By William Kay
Save for one brief interruption Pierre Trudeau served as Canada’s Prime Minister from 1968 to 1984. Environmentalism entrenched itself into the Canadian government during these years. The three fortresses of the green parallel government inside the federal government: Environment and Climate Change Canada, Fisheries and Oceans Canada, and the Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency each originated under Trudeau’s watch. A dozen key federal laws, regulations, committees, and treaties dealing with water policy, endangered species, and environmental assessments also date to this period. The legal basis for the mobilizing of Aboriginal elites into a wilderness gendarmerie is another legacy of the Trudeau era.
A Jesuit cabal groomed Pierre Trudeau to be Quebec’s Fuhrer (le Chef). Trudeau became a ranking member of this cabal and three affiliated organizations that were actually actively preparing an insurrection in Quebec during World War II. Towards this end Trudeau stored a cache of firearms in his basement.
Trudeau’s extensive extracurricular reading consisted exclusively of explicitly fascist tracts about which he kept meticulous, praise-laden notes. He subscribed to a racist definition of the nation (Fatherland) and he denied the Holocaust. The editorials he wrote for his college paper were obviously fascist. His anti-Semitic plays were performed before enthusiastic audiences.
In the late-1930s Trudeau partook in right-wing, ultra-nationalist riots. In 1942 he twice engaged in, and most likely led, mob violence against Jewish-owned shops. As militant opponents of Canada’s war effort he, and his crew, disrupted pro-conscription demonstrations. While addressing a fascist rally, he unambiguously called for murdering (and torturing) political opponents. Weeks later, at a tense public debate, to the horror of those present, Trudeau brandished a revolver.
The evidence shows Trudeau retained fascist views well into his late twenties; in fact, there is no reason to believe he ever abandoned these views, or even if the fascist cabal he was so devoted to ever disbanded. His devotion to environmentalism is incontrovertible.
The above facts regarding Trudeau’s involvement in Quebec’s fascist movement are taken from Max and Monique Nemni’s Young Trudeau: Son of Quebec, Father of Canada, 1919-1944. This book is no muck-raking screed from the grudge-bearing fringe. It was published by McClelland & Stewart and dedicated:
“To the memory of Pierre Elliot Trudeau a man good and true.”
The authors often met with Pierre Trudeau, who fully endorsed the project. Delays resulted from the authors’ commitments to Cite Libre – a magazine Trudeau co-founded.
The “Acknowledgements” section thanks Trudeau’s sister, Suzette Rouleau, and his son Alexandre – who ensured access to his father’s archives. The archive administrator is also thanked. (The archives contain Trudeau’s unusually comprehensive and revealing private notes which form the book’s most original and compelling evidence.) Important acquaintances of Trudeau’s gave their time and letters to the authors.
While the Nemnis exclaim that they “could scarcely believe what we discovered,” Trudeau’s extremism had already been exposed in four earlier, albeit obscure, publications. Thus, although most Canadians would be shocked by its contents, Young Trudeau is a whitewash. Apart from Trudeau’s notes, there are no revelations. Moreover, provocations are dismissed as pranks, lies are attributed to forgetfulness, yesterday’s Church shoulders the blame, and all sins are set against Trudeau’s teleological trek to democratic liberalism (which never happened).
Young Trudeau is the Trudeau Cult handling the radioactive secrets of Trudeau’s past.
NOTE REGARDING SOURCES: This web-posting’s first four articles are a selective condensation of the Nemnis’ Young Trudeau. Longer quotations and controversial facts from that text are footnoted. Aside from a few biographical tidbits drawn from standard reference sources, there are six facts in the first four articles not from Young Trudeau. These are separately sourced in the footnotes. All other pertinent facts and poignant phrases belong to the Nemnis. The fifth article “Le Chef Pierre as Prime Minister” and the Conclusion are original.
Table of Contents
Pierre Trudeau was born October 18, 1919 in Outremont, a borough on the Island of Montreal. His father, Charles-Emile Trudeau, was a hard-working, hard-drinking man who built a chain of gas stations, which he sold to Imperial Oil for around $6 million. (1) Charles also had a law degree, read avidly, and was politically active. He fund-raised for the arch-conservative Maurice Duplessis and for Montreal Mayor Camillien Houde, who was later interned as a pro-Axis subversive. In 1933 Charles took his family on a two-month tour of Germany, Italy, and France. Hitler’s soldiers’ gleaming motorcycles powerfully impressed young Pierre.
Charles died in 1935. Pierre’s inheritance meant that money would present no obstacle for the rest of his days. He was “downright rich” – never had to earn a living. He endured a pressing agenda of water skiing, scuba diving, heli-skiing, thousand-mile canoe trips, and sojourns to exotic locales.
He was a playboy. He was a snob. He was given to dramatic entrances at soirees, to sliding down banisters and pivoting in perfected pirouettes. Antics like suddenly standing on his head or feigning death annoyed even his friends.
The Catholic Church pressured Quebec’s government into abolishing its Education Ministry in 1875. Thus, until the Quiet Revolution of the 1960s, French language education was monopolized by the Church. Curricula showcased the wares of Church-owned publishers.
The Church also published newspapers and journals including an influential paper aimed at Quebec farmers. Pre-WWII a mere nine public libraries served three million French-speaking Quebecers.
Church-run classical colleges catered to the scions of wealthier French-speaking families. Classical colleges (which after the Quiet Revolution became CEGEPs) provided the only avenue to French-language universities. In 1939 about 9,000 students attended classical colleges, many of them boarders, all of them male. A culture of censorship permeated the colleges. Reading from the Vatican’s Index of banned books was grounds for expulsion.
Pierre passed through a nursery school run by nuns to an elementary school run by priests. In 1932 he began an eight-year stint at the most prestigious classical college, Jean-de-Brebeuf – one of five run by Jesuits. Religious observances occurred several times daily. Students spent two weeks a year immersed in the spiritual exercises of Saint Ignatius (rosaries, chanting, etc).
Jesuits little valued intellectual culture for its own sake. Faith trumped all. The people’s faith was sheltered by their ignorance. While the Jesuits fed pupils only vetted excerpts, the pupils thought their quest for knowledge was unconfined. Science and math were de-emphasised.
On May 15, 1931 Pope Pius XI issued the encyclical, Quadragesimo anno (Fortieth year), subtitle: “On reconstruction of the social order.” The title refers to the fortieth anniversary of Leo XIII’s Rerum novarum (About new realities), which also discussed economics.
Pius XI considered communism “intrinsically perverse.” Socialism was but the road to communism. Quadragesimo Anno dictated:
“No one can be at the same time a good Catholic and a true socialist.”
The encyclical forbade labour stoppages. Strikes were crimes. At the same time it declared:
“Liberalism is the father of socialism.”
The encyclical affirmed the Church’s commitment to corporatism – the economic schema of Italian Fascism. Pius XI blessed Mussolini. The Holy Father favored fascism over democracy and every Quebecer knew this.
On October 21, 1931 Quebec’s Father Archambault sounded the alarm about the swelling ranks of unemployed men embracing radical ideas. Liberalism and materialism were both dangerous. The panacea was industry-wide associations supervised by the state.
Fifteen years earlier Archambault (under the pseudonym Pierre Hormier) initiated the aggressive nationalist League for French Rights. The League’s monthly L’Action Francaise morphed into the most influential separatist publication, L’Action Nationale. As elsewhere, nationalism and Christianity fused, and “Christian” meant Catholic. An ideologically aligned newspaper, Le Devoir, had been founded earlier by Quebec’s pre-eminent nationalist, Henri Bourassa.
On January 4, 1932 Montreal’s Archbishop alerted Catholics to the dangers of communism and implored them to fight for Pius XI’s vision. Deploying the “return to the land” trope, he bemoaned how industrialization uprooted rural men, catalysing them into swarms of urban proles and paupers. Land remained Quebec’s essential wealth and condition of stability.
In August 1932 a socialist party (Canadian Commonwealth Federation, CCF) convened in Calgary. Anticipating this convention, bishops from Quebec and Ottawa met in Quebec City to issue a letter warning Catholics. In October bishops from across Canada, mostly French-Canadians, again met in Quebec City to condemn the CCF.
In late 1932 two future publishers of Le Devoir founded the clerico-nationalist Jeune-Canada. Their ‘Manifesto of the Young Generation’ called for refrancisation of Quebec and complained that French-Canadians were becoming a race of proletarians. A petition in support of this Manifesto garnered 100,000 signatures. As demonstrations condemning the persecution of Europe’s Jews grew common, Jeune-Canada held counter-demos. In mid-1933 Le Devoir reprinted a letter from German Catholic hierarchs admiring Nazi efforts to “unite organically” the German nation in accord with “natural law.”
On February 4, 1934 Montreal’s Archbishop ordered a letter be read to all parishes. The letter stated: “socialism, which is communism in the long run – is very much to be feared.” It condemned the CCF while promoting a return to the land and a collaboration of occupational associations. The next issue of the Quebec Jesuits’ journal called for regulating major businesses and displacing greedy egotism with the Christian spirit. A grand economic council should manage economic activity, foster family farms, and restrict industrialized agriculture.
To fulfil the Church’s agenda, Paul Gouin (a former premier’s son) founded Action Liberale Nationale (ALN). ALN won 26 seats in the 1935 provincial election. Duplessis absorbed ALN, without Gouin’s consent, into his new Union Nationale – a name invoking Salazar’s National Union. The Portuguese corporatist dictator had many enthusiastic admirers among Quebec’s French-speaking elite whose blind faith in “corporatism” required little analysis of monetary policy, tax laws, or economic common sense.
After the fall of France (June 1940), the Germans occupied northwestern France. The French government, relocated to the southern city of Vichy, remained nominally in control of all France but actually ruled only the country’s southeastern portion. While not formerly an Axis state, the Vichy regime effectively joined the Axis powers. The regime would send several hundred thousands of its citizens to Germany as slave labour.
In July 1940 WWI hero Marshall Phillipe Petain received full powers from France’s National Assembly. The Republican Constitution was abolished. In October 1940, under no pressure from the Germans but under plenty from the Church, the Vichy regime passed the strictest anti-Semitic law in Europe. Jews were barred from practising medicine. Petain personally helped draft this law, but its main architect was a disciple of Charles Maurras. Pius XII and the French clergy rejoiced in Petain’s revival of religious life; his honouring of the family and the peasant; and his condemnation of modernity, cosmopolitanism, and secularism.
Petain’s speeches were read regularly in Quebec’s classical colleges and were reprinted and distributed in Quebec by the Freres de Saint Croix. Trudeau showed great sympathy for Petain.
(In an uncharacteristically candid conversation with the Nemnis, Trudeau blurted:
“I know very well what people were saying then. They said Petain was a hero and De Gaulle was a traitor. They said that Mussolini, Salazar, and Franco were admirable corporatist leaders. They said the democratic leaders were sell-outs.”) (2)
Petain, like Mussolini, Salazar, and Franco, was a corporatist. Only fascist dictators embraced corporatism; no democracy ever did. Corporatism counterposed economic liberalism. Fascist ideologues dwelled on the excesses, errors, and abuses of capitalism. They championed the Managed Economy. The managers were “corporations,” meaning not the limited-liability businesses of contemporary parlance but state-controlled councils representing various professions and industries. The councils (“bodies”) were integrated into a Nation often depicted as a living organism in a manner, again, quite incompatible with the individualist, liberal mindset.
In March 1941 Quebec’s bishops issued a letter stressing the need to impregnate students with the doctrines of the encyclicals. While this letter marks the first appearance of the term “corporatism” in a Quebec episcopal document, corporatism was already popular among Quebec’s French-speaking elites. The letter’s call for a “new order” solicited an unmistakable association with fascism. Bourassa claimed this letter was one of the most important documents ever to appear in Quebec. He implored Le Devoir’s readership to be permeated by its message.
Trudeau entertained no economic system other than corporatism:
“Liberalism leads to excesses: to unemployment, anarchy. The ideal is corporatism which does not separate people into parties but unites their interests.” (3)
Trudeau devoured the writings of Father Lionel Groulx. In Groulx’s novel The Call of the Race (1922) the hero experiences a spiritual rebirth before banishing English influences from his life and becoming a French rights campaigner. The novel was popular among college students.
Trudeau attended Groulx’s lectures and took extensive notes. Groulx contended governments should foster: the Catholic religion, the French language, a high birthrate, and a return to the land. Quebecers needed shelter from Americanization. Groulx personally led a “Buy From Our Own” campaign. (Jews were not “our own.”) Montreal was in the clutches of Anglo-Canadian finance; American cinema; and cosmopolitan restaurants, songs, and radio. (“Cosmopolitan” meant Jewish.) Groulx championed the “organic mystique” and condemned the two obstacles blocking the path to mystical glory: universal suffrage and financial dictatorship.
From Groulx’s lecture on insurrection, Trudeau extracted four points. The prerequisites for a just insurrection were: (a) tyrannical government; (b) exhaustion of peaceable means; (c) certainty of success; and (d) consent by reasonable public opinion.
The syllabus of another Brebeuf teacher, Father Rodolphe Dube (better known by his pen name, Francois Hertel), included many authors from France’s fascist Action Francaise. According to Dube, Anglo-Saxon countries were money dictatorships where corruption stripped youth of their ideals. The young should reject the Anglo-Saxon system of parties. A Fuhrer (le Chef) must sweep away their impotent, noisy parliamentary system.
In Dube’s first novel, The Beautiful Risk (1939), the hero, Pierre Martel, is a thinly disguised Pierre Trudeau. The hero’s dismissing of Old Orchard as “an American beach, Jewish and noisy” is a quip of Trudeau’s. The hero embraces Father Groulx’s “Buy From Our Own” crusade and campaigns for the refrancisation of Montreal. Martel is a model “le Chef.”
Father Ares introduced Trudeau to political-economy. Capitalism was bad. The economy should be reorganized around professional associations initiated by Catholics for Catholics. Agricultural associations had a unique duty to be Catholic. As an avid spreader of the “myth of the soil” Ares insisted governments should subsidize agriculture and help colonize Quebec’s unoccupied lands. Workers must accept inequality. Ares refrained from openly praising fascism only because with Canada at war, praising the enemy was problematic.
Father Brossard, Brebeuf’s Canadian history lecturer, taught that the Quebecois race were on a mission from God to propagate French Catholic ideas across North America. As to which French ideas they were to propagate, Brossard insisted:
“We owe nothing to the blue, white and red flag; it is the first, the fleur de lys flag, that we remember.” (4)
Brebeuf’s priests rated Trudeau’s obedience “perfect” or “very good.” He neither read forbidden books nor strayed into dangerous passages. Well into adulthood Trudeau sought written permission from the Church before reading a book listed on the Index. Sometimes they objected:
“His Excellency fears too greatly the pernicious effects on you of these readings.” (5)
Trudeau left Brebeuf with one B.A. in Arts and another in Sciences. Average marks of 94% garnered many prizes. Classmates were convinced they were in the presence of le Chef.
From Trudeau’s Pen 1938-1944
During his final years at Brebeuf College, Trudeau wrote five plays. (He also did some acting.) One play, “Dupes,” depicted conniving Jews duping naïve French-Canadians. The moral of the story was not subtle: Kick out the Jews! Brebeuf’s Jesuit masters produced the play as part of their 10th anniversary celebrations. It was a hit.
Trudeau wrote five articles for the student paper, Brebeuf, in 1938-1939, and seven more in his last year (1939-1940) after becoming editor. Brebeuf remained strictly controlled by the Jesuit fathers, which explains Trudeau’s skirting the topics of war and independence.
(Officially, Quebec’s bishops were not separatists. They were obligated to express loyalty to the Dominion of Canada until the Vatican ordered otherwise. At the same time, Church-run colleges and printing presses issued streams of separatist exhortations.)
Editor Trudeau urged students to imitate Jesus, on one occasion adding: “we could speak correct French, we could truly think what we say, we could be Catholic for the entire world to see.” (6) (Trudeau dropped his Quebecois idiom and accent for the Parisian.)
Elsewhere Editor Trudeau intoned:
“None but saints and geniuses … dare to stand up at the crossroads and cry out loud as they can that Christ is their King.” (7)
Sounding like le Chef, Trudeau frequently attacked the “flock mentality” and the “tyranny of public opinion.” Good governments took their marching orders from Christ.
During his last years at Brebeuf, and during the three years he spent studying law at the University of Montreal (1940-1943), Trudeau’s extracurricular reading focused almost exclusively on fascist writers. He made extensive notes.
He read five plays by Paul Claudel. His notes ignore the anti-Semitism explicit in these plays save one reference to a character of Claudel’s whom Trudeau dubbed “the shameless Jewess.” Trudeau gave nothing but accolades to Claudel.
Alexis Carrel’s This Unknown Man (1935) sold millions. A star of the Vichy regime, Carrel claimed the Depression was symptomatic of industrialism. Among technology’s perverse effects was that it caused women to abandon their children to pursue careers. Carrel was a racial supremacist and class warrior. Northern Europeans were superior to southern ones. Social classes arose biologically. Workers owed their sorry lot to hereditary defects. Social levelling contravened Nature’s laws.
Carrel contended the Christian mystique was the preserve of a precious few. This ascetic, mystical minority could overpower a blind majority wallowing in pleasure. In their new society:
“Instead of leveling down, as we now do, the organic and mental inequalities, we shall exaggerate them and we shall construct great men.” (8)
For criminals and other defectives, Carrel recommended flogging, sterilization, and euthanasia. (Not until the 1990s did researchers rediscover Carrel’s dark side. Many French streets and buildings are named after him.)
Trudeau waxed lyrical in admiration of This Unknown Man. He found it “utterly comprehensive” and “amazing.” He shared Carrel’s belief that urban life caused nervous disorders and organ failure.
Trudeau’s only issue with the ultra-nationalist anti-Semite Maurice Barres was that Barres gave equal treatment to all religions. Barres “lacked the courage to be a Catholic.”
Occasionally Trudeau drifted from fascist writings, but never far. He sampled the anarchist George Sorel and Catholic apologist Henri Bergson. However, Sorel’s revolutionary syndicalism is really half-baked proto-fascism. In any event, Trudeau rejected Sorel as an anti-Christian plotting an immoral general strike. Trudeau rated Bergson’s The Two Sources of Morality and Religion as “a great book.” He savoured Bergson’s rejection of common sense. Bergson proved ‘scientifically’ that Catholicism was spiritually and morally supreme. Trudeau was a sucker for vital forces, mystics, and charisma.
Trudeau read Ernest Psichari’s The Centurion’s Voyage in 1941. In 1940 the Vichy regime held up Psichari as a model National Revolutionary. Trudeau loved the book, noting its poignant depiction of France’s Christian soul. However, he found it “perhaps dangerous for a mind that is not prepared,” thus betraying his own internalization of Catholic principles of censorship.
In 1942 Trudeau read Robert Brasillach’s Leon Degrelle, the Wino of Rex. The author’s Nazi collaboration won him a front row spot before a firing squad after Liberation. The book’s subject, Leon Degrelle, dreamed of transforming Belgium into a Catholic corporatist state. He initiated the cult of Christ the King (Christus Rex) and recruited an SS-like militia that fought on the Russian Front. Several Rexists were executed after the war while Degrelle, who fled to Spain, was condemned to death in absentia. Trudeau evinced not the slightest reservation over Brasillach’s or Degrelle’s extremism. On the contrary, he noted:
“Degrelle, the leader and founder of the Rexist party of Belgium, is a young man who must be imitated.” (9)
Trudeau also read a biography of Corneliu Codreanu, the Romanian Iron Guard terrorist commander who displayed a homicidal hatred of Jews. Trudeau expressed only fascination with the “mystic” Codreanu.
In 1942 he perused the Italian fascist Curzio Malaparte’s The Technique of Coup d’Etat (1931), which envisioned coups involving the seizure of power plants, railway stations, and telephone exchanges by well-trained teams of fascist commandos.
The Captive Sovereign (1936) by Andre Tardieu, an ally of Charles Maurras, vehemently attacks democracy. Tardieu vented wrath on the low-caste pedigree of many parliamentarians and “the presupposition of the infallibility of large numbers.” Trudeau’s comment: “Well done.”
After finishing a book by another ally (Jacques Bainville), Trudeau wrote:
“A remarkable example of what wisdom, perspicacity, strategy can accomplish in the area of politics.” (10)
In 1942 he read a smuggled copy of Maurras’s France Alone. (Trudeau, who would not touch a book on the Index without permission, flaunted Canada’s National Defence Regulations.) Later that year, after studying Maurras’s Survey of Monarchy, Trudeau commented:
“The [French] government was also to a large extent responsible: this republican government, blindly romantic, in the grip of international Jewry, of Freemasonry, of communists and of the English.” (11)
Maurras lauded the superiority of French culture, particularly its pre-1789 aspects. He condemned all aspects of republicanism and “perfidious Albion” (England). Here’s Maurras:
“Whether they be Jew or Jew lovers, these fine gentlemen keep in close touch with London’s Jewish clan, which is all-powerful.” (12)
French Jews were: “the nomads we receive under our roofs.” (13)
Trudeau recorded an almost unqualified admiration for Maurras:
“The inflexible royalist wrote here pages full of confidence in the future, and full of bitterness over the past. He has at last his authoritarian state. He endorses totally the actions of the great Marechal Petain.” (14)
Trudeau shared Maurras’s authoritarianism. True leaders do not submit to the masses. Trudeau described democracy’s salient features as:
“Ignorance, credulity, intolerance, hatred for superiority, the cult of incompetence, an excess of equality, versatility, the passions of the crowd, the envy of individuals.” (15)
Regarding Maurras’s Gallicanism – the controversial contention that the French sovereign was entitled to administer Church affairs – Trudeau sided with the Pope, arguing Maurras: “did not seem to understand that for a Catholic, it is the reign of the church that counts above all.” (16)
Trudeau’s 1941 essay “Ripe” denounced French-Canadians who remained passive or participated in the war effort. The federal government pretended to defend freedom but really defended British interests. He concluded:
“Allow me to make myself clear. I am not only against conscription, but I am also against mobilization, against participation, against rearming, against aid to the belligerents. I am against the war.” (17)
Trudeau practised law for a year before heading to Harvard in 1944. Upon arrival he wrote the regional Archbishop requesting permission to read books listed on the Index. He continued immersing himself in the diatribes of Bainville, Barres, and Lucien Romier (Petain’s Minister of State.) His notes offer not a word of criticism.
He spent much of 1944 trying to prove the British North America Act was founded upon a fraud – a project aimed at justifying insurrection. Other 1944 writings decry the appalling sight of his splendid Quebecois people going to ruin. He stressed “the race must save itself.”
In 1944 he also reread Maurras’s Survey of Monarchy, filling 13 pages with praise. He remained dazzled by Maurras:
“No one can deny that Maurras’s doctrine is firmly based on the facts of history.”
“[Maurras] exposes the ineptitude of democracy and of the republican in France since the very idea of organization excludes that of equality.” (18)
Despite questioning Maurras’s monarchism and Gallicanism, Trudeau remained a devoted disciple of Maurras. (Liberation forces immediately, and unsurprisingly, imprisoned Maurras.)
There were either two overlapping underground fascist parties, or there was one party with two names and/or two components. Their names were “Hunter-Brothers” and “LX.” This conspiratorial enterprise operated inside two front organizations: League for the Defence of Canada and Bloc Populaire Canadien.
Trudeau began studying law in 1940; but politics, not law, was always his destination. In furtherance of his political career he consulted both Quebec nationalism’s grand old man, Henri Bourassa, and Andre Laurendeau whose writings Trudeau admired. Laurendeau, a Father Groulx disciple, took over publishing L’Action Nationale from his father in 1937.
1937 witnessed passionate, violent demonstrations commemorating the centennial of Quebec’s failed independence bid. Trudeau and his cronies fought the police in the streets in 1937 and 1938. Around this time Father Rodolphe Dube inducted Trudeau into the Hunter-Brothers. (19) The original Hunter-Brothers were a Quebecois guerrilla force eradicated by the British Army in the late 1830s. As part of the 1937 festivities, the Hunter-Brothers were revived.
Over the next few years Trudeau began collaborating closely with Jean Baptiste Boulanger, a University of Montreal medical student and unconditional admirer of Marshall Petain and Charles Maurras. In a January 30, 1942 article in Le Quartier Latin (the student paper) Boulanger referred to Adolf Hitler as “the master” and defended Hitler’s decision to annihilate the Nazi Party’s left wing. Boulanger encouraged students to read Mein Kampf, and he condemned Churchill as a war-monger, cryptically adding:
“What we are forbidden to write under the National Defence Regulation, that we must keep in our grieving hearts so as never to forget.” (20)
One wonders what the forbidden content was as, despite wartime censorship, Le Quartier Latin regularly ran laudatory pieces about Petain and its anti-Semitic articles were legion.
“The miracle of Petain, like that of Joan of Arc, is quite simply to have saved their patrie.” (21)
Defeat saved France from suicide! Boulanger eulogized the French race’s immortal soul in paragraphs cleverly embroidered with Petain’s slogans. Bourassa too expressed boundless admiration for Petain. The old Marshall was: “greater at Vichy than at Verdun.”
From February to December 1942 Boulanger and Trudeau engaged in intense subversive activity, including the drafting and redrafting of a “for leaders only” document (meaning: for LX leaders only). The final draft, titled “National Revolution,” begins:
“The Fatherland which will be reborn from the Revolution will be Catholic, French, and Laurentian.” (22)
(People of British or Jewish ancestry were not part of the “Fatherland.” Trudeau subscribed without qualification to a racist definition of nation.) The reborn Quebec would be: authoritarian, hierarchical, familial, and corporatist.
LX was a secret militia plotting to seize Montreal’s police stations and radio stations. One cache of weapons was stored in Trudeau’s basement. (23) Total membership reached the low hundreds. Known members included: Trudeau, Boulanger, Francois Lessard, and Jean-Louis Roux.
At LX’s centre sat three Jesuit priests. Father d’Anjou, a Brebeuf College teacher, may have been the “Ultimate Power” mentioned in LX documents. Father Mignault, the Prefect of Discipline at College Sainte-Marie, exerted profound influence over a generation of Quebecois men. He helped found LX circa 1937. (Trudeau probably joined in that year.) Father Dube was LX’s best recruiter.
Lower level LX members knew only two other members: one who brought orders and one to whom those orders were relayed. Some members were told to approach specific potential recruits. Roux was supposed to approach University of Montreal’s Secretary-General, Eduard Montpetit. This could indicate either LX’s immaturity, or that prominent people were involved.
(Montpetit certainly would have endorsed LX’s aims. Trudeau studied Economics under Montpetit, and his notes have Montpetit denouncing both liberalism and socialism. Only the economic doctrine inspired by Popes Leo XIII and Pius XI deserved approval. Corporatism was the golden mean between individualist and statist extremes. Montpetit did not teach Economics; he preached sermons extoling an economic system exclusive to fascist regimes.)
Throughout the 1940 federal election Prime Minister King promised not to impose conscription. In his 1942 throne speech he sought to be relieved from this promise by setting a plebiscite on conscription for April 27. The speech immediately conjured a League for the Defence of Canada backed by Bourassa, Father Groulx, Le Devoir publisher Georges Pelletier, and law student Jean Drapeau. Andre Laurendeau was the League’s organizing genius.
The League held mass rallies whereat LX cadre cajoled and recruited. On February 11, 1942 ten thousand packed Montreal’s St James Market to hear speeches by Drapeau and Bourassa. As the meeting ended a mob marched out chanting, “Down with the Gazette! Down with the Jews!” Roux remembers the mob “advanc(ing) westward on Sainte-Catherine Street, shattering along the way the shop windows if the owners had a foreign sounding name, above all it was Jewish.” (24)
Trudeau participated in this riot. His friend, Gaeten Robert, said they rioted on this and other, occasions. They also disrupted pro-conscription demonstrations. Trudeau and company would arrive wearing makeshift helmets. Robert recalled being with Trudeau when they tried to smash the windows out of the Montreal Gazette building. (25)
On March 24th the League rallied at the Jean Talon Market. Another riot ensued. Shouting “Down with the Jews!” the mob vandalized Jewish shops along Saint Lawrence Street. (26) During this riot Maurice Riel got arrested. Trudeau testified on his behalf.
(These riots occurred less than four years after Kristallnacht in Germany, November 9, 1938. Moreover, these riots, and LX’s plotting, occurred while a naval war raged off Quebec’s coast. By 1942 German submarines had torpedoed several merchant ships in the Gulf of St. Lawrence. Not far away, on October 14, 1942 a ferry operating between Nova Scotia and Newfoundland was torpedoed – 126 of 237 passengers perished. By war’s end the Germans had sank 21 ships in the Gulf of St Lawrence and damaged several more. Three hundred drowned. Battles were fought a few hundred kilometres from Quebec City.)
After winning his plebiscite, PM King sought to defuse the situation by amending the law to make conscription permissible but not inevitable. Nevertheless, in May the League rallied to oppose the law. After this rally one speaker was jailed for subversion. The League subsequently celebrated his release with a great banquet. On that August night the League birthed the Bloc Populaire Canadien to build “an effective wall against the threat of a bureaucratic and centralizing state socialism.” (The statism they opposed was of the leftist, not fascist, variety.)
During this summer Trudeau’s pal, Roger Rolland, donned a spiked Prussian helmet and together with Trudeau, sporting a WWI French Army helmet, they rumbled their Harley Davidson motorcycles around Montreal. (27)
In October 1942 PM King denounced Nazi atrocities making specific reference to the recent rounding-up of Parisian Jews into a sports stadium for shipment to the camps. Trudeau considered the speech nothing but lies. In a parody of the speech in Le Quartier Latin he protested Montreal Mayor Camillien Houde and Quebec Nazi leader Adrien Arcand’s imprisonment under the War Measures Act. Trudeau also penned a comedic play in which Houde and Arcand were incarcerated in a concentration camp where “Heil Mackenzie King” was shouted.
1942 witnessed the surfacing of a politico-religious schism within Quebec’s Far Right. Church hierarchs were obligated to back the federal government; thus, many bishops spoke in favour of the Allies. Separatist Catholic-fascists, however, were either neutral or pro-Axis. Bloc Populaire’s nemesis was not the Liberal Party but Duplessis’s right-wing clerico-nationalist Union Nationale.
After federal by-elections were set for November, Bloc Populaire leaders decided that, rather than run a candidate under the Bloc label, they would back a nominal independent, Jean Drapeau, whom Bourassa publically endorsed. The contested riding, Outremont, had an English-Jewish majority. Outremont had voted 60% in favour of conscription.
A rally for Drapeau, held November 25, 1942, attracted a large crowd. The speech given by guest speaker Pierre Trudeau, recorded in detail in Le Devoir, contained telling passages:
“For too long a time altogether, felonious and corrupt governments have been able to debauch our people, body and soul. A people is a being that, like a man, has its own intrinsic value, and no one has the right to debase it into a tool, like a slave in the service of another people, even if it be the immortal Anglo-Saxons...
“The French Canadian people understand the meaning of war. It has not for one single instant since its birth been free of a struggle, at first against the Iroquois and since then against other savages.” (28)
Trudeau denounced the federal government’s “disgusting dishonesty,” claiming they had abandoned democracy, adding “and if we are not in a democracy, let the revolution begin without delay.”(29)
Trudeau attacked Church leaders by name and their buddies in the “atheist” newspapers. He then grew sanguine, demanding that “traitors shall be impaled alive.” If Outremont dared elect a Liberal, then, “I beg of you to eviscerate all the damned bourgeois of Outremont”. He concluded, “Let’s move on to the cataclysm.” (30)
On January 8, 1943 during a public debate in Montreal:
“…Trudeau suddenly pulled out a revolver that he had concealed under his gown and fired a few blanks in the air, badly shaking up the federal minister who had presided over the debate.” (31)
Another witness/participant, Francois Lessard, claimed members of the Hunter-Brothers were strategically situated throughout the hall to heighten the drama. (32)
From November 12, 1942 to February 2, 1943 the Axis powers suffered catastrophic defeats at El Alamein and Stalingrad. Allied strategic bombing also began at this time. This marked the beginning of the end for the Axis.
The war’s sudden turn did not turn LX leaders. Father d’ Anjou was still discussing the necessity of a post-insurrectionary abolition of parties in mid-1943 while Trudeau railed against “the fetid politicians and all the putrefied financiers.” In 1944 Father Dube was blaming anti-Jewish pogroms on the Jews themselves for exploiting local peoples. In 1945 Boulanger published a remorseless 16-page pamphlet reworking his pro-fascist Le Quartier Latin articles.
In February 1944 Trudeau attended the Bloc Populaire’s convention as the party’s Secretary to the Committee on Education and Policy. In May the Bloc whipped up passions by exploiting the RCMP’s killing of a French-Canadian army deserter. That salvo paled compared to the criminal demagoguery coming out of Bloc candidates. A July speech by one candidate so belittled the threat of fascism and so vilified Churchill that the RCMP placed the candidate under investigation. Another candidate was exposed as being from Arcand’s banned Nazi party. Another candidate, Dostaler O’Leary, a notorious Anglophobe and anti-Semite, defended the Nazis throughout the 1945 federal election.
In the summer of 1944, as the Allies and French Resistance liberated France in ferocious combat, Trudeau was soaking up the Mexican sunshine at a confab of Latins d’ Amerique – an organization founded by Dostaler O’Leary to create Pan-American opposition to “Jewish-American finance.”
Until the very end of hostilities, the Bloc opposed the war and pooh-poohed tales of Nazi atrocities. They continued to fuse “national” and “social” into their slogans in a manner obviously evoking Nazism.
In the August 1944 provincial elections, the Bloc garnered only four seats. Duplessis had marginalized them. In the 1945 federal elections they captured two of 65 Quebec seats and only 13% of Quebec’s popular vote. The party then disintegrated amidst a flurry of internal quarrels. Trudeau remained an active, vocal Bloc man to the bitter end.
The reputation Trudeau gave himself of having been an apolitical anti-authoritarian young man is a tissue of lies. The Nemnis found “no sign of an incipient rebel.” They found “no evidence of a young man rowing against the current.” They found abundant evidence of a Catholic-fascist fanatic.
In the early 1960s, when Trudeau gravitated toward the federal Liberal Party, he cultivated an image of being reluctantly dragged into politics. In reality, he had aspired to be a politician his entire life. Trudeau postured as a dry and distant intellectual. In reality, he was sentimental and passionate to a fault. Trudeau portrayed himself as being not particularly religious. In reality, he was a devoted Catholic who routinely attended Sunday Mass and prayed habitually. The depth of his religiosity was kept from the Canadian public until the publication of The Hidden Pierre Elliot Trudeau: The Faith behind the Politics in 2004, four years after Trudeau’s death. (33)
In 1968 Pierre Trudeau became Prime Minister not via a general election but through winning a Liberal Party leadership convention. “Trudeaumania” then swept the land, marking Canada’s first experience of a full-blown cult of the personality. “Trudeaumania” was powerfully aided by favourable international media coverage.
With one hand, the Nemnis plant the seeds of Trudeau’s impending metamorphosis into a liberal democrat into his pre-1945 bio. With the other hand, they fully concede that not only had Trudeau committed himself “body and soul” into preparing a fascist coup in Quebec, he definitely had NOT abandoned this commitment pre-1945. (34) They further concede that in 1947 Trudeau was still seeking written permission to read books from a Catholic Church still headed by Hitler’s Pope, Pius XII.
Then there are the facts the Nemnis suppress. For instance, among the incriminating pieces of evidence unearthed by Professor Esther Delisle is a 1947 postcard sent by a 28-year-old Trudeau from France wherein he raves about the coming revolutionary-nationalist state of Laurentia. (35)
The meagre evidence mustered by the Nemnis concerning Trudeau’s impending transformation consists of a few dubious, self-serving passages from his 1944 request for admission to Harvard, and a few snidbits he wrote in notes regarding preparatory readings for Harvard courses. Much is also made of his conversion to the Catholic doctrine of personalism; however, by their own admission most personalists were corporatists who rejected liberalism and materialism. Father Dube somehow transitioned to personalism without sacrificing his reactionary extremism.
The transformation narrative hinges on Trudeau’s founding of, and writing for, Cite Libre magazine. The Nemnis emphasize the date of the magazine’s first issue, 1950. However in a CBC Radio interview Trudeau explicitly dated his founding of this magazine to 1947. (36) Cite Libre was a neo-fascist project.
Another alleged turning point was the violent labour dispute occurring between February 14 and July 1, 1949 at mines near Asbestos, Quebec. Long after the event, Trudeau used his purported assistance to the workers’ cause to bolster his leftist creds.
For Trudeau, siding with the workers involved neither political risk nor a break with political orientation. The strike was led by the Catholic Federation of Labour, and Quebec’s Catholic Church raised most of the strike funds. Montreal’s Archbishop supported the workers, and bishops ultimately mediated the final settlement (albeit for negligible wage gains, no real improvement of the appalling health and safety conditions, and without even ensuring striking workers would get their jobs back – many did not). Moreover, the mines were owned by English and American businessmen while the workers were 100% francophone Quebecers. These optics were ideal for a battered Church, and a floundering Far Right, to rebuild popularity. The strike also presented an opportunity to embarrass the Far Right’s nemesis, Premier Duplessis, as he began to waver. Much of Quebec’s media supported the strikers.
According to lore, Trudeau covered the strike as a journalist for Le Devoir, but he does not appear to have written any articles about it. His entire contribution to the cause may have consisted of marching in one demonstration. The myth of his having been a player in this conflict originated in a book, The Asbestos Strike, that Trudeau co-edited, and contributed a chapter to, in 1956.
In Trudeau’s Memoirs (1993) he again depicts himself as a born contrarian. Memoirs grants little space to the early 1940s – years about which Trudeau maintained almost total silence. (As an aside, Professor Delisle recalls a seminar she hosted in 1995 whereat special guest Pierre Trudeau, with a straight face, told the assembled he had not read a single book by Charles Maurras – because those books were too long.) (37)
Even compatriots who later became adversaries cooperated in the cover-up. Their collective amnesia deleted the war years. Very few denizens of Quebec’s fascist milieu later admitted they were pro-Petain, pro-corporatist, had rioted, etc.
Consider two points:
On April 5, 1977 Pierre Trudeau was asked in the House of Commons whether he had been, or still was, a member of a secret militant society. Trudeau nodded in the affirmative. (38)
The Nemnis conclude:
“We don’t know when Trudeau parted with LX or even if LX went out of existence.” (39) (emphasis added)
The issue is not Trudeau’s membership in a fascist insurrectionary group; this much is incontrovertible. The question is: Did he remain an active member of this group throughout his federal political career and beyond?
With this question in mind, ponder the careers of a sampling of Trudeau’s mentors and cronies as culled from Young Trudeau.
As a medical student in the 1940s Jean-Louis Roux, a confessed LX man, proudly sported a swastika arm-band on the sleeve of his lab coat. He also participated in anti-Jewish riots. Roux went on to become a prominent director and actor. A lengthy gig as a leading cast member on a CBC television sitcom guaranteed fame and fortune. In 1968 he became President of the Canadian Council of Arts. The Liberals made him a Senator in 1994, but he gave this up to become Quebec’s Lieutenant Governor in 1996. Then Roux, who had become a fierce federalist of sorts, accused Quebec separatists of having links to fascism. In retaliation, photos of Roux with his swastika arm-band miraculously surfaced. The ensuing scandal forced his resignation as Lieutenant Governor in early 1997, but the Liberals rushed to his rescue by appointing him to the chairmanship of the Canada Council (Ottawa’s main arts funding dump-truck).
Maurice Riel, the anti-Jewish rioter on whose behalf Trudeau testified in 1942, was appointed to the Senate (by Trudeau) in 1973. He soon became Senate House Speaker.
The manager of the Church-run project that published and distributed Marshall Petain’s speeches in Quebec during WWII, Roger Varin, collaborated closely with Trudeau during Trudeau’s federal political career.
Roger Rolland, who rode his Harley through the streets of Montreal wearing a German army helmet in 1942, became a speech writer for Prime Minister Trudeau.
Trudeau’s long-time pal, Georges Pelletier, the former journalist for Le Devoir, and a top Catholic student leader from 1939-43, enjoyed a long list of appointments from Prime Minister Trudeau including: Secretary of State, Minister of Communications, Ambassador to France, and Ambassador to the UN.
The ubiquitous Andre Laurendeau later co-chaired the Royal Commission on Bilingualism and Biculturalism.
The student who preceded and mentored Trudeau as Editor of the Brebeuf, Paul Gerin-Lajoie, became Quebec’s Education Minister and a leading figure in the Quiet Revolution.
Charles Lussier, worked closely with Trudeau on Cite Libre before joining the magazine’s board in 1950. In 1976 Trudeau made Lussier the Chairman of the Canada Council.
D’Iberville Fortier received a number of top federal positions including ambassadorships to several countries and Commissioner of Official Languages.
Jean Gascon, a giant of Quebec theatre and the first director of the National Theatre School, was from 1968 to 1974 artistic director of Stratford Shakespearean Festival.
Father Georges-Henri Levesque founded Laval University’s School of Social Sciences and helped instigate the Quiet Revolution.
Professor Eduard Montpetit founded the University of Montreal’s Department of Sociology and Economics before becoming the University’s Secretary-General. A street, a subway stop, a University building, and a postage stamp have been dedicated to this strident fascist propagandist.
Last but not least is Jean Drapeau. This long-time ally of Trudeau’s, and fellow protégé of Father Groulx, was a howling fascist in the 1940s. Young Trudeau goes into excessive detail quoting from Drapeau’s public rants about how badly Jews smell.
Drapeau’s opening came when Montreal Mayor Camille Houde (who was re-elected three times after his release from prison in 1944) stepped aside. Houde’s constituency migrated to Drapeau in 1954 and Drapeau remained Mayor, save one interruption, until his retirement in 1986.
It gets far worse: During the 1970 October Crisis, on Prime Minister Trudeau’s orders, the Canadian Army rounded up Drapeau’s political opposition while Montreal was in the midst of a municipal election. Whipping up hysteria about these incarcerated “terrorists,” Drapeau won all 52 council seats and 92% of mayoralty votes in the October 25, 1970 election. Drapeau’s opponents were released, without being charged, after the election. (40)
The impression is left of a tight community of a few hundred well-to-do, sophisticated, right-wing Quebecois chauvinists systematically advancing one another’s careers and pursuing a common agenda. Maybe they all experienced the same mysterious transformation. Catholics do have a thing for miracles.
According to the Nemnis, because Trudeau championed liberal democracy during his federal political career, some conversion must have overtaken him between the late 1940s and the early 1960s. Trudeau’s record in power, however, reveals a politician chafing inside the confines of liberal democracy, not a champion thereof.
Liberal Prime Minister Pearson gifted Trudeau a safe Quebec seat. After Trudeau won this seat in the June 1965 election, Pearson picked him as his parliamentary secretary. In 1967 Pearson named Trudeau as his Minister of Justice before announcing his own resignation, thereby aiding Trudeau’s bid for the Liberal leadership, which Pearson tacitly endorsed. At this time Trudeau countered separatist claims by arguing that promoting French “rights” was best done from Ottawa.
Justice Minister Trudeau moved quickly to reform divorce laws and to introduce the omnibus Criminal Law Amendment Bill. Due to its contentiousness, this Bill had to wait until Trudeau became Prime Minister before passing into law. This law decriminalized abortion, homosexuality, and the sale of contraceptives. While struggling to effect these changes, Trudeau struck a libertarian pose.
Liberalizing abortion, divorce, contraception, and homosexuality must be placed in the context of rival natalist strategies. Elites seeking to maximize birth rates promote different marital and sexual policies than do elites seeking to minimize birth rates.
Trudeau hailed from a French-Catholic elite threatened by immigration, emigration, and formidable assimilationist pressures. Their pro-natalist “revenge of the cradle” policies, which Trudeau endorsed, resulted in many Quebecois families having twelve or more children. However, by 1968 Trudeau had joined the big leagues of modern international neo-fascism – a milieu favouring the Malthusian anti-natalist agenda. In 1968 the West was engulfed in a quasi-totalitarian overpopulation scare campaign. Liberal Party policies tracked this meta-trend.
The climax of the Trudeau-as-liberal-democrat storyline is the 1982 Constitution Act and its Charter of Rights. Trudeau gave Canadians rights! Of course, pre-1982 Canadians already had judicially protected rights regarding freedom of speech, presumption of innocence, etc. These rights were rooted in common law, in existing legislation, and in an ingrained democratic culture. Many countries, like Britain and Australia, have human rights practices comparable to Canada’s without the benefit of an elaborate Charter of Rights enshrined in a written constitution.
The repatriation process lacked democratic input and its outcome was warped in ways a young Pierre Trudeau would have celebrated. The Constitution opens with an affirmation of the “supremacy of God.” The Charter imposes bilingualism on all federal government institutions, even in facilities situated where no locals speak French, thus privileging Francophones in hiring and promotion.
The Charter enshrines interprovincial equalization payments. Amending this provision requires consent from seven provinces with over 50% of Canada’s population. As recipient “have-not” provinces will always number at least four and will probably always include populous Quebec, amendment is unlikely. In 2015, Quebec received $10 billion, no strings attached, from the western provinces – a pure tribute to the greater glory of Laurentia.
For all the blather about “repatriation,” the Queen of England remains Canada’s head of state. Given the amendment formula regarding the Monarchy, it will take a republican revolution to change this. An unelected Senate is also enshrined. For all the blather about racial neutrality, the Charter centres out one race, Aboriginals, and its ambiguous terminology opened the way for Aboriginal supremacist interpretations presently undermining the fundamental integrity of the nation-state.
The Charter’s main function is to transfer power from a democratically elected and accountable House of Commons to a secretively selected and un-removable Supreme Court. The greatest threat to liberty and democracy comes from hyper-activist Judges sitting on this Star Chamber.
Trudeau showed his colors during the 1970 October Crisis. (41) The antagonist for this theatrical performance, the Quebec Liberation Front (FLQ), emerged in 1963 on the romantic fringe of Quebec’s then substantial socialist scene; which was unanimously separatist. (For avowed ethnic chauvinists, a peculiar number of foreigners played leading roles in the FLQ, including a Hungarian-born veteran of the French Foreign Legion.) Montreal was the stage for all crucial acts.
Between 1963 and 1970, the FLQ committed about 180 violent crimes. These involved throwing Molotov cocktails against brick walls. Such terrorist master-strokes were accompanied by the dispersing of communiques illustrated with crayons. As the 1960s progressed, the FLQ graduated to armed robberies and thefts of weapons and dynamite.
In the late-1960s the FLQ perpetrated dozens of bombings. These consisted mostly of placing bomblets inside mailboxes in Montreal’s upper-class Anglo neighborhoods that exploded with frightening bangs without causing injuries or significant damage. The main exception, the February 1969 Montreal Stock Exchange bombing, injured 27 people. Some “FLQ” bombings were done by RCMP agents.
The FLQ never intentionally killed anyone. Several fatalities resulted from botched armed robberies (including a bystander shot by police) and from people stumbling upon bombs. These were culpable homicides for sure, but the FLQ never exhibited the lethality usually associated with revolutionary or terrorist violence.
The FLQ was a loose patchwork of seven independent cells. These cells were not simultaneously active. Raids by city and provincial police forces nabbed many FLQ leaders and cadre. Most cells had been dismantled by the police before the October Crisis.
On October 5, 1970 two cells were active: the Chenier Cell (a.k.a. the South Shore Gang) and the Liberation Cell. These cells had, at most, 12 members each. Thus, the FLQ had about 45 members of whom 23 were incarcerated. The two active cells were infiltrated by informants, and key members were under surveillance. Police called the FLQ “amateurs.”
The FLQ were a local problem manageable by local and provincial police departments. All active FLQ members had either fled Canada or had been incarcerated by December 28. (Some stragglers were arrested in 1971 after city police made a final deployment of their highly placed informant.) Police, not soldiers, made the arrests.
The Crisis began on October 5 when the Liberation Cell kidnapped British Trade Commissioner James Cross. On October 10 the Chenier Cell kidnapped Quebec Labour Minister Pierre Laporte. Premier Robert Bourassa and Mayor Jean Drapeau requested Trudeau’s assistance.
At 4:00 a.m. on October 16, without parliamentary discussion, Trudeau invoked the War Measures Act to tackle this “insurgency.” Civil liberties of all Canadians were suspended. (The War Measures Act was replaced in November by a similar regime under the Public Order Temporary Measures Act, which remained in force until April 30, 1971.)
In rapid order 3,000 searches were conducted, often at night, and without written warrants. 497 Quebecers were arrested, again, without legal warrant. Many of the arrested were held for weeks without charge, without access to a lawyer, without seeing a judge. Many were held incommunicado, some were physically abused. Victims were mainly intellectuals, artists, and union activists from the left-wing of Quebec’s sovereigntist movement; or any opponent of Mayor Drapeau. Only 62 of the apprehended had charges laid against them, and 30 of those were granted bail immediately. Even hard-core FLQers ultimately received light sentences.
In early December five members of the Liberation Cell exchanged James Cross for one-way tickets to Cuba aboard a Canadian Armed Forces plane. On December 28 the Chenier Cell was captured.
Earlier, on October 17, while Pierre Laporte was being shuttled from one safe-house to another he began hollering for help. In the panic to silence him, Laporte was accidently suffocated. The false narrative of Laporte’s pre-meditated, cold-blooded execution – which profoundly coloured perceptions of the FLQ – was unquestioned until 2010. (42)
Federal Justice Minister John Turner and Premier Bourassa subsequently conceded there was no insurgency. The invocation of the War Measures Act prevented “erosion of public will” and helped “rally public support behind the government.” Moreover, at the outset of the crisis Trudeau referenced the grievances beneath the radicalization and promised to address these through legislation, i.e. through privileging the Province of Quebec and French-Canadians generally. The tanks and helicopters were theatre props. The October Crisis was not merely a protracted ordeal of state terrorism directed against the Quebec Left, it pressured all Canadians into a heightened urgency regarding issues central to Trudeau’s providential mission.
In 1974 RCMP Officer Robert Samson severely injured himself while planting a bomb in Montreal. After the RCMP brass disowned this incident by calling Samson a rogue, Samson defended himself claiming, “I have done a lot worse for the RCMP!” The ensuing scandal uncovered concrete evidence of what many suspected, i.e. the RCMP engaged in widespread, politically-motivated criminality.
In 1977 Quebec’s Parti Quebecois (PQ) government established a commission under Judge Keable to scrutinize RCMP behavior. Trudeau promised full cooperation with the Keable Commission, then proceeded to obstruct its work, smear Keable personally, and to legally challenge this provincial commission’s authority to review a federal agency. Trudeau also established a rival commission under Justice David McDonald, a Liberal Party stalwart.
The McDonald Commission held many of its meetings in private and suspiciously delayed the release its final report several times. Both Keable’s uncensored 450-page report and McDonald’s censored 2,400-page report came out in 1981. Among their cumulative findings:
1. The RCMP committed, at minimum, 400 illegal burglaries across Canada in the 1970s (mostly in Quebec and B.C.). Booty from these burglaries included the PQ membership list and a large amount of dynamite.
2. A single Montreal-based task force, already active in the early 1970s, employed 66 full-time RCMP officers. “Operation Ham” committed numerous break-ins, thefts, forgeries, etc.
3. The RCMP burned down two venues popular with Montreal activists.
4. The RCMP used bribery, blackmail, physical abduction, and “muscular interrogation” to recruit infiltrators and informants.
5. After the FLQ’s destruction in 1970, the RCMP deployed long-time FLQ mole Carole Devault to establish a faux FLQ cell. The ‘Andre Ouimet Cell’ issued FLQ communiques, recruited teenagers, and committed terrorist acts. This RCMP subsidiary kept the FLQ myth afloat into the mid-1970s.
6. The RCMP monitored numerous mainstream election candidates and conducted electronic surveillance on at least one sitting Member of Parliament. They illegally intercepted and opened the mail of at least 865 Canadians.
A former RCMP Commissioner and a former RCMP Security Service Director General testified before the McDonald Commission that they were aware of such crimes and that they had kept their political superiors (Trudeau et al.) informed of the same. Trudeau denied this.
Prime Minister Trudeau never practiced economic liberalism. His tenure was characterised by:
1. Mandatory wage and price control experiment giving way to multi-year wage controls;
2. Numerous anti-free market speeches;
3. A National Energy Program so interventionist and redistributionist it almost split Canada east from west;
4. A nakedly corporatist national farm marketing and supply management council;
5. State-imposed growth-stifling sky-high interest rates, and
6. Massive increases in government spending, public sector employment, and fiscal deficits.
This list of interventionist, economic-nationalist, uber-regulatory policies is hardly comprehensive. Trudeau’s economic policies received praises and criticisms from all levels of society, but no one misconstrued them as coming from a pro-free-enterprise, pro-market disposition.
While Canadian conservationism (and corporatism) pre-date the Pierre Trudeau era (1968-1984), this political tendency’s rebranding of itself as “environmentalism” is historically inseparable from Trudeaumania. Environmentalism became deeply embedded across the federal government during Trudeau’s tenure.
Sprouts of Canadian “environmentalism” appeared 1969-1971 with the incorporation of Toronto’s Pollution Probe, Halifax’s Ecology Action Centre, and Vancouver’s Society Promoting Environmental Conservation and Greenpeace. Similar ENGOs popped up across Canada, and they remain active today. Alternatives Magazine and York University’s Faculty of Environmental Studies also date to 1969-1971. (43)
The new organizations broadened the focus of older conservationist organizations. These “new” movement organizations returned to highlighting excesses of capitalism, limits to growth, and overpopulation. Anti-industrial tirades, and the advocacy of zero population growth and zero economic growth, became commonplace.
Canadian environmental law dates to the early Trudeau years as governments, led by Ottawa, suddenly responded to several perceived “crises” of environmental quality. (44) The Canada Water Act of 1970 heralded a concerted federal effort to impose federal enviro-rules over all Canadian waterways through, amongst other mechanisms, an elaborate array of federal-provincial committees. (45)
A federal environmental assessment process took shape after a task force report, issued in 1972, spurred the Cabinet into initiating the Environmental Assessment and Review Process in 1973 and then the Federal Environmental Assessment Review Office (FEARO) in 1974. (FEARO morphed into the Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency.) Also in 1974, Trudeau dispatched Justice Thomas Berger to assess a proposed pipeline to tap humongous natural gas deposits around the Mackenzie Valley. Berger’s three-year inquisition not only kyboshed the pipeline, it established a template for squelching similar projects. 1984 saw the debut of Environmental Assessment and Review Process Guidelines Order SOR/84-467 – the platform for much federal obstruction. (46)
In 1976 the Science Council of Canada wrote the lyrics of the future song-sheet for federally funded scientists with their groundbreaking tome, Canada as a Conserver Society.
Other groundbreaking federal enviro-initiatives dating to the Trudeau era include: Pest Control Products Act (1969), Fisheries Act (1970), International River Improvements Act (1970), Great Lakes Water Quality Agreement (signed 1972, updated 1978), Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife (1977), Department of Environment Act (1978), and the Inquiry on Federal Water Policy (1984).
The two main bureaucratic behemoths of Canadian environmentalist enforcement and propaganda – Environment and Climate Change Canada and Fisheries and Oceans Canada – emerged during the Trudeau years. The former, originally the Department of the Environment, was founded in 1971. Included within its stable of agencies was a Fishery Service spun off as a separate entity in 1977. Today these two agencies employ 17,000 well-paid civil servants, 5,000 of whom reside in Ottawa.
Trudeau’s ecofascist coup de grace was enshrining “Aboriginal and treaty rights” into Section 35 of the Charter. This profoundly changed environmental policy. Most legal deployments of Section 35 deal with Aboriginal rights to fish, hunt, and harvest timber. Protecting these economic relics, these recreational frills, is an effective way to frustrate resource companies. Aboriginal rights are, of course, “inherently ecological.” Aboriginals have unique rights to “healthy ecosystems” and to the preservation of culturally significant species in sacred locations and in numbers ascertainable only by experts in traditional ecological knowledge.
Trudeau’s sexual liberalism was Malthusianism in drag. His theocratic, monarchist Constitution gave Canadians no rights they did not already have, but it did undermine the supremacy of Parliament while privileging Quebec and Francophones. His economic policies were neo-corporatist. His environmental policies concentrated Canadians into the Montreal-Ottawa-Toronto corridor by suppressing western and northern development. The conscription of Aboriginals into a wilderness gendarmes is an unfolding disaster. His October Crisis stands as the only peacetime use of the War Measures Act in Canadian history. From October 16, 1970 to April 30, 1971 Canada was a flat-out fascist state a la Chef Pierre.
In the 1930s Pierre Dansereau cofounded and co-led the Catholic-fascist group Jeune-Canada. Among other outrages, Jeune-Canada attained notoriety for attacking demonstrations held in solidarity with Europe’s persecuted Jews. After WWII Dansereau became one of Canada’s “fathers of ecology.” He managed Montreal’s Botanical Gardens for a period, then ran the University of Montreal’s Botanical Institute before becoming Director of the University of Quebec’s Research Centre for Sciences and the Environment, where he remained as a Professor Emeritus until age 93, and where a Science Complex bears his name. After Dansereau penned the internationally popular Biogeography: An Ecological Perspective in 1957, the focus of his expertise shifted to Human Ecology (1966), then to Land Management (1970), then to World Ethics (1990). He always incorporated esoteric Catholic doctrines into his science, and he religiously denounced excessive consumerism. He produced television shows about the environment and was himself the subject of one documentary, The Ecology of Hope. His main scientific contribution was “applying natural ecological laws to man-made rural and urban environments.” A winner of a litany of awards, Dansereau guest-lectured at 20 universities.
Dansereau is but one of thousands of committed fascists who metamorphosed into leading environmentalists. This genre embraces: Martin Heidegger, Charles Lindbergh, Jorian Jenks, Gianni Agnelli, Kurt Waldheim, Jacques Cousteau, Reinhardt Mohn, Gunther Schwab, Alfred Teopfer, Alwin Siefert, Rolf Gardiner, Mercea Eliade, Prince Bernhard, Frederick Osborn, Werner Haverbeck, and Pierre Elliot Trudeau.
Typical of his ilk, Pierre Trudeau was a lifelong wilderness nut. The Nemnis describe a young man who communed with untamed Nature and sang of its purifying, cleansing qualities. Mystical, spiritual questions were answered in wilderness treks, especially in expensive excursions that only the wealthier rentiers of the leisure class could afford. Trudeau boasted of such trips his entire life and passed on this trait to his children, all of whom are/were green to the gills.
The Nemnis were too busy describing Quebec’s fascist movement of the 1930s and 1940s to spare a syllable on the environmentalist-fascist connection. Imagine a Euro-centric political movement positively obsessed with the words “organic” and “natural” and dedicated to restricting industrial agriculture and reviving low-tech farming because they found urban-industrial life socially uprooting, spiritually bereft, and physically sickening. Imagine a movement that saw land as the essential wealth and landowners as the bulwark of a supreme social stability. Imagine a movement opposing economic liberalism and dwelling on the excesses, errors, and intrinsic greed of capitalism. Imagine a movement committed to regulating business all the way to a fully managed economy. Imagine a movement inclined towards pseudo-science. Imagine a movement endorsed by the Pope. No, that’s not environmentalism; that’s fascism as described by the Nemnis.
The Nemnis have biases and blind-spots too. Their brushing aside of Professor Delisle, and their failure to explain the Hunter-Brothers-LX nexus, smacks of a cover-up. While it is entirely possible the Nemnis were fed vetted information, they never once suggest that incriminating evidence was withheld and only once do they complain of being unable to locate important documents. There is gaping incongruity between the substantial attention they give to the first conscription crisis of 1942 and the scant attention they give to the second one of 1944. It might be more honourable to attribute the Nemnis’ complete silence regarding the Terrace Mutiny to historical revisionism rather than to historian incompetence. Their contention that the Catholic Church was withdrawing support from the Vichy Regime in 1942 is a shameful fib.
Let us conclude with a parting shot at the changing definition of “corporatism.” A recent rash of articles bemoan how adept the “left” and/or the “liberals” are at manipulating language. These articles make for amusing reading because their authors, coming late to the flick, missed the scene where the terms “left” and “liberal” underwent their profound transmogrifications. The political movement masquerading as “lib-left” is primarily concerned with rolling back economic liberalism. As well, this movement has historically exhibited a lethal hatred of the Left.
“Corporatism” is a more recent malapropism. Corporatism did not originally refer to an economic system wherein corporations (i.e. business firms) receive minimal regulation and taxation; that’s called economic liberalism. Corporatism originally meant an economic system wherein state-dominated councils or “bodies” (corporations) exercised tight supervision over each commercial sector and thus wherein individual business firms had little freedom. In contemporary enviro-speak “corporatism” has come to mean rule by incorporated businesses; in other words, corporatism has come to mean economic liberalism – the abhorrence crying out for punitive taxation and proactive regulation. More anon…
Bakker, Karen (ed.) Eau Canada: The Future of Canada’s Water. UBC Press, Vancouver, 2007.
CBC Radio Archive, Cite Libre, Pierre Trudeau’s influential little magazine. August 8, 1963. Host: Michael Oliver.
Fidler, Richard. RCMP: The Real Subversives. Pathfinder Press, 1978.
Hughes, Elaine; Lucas, Alistair; and Tilleman, William. Environmental Law and Policy. Emond Montgomery Publications Ltd. Toronto, 2003
https://www.barricades.ca/current/Hidden_in_Plain_Sight.htm (Delisle, Esther.)
Nemni, Max and Monique. Young Trudeau: Son of Quebec, Father of Canada, 1919-1944. McClelland and Stewart Ltd. Toronto, 2006.
Radio Canada, Revelations about the murder of Pierre Laporte. September 23, 2010.
VanNijnatten, Debora and Robert Boardman (ed.) Canadian Environmental Policy and Politics. Oxford University Press, 2009.
Warren, Jean-Philippe. Trudeau before he was Trudeau. Globe and Mail, June 10, 2006.
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