and the Winnipeg General Strike of 1919,” in Laurel S.MacDowell and Ian Radforth (eds.), Canadian Working-Class History: Selected Readings, 2006, p.230.

     http://books.google.ca/books?id=ihgsA_3DEgYC

22.   Ernest Chambers to Martin Burrell, Sept. 20, 1918. Cited by Don Avery, “Ethnic and Class Tensions in Canada, 1918-20: Anglo-Canadians and the Alien Worker,” in Thompson and Swyripa, Op. cit., p.91.

23.   Avery 2006, pp.216-217.

24.   Avery 1983, p.91.

25.   Orest Martynowych, “Introduction,” Pro- phets and Proletarians: Documents on the History of the Rise and Decline of Ukrainian Communism in Canada, 1990, p.xvii.

26.   Martynowych, Op. cit., undated, p.5.

27.   About AUUC

     http://www.auuc.ca/about.htm

28.   Bob Ivanochko, “Ukrainian Labour Farmer Temple Association,” Encyclopedia of Saskatchewan.

     http://esask.uregina.ca

29.   Gen.Andrew McNaughton, who became Canada’s Minister of Defence (1944-1945) and Ambassador to the UN (1948-1949), was the paternal grandfather of Lt.Gen.Andrew Leslie, who became Trudeau’s military policy advisor in 2013 and is now an MP and Liberal Party whip.

30.   Canada: A People’s History, Vol.2

     http://books.google.ca/books?id=2fcXAAAAYAAJ

31.   In Jean Barman, The West Beyond the West: A History of British Columbia, 1991.

     http://books.google.ca/books?id=JbYe6fCOSTAC

32.   Finlayson to A.E.Millar, Oct. 6, 1933. Bennett Papers. In Brown, When Freedom was Lost: The Unemployed, the Agitator and the State. p.49.

33.   Ronald Liversedge, Recollections of the On to Ottawa Trek, 1973, p.43.

     http://books.google.ca/books?isbn=0773583068

34.   Irene Howard, “The Mothers Council of Vancouver: Holding the Fort for the Unemployed, 1935-1938, BC Studies, Spring-Summer 1986, p.283.

     http://ojs.library.ubc.ca/index.php/bcstudies/article/viewFile/1234/1278

35.   Martynowych, Op. cit., 2011, p.174.

36.   Novyi shliakh, April 25, 1933. Cited by Martynowych, Op. cit., 2011, p.181.

37.   Watson Kirkconnell, Canada, Europe and Hitler, 1939, pp.86, 142.

     http://books.google.ca/books?id=meRmAAAAMAAJ

38.   Mary Cherneskey and Vera Labach, “Nation Builders,” UCC, 1998.

     http://ucc.sk.ca/oldsite/programs/nbuilders/1998/

39.   Cherneskey and Labach, Op. cit.

40.   Watson Kirkconnell, The Ukrainian Canadians and the War, 1940, p.24.

     http://diasporiana.org.ua/wp-content/uploads/books/9284/file.pdf

41.   Watson Kirkconnell, “Communism in Canada and the USA,” Cdn. Catholic Historical Assoc., Report, 1947-1948, p.41.

     http://www.cchahistory.ca/journal/CCHA1947-48/Kirkconnell.pdf

42.   Watson Kirkconnell, Our Ukrainian Loyalists: the Ukrainian Canadian Committee, 1943, p.26.

     http://multiculturalcanada.ca/node/260966

43.   Cited by Per Anders Rudling, “Theory and Practice. Historical representation of the wartime accounts of the activities of the OUN-UPA,” East European Jewish Affairs, December 2006, p.168.

     http://www.academia.edu/380654

44.   Ibid., p.167

45.   Grzegorz Rossolinski, Stepan Bandera: Life & Afterlife of a Ukrainian Nationalist: Fascism, Genocide & Cult, 2014, p.74.

     http://books.google.ca/books?id=SFH_BgAAQBAJ

46.   Ukrainian War Veterans Assoc. of Canada

     http://unfcanada.ca/uwva

47.   Anton Shekhovtsov, “By Cross and Sword: ‘Clerical Fascism’ in Interwar Western Ukraine,” in M.Feldman, Marius Turda, Tudor Georgescu (eds.), Clerical Fascism in Interwar Europe, 2008, p.64.

     http://books.google.ca/books?id=KcfhAQAAQBAJ

48.   Martynowych, Op. cit., 2011, p.198.

49.   Ibid., p.191.

50.   Ibid., p.182.

51.   Ibid., pp.190-191.

52.   RCMP Report, Mar. 26, 1935, “ULFTA Mass Organizations Convention Winnipeg,” in Rhonda Hinther, “Sincerest Revolutionary Greetings”: Progressive Ukrainians in Twentieth Century Canada, 2005, p.73. (PhD thesis, MacMaster, History).

     http://macsphere.mcmaster.ca/handle/11375/14231

53.   Ibid., pp.73-74.

54.   Diaries of W.L.Mackenzie King, Sept. 27-28, 1928 (on Mussolini) and June 23-29, 1937 (on Hitler, Göring and von Neurath).

55.   Defence of Canada Regulations (DCR), Section 21(1), p.29.

     http://archive.org/stream/defenceofcanadar1939cana

56.   Reg Whitaker, “Official repression of Communism during World War II,” Labour, Spring 1986, p.156.

     http://journals.hil.unb.ca/index.php/LLT/article/view/2492/2895

57.   DCR, 1940, pp.46-47.

     http://archive.org/stream/defenceofcanadar1940cana

58.   Ibid., Section 21(1).

59.   Michelle McBride, From Indifference to internment: An examination of RCMP responses to Nazism and Fascism in Canada from 1934 to 1941, 1997, p.50. (MA, History, Memorial Univ., Newfoundland)

     http://www.collectionscanada.gc.ca/obj/s4/f2/dsk2/ftp04/mq23157.pdf

60.   Krawchuk, Op. cit., 1985.

61.   “Narodna hazeta,” Encyclopedia of Ukraine, Vol.3, 1993.

     http://www.encyclopediaofukraine.com

62.   Krawchuk, Op. cit., 1985.

63.   Ibid.

64.   Myron Kostaniuk, “Recollections from a Life of a Ukrainian Pioneer,” UC, Oct. 1990. Cited by Hinther Op. cit., p.82.

65.   Stacey Zembrzycki, Memory, Identity and the Challenge of Community Among Ukrainians in the Sudbury Region, 1901-1939, 2007, pp.233-236. (PhD, History, Carleton)

     http://pdf.library.laurentian.ca/DissTheses/Zembrzycki.pdf

66.   Kolasky, Op. cit., p.30.

67.   Reg Whitaker and Gregory Kealey, “A War on Ethnicity? The RCMP and Internment,” Enemies Within: Italian and Other Internees in Canada and Abroad, 2000.

     http://books.google.ca/books?id=4NmjeHDAyjMC

68.   John Herd Thompson, Ethnic Minorities During Two World Wars, 1991.

     http://www.collectionscanada.gc.ca/obj/008004/f2/E-19_en.pdf

69.   Krawchuk 1985, Op. cit.

70.   Whitaker, Op. cit, p.158.

71.   Krawchuk 1985, Op. cit.

72.   Help Canada to Do Justice! Toronto Star, May 5, 1943.

     http://historyofrights.ca/wp-content/uploads/documents/clat_petition_ukrainians.pdf

73.   Suzanne Holyck Hunchuck, A House like no other: An architectural and social history of the Ukrainian Labour Temple... Ottawa, 1923-1967, 2001, p.86. (MA thesis, Art History, Carleton University)

     http://curve.carleton.ca/da31d854-22fa-4958-9eda-f144ff8a2738

74.   Lubomyr Luciuk, Searching for Place: Ukrainian Displaced Persons, Canada, and the Migration of Memory, 2000, pp.38-39.

     http://books.google.ca/books?id=6srpcaGeuvcC

75.   Hansard, 1943, Vol.5, p.4848.

     http://books.google.ca/books?id=-0JOAAAAMAAJ

     Michael Martin, The Red Patch: Political Imprisonment in Hull, Quebec during World War II, 2007, p.133.

76.   About AUUC

     http://www.auuc.ca/about.htm

77.   Reg Whitaker, Op. cit., p.156.

78.   Ukrainians in Canada, Op. cit., pp.7-8.

79.   Krawchuk, Op. cit., 1985.

80.   Luciuk, Op. cit., p.34.

81.   Michael Petrowsky, “Secret RCMP Report on the United Hetman Organization of Canada,” Oct. 1941. Journal of Ukrainian Studies, Winter-Spring 2003, p.105.

     http://books.google.ca/books?id=sO0VAQAAMAAJ

82.   “Call for Alertness: Ukrainian Meet Warns of Communist Menace,” Winnipeg Free Press, December 12, 1949, p.3

     http://newspaperarchive.com/ca/manitoba/winnipeg/winnipeg-free-press/1949/12-12/page-3

83.   Wasyl Veryha, The Ukrainian Cdn. Cttee.: Its Origin and War Activity, 1967, pp.97,159. (MA thesis, History, Ottawa)

     http://www.ruor.uottawa.ca/bitstream/10393/21445/1/EC55314.PDF

84.   Franca Iacovetta, Gatekeepers: Reshaping Immigrant Lives in Cold War Canada, 2006.

     http://books.google.ca/books?id=2TrcBQAAQBAJ

85.   Watson Kirkconnell

     http://www.thecanadianencyclopedia.com

86.   Iacovetta, Op. cit., p.12.

87.   Orest Martynowych, “Vladimir J. (Kaye) Kysilewsky and the Ukrainian Bureau in London, 1931-1940,” Sept. 28, 2007, p.2.

88.    “Ukrainian Bureau,” March 9, 2011.

     http://www.ukrainiansintheuk.info

89.   Martynowych, Op. cit., 2007, p.13.

90.   Iacovetta, Op. cit., p.116.

91.   Ibid., p.80.

92.   Franca Iacovetta, “The Gatekeepers: Middle-Class Campaigns of Citizenship in Early Cold War Canada,” A.Ricardo López and Barbara Weinstein (eds.), The Making of the Middle Class, 2012, p.95.

     http://books.google.ca/books?id=Y-wPB0I-5yEC

93.   Franca Iocovetta, “Making Model Citizens: Gender, Corrupted Democracy, and Immigrant and Refugee Reception Work in Cold War Canada,” in Gary Kinsman, D.Buse, M.Steedman (eds.), Whose National Security?, 2000, pp.60-61.

     http://books.google.ca/books?id=2XBtBapxXrMC

94.   Franca Iocovetta, “A historian’s long view on multiculturalism: the limits of liberal pluralism in early Cold War Canada,” CanadaWatch, Fall 2009, p.15.

     http://robarts.info.yorku.ca/files/2012/03/CW_2009_Multiculturalism.pdf

95.   Rhonda Hinther, “Generation Gap: Canada’s Postwar Ukrainian Left,” in Hinther and Mochoruk, Op. cit., pp.35-36.

     http://books.google.ca/books?id=H1Rb6Owne6gC

96.   John-Paul Himka, “A Central European Diaspora under the Shadow of WWII: Galician Ukrainians in North America,” Austrian History Yearbook, 37, 2006, p.20

     http://www.timeandspace.lviv.ua/files/session/Himka_Central_European_Diaspora_65.pdf

97.   “Admission to Canada, Resolution, 24 May, 1948,” Dep’t of Citizenship and Emigration, in Rossolinski, Op. cit., p.314.

98. Luciuk, Op. cit., p.251.

99. Hinther and Mochoruk, Op. cit., p.238.

100. Luciuk, Op. cit., pp.253-254.

101. National Members

     http://www.ucc.ca/members/national-members/

102. Michal Šmigel and Aleksandr Cherkasov, “The 14th Waffen-Grenadier-Div. of the SS ‘Galizien No.1’ in Slovakia (1944-1945),” Bylye Gody, No.28(2), 2013, p.70.

     http://bg.sutr.ru/journals_n/1374766084.pdf

103. Roman Krawec, “Former soldiers of the Galicia Division,” Ukrainians in the UK

     http://www.ukrainiansintheuk.info

104. Vic Satzewich, The Ukrainian Diaspora: Global Diasporas, 2002, p.103.

     http://books.google.ca/books?id=SfWBAgAAQBAJ

105. Howard Margolian, Unauthorized Entry: The Truth about Nazi War Criminals in Canada, 1946-1956, 2000, p.132.

     http://books.google.ca/books?id=5fdmAAAAMAAJ

106. Myroslav Yurkevich, “Galician Ukrainians in Germany Military Formations,” in Yury Boshyk (ed.), Ukraine during WWII: History and its Aftermath, 1986, p.81.

     http://books.google.ca/books?id=YMk8366ZFQcC

107. Pers Ander Rudling, “‘The Honor They So Clearly Deserve’: Legitimizing the Waffen-SS Galizien,” Journal of Slavic Military Studies, 26:1, 2013, pp.136-137.

     http://www.academia.edu/2763263

108. Letter from S.T.Wood to Stuart Garson, (“Top Secret”), February 15, 1950.

     http://web.archive.org/web/www.cbc.ca/fifth/2010-2011_includes/episodes/enemiesofthestate/images/February%2015,%201950.pdf

109. “End the Policy of Mass Repression in Canada,” People’s Voice, Nov.1-15, 2010.

     http://www.peoplesvoice.ca/Pv01no10.html

110. “Re: Apprehension of Persons under the DOCR in the Event of War (Profunc System),” (“Top Secret”), July 26, 1957. In Profunc_11.pdf

     http://profunc.ca

111. “Historian uncovers secret prison camp,” Star Pheonix, November 6, 2006.               

112. “Profunc Statistics,” October 11, 1978. In Profunc_11.pdf, Op.cit.

113. Former Manitoba AG on secret internment list, CBC, October 15, 2010.

     http://www.cbc.ca

114. Hinther, Op. cit., p.64.

115. Workers Benevolent Assoc. of Canada

     http://www.archivescanada.ca

116. Profunc Manual (“Top Secret”), Jan. 26, 197, p.3. In Profunc_11.pdf, Op. cit.

117. About AUUC, Op. cit.

118. Anthony Mardiros, William Irvine: The Life of a Prairie Radical, 1979, p.229.

     http://books.google.ca/books?id=8aMLs5Gbq5wC

119. Stephen Endicott, James G.Endicott: Rebel Out of China, 2004, p.267.

120. Rhonda Hinther, Op. cit., p.199.

121. “They Fought Tirelessly for Working People,” People’s Voice, Oct. 1-15, 2011.

     http://www.peoplesvoice.ca/articleprint86

122. Jennifer Anderson, Propaganda and Persuasion in the Cold War: The Cdn. Soviet Friendship Society, 1949-1960, 2008, p.241. (MA thesis, History, Carleton.)

     http://www.curve.carleton.ca/theses/28113

123. Special Identification Program (“Secret”), Jan.10, 1977. In Profunc_04.pdf

     http://profunc.ca

124. Emergencies Act, p.1.

125. Bill C-51, June 18, 2015.

126. “Urgent Call to Action! Stop Terrorism in Ukraine!” July 23, 2014.

     http://www.ucc.ca/2014/07/23/

127. UCC Applauds Government of Canada Announcement of Training for Ukrainian Soldiers, April 14, 2015.

     http://www.ucc.ca/2015/04/14

128. Roger Annis, “Ukraine Independence Day celebration in Toronto features appeals favouring war and fundraising for fascism,” August 27, 2014.

     http://newcoldwar.org

129. Mark MacKinnon, “Bypassing official channels, Canada’s Ukrainian diaspora finances and fights a war against Russia,” Globe and Mail, February 26, 2015.

     http://www.theglobeandmail.com

130. “Statement from the AUUC National Executive Committee regarding the situation in Ukraine as of March 2, 2014”

     http://www.auuc.ca

131. Paul Grod, “Canadian Values are Ukrainian Values,” June 9, 2015.

     http://www.ucc.ca/2015/06/09

132. UCC Briefing Note: The Case for Military Assistance to Ukraine, Sept. 3, 2014.

     http://www.ucc.ca/wp-content/uploads/2014/09/NATO-BRIEFING-NOTE-UCC-Sept-3-2014.pdf

     "Ottawa open to giving Kiev military aid if consensus achieved among allies,”   Globe and Mail, February 11, 2015.

133. Consultation regarding the possible addition of Ukraine to the Automatic Firearms Country Control List, June 11, 2015.

     http://www.international.gc.ca/controls-controles/fire arms_armes_a_feu/afccl-consultation-lpdaa.aspx

134. Conservative Party Response to UCC Questionnaire, September 2015.

     http://www.ucc.ca/wp-content/uploads/2015/09/1-CPC-UCC-Questionnaire-Responses_04.pdf

135. Federal Party Leaders Respond to UCC Election Questions

     http://www.ucc.ca/2015/09/29

136. S.C. 2005, c.52, November 25, 2005.

     http://laws-lois.justice.gc.ca/PDF/I-20.8.pdf

137. Karyn Ball and Per Anders Rudling, “The Underbelly of Canadian Multiculturalism: Holocaust Obfuscation and Envy in the Debate about the Canadian Museum for Human Rights,” Holocaust Studies, Vol.20, Issue 3, 2014.

     http://www.academia.edu/12207336

138. Lubomyr Luciuk, “Remembering Danylo,” March 3, 2014.

     http://www.thewhig.com/2014/03/03/remembering-danylo

139. About the RMC of Canada              

     http://www.rmc.ca/about-apropos-eng.php

140. Wilfred Szczesny, “What Form of Redress?”  Ukrainian Canadian, Dec. 1988.

     http://www.infoukes.com/history/internment/booklet 02/doc-038.html

141. Who We Are, UCC website

     http://www.ucc.ca/about-ucc/who-we-are/

142. S.C. 2005, Op.Cit.

 

Regions: 
Timebandit

Richard, you shouldn't be posting whole articles. Give a brief quote and a link, and those who are interested will read it. It's not only big and unweildy to have that long a post, it's also not fair to the originating website who will not get the traffic from your link. There are also copyright issues. So please don't.

ikosmos ikosmos's picture

It's his own, brilliant article. He can do what he likes with it. No?

Timebandit

No.

Posts this size are generally frowned on for reasons I've outlined above. Additionally, if you're publishing lengthy articles on another site, reproducing them becomes spam, rather than promoting them with a brief quote and a link.

lagatta4

Contributors are supposed to send long articles to rabble to be published there. This is a longstanding etiquette issue, and a copyright issue. There should be a link - I'd prefer a printable one as although the subject interests me, there is no way I'm going to read something of that length onscreen.

Richard Sanders Richard Sanders's picture

I'd be interested to know what people think of the content of the article, not just whether people think i have a right to post it here or not. 

I have been posting my articles on this fourm because this is exacty what Rabble says it is for.

This discussion board, in case someone didn't notice is called "News by the rest of us"

The short and sweet blurb explaining the purpose of this particular forum says:

"You post your original article; we comment!"

You can read that blurb at the top of the list of articles
http://rabble.ca/babble/rabble-content/news-rest-us

as well as here at the page that introduces the discussion boards.

http://rabble.ca/babble

Not sure why i am wasting my time explaining this.  I will continue to post my articles here whether you like them or not.  Sorry.

As Rabble says, by way of explaining what this site is all about:

"...it's an online community for folks who just won't shut up"

Perhaps timebandit or lagatta can provide a source that says "news by the rest of us" is supposed to only have short blurbs linking to articles elsewhere.  If you have such a source, please provide it.

As for copyright issues, please feel free to quote from or circulate my article to other websites.  As i said at the top.

"If you quote this article, please cite the source above.  And, please consider subscribing, ordering a copy &/or donating. Thanks!"

Lagatta, as for a printer-friendly link, it is also included at the top of the article.  Here it is again...  print away...

pp.40-55

 

 

 

 

Unionist

Richard, thank you for this amazing account! It is one of many buried Canadian stories that must be told, especially because of events today and attempts to line us up behind imperialism of all sorts.

And thanks also for all your ongoing activism against the arms trade and in favour of peace!

 

Richard Sanders Richard Sanders's picture

thank you unionist and ikosmos for your very kind comments!  we all continue to plug away... 

the struggle continues, eh? even on rabble...

kropotkin1951 kropotkin1951's picture

Timebandit wrote:

Richard, you shouldn't be posting whole articles. Give a brief quote and a link, and those who are interested will read it. It's not only big and unweildy to have that long a post, it's also not fair to the originating website who will not get the traffic from your link. There are also copyright issues. So please don't.

Maybe you missed this part of the article.

Quote:

Issue #68 of Press for Conversion (Spring 2016), pp.40-55. Published by theCoalition to Oppose the Arms Trade (COAT).  If you quote this article, please cite the source above.  And, please consider subscribing, ordering a copy &/or donating. Thanks!

He is one of the driving forces behind COAT and I don't see any problem with him sharing the work it owns on this forum as well as its own originating website. It is very long and probably most people will not read it all but that is an individual choice.

Timebandit

Just making a point of order, and I'm not out of line to do so. If people are actually interested, they'll follow a link, too.

lagatta4

Thanks for the link.

NDPP

Thank you Richard. When Canadian progressives seem so prone to lose their way, as was the case with Libya, Ukraine and now Syria, such things are invaluable. Please keep on...

6079_Smith_W

As with your other works, I like the research, but I find I have to do my own work to sort out your alternate reality from what actually happened, and the things you leave out.

(and I see J.S. Woodsworth gets a mention here too as the bad guy who refused to let poor Mr. Penner out of the prison camp)

Anyone who was Orthodox or Catholic or Nationalist was right wing?

Anyone who fought in the war was an Imperialist?

There wasn't any reason for Ukrainian immigrants to be bitter about the Soviet Union?

This kind of takes me back to the 80s, and the attacks on revelations about the Ukrainian genocide, and that it was just a fascist hoax.

Though back then the official Soviet line was still to pretend that fascism never existed in Ukraine. Or anywhere else in their happy land.

Basically, your revelations about oppression by the government of Canada is valid. Trying to tar every Ukrainian person who was not communist with the same brush? Neither accurate nor fair.

Richard Sanders Richard Sanders's picture

You are using classic "straw man" arguments. 

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Straw_man

You pretend that I said a bunch of things, which I never said, and then you attack those things.

Why do you persist in doing this?

6079_Smith_W

The entire article is framed as a right-left schism along the lines of religion and nationalism, with the implication that one side of that was in alliance with the government of Canada's attack on communists, trade unionists, and war resistors.

In fact, most of those interned in the First World War wound up imprisoned because they tried to illegally cross the border into the states to find work, not because of party cards in their back pockets.

And just one specific example of what I was refering to:

Quote:

Canadian governments have also raved about the Ukrainian Right’s aid to imperialism.  In 2014, Chris Alexander, Canada’s first resident Ambassador to Afghanistan, stated that as Minister of Citizenship and Immigration, he was

     "very proud that in our Discover Canada guide...we recall that the first Victoria Cross anywhere in the British Empire awarded to one who was not born in that empire went to Corporal Filip Konowal, born in Ukraine, who showed exceptional courage in the battle of Hill 70 in 1917.”17

Why do I persist in doing this?

Look Richard,  I said I like the research, and I meant it. You generally mention a few things I was not aware of. But even on a first reading the biases are very clear. I haven't had a chance to dig into this one yet, but all of your pieces which I have read mixed truth with omissions, unfair associations, and misrepresentation.

That is why.

 

 

Richard Sanders Richard Sanders's picture

You say:

"In fact, most of those interned in the First World War wound up imprisoned because they tried to illegally cross the border into the states to find work, not because of party cards in their back pockets."

Where did you find this supposed "fact"?  it is not true.  You don't provide any sources to back up what you are saying, because there are no sources. Why do you do this? 

Of the almost 9000 Ukrainians that were interned I read of only a few hundred that were captured at the US border with Manitoba. I included that fact in my research.  As I recall there was only one incident of that; it was certainly unusual.  This was certainly NOT how "MOST" came to be interned. 

And the straw man comes up again in your argument.  I never said they all had "party cards in their back pocket."  I provide tons of evidence from the historical record to show that the Canadian government was scared of Reds and, in particular, they saw the young, single, recently-layed off Ukrainian men that were then congregating in Canada's urban centres as potential revolutionaries that threatened the Canadian establishment.  I have presented much evidence of this.

6079_Smith_W

I don't have primary sources; mine is Frances Swyripa's "Loyalties in Conflict". In the first chapter is points out that while yes, internment was originally intended to target people based on nationality and politics (the reason for my reference to party cards), what it became in practice was an attack on the poor.

She points out that there were almost daily reports of people arrested at Emerson, and sent to Brandon (her source there is the Manitoba Free Press). And her assessment that it was most of them was based on the first hand accounts she had. Even reporting to an agent that you wanted to go to the states could get you locked up, as could trying to send money to family overseas.

As for a presumed divide regarding those who enlisted, it was against the law for an AustroHungarian to enlist. Many did so, claiming to be Russian or Polish. But if they were caught they wound up in the camps. They weren't praised as good Imperialists, so they had no choice.

But here is another similar account I found online:

Quote:

Beneath the rhetoric of public security, the main cause of internment of Ukrainians was their vulnerable economic position in Canadian society. Already suffering the effects of the pre-war depression, "aliens" were particularly prone to being laid off as industry slackened and employers displayed patriotic preference for "Canadian labour." 6 Unemployment among Ukrainians in the West and in cities across the country was reaching critical proportions. Internment camps became one solution to the problem of destitution. At the end of the winter of 1914-15, there were some 4,000 indigent internees, three-quarters of whom were Austrians." 7

Many Ukrainians were interned for attempting to enter the United States, without required documents in search of work. 8 Simply stating one's "intention to go to the U.S. without permission" was sufficient for internment. 9 Internment operation files contain numerous additional reasons for internment: these included refusing or failing to register; breaking parole; destroying registration cards; travelling without permission; registering under a false name; writing to relatives in Austria, and status as Austrian reservists.

http://www.infoukes.com/history/internment/badly_treated_in_every_way/#F...

 

 

kropotkin1951 kropotkin1951's picture

6079_Smith_W wrote:

In fact, most of those interned in the First World War wound up imprisoned because they tried to illegally cross the border into the states to find work, not because of party cards in their back pockets.

Quote:

I don't have primary sources; mine is Frances Swyripa's "Loyalties in Conflict". In the first chapter is points out that while yes, internment was originally intended to target people based on nationality and politics (the reason for my reference to party cards), what it became in practice was an attack on the poor.

She points out that there were almost daily reports of people arrested at Emerson, and sent to Brandon (her source there is the Manitoba Free Press). And her assessment that it was most of them was based on the first hand accounts she had. Even reporting to an agent that you wanted to go to the states could get you locked up, as could trying to send money to family overseas.

As for a presumed divide regarding those who enlisted, it was against the law for an AustroHungarian to enlist. Many did so, claiming to be Russian or Polish. But if they were caught they wound up in the camps. They weren't praised as good Imperialists, so they had no choice.

But here is another similar account I found online:

Quote:

Beneath the rhetoric of public security, the main cause of internment of Ukrainians was their vulnerable economic position in Canadian society. Already suffering the effects of the pre-war depression, "aliens" were particularly prone to being laid off as industry slackened and employers displayed patriotic preference for "Canadian labour." 6 Unemployment among Ukrainians in the West and in cities across the country was reaching critical proportions. Internment camps became one solution to the problem of destitution. At the end of the winter of 1914-15, there were some 4,000 indigent internees, three-quarters of whom were Austrians." 7

Many Ukrainians were interned for attempting to enter the United States, without required documents in search of work. 8 Simply stating one's "intention to go to the U.S. without permission" was sufficient for internment. 9 Internment operation files contain numerous additional reasons for internment: these included refusing or failing to register; breaking parole; destroying registration cards; travelling without permission; registering under a false name; writing to relatives in Austria, and status as Austrian reservists.

http://www.infoukes.com/history/internment/badly_treated_in_every_way/#F...

So 6079 you said "in fact MOST of those interned ..." Citing sources that give anecdotal evidence of the practice but with no context of percentage doesn;t cut it for your outrageous claim that it was the majority of interns. Then your second source said MANY of the interned not most of. Instead of apologizing for over stating your positon you doubled down and went into attack mode. But then as we all know that is a common posting style for you. If you don't like Richard's viewpoint then attack that instead of trying to tear down his research.

Thanks Richard for sharing your research and viewpoint on this part of Canadian history. 

lagatta4

Young unattached immigrant men "with no family ties" have always been viewed with suspicion by the authorities, seen as "drifters" or potential subversives, when actually their travels were predicated on a constant search of potential work. The authorities conveniently forgot the young men's very strong family ties back home.

6079_Smith_W

Professor Swyripa did say most.I don't have her source material, but I expect as a historian she used the term advisedly.

My point is that although yes, the interment did target politics and nationality (that was the intent of the British) it was primarily used by the Canadian government against people because of poverty

As for the border crossings, that actually was a directive that Borden would rather not have implemented, because it meant more people to feed. The order came from London, because they saw it as a potential way for people to communicate with the enemy.That might account for why so many people were apprehended trying to leave, or even stating their intention to do so.

Unfortunately it wound up primarily snagging people who were out of work. On that note, Borden's government was also aware that many municipalities wanted to use internment to get rid of the unemployed, and those they saw as undesirables. Part of the reason why he also tried to parole people in the interests of keeping camp population down.

http://encyclopedia.1914-1918-online.net/article/internment_canada

Again, it's not that I think Richard is wrong that politics was a reason. But in practice it was far from the most significant one.

 

Richard Sanders Richard Sanders's picture

Smith please let us know if you ever find any evidence to back up your claim that:

"In fact, most of those interned in the First World War wound up imprisoned because they tried to illegally cross the border into the states to find work, not because of party cards in their back pockets."

As kropotkin1951 notes, the source you provided did not actually say what you said it was going to say. 

I would add that is very similar to using a "straw man" style of false argument except that instead of attacking an position that you fabricate for that purpose, you fabricate a false statement in order to praise it as a good source.

Why do you do that?  Do you see it as a legitimate way to win an argument?  It isn't.  Or, perhaps knowing you can't win the argument -- because you lack the facts to backup your gut feelings, or political worldview -- you feel that the second best option is to try to seed doubts in people's minds about the argument that you want to take down.  Is that it?  You just want to create a shadow of a doubt and it doesn't matter whether it is based on fact? 

Or perhaps you are so convinced of your position that you have to stick to it even if you don't have the evidence.

Remember what Mark Twain is said to have said:

"It ain't what you don't know that gets you into trouble. It's what you know for sure that just ain't so."

Also, now you are changing your tune, saying most people were interned because they were poor, not just because they went to the border .  But you don't explain why most of those interned were, as i have said, "young, single, recently-layed off Ukrainian men that were then congregating in Canada's urban centres." 

My evidence -- which I source as meticulously as I can -- is that the gov't saw THESE PARTICULAR POOR men as "potential revolutionaries that threatened the Canadian establishment." 

This is certainly why they interned people a few years later in the 1930s, as numerous once-secret govt documents prove beyond a shadow of a doubt.  Here is an excerpt from my article above:

The Depression served as a convenient pretext for rounding up masses of Canadians citizens who had long been seen as a threat to the establishment.  Between 1932 and 1936, more than 170,000 single, unemployed, urban men were forced into army-run “Relief Camps.”  As during WWI, authorities could not contain their phobia that this particular demographic was prey to radicalisation by socialist agitators. Although the 1930s’ forced-labour program did not specifically target newcomers, many ended up in the camps. 

In outlining the internment plan, General Andrew McNaughton29 was clear about its political purpose. He told Methodist Prime Minister R.B. “Iron Heel” Bennett that: “In their ragged platoons, here are the prospective members of what Marx called the ‘industrial reserve army, the storm troopers of the revolution.’”30 McNaughton also told Bennett that “[b]y taking the men out...of the cities” and forcing them into remote work camps, “we were removing the active elements on which the ‘red’ agitators could play.”31

In When Freedom was Lost, Regina-based political science professor Lorne Brown cites numerous official letters and memos revealing this prime function of Canada’s labour camps. For example, Roderick Finlayson, the PM’s executive assistant, wrote in October 1933 that it “would be a great mistake to lose sight of the main objective” of the camps, “namely to keep urban centres clear from such single men as more readily become amenable to the designs of agitators.”32

6079_Smith_W

Actually it did confirm what I said; that is to say, in the findings of a historian.

My first reference was to people trying to cross to find work. Is pointing out that this was a poverty issue backtracking? In any case, internment was used primarily against those who were poor, and the targetting of the border was not to do with socialist politics, it was in order to look for presumed spies and enemy agents, and it was something Canada did reluctantly, and only because they were ordered to do so.

And the situation in the 30s was a bit different. But most importantly, it was not an action specifically targetting Germans and AustroHungarians, so not quite as relevant to this narrative of a Ukrainian community allegedly divided between right and left, when in reality they were all targets.

 

Richard Sanders Richard Sanders's picture

Your responses are surreal... You did not provide any evidence to back up your claim that most were interned for trying to cross the border to get work.  You do know that right?

I won't waste further time on arguing with you ...

Your position reminds me of radical author B.Traven and his book The Treasure of the Sierra Madre. 

There were some lines in it that went like this. (I changed only one word, though it is repeated several times.)

"Facts, to god-damned hell with facts!  We have no facts.  In fact, we don’t need facts.  I don’t have to show you any stinking facts!”

The movie lines went like this:

“Facts?  We ain’t got no facts!  We don’t need no facts!   I don’t have to show you any stinking facts!”

Brilliant!

Facts are the badges that provide some evidence of truthful authority...

 

ikosmos ikosmos's picture

Welcome to babble, Richard.

Richard Sanders Richard Sanders's picture

Thanks ikosmos.  I noticed that you started a discussion called Canadians are the most brainwashed people on Planet Earth.

I think it is relevent to the discussion here about the left and rightwing camps within the Ukrainian Cdn community.