Perspective: I

As Canadians watch events unfold down south regarding the ‘Black Lives Matter’ movement and overall discussions about race, they pay lip service to these topics without looking inward. So here I am to point out the obvious.

Let’s begin with mass murder.

Small pox

We begin with the First Nations people and Jeffrey Amherst. Amherst was a British Army officer who fought to conquer New France and was the first British Governor General of the territories (later Canada).

Smallpox was an infectious disease brought to the New World by European conquerors; since Indigenous people had not previously been exposed they were decimated by the disease when it spread in their communities. This applies from Canada on down to South America and everyone knows this.

Fewer know that Amherst tried to deliberately infect the Indigenous with small pox (clearly showing he knew the disease was deadly among them; no “herd immunity”) as one of many ways in which to “reduce them”.

This has been known for some time by authors and historians (see: Atlas of the North American Indian, 1985 & The Conspiracy of Pontiac and the Indian War after the Conquest of Canada; 1886).

Francis Parkman, the historian who wrote The Conspiracy of Pontiac quotes in his book:

“Could it not be contrived to send the Small Pox among those disaffected tribes of Indians? We must on this occasion use every stratagem in our power to reduce them.”

Vol. II, p.39 (6th edition)

Amherst’s attempts to kill via small pox have been known for quite some time among Indigenous people (and apparently a few others), but was denied at large by “polite white society” as some type of urban myth.

Researchers had to go and and find evidence of the letters and writings in microfilm. (The papers had been microfilmed as part of the British Manuscripts Project in the 1940s.) The research was done on a promise to Floyd Red Crow Westerman of the Dakota Nation who wanted to uncover legitimate evidence of the crime.

The quote from the book has not yet been found in microfilm, but others have:

P.S. You will Do well to try to Innoculate the Indians by means of Blankets, as well as to try Every other method that can serve to Extirpate this Execrable Race. I should be very glad your Scheme for Hunting them Down by Dogs could take Effect, but England is at too great a Distance to think of that at present.

Microfilm reel 34/41, item 114. (Letter image)

This quote was a response from his subordinate lieutenant colonel Henry Bouquet:

P.S. I will try to inocculate [sic] the Indians by means of Blankets that may fall in their hands, taking care however not to get the disease myself. As it is pity to oppose good men against them..”

Microfilm reel 34/40, item 305. (Letter image)

The letters clearly prove a conspiracy among at least some in the British Army to use biological warfare to assist in reducing or exterminating Indigenous nations.

The most basic definition of genocide:

the deliberate killing of a large group of people, especially those of a particular ethnic group or nation.”

Now it could be argued Amherst and his co-conspirators were referring to specific tribes they were in conflict with. However, it shows little concern for Indigenous peoples as a whole, when the disease could easily spread between tribes, killing them off while Europeans remained less exposed.

Murder through biological warfare had been known for some time, yet most liked to insist there was “no proof”, or that intent hadn’t been there – it was an accident later attributed to ill intention.

The fact letters have been found after hundreds of years and describe the will to murder through smallpox is astonishing, when you take into account the time elapsed, the poor system for correspondence, the storage of the letters and so on. If this small trace exists and these men had the hubris to put their designs to paper, one can only guess at the actual attitudes and behavior of the time.

And even if you remain unconvinced about Amherst, we move on to a more recent time with more damning record evidence.

(With thanks for source material from Peter d’Errico.)

Tuberculosis

Most Canadians now know that many children in the residential schools died of tuberculosis. But they wave off the idea these children were intentionally killed, and again describe the incident as accidental or perhaps a bit of ‘well-intentioned’ neglect.

A national journalist attempting to be the “voice of reason” against allegations of murder, wrote this:

“There were front-page stories a century ago, too. In 1897, senior Indian Affairs officials started blowing the whistle on the cavernous, shoddily-built, creaking institutions, pointing out that you couldn’t have built more efficient incubation vectors for contagious disease, and for mass death, if you tried.

Back then, P.H. Bryce, the Indian department’s chief medical officer, conducted a study of 1,500 children interned in 15 different Indian residential schools across Canada. He found that one in four of the children never made it out alive. A separate study of the Kuper Island school found that four of every 10 children sent there over a 25-year period never survived to graduate.

This is sufficiently damning. It is not necessary to assert, as Annett does, that infectious diseases were deliberately employed as part of a plot to “cull” Canada’s aboriginal population. Everybody knows what happened. It is no secret, and is not even a secret that there are mass graves.”

The Tyee: Truth and Native Abuse, 2008

Even while defending the Canadian government on public record, this journalist admits that senior Indian Affairs officials were publicly blowing the whistle: “you couldn’t have built more efficient incubation vectors for contagious disease, and for mass death, if you tried.

He also admits the children were dying en masse; that the issue had been studied and was known in government, nothing was done, and it’s no secret currently there are “mass graves”. (The cognitive dissonance is stunning.)

Conditions were such that officials felt the need to “whistle blow”, which subsequently is damning evidence against the Canadian public – many of whom were aware as well.

Imagine this scenario: the Chinese come and take over Canada; they place all the children in mandatory “re-education” schools and COVID-19 mutates into a deadly strain which children begin to catch. In the schools, the children begin dying at an alarming rate: from a quarter of students to half or more. The Canadian government begs the Chinese to allow the children to stay home since the schools are killing them. Yet the Chinese refuse, claiming ‘education’ precedes the need for safety since the disease is commonplace.

Is this not the willful murder of children? The Canadian government still clings to the narrative it tried to help ‘civilize a savage people’, and in doing so ‘accidentally’ killed off a large amount through incompetence or at worst, neglect.

But if you know you are killing children – is it not murder? If you know half the children will die by attending school and you keep them there, is it not murder? When the chief medical officer for Indian Affairs says the conditions are encouraging disease spread and will kill children – and you sit by indifferently – is it not murder? Of course when you know the outcome there can be no excuses.

They didn’t need to put their deeds onto paper like Jeffrey Amherst, they didn’t need to specify in writing – their deeds speak for themselves when taken into context.

If my coworker wanted to put a hit out on his wife and hired a hit man, and I did nothing, I would still be culpable because I knew the outcome and took no action.

Dr. Bryce, an employee of the Canadian government and Indian Affairs, wrote a book called The Story of A National Crime. It was not called the National Mistake or the National Accident – he called it a CRIME.

Crime: “an action or omission that constitutes an offense that may be prosecuted by the state and is punishable by law.

Duncan Campbell Scott, superintendent of Indian Affairs, brushed off years of Dr. Bryce’s warnings, reports, studies and ultimately his book.

“It is readily acknowledged that Indian children lose their natural resistance to illness by habituating so closely in the residential schools, and that they die at a much higher rate than in their villages. But this alone does not justify a change in the policy of this Department, which is geared towards a final solution of our Indian Problem.”

Department of Indian Affairs Superintendent D.C. Scott to B.C. Indian Agent-General Major D. McKay, DIA Archives, RG 1-Series 12 April 1910

Conclusion

Before I listen to anything the government has to say about the United States and its past, history, or issues, I would like to have the following:

An acknowledgement that Canada’s Governor General Jeffrey Amherst attempted to kill off Indigenous nations with small pox in order to obtain and keep Canadian land.

Acknowledgement of the innocent Indigenous girl slaves “who worked as household help and served as concubines for the French. They were often hardly ten years old. Their average age at death was 17 years.”

An acknowledgement that Canada’s chief medical officer in the 1900s wrote a book claiming the government of Canada was committing a crime.

Acknowledgement that the Canadian government participated in the willful murder of children through both action and omission, ultimately knowing the outcome but pursuing their agenda despite the cost of life.

An acknowledgement by the Canadian government that it continues to protect the abusers of children in residential schools, and puts money before the pursuit of justice.

An acknowledgement by the Canadian government that by protecting the perpetrators of child abuse, and by not admitting to past crimes of murder, it has attempted to protect itself from financial litigation and legal accountability.

Perhaps then I will care about your thoughts on America.


Post Script:

I understand what the journalist is trying to convey: that this was not some diabolical scheme etched in the halls of power on par with the Wannsee conference.

There is no need to assert “that infectious diseases were deliberately employed as part of a plot to “cull” Canada’s aboriginal population.” When you are killing children and know your actions are killing them, but it does not “justify a change in policy” I would argue that is indeed “culling the population”. These children were in the schools and dying because they were not white. One can speak of Canada’s “polite, quiet” way of killing the Indigenous, and levels of intent, but the outcome and facts remain the same: the government chose to kill children to fulfill its agenda.

CULLING according to the Cambridge dictionary:

When people cull animals, they kill them, especially the weaker members of a particular group of them, in order to reduce or limit their number.

Recommended Reading

Here are some books I recommend reading (if you can be bothered to read about Canada) mentioned in this blog and elsewhere.


(My favorite on this list) Black Ice by Darril & George Fosty.

“In 1895, The Colored Hockey League of the Maritimes was formed in Halifax, Nova Scotia … The Colored League would emerge as a premier force in Canadian hockey and supply the resilience necessary to preserve a unique culture which exists to this day. Unfortunately their contributions were conveniently ignored, or simply stolen, as white teams and hockey officials, influenced by the black league, copied elements of the black style or sought to take self-credit for black hockey innovations. Black Ice is the first written record of the Colored Hockey League in the Maritimes.”

This book is about so much more than hockey: the Maritimes, slavery and Black history in Canada, and interesting, worthwhile people.


Keeping Canada British: The Ku Klux Klan in 1920’s Saskatchewan by James M. Pistula.

“The Ku Klux Klan had its origins in the American South. It was suppressed but rose again in the 1920s, spreading into Canada, especially Saskatchewan. This book offers a new interpretation for the appeal of the Klan in 1920s Saskatchewan. It argues that the Klan should not be portrayed merely as an irrational outburst of intolerance but as a populist aftershock of the Great War – and a slightly more extreme version of mainstream opinion that wanted to keep Canada British. Through its meticulous exploration of a controversial issue central to the history of Saskatchewan and the formation of national identity, this book shines light upon a dark corner of Canada’s past.”

It can be a bit of a dry read at times, and the bumbling characters of Saskatchewan aren’t too exciting, but it’s educational regarding Canadian racism and the Klan.


Canada’s Forgotten Slaves: Two Hundred Years of Bondage by Marcel Trudel and George Tombs.

“… By painstakingly combing through unpublished archival records of the seventeenth, eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, Marcel Trudel gives a human face to the over 4,000 Aboriginal and Black slaves bought, sold and exploited in colonial Canada. He reveals the identities of the slave owners, who ranged from governors, seigneurs, and military officers to bishops, priests, nuns, judges, and merchants. Trudel describes the plight of slaves–the joys and sorrows of their daily existence. Trudel also recounts how some slaves struggled to gain their liberty. He documents Canadian politicians, historians and ecclesiastics who deliberately falsified the record, glorifying their own colonial-era heroes, in order to remove any trace of the thousands of Aboriginal and Black slaves held in bondage for two centuries in Canada.”

An eye-opening history of slavery in Canada and the best place to start on the subject.


Murder City: The Untold Story of Canada’s Serial Killer Capital, 1959-1984 by Michael Arntfield.

” … From the earliest documented case of homicidal copycatting in Canada, to the fact that at any given time up to six serial killers were operating at once in the deceivingly serene “Forest City,” London was once a place that on the surface presented a veneer of normality when beneath that surface dark things would whisper and stir. Through it all, a lone detective would go on to spend the rest of his life fighting against impossible odds to protect the city against a tidal wave of violence that few ever saw coming, and which to this day even fewer choose to remember… Murder City is an explosive book over fifty years in the making, and is the history of London, Ontario as never told before. Stranger than fiction, tragic, ironic, horrifying, yet also inspiring, this is the true story of one city under siege, and a book that marks a game changer for the true crime genre.”

There’s a lot of information here and it does jump around a bit. It’s a horrifying, disturbing look at serial killers and unsolved crime in Canada.


Loss of Faith: How The Air India Bombers Got Away With Murder by Kim Bolan.

“On June 23, 1985, Canada found itself on the international terrorism map when two bombs built in B.C. detonated within an hour of each other on opposite sides of the world, killing 329 men, women, and children… When charges were finally laid against three Sikh separatists, the families believed justice was almost theirs. But their faith was shaken when one suspect pleaded guilty to manslaughter and got a five-year sentence for more than three hundred deaths.”

A disturbing look at terrorism in Canada and the men who got away with mass murder. It’s difficult to read about the incompetence of Canadian law enforcement and its judicial system.


The Hanging of Angelique by Afua Cooper.

“Writer, historian and poet Afua Cooper tells the astonishing story of Marie-Joseph Angélique, a slave woman convicted of starting a fire that destroyed a large part of Montréal in April 1734 and condemned to die a brutal death. In a powerful retelling of Angélique’s story—now supported by archival illustrations—Cooper builds on 15 years of research to shed new light on a rebellious Portuguese-born black woman who refused to accept her indentured servitude. At the same time, Cooper completely demolishes the myth of a benign, slave-free Canada, revealing a damning 200- year-old record of legally and culturally endorsed slavery.”

This book is not just the story of one condemned slave, but a sweeping history of slavery and early Canada.


This list will be updated periodically.

Starves the Soul, Feeds the Ego

It was another blogger who coined the term “starves the soul, feeds the ego” in regards to Canada, or at least introduced me to it. There is no more apt description of Canadian life.

There is something incredibly hollow and shallow about its society and culture. The media feeds the constantly needy caker-complex, bathing the national ego in anecdotes about politeness, kindness, desirability and superiority. Raging with insecurity, the caker is fed a nonstop barrage of supercilious tales regarding its southern neighbor; no matter the ailment, smug condescension is the balm that soothes.

Imagine the personification of Canada: a frail, thin, frowning man sitting at a long feast table among a crowd; the more they eat the fatter they grow, and yet Canada sits there woefully malnourished; eating and eating while never feeling full. The more he eats, the thinner he grows and the less satiated he feels: starves the soul, feeds the ego.

Such is life in a cultural wasteland where honesty is never valued, the past remains hidden, progress is undermined and souls burning with passion are slowly extinguished as they languish, whither and smoke out.

In Canada appearances are everything and take precedent over integrity, change and growth.

To appear progressive and liberal, Canada placed a black woman (Viola Desmond) on the ten dollar bill in order to gain plaudits from the international community. And yet, this same country hid its past of slavery for hundreds of years, from generations of its citizens. To this day, the overwhelming majority of Canadians don’t know their country had slavery for over two centuries; the few who do learned from open information now available through the internet, not their government.

On the opposite side of the bill is an image of the Museum for Human Rights located in Manitoba. Beside it is a feather meant to represent the First Nations peoples. Here too lies massive irony and rot. The museum cost $351 million dollars and is located in a small province (pop: less than 1.5 million) with the worst statistics for Indigenous people (racism, crime, poverty, living conditions), where one-third of children are living in poverty; a figure which rises to over 75% of Aboriginal children on reserves.

This bill is but one obvious example of Canada’s rank hypocrisy and desire for global promotion and accolades over substantial action at home. Starves the soul, feeds the ego.

When a sore point is touched on Canadian policy (foreign or domestic) or a light shined on internal issues, the default reaction is to look to the United States as a red herring for inaction and ineptitude. But despite the many well known issues of America, I am in agreement with this commentator:

There is something seriously sick about Canada, something that permeates the air with its rotten tones of corruption, denial, and monstrosity. At least in America there is an active and robust social dynamic that keeps the fresh air flowing over the dead bodies and the hope of change, but in Canada? They’re still a monarchical colony who worship a queen …

Rot, corruption, denial and sickness: the culture shows no promise of changing any time soon, but will continue to put on airs for the international community.

Starves the soul, feeds the ego.

Remember When? … #hangingofangelique

Remember When is a new series of posts where we take a look back at some of the funny, bizarre and downright disturbing incidents in Canada’s past.

Since cakers like to judge everyone else (particularly Americans) and point out their historic wrong-doings, it’s time to take a mirror to these incompetent hypocrites. Enjoy!


Marie-Joseph Angelique

Marie was a badass forgotten by virtually everyone in Canada until only recently; remembered vaguely by a few historians and celebrated as a figure of Black resistance by Canada’s Black population (at less than 3%).

She was born in 1705 in Portugal, enslaved and later brought to North America. After arriving in New England she was purchased by a Montreal man, who brought her back to his hometown to work as his slave. After he died, Marie-Joseph carried on in service to his widow who gave her the name “Angelique”. She took a white indentured laborer named Claude Thibault as her lover.

She asked her owner for freedom and was denied, so she started raising hell: talking back, threatening death, fighting with other servants and claiming she’d burn shit down. Being a nuisance, she was sold to a Quebec City man in exchange for 600 pounds of gun powder. But before she could be relocated she set fire to her bed and ran away with Thibault. They were caught and returned.

One evening a portion of Montreal caught fire and Angelique was blamed for setting it.

“Angélique was accused of starting the fire and arrested by police on 11 April. She was taken to court the following morning, where she was charged with arson, a capital crime punishable by death, torture or banishment.

In the French legal system of the 18th century, the accused was presumed guilty, and in New France, there were no trials by jury, only inquisitorial tribunals in which the defendant was meant to prove her innocence. Lawyers were banned from practicing in the colony by Louis XIV.”

She was brought before the tribunal where witnesses testified she’d previously threatened to burn things. After six weeks she was found guilty and sentenced to death.

She was to have her hands cut off and be burned alive. The sentence was appealed to the superior court in Québec City, where the death penalty was upheld and the gruesome aspects of the sentencing lessened. Angélique would be tortured, hanged, and then her body burned. She returned to Montréal to await her death.

In June of 1734, the twenty-nine year old woman was tortured in her jail cell. She broke down and “confessed” to the crime but refused to name her lover as a co-conspirator. Afterwards she was taken by garbage cart to the down town church, forced to make a public apology and beg for forgiveness; she was then hanged.

Slavery would last for over 200 years in Canada, its history intentionally hidden and forgotten for generations. If there is one person who puts a face, name, and story to all the Blacks who were enslaved, it is Marie-Joseph Angelique. She did not roll over and endure her slavery with resignation, but demanded her freedom and attempted to take it.


The Hanging of Angelique

“Writer, historian and poet Afua Cooper tells the astonishing story of Marie-Joseph Angélique, a slave woman convicted of starting a fire that destroyed a large part of Montréal in April 1734 and condemned to die a brutal death.

In a powerful retelling of Angélique’s story—now supported by archival illustrations—Cooper builds on 15 years of research to shed new light on a rebellious Portuguese-born black woman who refused to accept her indentured servitude. At the same time, Cooper completely demolishes the myth of a benign, slave-free Canada, revealing a damning 200- year-old record of legally and culturally endorsed slavery.”


Of course in Canada we learn all about the crusty, old, racist white men who helped found this nation, but not the freedom-loving bad asses who tried to escape it!

Post Script:

The majority of the book provides historical context for Angelique’s time and the events which led up to it. Her story compromises the ending, and details are scarce due to minimal records. I’m glad that I know it. There is also a great list of slavery narratives in the epilogue (and an introduction to Fado music).

Remember When? … #airindiabombing

Remember When is a new series of posts where we take a look back at some of the funny, bizarre and downright disturbing incidents in Canada’s past.

Since cakers like to judge everyone else (particularly Americans) and point out their historic wrong-doings, it’s time to take a mirror to these incompetent hypocrites. Enjoy!


Loss of Faith: How The Air India Bombers Got Away With Murder

From Amazon:

“On June 23, 1985, Canada found itself on the international terrorism map when two bombs built in B.C. detonated within an hour of each other on opposite sides of the world, killing 329 men, women, and children.

Canadian Sikh separatists, upset at the Indian government for attacking their religion’s holiest shrine, the Golden Temple, were immediately suspected by the RCMP of perpetrating the worst act of aviation terrorism before Sept. 11, 2001. But while police agencies scrambled to infiltrate a close-knit immigrant community and collect evidence against the suspects, the Canadian Security Intelligence Service was destroying taped telephone calls between the same people the RCMP was investigating.

For years those at the centre of the terrorist plot tried to protect their dark secret. Two Sikh newspaper publishers who overheard an alleged confession by one of the bombers were assassinated. Other potential witnesses were threatened and intimidated. Journalists who wrote about the suspects were targeted by death threats and harassment. The suspects founded charities and participated in political parties, attending fundraising dinners for premiers and prime ministers. And the families of the victims fought to be recognized for their unimaginable loss as the result of an act of terrorism plotted in Canada. When charges were finally laid against three Sikh separatists, the families believed justice was almost theirs. But their faith was shaken when one suspect pleaded guilty to manslaughter and got a five-year sentence for more than three hundred deaths.

The Air-India trial judge spoke in his ruling of the “the senseless horror” of the bombings. He called the plot “a diabolical act of terrorism” with “roots in fanaticism at its basest and most inhumane level.” He then acquitted Sikh leaders Ripudaman Singh Malik and Ajaib Singh Bagri on all charges, leaving the victims’ families reeling and the biggest case in Canadian history officially unsolved.

Kim Bolan is an award-winning investigative reporter who has covered the Air-India bombing case since the day Flight 182 went down off the coast of Ireland. Her work on the Air-India story has taken her to Punjab five times over the last twenty years where she met with militant Sikh separatist leaders and victims of the violence. She also followed Air-India mastermind Talwinder Singh Parmar to Pakistan before his 1992 slaying and chased down other suspects in England and across Canada. But she faced the most danger at home in Vancouver where the stories she uncovered about the Air-India case led to a series of death threats against her.”


Terrorists? Bombings? Destroying evidence and tapes? Assassinations? Murderers rubbing shoulders with politicians? A five year sentence for killing hundreds of people? Wow, this is India – right? Nope this is good ol’ British Columbia, Canada!

(Welcome to B.C. … also known as Bring Cash or Be Corrupt.)


So why don’t Canadians ever discuss the Air India Bombing? Why do they know so little about it? Why doesn’t anyone care? Questions asked by a piece in The Tyee:

“All 329 people on board Air India Flight 182 on June 23, 1985, 33 years ago today, were killed, including 280 citizens or permanent residents of Canada.

They were lost to a bomb that exploded while their plane was in Irish airspace, en route from Canada to India. The bomb had been planted in Canada in an act of terror planned by extremists allegedly advocating for a separate Sikh state in the Punjab.

It was Canada’s worst mass murder, yet it is barely remembered in this country.

Today, Canadians commonly regard the bombing as an Indian tragedy, or at most an Indo-Canadian tragedy. They typically dwell on the terrorism, but rarely on the grief and hardship of fathers, mothers, wives, husbands, children, friends and neighbours left behind.

Why hasn’t this tragedy claimed a prominent place in Canadian history and public memory? Some now call it Canada’s 9/11, but until the attack in New York City some 16 years later, they didn’t call it much at all.

The Canadian families of the dead wonder year after year why no one but them seems to care, or why their grief is seen as less worthy than that of others who are more openly taken into the nation’s heart.

The answer is simple: Canada hides from the truth. No doubt racism is involved (they’re less “Canadian” being brown or immigrants) but much more than that – Canada never acknowledges its corruption, rot, or hypocrisy. To do so would involve honesty and then efforts to change … Canadians prefer to ignore, whitewash or deny. Ignoring facts is easy, action is difficult.


The controversy would rear its ugly head again with the election of Jagmeet Singh as NDP leader. He was asked questions about one of the suspects (considered a leader in the conspiracy but never found guilty due to insufficient evidence) and in typical Canadian style there were no straight answers, whining about “racism” and absolutely nothing constructive accomplished or discovered.

From The Georgia Straight:

“Not long after Jagmeet Singh was elected NDP leader, he sat down for an interview with the CBC’s Terry Milewski in early October….

Given Milewski’s history covering this story, it shouldn’t come as a huge surprise that he asked the new NDP leader if he would denounce Parmar—who’s been glorified as a Sikh martyr at the Dasmesh Darbar gurdwara in Surrey.

Singh, a baptized Sikh who wears a turban, replied that “we need to make sure that the investigation results in a conviction of someone who is actually responsible”.

And for a few days, there was a media and social-media firestorm over Milewski’s question, Singh’s answer, and the CBC journalist’s subsequent tweet…

Critics of Milewski said he would never ask this question of a white political leader. Singh himself called the question “offensive”, saying any Canadian would denounce anyone held responsible for terrorism.

Milewski’s defenders, on the other hand, said it was a legitimate question to ask of a man who wanted to become prime minister…


… Then there’s Jagmeet Singh, a trained criminal defence lawyer who says he would like to see convictions before commenting on who’s responsible. And as long as Singh maintains this position, he can expect to be roasted periodically by those who utterly reject that proposition and insist that it’s been proven that Parmar was the mastermind.

The Air India bombing occurred more than 30 years ago and at this stage, it appears unlikely that anyone else will be charged.

But it still has the potential to play a role in the 2019 federal election. This is particularly true if Singh’s point of view comes under criticism from his Liberal and Conservative opponents, senior Canadian journalists, former B.C. premier Dosanjh, and relatives of deceased passengers.

The Air India bombing still matters for a multitude of reasons, especially for the painful losses endured by so many Canadian families. Many of them were appalled by Josephson’s court ruling in the case involving Malik and Bagri and these relatives likely won’t stay silent about a potential prime minister who refuses to condemn Parmar.”


Singh changed his tune after the backlash, from the CBC:

After having expressed some doubts, NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh said today he accepts the Air India inquiry’s conclusion that Talwinder Singh Parmar was the mastermind behind the deadly mid-air bombing that killed hundreds of Canadians — and he thinks it’s inappropriate for some Sikhs to glorify Parmar by displaying his photo.

Despite his more recent statement, there will now always be some who wonder if he harbors terrorist sympathies since he couldn’t simply spit this out at the beginning. Telling sign or rookie mistake?


Post Script:

It’s got everything one would expect: a belief that terrorism couldn’t happen in ‘magical Canada’, and incompetence by CSIS and the RCMP. (In fairness to CSIS it was a new organization, nonetheless it’s doubtful results would have been different otherwise.)

As you reach the middle of the book it gets to be a slog reading about these odious thugs terrorizing the community, murdering people, and scamming the government out of millions of dollars. Towards the end it’s also difficult to read about them getting away with mass murder.

This has all the hallmarks of a classic Canadian story: racism, incompetence, corruption, and of course no change or improvement after thirty years. Did anyone expect anything less?

Foreword (quoting George Elliot Clarke)

I wanted to share this Foreword to the book The Hanging of Angelique, written by George Elliot Clarke. I only recently discovered this book, and the summary in the beginning perfectly captures everything I’ve been saying, only with more eloquence than my rantings.

I find Canada worse than the United States in the same way I find a corrupt police officer worse than a criminal: it is the complete betrayal of trust based on false imagery and misrepresentation; the total base hypocrisy which is abominable and beyond contempt.

So, to quote:

“As I WRITE THIS FOREWORD, Mme. Michaelle Jean, born in Haiti in 1957 and a resident of Montreal, Quebec, since 1968, is being sworn in as Her Excellency, the governor general of Canada, the nation’s twenty-seventh head of state. Mme. Jean is, culturally, Haitian-Quebecoise-French; historically, she is like the vast majority of Black people in the western hemisphere– a descendant of African slaves. While performing her viceregal duties, this savvy intellectual– a socially oriented broadcast journalist by trade, a student of Haitian and Quebecois history, and a speaker of five languages– may reflect on the irony that she is queen in all but name of a society, Canada, that was established just as Haiti was, on the economic basis of African servitude. Not surprisingly, European-Canadian commentators on Mme. Jean’s ascension have noted that she is a “descendant of Hatian slaves” and some have applauded Canada’s blindness concerning “race” and “gender”– that is to say, it’s supposed liberality– in selecting a Black woman for the post of head of state and commander-in-chief of the Canadian Armed Forces.

But forgotten (in fact, repressed) amid all the analyses of Mme. Jean’s elevation is Canada’s own practice of slavery, Aboriginal and African, its emancipation of slaves only by imperial fiat (from London), and its continued conjoining of labour needs and “race” in its immigration practices. Forgotten too, are the two salient anniversaries that 2005 represents for African Canadians: the arrival of the first African person in Canada, namely, Mathieu de Coste, in 1605; and the relaxation of anti-Black immigration laws with the 1955 promulgation of the West Indian Domestic Scheme.

The avoidance of Canada’s sorry history of slavery and racism is natural. It is how Canadians prefer to understand themselves: we are a nation of good, Nordic, “pure”, mainly White folks, as opposed to the lawless, hot-tempered, impure, mongrel Americans, with their messy history of slavery, civil war, segregation, assassinations, lynchings, riots, and constant social turmoil. Key to this propaganda–and that is what it is– is the Manichaean portrayal of two nations: Canada, the land of “Peace, Order, and Good Government,” of evolution within the traditional constraints of monarchy and authority, where racism was not and is not tolerated, versus the United States of America, the land of guns, cockroaches, and garbage, of criminal sedition confronted by aggressive policing (and jailing), where racism was and is the arbiter of class (im)mobility.

Indeed, in Canada, “race” and racism are concepts used to refight the American Revolution, to establish that the Yankee Revolt against the Crown was wrong, while Canada’s loyalty to the monarchy, heirarchy, and public order fostered a more harmonious and, ironically, rouge-tinted society.

But the price of this flattering self-portrait is public lying, falsified history, and self-destructive blindness. It means that we can forget about a Canadian-led expedition to the Congo in the 1880s, which resulted in Africans’ heads being cut off and stuck on fence posts– a scene that may have inspired Joseph Conrad’s Heart of Darkness. We can guiltlessly commemorate, with a single plaque, an entire Black community– Africville– which had been in existence for almost 150 years when, in 1962, the city of Halifax decided to relocate its citizens, razing and burying all signs of Africville’s former life. We can ignore the contributions of nineteenth-century Black settlers who cleared and tilled parts of this land until “official” settlers arrived from Ireland and England and claimed the title. Think, for instance, of Priceville, Ontario, where, in 1989, grave markers of the town’s first inhabitants turned up in a farmer’s field. Only then did the townspeople “discover” that the Black cemetery had been ploughed under, the Black presence buried and all but forgotten.

Our refusal to embrace the facts of our history means that we, as a people, can commit atrocities such as the one that occurred in Somalia in 1992, when “our boys,” part of a taxpayer-funded, elite paratrooper regiment, shot three Somalis and lynched one, a child. It means that we make liars out of our “coloured”– that is, “visible minority”– citizens, as our federal government did in 2003. In that year, when the United Nations released a report stating that Africans and Aboriginals suffer racism in Canada, the response of the Liberal government of Canada was that the UN was wrong…

… Unlike American literature and society, in which rebels, Black and White, are celebrated, canonized with folk songs, and given “star billing,” even if they were silenced by officially sanctioned bullets or state executions, Canadian literature boasts very, very few such figures. The Manitoban mystic Louis Riel, hanged for insurrection in 1885, is one vaunted rebel, especially for Metis and francophones. In African-Canadian circles, no such celebrity exists; our “criminals” are seldom martyrs…

… The reader will notice, no doubt, that, while I claim that Mme. Angelique is the best-known African-Canadian slave, she appears in only a handful of texts (excluding histories). Here we address the nub of the problem that Dr. Cooper’s research challenges: the repression of the history of Canadian slavery necessitates the oblivion of actors such as Mme. Angelique. The recovery of that history mandates the remembering of representative and extraordinary slaves…

Some may object that, because colonial Canadian slavery was not as extensive as the Southern U.S. version, Dr. Cooper’s research is academic and inconsequential. However, we must recognize that slavery was practiced in a solid third of what is now Canada– in Upper Canada (Ontario), New France (Quebec), New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island, and Nova Scotia; that it numbered in thousands of slaves (with the greatest number in New France), held “legally” under various colonial regimes and traded globally; that it lasted for more than two hundred years; and that it ended only because it was not vital to the boreal economy.

As historian James Walker has argued, because colonial Canada held African slaves, its society fostered anti-Black racism-Negrophobia that persists in Canada today. Furthermore, because slavery was all about extracting free–and hard– labour from understandably recalcitrant persons, it sanctioned torture, even in Canada. Thus, one reads that a Loyalist kept his slaves chained to his basement walls in Fredericton, New Brunswick; or that a Nova Scotian bachelor minister owned two teenage female slaves, thus exciting public controversy; or that a Nova Scotian mistress bludgeoned a boy slave to death with a hammer; or that “a slave of Judge Upham” was hanged, on flimsy grounds, for the murder of a White woman in New Brunswick; or that Jean-Baptiste Thomas was hanged in the Montreal market, for theft, in the summer of 1735 (just a year after Mme. Angelique was executed); or that Josiah Cutten was hanged, in Ontario, in 1789, but was likened to animals that “go about at Night for their prey”. Ah, the records of Canadian slavery are every bit as vicious as those we Canadians know so much better– those of the Great Republic…

… “Four hundred years after the first African landed on Canadian shores (in Nova Scotia), 270 years after the grisly execution of Mme. Angelique, 170 years after the British Empire abolished slavery in Canada, and 50 years after Blacks were once again permitted to immigrate to Canada (specifically, from the Caribbean), one watches a brilliant irony unfold: the Jamaican-Canadian Dr. Cooper, a native of a society of slave revolts, presents her governor general, the Haitian-Canadian Mme. Jean, a native of a country established in rebellion and revolution, with a document about another Black woman, who was a martyr for liberty in colonial Canada.”

I now finish off with a quote from Afua Cooper in her Preface:

“The story of Angelique provides an opportunity for us to reclaim a hidden past. Since much of the Black past has been deliberately buried, covered over, and demolished, it is our task to unearth, uncover and piece it together again. This we are called to do, because the dead speak to us.

Canada’s Forgotten Slaves: Two Hundred Years of Bondage

To help elaborate on the topic of slavery in Canada, I am quoting some excerpts from Marcel Trudel’s book ‘Canada’s Forgotten Slaves: Two Hundred Years of Bondage’. It’s an interesting book and worth reading. (The topic has been virtually ignored and suppressed in Canada.)

Points to note:

Between 1632 and 1834 there were over 4000 slaves in New France/Canada. They were both black and aboriginal. A black was worth 900 livres, and an Amerindian slave worth 400 livres. There were more Amerindian slaves than blacks: this tended to be because they were cheaper, which was in part a result of the fact they were nearby and easier to obtain. (Amerindian slaves were known as ‘Panis’ – a generic term to describe a slave of any tribe.)

Slavery here never reached the heights of the southern colonies or Caribbean – but not through lack of effort. Citizens attempted to import shipments of slaves but were prevented by wars, transportation costs, company changes and a lack of interest from slavers.

While slavery was an economic imperative for southern colonies, slavery here had no real economic basis and was merely a status symbol, conveying wealth and prestige. While attempts to ship slaves were requested for “cost effective” measures, and assistance in “working the land” (agriculture), in fact very few slaves were rural and most existed in the city, purchased by the upper classes.

Timeline:

The slavery timeline begins in ‘New France’ (a colony of France), and continues under the British military regime (after the conquest of 1760). It carries on in the province of Quebec (1774-1791) and Lower Canada (1791 – 1834).


Introduction

“Canadians have long seen slavery in terms, above all, of the Underground Railway, that clandestine network of forest and waterside paths by which Quakers, black freedmen and other human rights advocates smuggled runaway American slaves northwards to liberty in the early nineteenth century. As many as a hundred thousand slaves escaped to Canada. But for some strange reason, while congratulating Canadians for offering refuge to these fugitives, generations of historians maintained a virtual conspiracy of silence about slaves owned and exploited, bought and sold, by Canadians themselves.”

p 7

“… when did slavery begin here? The first slaves were few and far between, and the practice of slave-holding only became a common practice starting in the 1680s. A few individual slaves appeared first of all. Gradually servitude became a recognized institution in the society of New France, and it remained so up to the first quarter of the nineteenth century.”

p 15

“The first slave we can positively identify in New France was a Negro boy brought here by David Kirke in 1629 … ” 

p 15, 16

 “When the Negro Olivier Le Jeune died in 1654, we believe he was the only one of his kind in Canada, and the next black slave only turned up a quarter of a century later. Elsewhere in the Americas, however, slave traders preyed on native Amerindians…”

p 18

This was ‘justified’ by the fact that Native American tribes practiced slavery themselves, by taking war captives.

“But starting in 1671, the French settlers of Canada began to acquire Amerindian slaves. It is true that once the French acquired these Amerindians, they do not always seem to have formally regarded them as slaves. What matters is that these slaves were given to the French as slaves, and that the French accepted them as such, at least for a time.”

p 21

The first two Amerindian slaves to come to Quebec were Pottawatomie girls in 1671,  who were later given to nuns and raised. Some would come from as far as Mississippi. (p 22, 23)

“Trafficking of Amerindian slaves truly began in earnest in 1687: it was on a modest scale at first, but then became more and more generalized and continued until the early nineteenth century.   

… How long had these slaves been living among the French? It is impossible to say. It is clear however that they only appeared in the civil registry after arriving in the colony. The Panis Louis, for example, must have been living in French society for a fairly long time because he could not be confirmed before learning adequate French as well as the catechism.   

By the end of the seventeenth century, Amerindian slaves turn up almost each year in historical records.”

p 23, 24

“If we bring together a list of the Amerindian slaves who lived among the French population at the end of the seventeenth century, we find twenty-nine Amerindian slaves over a twenty-nine year period …

Our list of seventeenth-century slave owners in Canada thus includes colonial officials, military officers, explorers and fur traders: indeed, these are the key groups that defined the heyday of slave-owning, and they were also the groups most intimately involved with Native Amerindian nations.  

We are talking about slaves. Aside from men, women, and children explicitly identified as slaves or said to belong to an owner, it is not certain that the other Amerindians who entered New France as slaves actually appear as such in historical documents.”

p 26

“For example, before 1790, when Intendant Raudot intervened to provide a legal basis for slavery, civil registries rarely used the word “slave”; in the fifteen civil acts of this period relating to slaves, only one directly used the word “slave” … This was the first time prior to 1700 that civil registries used the word slave; up till then, those maintaining records had usually written “savage belonging to …” a specific free person.”

p 27, 28


“Give Us Negroes!”  (Chapter One)

“Blacks were needed to harvest sugar cane in the Carribbean, and the labour supply argument was also put forward in Canada. In 1688, the governor of New France Brisay de Denonville and Intendant Bochart de Champigny wrote to the king that workers and servants were so hard to find in the colony, and so expensive, that they ruined anyone engaged in any enterprise: the best way to remedy this situation would be to introduce black slaves.”

p 29

In 1689 the king would grant authorization for slave shipments, but wrote of his concerns about blacks and their sustainability in the “climate” of Canada.

On May 17, 1689 war broke out between France and England. Under the League of Augsburg, [a coalition of countries and colonies against France and Louis XIV] slaves could only be sent to Quebec from trading posts in Guinea when the war was over. (p 33)

The war would last eight years, preventing black slaves from coming to Canada; only four are confirmed during that period.

“With the Treaty of Ryswick in 1697, the war came to an end after eight long years. Did this mean prospective slave owners could finally take advantage of the royal authorization granted in 1689? The next mention in the royal mail of the problem of sending blacks to Canada was in 1701 … “His Majesty has no objection to granting the people of Canada permission to own Blacks, but as the only way to effect this is to bring in a ship laden with Blacks, they must give assurances they will pay the costs of transportation…”

p 34

“To minimize any losses, it had to be made clear first of all whether Canadians were actually in a position to pay for goods from abroad, and the authorities of New France had to ensure “that precautions are taken to make this happen.” There was no question of a ship bearing Negroes to Quebec for the time being. In any case, war broke out again … This incurred further delays, and it would be eleven years before a new peace treaty was signed.”

p 34

“Given the uncertain supply of black slaves, prospective owners naturally turned to Amerindians, who continued arriving in the country as slaves, slowly at first, but then at an even greater pace from 1700 …  

Amerindian slavery stood at a relatively high level from 1710 onwards, largely because of an ordinance issued by Intendant Raudot in 1709, to the effect that people who bought Panis and blacks as slaves owned them outright. Given the proximity to the Amerindian slave market, this ordinance was likely to encourage people who needed slaves, but it could do nothing for the prospective owners who preferred blacks. Canadians who preferred ebony slaves had to wait till the war was over: added delays came when metropolitan authorities in France had to figure out how to ship slaves to Quebec.” 

p 35, 36

Generally speaking, most average citizens couldn’t afford slaves personally, or the colony as a whole to pay for shipments outright. 

“Taking up the same arguments that had worked in the past, he wrote: “There are few inhabitants in Canada, and many enterprises suffer from the difficulty of finding workers and day laborers whose wages are excessively high.” Importing blacks would “lead to an increase in the colony and its trade.” Why not use this resource profitably, the way the English colonies did? …  

Word from the French government came back: “it does not seem appropriate at present to send Negroes to Canada.” … it is worth noting that the government refused to send a shipment of blacks to Canada, while continuing to allow Canadians to own slaves.”

p 38

The Regent demanded full payment from Canadians before any slaves were sent. Intendant Begon then compiled a list of proposed purchasers and their requests. He continued to urge for black slaves citing many reasons, including: working the land, as well as caring for widows and the elderly.

Begon submitted his arguments in January 1721, and a shipment of black slaves was agreed to. The shipment was postponed for a year, and then never fulfilled (due to the company’s loss of its monopoly among other factors). (p 38 – 41)

Despite receiving authorizations in 1689, 1701, and 1721, no slave shipment could be bothered to make the longer and more expensive trip to Quebec, so the wholesale buying of black slaves was avoided. (p 42)


Legalization  (Chapter Two)

Prior to 1709, there was no document outlining the legality of slavery.

“However, starting in 1689, owners of blacks could rest easy: Louis XIV had authorized Canadians to import blacks for the purposes of working and clearing the land. This royal authorization served as a guarantee of ownership of blacks, but could not be applied to Amerindians held in bondage, even though most slaves in New France were actually Amerindians.”

p 44

On April 13, 1709 – Intendant Raudot issued an ordinance, which included in part:

“We, at His Majesty’s pleasure, order that all Panis and Negroes who have been bought and who shall be bought hereafter shall belong in full ownership to those who bought them as their slaves; and we hereby forbid the said Panis and Negroes to leave their masters, and anyone else to tempt them away, under a penalty of a fine of fifty livres.”

p 46

The tribes allied with the French (Algonquins, Montagnais, Abenakis, Iroquois) were left alone and for the most part not seized as slaves.

In 1733 a civil lawsuit brought up a dispute: a slave had been obtained as ‘payment’ for owed debts; the first owner argued that as his slave had been baptized the seizure of a “Christian” was unlawful, but the judge ruled against him and upheld the sale. (p 48, 49)

The King was petitioned to clarify statutes on Amerindian slaves, but refused to do so, simply recommending that colonists follow “customary practice”. This seems to have been a way to sidestep delicate issues regarding alliances with certain Amerindian tribes; and France’s hopes for further expansion and cooperation.  (p 50, 51)

When contacted regarding the sale of Amerindian slaves outside the colony (to the Carribean for example), Intendant Raudot decided they could not be transported elsewhere, since their slavery was to “benefit” the colony itself. (p 52)

However this ordinance was ignored, and slaves that proved troublesome or were needed for cash were in fact sent to the Caribbean. Amerindians particularly were noted for running away and being disobedient.

“This practice of sending slaves of unhappy masters to the Carribbean became so popular that… proposed to the king that it be done systemically.   

… In 1747, Canadian authorities therefore proposed to the king that owners should not keep these Amerindians beyond the age of sixteen or seventeen years, after which they should be sold in the Caribbean, where they obviously had no means of escape.”

p 54

There is no further record regarding the matter; no formal dictates, it was simply done in practice. Some slaves were transported to France, where they could legally be brought over on certain conditions, despite slavery being “illegal” in the country itself (while legal in its colonies).

According to English and French custom: “A black is a slave wherever he may be found.” Black slaves could not be “free” in France or its colonies, nor having fled from another nation, unless they had been formally emancipated. (p 56, 57)

So while slavery was illegal in France, slaves could be sent there or could travel there with their masters, provided they were from the colonies. Slaves which escaped to France hoping for emancipation by reaching it, were not entitled to their freedom by virtue of living in the country proper. 

After the British takeover:

“When the Articles of Capitulation were signed in Montreal in September 1760, they reasserted the legal character of Amerindian and black slavery, and extended it under British rule. Governor Vaudreuil-Cavagnial made a special request relating to slavery which became Article 47:   

The Negroes and Panis of both sexes shall remain in their qualify of slaves in the possession of the French and Canadians to whom they belong; they shall be at liberty to keep them in their service in the colony or to sell them; and they may also continue to bring them up in the Roman Religion.  

… And so the institution of slavery in Canada was first recognized and amply protected by French law, and was then extended under the British regime by another statute, the Articles of Capitulation of 1760.”

p 57

Nearly 4200 Slaves in Quebec  (Chapter Three)

The author had issues with finding full records and documentation. His slave sourcing came from Catholic and Protestant records: civil registries, patient and death records, census roles, notarial records, wills, inventories, etc. They counted only the slaves they could formally confirm, 2700 of which were Amerindians, and 1443 blacks.

“But of 4200 slaves, we found that only 456 Amerindians and 228 blacks were either indicated as slaves or were subject to a commercial transaction. In Quebec, people were reluctant to use the term “slavery” although the reality was there for all to see. The priest making entries in the civil registry hesitated to use the word “slave” or could not be bothered to use it. We repeatedly found cases where an Amerindian or black was baptized and had been acquired by purchase, but was nonetheless still not specifically referred to as a slave. In most cases, the record-keeper merely noted that a given Amerindian or black belonged to a given owner.”

p 61

“There had been petitions in New France calling for shiploads of black slaves, but nothing of the sort ever took place. Instead, black slaves were obtained in the Thirteen Colonies as war booty or through smuggling.”   

p 73

“The number of new slaves appearing in the historical record only begins to be significant after 1709, the year in which Intendant Raudot legalized slavery. Then, in the last two decades of French rule, the total number of slaves reached 400 and 500, due to the importance of the fur trade, which made it easier to acquire Amerindian slaves. With the decline of the fur trade, the number of Amerindian slaves then quickly fell off, whereas the number of blacks rose suddenly to well over 600 as Loyalists fleeing the American Revolution brought their black slaves up to Canada.”

p 76

“Of this grand total of 4185 slaves, 2683 Amerindians make up 65.1% or two-thirds of the 4124 slaves whose origins are known, whereas 1443 blacks account for 34.9% or just over a third.  

We are convinced that our seventeenth-and eighteenth-century Canadian ancestors had more slaves than the 4185 identified in the Dictionnaire. We say this because, from the eighteenth-century onwards, owners complained how hard it was to hold onto their Amerindian slaves; moreover, given that Amerindian slaves were often baptized later in life … it follows that many of these slaves died before being baptized and therefore do not appear in the civil registry.”

p 77


The Slave Market  (Chapter Four)

“There was practically an equal number of male and female slaves: males represented 1973 slaves (47.8%), while females represented 2151 slaves (52.2%). However, if we break down each of these two groups separately, the result is not so evenly matched. There were more women than men among Amerindian slaves (1543 or 57.7% were women), whereas there were fewer women than men among black slaves (608 or 42.2% were women).”

p 84

“Was there a public slave market in Canada the way there was in the Thirteen Colonies and Caribbean? And if there was such a market, was it in continuous operation, or only occasionally? The historical record does not enable us to provide a satisfactory answer to these questions …  

Public sales of slaves at auction definitely occurred in Canada. We only know of one such case under the French regime, when in 1733 the merchant … bought a Paducah on the market square … Several more public slave sales took place under the British regime. In Quebec City in 1778, Captain Thomas VEnture offered his mulatto slave Isabella at auction …”

p 90, 91

“Moreover, these public sales and auctions were regularly advertised in newspapers. Between 1767, when the first slave sale ad appeared, and 1798, when the last such ad came out, there were at least 137 advertisements for thirty different slaves…”

p 91

“It is clear that slaves were indeed put up for auction in Quebec and Montreal, and sold to the highest bidder. Slavery was legal in Canada, so why would slaves not have been sold at auction here, as they were in other colonies?  

We know of an oral tradition concerning the slave market. In his memoirs … Dandurand wrote: “I can state quite definitely that in my early childhood, a full-fledged slave market existed in Montreal…”

p 92

“The average Amerindian cost only 400 livres, whereas the average black cost 900. Another way of putting this is to say a black slave was worth twice as much as an Amerindian slave. This should come as no surprise, since New France was close to the market in “savages”, but far from the market in black ebony, and the additional cost of acquiring black slaves was passed on to the purchaser.”

p 97

While most owners were wealthy or relatively well off, some citizens went into debt to purchase slaves. 


Owners at All Levels of Society  (Chapter Five)

“Our history of slavery can conveniently be divided into two traditional periods, the French regime and the British regime.   

… Our study of Quebec slavery … has enabled us to establish that owners of French origin were the leading slave owners, given that they accounted for 2858 or 86.6% of all known owners. Even more significant is the fact that these slave owners of French origin owned 79.1% of all Amerindian slaves. Evidently, once the British settled in Quebec following the Conquest, it was much harder for them to acquire Amerindian slaves than it had been for the French prior to 1760, given the rapid decline of the fur trade.  

During the colonial period, French-speaking owners held almost all the Amerindian slaves we have identified in official records, and they even held 596 black slaves, far outnumbering the 301 black slaves held by English-speaking owners.” 

p 103, 104)

Slaves were held by the highest authorities of the French regime, and senior British officials. Generally speaking however, French Canadians had more slaves than British Canadians.

“It cost an average of 900 livres to buy a black slave, and 400 livres to buy an Amerindian one…” Merchants were leading slave owners, then military officers; other owners included physicians, surgeons, followed by notaries and then tradesmen.

“Printers also owned slaves. The first printers operating in Quebec were William Brown and Thomas Gilmore, who printed the Quebec Gazette: they owned black slaves, at least from 1767.  

… Fleury Mesplet had at least one black slave when he published the Gazette de Montreal (now the Montreal Gazette).”

p 110

Other owners included: bishops, priests, religious orders (including nuns) and the State itself.

“In fact, slavery in Quebec was not some economic imperative, but rather a form of public extravagance which conferred prestige on to members of high society but also on to all other levels of society indulging in it.”

p 118

The Living Conditions of Slaves  (Chapter Six)

In March 1685, Louis XIV issued an edict of sixty articles, the Code Noir, instructing on issues dealing with ‘the condition and quality’ of slaves. These included stipulations on marriage, religion, cohabitation, slave children, penalties and punishments, etc. One example:

“… the slave who has drawn the blood of his master, mistress or their children, shall be punished by death; slaves who assault free persons, and also some cases of robbery, shall be subject to severe penalties or even the death penalty. The fugitive slave shall have his ears cut off, and shall be branded with the fleur de lys on the shoulder; if he commits the same infraction a second time, he shall have his hamstring cut; the third time, he shall be put to death.”

p 121


The Code did have some “humane provisions” such as: demanding minimum living conditions, instruction in religion, families could not be separated by sale, and old slaves could not be abandoned.

The Code Noir was specifically written for the Caribbean, and later amended slightly to apply to Louisiana. No specific code was ever written for, or legally binding in Canada, although colonists followed the Code generally in most matters.

“As a result, we do not need to ask whether a slave owner was complying with a law of Canada, in granting a particular privilege to his slave, or in imposing a condition: in fact, no such law existed in Canada. It is interesting to note however that slave owners generally complied with provisions of the Code Noir of the Caribbean or Louisiana, even when not required to do so.”

p 122


Punishments in the colony appear to have been ‘lighter’ than suggested (by the Code) in most cases. Main punishments (confirmed) included: flogging, imprisonment, hanging, branding with fleur de lys, deportation to the galleys, and in the case of Marie-Joseph-Angelique – torture. This can be attributed to the relatively small percentage of slaves: limiting fear of an uprising or reprisals, which could take place in areas such as the Caribbean. (Chapter 8: p 161 – 178)

Some slaves were able to take part in civil cases and legal proceedings, since the Code Noir  was not followed to the letter or formally implemented. (Chapter 9: p 179-200)

Canadian men slept with both Amerindian and black female slaves, having many illegitimate children out of wedlock. Children of female slaves were automatically considered slaves, even when the father was a free man.

Slaves were allowed to marry, on the condition they had the permission of their owners. (Chapter 10: p 201 – 219)


Marriages (Chapter Eleven)

“Charlevoix noted that many white Canadian men had a pronounced liking for “savage women”, and while many such men were quite content to have sexual relations with “savage women”, some nonetheless felt the need to marry such women before God; some Amerindian men also formed permanent unions with white Canadian women.”

p 220

 In 1648, Jesuit Pierre de Semaisons recommended to the Pope that the men of New France be allowed to marry ‘savage women’:

“This will diminish the number of savages while increasing the number of Christians… These marriages will greatly promote the peopling of this great country where God is not [currently] well served, since French men will marry here, and will no longer return to France in order to take wives, which in turn hinders them shortly afterwards from coming back to the colony … These reasons seem pressing enough to incite His Holiness to allow the French who live in New France to marry savage girls …” 

p 220, 221


 The minister Colbert advocated a policy of mixing. In a letter to Intendant Talon in 1667:

“You have started to address this long-standing neglect, and you must try to attract these [Amerindian] people to those who have embraced Christianity in the vicinity of our homes, and if possible to mix them together so that over time, living under only one master and one system of law, they will form only one people and one blood.”

p 221

“But these marriages were not without serious drawbacks … French men were likelier to become “savage” than “savage” women to become French. Husbands had to be prevented from giving themselves up to the savage lifestyle …”

p 222


In 1706 Governor Vaudreuil ordered that French men be prevented from marrying Amerindian women:

“as he is convinced that bad blood should never be mixed with good, given the experience we have in this country, where all French men who married savage women have become lazy libertines, and unbearably independent, and the resulting children have proved just as lazy as the Amerindians themselves, and we must not allow these kinds of marriages to take place.”

p 223


Slaves Disappeared One by One  (Chapter Twelve)

“Already by 1787, it was clear owners feared the more or less imminent abolition of slavery. Was the Legislative Council of Quebec serious about abolishing slavery or was it only rumored to be concerned about the matter? We found no documentary evidence either in or before 1787 that would help answer this question… By 1787, there had been no public campaign in Quebec against slavery: newspapers were silent on the issue.”

p 233


In April 1791 a debate was held in the British House of Commons, but the majority of MPs voted against abolition. The next year on April 2, 1792 MPs in the House of Commons voted for gradual abolition of the slave trade.

“… but the Canadian press campaign was of an episodic character. Coverage depended on events taking place in Europe: the subject of slavery could disappear from the press for months, then suddenly regain importance before retreating from public view once again. We should note there was nothing original about the anti-slavery press campaign, nothing relating explicitly to slavery in Canada: newspapers reprinted the text of debates taking place in London as foreign news, without any accompanying comment relating these debates to the practice of slavery in Canada itself.”

p 235


On January 28, 1793  Pierre-Louis Panet asked to bring in a bill to abolish slavery in Lower Canada, which was approved, but later killed off by Debonne and McBeath.

“The vote on April 19, 1793 showed that a large majority of members of the House of Assembly favored maintaining slavery. Of these proponents of slavery, we know that at least twelve were then, or were about to become, slave owners …”

p 237

“The Consitutional Act of 1791 divided Canada into two distinct provinces: Upper Canada and Lower Canada. Upper Canada, which eventually became Ontario, was the first of these provinces to adopt legislation specifically on slavery…”

p 238


Upper Canada adopted The Act Against Slavery bill in 1793 ‘to prevent the importation of slaves to the province, and to determine the conditions needed to bring an end to slavery‘. Slaves already in the province would continue to be enslaved, and children of slave mothers would continue in enslavement until the age of twenty-five. Those born before the Act had passed would continue to be slaves indefinitely. (p 239)

“But the Act also had the longer-term effect of turning Upper Canada into a “land of liberty” for runaway slaves. Indeed, the Act of 1793 prohibited that any black or Indian slave entering the province of Upper Canada should be treated as a slave: as a result, any fugitive slave seeking asylum in the province would be released from bondage….  

Fugitive slaves reaching the province saw Upper Canada as an international place of refuge, but slaves already established before 1793 continued to toil in servitude.”

p 239, 240


Meanwhile in Lower Canada, the status quo continued. By 1794, a Court Justice in Montreal would set precedent by allowing runaway slaves seeking refuge to not be prosecuted or returned. “Still no law in Lower Canada explicitly prohibited slavery: existing legislation remained in force.” (p 244)


In April 1799, a group of Montrealers had Joseph Papineau (House Assembly member) put forth a petition on their behalf extolling the legality of slavery as according to French and British laws previously established. Since opinions varied by judge and citizen, they asked that a clear decision be applied: either the continuation of slavery, or formal abolition so that the legal limbo many found themselves in would be halted.

A second petition was put forth on April 18, 1800 which quoted the Raudot Ordinance of 1709 which was “never altered or repealed”. This resulted in the creation of a five member committee to oversee the matter. Yet nothing was accomplished and decisions were deferred several times.

“Indeed, after all these unsuccessful attempts to get the House of Assembly of Lower Canada to enact legislation on slavery, nothing further was done: after 1803 the question of slavery never appeared in the agenda of the House of Assembly. Ultimately, no Act specifically addressing the condition of slaves was ever adopted in Lower Canada.”

p 250

“Historical records indicate the presence of a few slaves every year until 1808, but then there is a gap of thirteen years until 1821, when the last historical document mentions an individual slave.”

p 251

“It is hard to say exactly how slavery ended in French Canada … Did the history of slavery in Lower Canada end because of a law enacted in Britain? On August 28, 1833, the British government voted to put an end to slavery throughout the British Empire. The Slavery Abolition Act came into force in 1834 …   

Were there any remaining slaves in Lower Canada to take advantage of this legal emancipation?”… 

It appears there were no Amerindian slaves left to be emancipated by this time, and very few blacks, many of whom were aged. And so:

“Suffice it to say that in Quebec, slavery withered away on its own, and no date can be assigned to its final disappearance.”

p 252, 253


Conclusion

“Throughout this work we have been dealing with a historical territory which does not quite occupy the same space as present-day Canada. Our study establishes that slavery had an official, legal existence over two centuries, that is between 1632 and 1834…  

However, slavery here remained on a relatively small scale… it was not until the last years of the seventeenth century that slave ownership in New France, whether Amerindians or blacks, became a regular feature of society …   

The original colonists of Quebec wanted to import massive numbers of black slaves into the colony…. No massive importation of black slaves took place, but Canadians were able to draw off a few black slaves while warring against the Thirteen Colonies, and to exploit increasing numbers of Amerindian slaves who were brought back from the Midwest to Montreal as a result of the fur trade.” 

p 254, 255

“Slavery was an economic imperative in colonies where sugar and tobacco were grown, whereas in French Canada no economic activity required the presence of slave labour..”

p 257

“How can slavery in Canada have been virtually forgotten? Historians are surely to blame, whether because they did not examine slavery or because they failed to even notice it. Despite the fact the historian Francois-Xavier Garneau was born in 1809, when slavery still existed in Lower Canada, he completely misinformed his readers about slavery … Garneau dug himself deeper into a hole by claiming that “the government and Canadian clergy should be honored for consistently opposing the introduction of Blacks into Canada.”

p 268, 269

Writing about slavery was nearly non-existent, aside from a handful of authors over a century. As a result:

“And yet, at the beginning of the twenty-first century, the phenomenon of Quebec slavery seems still relatively unknown … Although we have put a lot of energy into establishing rigorous historical facts about slavery, we are still met with surprise and especially disbelief: “What! Do you mean slavery actually existed in Quebec?” … in point of fact, our colonial past can be likened to the Thirteen Colonies of America.

p 270, 271


There you have it folks … the hidden history of slavery in Canada. This issue is so little known, that I have angry Canadians writing in to me claiming that there WAS NO SLAVERY in Canada!

Remember When? … #serialkillercapital

Remember When is a new series of posts where we take a look back at some of the funny, bizarre and downright disturbing incidents in Canada’s past.

Since cakers like to judge everyone else (particularly Americans) and point out their historic wrong-doings, it’s time to take a mirror to these incompetent hypocrites. Enjoy!


London, Ontario: Serial Killer Capital of the World

From the CBC:

“At first glance, London, Ont., doesn’t seem like the type of place that would harbour a serial killer, but a new book has revealed it may have been a more dangerous place than meets the eye.   

Only 192 kilometres southwest of Toronto, the city became the “serial killer capital of the world” from 1959 to 1984, according to Michael Arntfield, a criminology professor at the University of Western Ontario. With only a population of roughly 200,000 people at the time, the city may have had as many as six serial killers, more per capita than everywhere else on the planet.”

Yeah, that sounds about right for Ontario!

 “Arntfield, who also served as a London police officer for 15 years, analyzed 32 homicides, all the victims being women and children, over a 15-year period…   

Monsters such as the Mad Slasher, Chambermaid Slayer and Balcony Killer are suspected of having roamed the city’s streets. Some of the murderers were never captured, Arntfield says, but he suspects they escaped to Toronto, where they continued to harm the innocent.”

More incompetence:

“While these lives are being taken in Toronto, Alsop is trying to sound the alarm to his superiors that this is the work of a serial killer and it started in London and has moved to Toronto.  

In the book, there is a very chilling document that was found in his codex … and it is the first of several teletype transmissions he sent, like an early version of a fax, and it is sent to the higher ups in Toronto saying, listen, London is under siege by [what he refers to as] sexual psychopaths, which is not a common term certainly for a police officer to be using at the time. He is saying there are at least two or more sexual psychopaths preying on this city. We need reinforcements. He was effectively alone in the hinterland. And there is no evidence there was any response. It fell on deaf ears and really the city was left to its own devices with him as the sole person chasing these killers.”


From the Guardian:

In regards to the book Murder City:

“Dennis Alsop, a detective sergeant with the Ontario provincial police, was based in the London area between 1950 and 1979. He kept all of his notes and research on the murders hidden until he died in 2012.  

“Through [Alsop’s] diary entries, he knew who did it and he was basically stonewalled from making arrests, because they felt he didn’t have enough, they wanted a slam dunk,” said Arntfield. “So he kept tabs on these people on his own time until they moved from London, and it seems that at least in one case there are other victims in Toronto connected to the same killer.”  

But even if all of the remaining cases were found to be the work of a single killer, London would retain the record for having the largest verified concentration of serial killers operating in one place at one time.  

“New York and Los Angeles at any given time have had four or five, but London at the time had a mean population of 170,000,” said Arntfield, adding that in megacities like New York and Los Angeles the per-capita equivalent would be about 80 or 90 per city.”


What’s amazing to me (but also unsurprising) is the fact not only did London have more serial killers per capita at the time, but it had roughly the equivalent of a major American city, which you’d expect to still have attracted more (per capita) on the basis of anonymity and choice of victims.

Of course back then Canada was even more of a hillbilly backwater than it is today.

What’s also sad to me is the fact this dedicated officer Dennis Alsop tried to solve these crimes, received no support and was left struggling on his own. In fact, he was so dedicated: “He kept all of his notes and research on the murders hidden until he died in 2012.” He didn’t even get to see a final resolution.

His work became the basis for the book: “Murder City: The Untold Story of Canada’s Serial Killer Capital, 1954-1984″. I’ll add it to my reading list, because I’m actually quite touched by Alsop’s efforts.


From Amazon:

“Like the mythic cities of Gotham or Gomorrah, London, Ontario was for many years an unrivalled breeding ground of depravity and villainy, the difference being that its monsters were all too real. In its coming to inherit the unwanted distinction of being the serial killer capital of not just Canada-but apparently also the world during this dark age in the city’s sordid history- the crimes seen in London over this quarter-century period remain unparalleled and for the most part unsolved. From the earliest documented case of homicidal copycatting in Canada, to the fact that at any given time up to six serial killers were operating at once in the deceivingly serene “Forest City,” London was once a place that on the surface presented a veneer of normality when beneath that surface dark things would whisper and stir.


Through it all, a lone detective would go on to spend the rest of his life fighting against impossible odds to protect the city against a tidal wave of violence that few ever saw coming, and which to this day even fewer choose to remember. With his death in 2011, he took these demons to his grave with him but with a twist-a time capsule hidden in his basement, and which he intended to one day be opened. Contained inside: a secret cache of his diaries, reports, photographs, and hunches that might allow a new generation of sleuths to pick up where he left off, carry on his fight, and ultimately bring the killers to justice-killers that in many cases are still out there.”


Yeah, Ontario is truly a creepy place, so is the north. This post is even more ironic in light of reading some comments online where a Canadian bashed Americans for their ‘serial killer filled nation’. Yes, there are all kinds of crazy in a nation of 300 million people … but Canada creeps me out infinitely more.


Post script

I finally got around to reading this book. Let me warn you, it is disturbing. And it comes with everything you’d expect from Canada: incompetence, bumbling; indifference that beggars belief.

Which includes: serious sexual offenders and killers sentenced to 5-10 years in prison; using techniques, technologies and systems 15+ years after they became available in the U.S.; even brushing off serial murder as an “American problem”, which apparently couldn’t exist in the magical land of Canada.

All this and more! Of the few cases which were solved, it was generally down to sheer luck or the help of witnesses. A couple more through DNA in recent years, after the offenders died. In addition to being disturbed, be prepared for healthy doses of outrage.

Canadians aren’t sorry for genocide: ‘Intentions were good’

When reading the book ‘Hidden from History‘ I came across one of its most salient points: although Canadians acknowledge “mistakes” were made in the process of dealing with Aboriginals, they don’t apologize for the acts of colonization, internment, and cultural destruction themselves.

“… what Indian Affairs Superintendent Duncan Scott referred to as “The Final Solution of our Indian Problem” in 1910 –the legal eradication of Aboriginals and their culture– had to occur under a mask of legitimacy; namely, the so-called “educating and civilizing” of a “lesser people”. Surprisingly few Canadians, including critics of the residential school system, have been able to penetrate this fog of apparent “benevolent concern” that hid a murderous system.” (p 15) 

Canadians are “sorry” for the “excesses and abuses” of the institutions which harmed and killed Aboriginals, but not once have they apologized for their very existence in the first place.

“Accordingly, within the mindset and legal regime of this dominant culture there exists no basis to expose or prosecute the system who killed and tortured native children in the residential schools, since that murder originated precisely within these present-day institutions …  

… As in post-war Europe, therefore, any justice for aboriginal victims of the residential schools must ultimately originate from outside Canada, and be based on international legal principles. For no institution is capable of condemning and prosecuting itself, let alone its leaders.” (p 16)

Here’s an example: Ottawa spent a million and a half dollars locating over 5,000 abusers of children (identified by Aboriginals) but did nothing. From CBC:

“Investigators hired by the federal government have located thousands of people accused of physically and sexually abusing students at Canada’s Indian residential schools — though they may never face criminal charges.  

As part of the Indian Residential Schools Settlement agreement, the government located 5,315 alleged abusers, both former employees and students. Seventeen private investigation firms were contracted, at a cost of $1,576,380, beginning in 2005, according to information provided by Indigenous and North Affairs Canada (INAC).  

The alleged perpetrators, however, weren’t tracked down to face criminal charges — it was to see if they would be willing to participate in hearings to determine compensation for residential school survivors. The Independent Assessment Process (IAP), not involving the courts, was set up to resolve the most severe abuse claims.”

So the government has evidence of over 5,000 abusers, yet sits on it and does nothing. Why? Because to take action would open a can of worms for the caker government and they can’t have that in the middle of the ‘settlement process’!

Instead, the government politely asked for the abusers to come forward and participate in the hearings, which of course 4,450 so far have declined to do.

Furthermore:

“The identity and names of alleged perpetrators who want to participate in the IAP are kept on a secure server with other data related to IAP claims. They are not disclosed to anyone, other than the adjudicator in each specific claim, and to the Department of Indigenous Affairs. 

… Through the history of residential schools — which lasted over a century, with tens of thousands having suffered abuse — fewer than 50 people have been convicted for crimes related to the schools.”

Let’s take another look, this from the Toronto Star:

“…St. Anne’s is probably most infamous, however, for having a homemade electric chair that was used to punish children. Edmund Metatawabin, today an author, unfortunately experienced the chair. In a 2013 affidavit to Ontario Superior Court, he wrote, “I cannot describe how intense the pain was. I could not scream. At St. Anne’s, if you were being beaten, you could not scream or cry or the punishment would keep up.”  

These were not isolated incidents: Children of the Broken Treaty reports that an OPP investigation nearly a half-century after the abuses took place collected 860 complaints of children being raped, sexually assaulted, tortured, beaten, and otherwise physically abused by 180 identified perpetrators. What took place at St. Anne’s could only be described as a crime against humanity. What kind of people would defend that? 

The answer, painfully enough, is the Canadian Department of Justice — in the present day. Under the Independent Assessment Process (IAP) that was created as part of the Indian Residential Schools Settlement Agreement, the Department of Justice is in the strange position of having to defend Canada against these accusations while also having to prepare evidence for the hearings on behalf of the survivors in order to determine their settlements.

More government cover-ups:

When asked about these allegations, however, what the lawyers did was to claim that there were “no known incidents found in documents regarding sexual abuse at Fort Albany [Indian Residential School].” Yet they were holding back documents including all the information about the 180 named perpetrators, and the 860 complaints. Angus writes that Aboriginal Affairs Minister Bernard Valcourt wrote to him that “of course” the government was aware of the evidence. But instead of handing it over, as it was mandated to do, it appears it simply lied to survivors of child rape because it allowed the government to save money paid out to compensate for ruined lives.  

So survivors sued, and the Ontario Superior Court compelled government lawyers to release the documents that proved the crimes had been committed. Sault Star commentator Tom Mills noted at the time that though the court did not conclude the lawyers had acted in bad faith, they were nonetheless employing “highly adversarial civil law procedures to residential school compensation hearings, which are supposed to be non-adversarial.” …”

These are just two examples. The government has withheld evidence and acted in both an investigative and defensive role – a complete conflict of interest. And not just in these examples, but in virtually the whole process of so-called “reconciliation”. After a century of crimes and tens of thousands of victims, less than fifty people have faced prosecution when the government itself holds thousands of names, depositions, statements, accusations and records!

This is a cover up: an informal one to be sure; one done in plain sight. But cakers aren’t able to distinguish that because again, in their eyes these institutions are ‘legitimate‘ and what they did was legitimate even though they “made mistakes along the way”.

To actively prosecute criminals who were sanctioned by church leaders and the government itself, could potentially lead to questions regarding the prosecution of government entities. Thus we see that the caker kingdom wants “reconciliation” and a financial “settlement” without actually doing anything to effectively de-legitimize its past conduct.

The press can shed a few crocodile tears over ‘bad apples’ and ‘bad conduct’ and sweep the whole issue under the rug. Once official settlements have happened, it’s likely Aboriginal people won’t be able to legally prosecute officials or the government in any real capacity later on.

Conflicting the matter are Aboriginal leaders; many former students have made accusations against leaders in the Aboriginal community and government. None of these have been properly investigated (they have been dismissed as ‘absurd’), and as such, there is no incentive for these “leaders” to actively pursue justice, nor can their downtrodden victims who have been threatened, harassed and worse.

More from Hidden from History:

“Sadly, the two-tiered system of collaborators and victims created among native students at the schools continues to the present, as some of the state-funded band council officials –themselves former collaborators– appear to have an interest in helping suppress evidence and silence witnesses who would incriminate not only the murderers but themselves, as agents of the white administration.” (p 20)

And so it can all be summed up in this:

“Christian European culture in Canada still sees nothing fundamentally wrong with its invasion and occupation of the New World and its destruction of aboriginal societies; it simply regrets the “excesses” of that process. No wing within any of the mainline Canadian churches is challenging the Christian missionary effort per se, merely aspects of it, such as the sadism of particular school staff, or the “cultural insensitivity” of missionaries to First Nations.

… And these attitudes are still defended today by leading church officials, like former United Church moderator Bruce McLeod, who stated on a CBC interview in the spring of 2000, “The residential schools as a whole were well-intentioned experiments.” (p 26)

No, cakers are not sorry about conquering, subjugating and mass murdering aboriginal peoples, nor for taking their land; they’re sorry about ‘mistakes’ made by ‘well-intentioned’ institutions.

A caker today is likely to say “it was a long time ago! I wasn’t around when that happened, so it’s time to get over it.” And yet, if he’s a French Canadian he’s likely to moan to Ottawa about the injustices Quebec has experienced and demand ‘nationhood’ and ‘special recognition’, without even noticing his own hypocrisy. Or if an Anglo, complain about his “hardship” in having to be sensitive and allot federal funding money for Aboriginals. 

Destroying aboriginal culture was ‘an unfortunate event’ of the past, yet the government will spend billions forcing the French language on the population of Canada: including the indigenous, mentally disabled children and remote Inuit villages (previously).

Cakers complain about the “Asian invasion” in Western Canada: bitter Asian immigrants have brought over their language, hire ‘their own people’ and drive up real estate prices. Apparently this is some kind of outrage, yet aboriginal people need to ‘get over it’ when it comes to mass murder and genocide.

I for one, openly welcome the Chinese to come and invade Canada. Feel free to force white Canadians to live on small patches of land; make Mandarin the official language, Cantonese the second; take their children away to live in Chinese-run state schools and murder tens of thousands of them.*

Thirty years from now I will smugly remind cakers that “it’s in the past and we all need to move on.”

*I’m being facetious, don’t email me.

Ku Klux Klan in Canada

SASKATCHEWAN


“In Saskatchewan the Klan was started late in 1926 by a group of men who came by train to Moose Jaw from the U.S. via Eastern Canada. 


There were few Negroes in Saskatchewan, but the Klan found plenty of adherents — one of its organizers claimed a peak membership of 47,000 — when it directed its attacks against Catholics and Jews, then immigrating to Canada in large numbers from Europe. 

The Klan, calling for “100 percent Canadianism,” warned that Protestant Anglo-Saxons would lose their power and influence when swamped by European immigrants…

During the 1929 provincial election campaign, crosses were burned at numerous points … 


Hooded Klansmen marched through one Catholic church during a service. 


Klansmen went from community to community on horseback to spread their word. They told listeners that people called one another “Mac” at that time in the U.S. and Canada because it was a secret codeword, symbol of a plot to “Make America Catholic.” 


(Winnipeg Free Press article, 1965)


“Sol Sanderson, president of the Federation of Saskatchewan Indians (FSI), recently told a CBC reporter that his organization has been aware of Ku Klux Klan activity in Saskatchewan. He said the FSI would keep an eye on the developments and maintain close contact with the RCMP… 

According to the article in Saskatchewan Anglican, Klan leaders recently interviewed in Toronto said that Klan cells or `Klaverns’, as they are called, are active in Montreal, Vancouver, and rural Saskatchewan. David Duke, leader of the Ku Klux Klan, said that membership in Canada had increased tenfold in the past two years, but declined to give any membership figures. 


This is the first indication of Klan activity in Saskatchewan for many years. There were about 125 Klan cells in the province during the early 1930’s, according to a University of Saskatchewan study done in 1968.”


(Article, 1980)


“Regina resident Christian Waters is a high-ranking officer with the Canadian branch of the Brotherhood of Klans (BOK), considered to be the largest Klan group in North America. Waters’ membership with the group was confirmed in an e-mail and phone call by Jeremy Parker, imperial wizard of the Ohio-based BOK. 

Waters, who writes under an alias on the group’s Web site, claims that over the past two years, the BOK’s membership in Saskatchewan has gone from one (himself) to roughly 250 members, and around 3,500 Canada-wide. Of the Saskatchewan members, he said that while there is a strong base in Regina, many live in rural areas.”


(Leader Post article, 2007


ONTARIO

“Through the mid-1920s, as evidenced by Baumchem’s documents and dozens of newspaper reports, factions of this second iteration of the Ku Klux Klan would creep into Canada, sprouting branches from Vancouver to the Maritimes and enlisting thousands of followers. 

Their movements were routinely reported in the Toronto Star, especially once the organization took root in the area. Articles told of crosses burning in the hills of Hamilton, of a dynamite explosion at a Catholic church in Barrie whose suspected orchestrator had Klan ties, and robed Klansmen laying a wreath at the city hall cenotaph. 


What made these groups different from their American cousins, however, was a focus on preserving a narrow, religious- and ethnic-based notion of Britishness in Canada, explains James Pitsula, a University of Regina historian whose book on the KKK, Keeping Canada British, was published last year”


(The Star article, 2014


“The klansmen and klanswomen gathered at G.F. Hepburn’s field on the outskirts of Picton on the Bloomfield Road on Sunday, September 19. It was estimated some 5,000 people attended the afternoon demonstration. A further 6,000 people were present in the evening, and they arrived in over 1,000 cars, to witness “the weird initiation” ceremonies in the words of The Picton Times editor. 

Seven women and nine men were candidates for admission to membership at this ceremony. Four huge crosses were burned, “making a brilliant illumination for the activities in the centre of the field.”


(The Picton Times, 1926


“Though Canadians usually associate white-robed men burning crosses with the Deep South, Bowen’s research uncovered a considerable history of the group’s activities here.

“The Klan was everywhere,” she says. “There were cross burnings documented all over Ontario, the last one being in North York in the mid-’80s. I think the way Canadians deal with it is to blow if off, saying it didn’t happen that much up here. We’re so caught up in denial that I think just about everything this show reveals is going to be shocking on some level.”  

(Daily Xtra, 2013


“TORONTO — Canadian Ku Klux Klan national director Alexander McQuirter said Wednesday members of his organization often discussed ideas like overthrowing foreign governments. 

Two Canadians — one a Klan member — and eight Americans were charged Monday with plotting to overthrow the government of tiny Dominica in the Caribbean.The FBI said the group had stocks of automatic weapons and explosives.”


(Archive article, 1981


“In Toronto, hidden hotel room cameras catch the Canadian head of the Ku Klux Klan hiring a hit man.”  (Fifth Estate, CBC, 1985)


Articles:

Ontario Legion branch shut down after KKK Halloween costume debacle


The Grim History of the Ku Klux Klan in Toronto (2014)


Historicist: The KKK Took My Baby Away (2016)


ALBERTA


“KKK were once a powerful force in Edmonton under the leadership of John James Maloney, a seminarian who had worked to revive the movement in Saskatchewan. Seeking more political control, Maloney moved to Edmonton in 1930, restored the Alberta Ku Klux Klan, and declared himself the Imperial Wizard… 

The KKK hosted lavish dinners and public gatherings, attended by hundreds. In 1931, the group celebrated Daniel Knott’s mayoral victory by lighting a fiery cross on Connors Hill

On more than one occasion during Knott’s term, they requested permission to use the Edmonton Exhibition Grounds (now known as Northlands) for a picnic and cross burning …”

(CBC 2016)


“Two men with links to the Ku Klux Klan were arraigned Monday on charges of conspiring to blow up the Calgary Jewish Center and kill a prominent Jewish businessman.”

(Associated Press, 1988)



NOVA SCOTIA & NEW BRUNSWICK

“Earlier this spring in Windsor Junction, Ku Klux Klan graffiti was plastered outside the riding office of Percy Paris, a provincial cabinet minister who happens to be black.  

And the entire country gasped last month when an interracial couple an hour away from Halifax announced they were moving to an undisclosed location to protect their five children in the aftermath of a cross-burning.”

(Racism’s long history in quiet East Coast towns, Globe & Mail 2010)

“Here’s a little known fact. Well into the fifties Nova Scotia, and Canada for that matter, was so deeply racist and so completely segregated you’d think you were living in South Africa under apartheid. 


In all of Halifax there wasn’t a hotel or restaurant to be found that would serve African Nova Scotians.  You could go to a Fish and Chips for take out, but that was it. 


The New Glasgow movie theatre with its segregated seating, the one where Viola Desmond was arrested, wasn’t the exception, it was the rule in Nova Scotia. Segregation was sanctioned by the courts…  


In the late 1920s the Ku Klux Klan thrived in Canada, especially in Saskatchewan. It was quite a force in Eastern Canada as well, Reynolds suggests, with 17 active Klan lodges in New Brunswick alone, and with leaders who enjoyed easy access to government politicians.


(Nova Scotia Advocate, 2016)


“The KKK was once active in New Brunswick too. I was unable to find any scholarly work that had much mention of the KKK in New Brunswick (although there were a few interesting writings scattered online) but I did find copies of KKK documents at the PANB [Public Archives of New Brunswick] that had been found in a wall of a house. These included their bylaws, and for some klaverns (as they called their chapters) a membership list. It turned out that two colleagues of mine had grandfathers in the KKK in southern NB.

I found the subject difficult to research locally, even though there had been at least two klaverns here, possibly three—unfortunately, the documents only mentioned one in passing, and the second arose after the date of the documents found in the wall. However I do have the list of the charter members of the Dalhousie NB klavern—also found during a demolition—and again, some people I know had no idea their relatives were involved.

Even though the Klan had a rally in Dalhousie, NB and drove through the streets in cars in the early 1930s as part of a membership drive, I could find no photos, and no elderly people who would admit to seeing the event although a news report said that it was witnessed by hundreds. Also, even though people took endless photos in those days of men dressed in their various club regalia and costumes, a call I put out resulted in exactly zero Klan photos…

The Klan did burn crosses here, and I found an elderly witness to that…
… I know of at least two cross burnings in Dalhousie, NB in the 1930s, and I was told that the Campbellton, NB klavern used to burn their crosses on the current site of the WalMart in Atholville.”

(Halifax Examiner, 2015)



Articles:


Teen gets four months for cross burning (2001)

Arrest warrant issued for Klan recruiter (2001)


MANITOBA


The Klan in Manitoba began sometime in the 1920s through outreach efforts after the success of the KKK in Saskatchewan. For more information on Manitoba’s Klan history read this full blog post (sources at bottom). It failed to thrive for several reasons, including the cost of joining.

“In 1922, threatening letters signed by the Klan were delivered to St Boniface College in Winnipeg. Before the year was out, the college burned to the ground, causing the deaths of ten students.”


(Book quote: “Color Coded: A Legal History of Racism in Canada)


In 1992, three Klan members were charged in court, but the charges were later stayed:

“… three men were charged … with inciting hatred against blacks and other minorities, following a lengthy undercover police investigation. They were also charged with advocating genocide and mischief …”

(Jewish Post & News article, 1992)


BRITISH COLUMBIA

“In 1924 a Klan klavern was established in Vancouver. The BC Klan claimed a membership of more than 10,000 including five MLA’s. In that province the Klan merely latched on to the strong anti-Asian sentiments, and the demand that East Indian, Chinese, and Japanese immigrants be repatriated.” 

(Vancouver History)


” …there was a chapter in Vancouver in 1925. The Klan popped up in the news today … when vigilantes dressed in their hooded apparel kidnapped a Chinese houseboy who worked in the house where the murder occurred. “For six weeks,” Starkins writes, “he was shackled to the floor of an attic room in Point Grey, and subjected to frequent beatings and death threats” to try to force out the name of the killer. They finally let him go when they realized he was innocent.”

(Vancouver History


“Today Princeton is a quiet community in southern B.C. where a few thousand people live. But in the early 1930s the small town was the epicentre of anti-communist hysteria, where police clashed with miners and their families, and the Ku Klux Klan burned crosses and made threats.”

(CBC, 2015)


Articles:

Black inmate sues B.C. over alleged Ku Klux Klan beating and ‘torture’ by jail staff

KKK flyers left on doorsteps of Fraser Valley homes


19th Century

“Little is yet known about the spread of Ku Klux Klan activities to Canada during its first active phase from 1865 to the 1870s … [Story follows of a black man being killed for marrying a white woman]

… It also appears that some Canadians held the American Ku Klux Klan in great esteem… [quotes journal applauding Klan and bemoaning ‘uneducated’ ex slaves in society]  

… During the 1870s, at least some Canadians were initiated into the Klan in eastern Ontario. There is also evidence that American Klansmen, fleeing responsibility for their lawless activites, crossed over into Canada to seek refuge … [Story follows of a Klansman who killed a black man in the south and fled to Canada; followed by American detectives who drugged him and brought him back across the border. Canadian authorities and newspapers demanded his return, so the Americans returned him and he lived in London, Ontario afterwards, ‘welcomed warmly’.]

(Pages 182-183, Color Coded: A Legal History of Racism in Canada)  


Now this is by no means an exhaustive list, in fact this is only a cursory glance at the subject matter. It appears that cakers are finally beginning to acknowledge the past, much to the dismay of the government and its propaganda efforts I’m sure. (Or I should say: a handful of authors are being honest and forcing the rest to face reality!)

So we’ll end with this quote from a Vice commentary article:

“In the four years I’ve spent in London, Ontario I’ve been called names like Ebony, Dark Chocolate, Shaniqua, Ma, Blackish, and Boo. I’ve encountered blackface on Halloween and been told to go back to my third-world country (twice). I’ve been pushed off the sidewalk by white kids. I’ve been humiliated by white guys shouting, “Look at that black ass!” as I walked down a busy street. I’ve been an ethnic conquest for curious white men. I’ve witnessed my boyfriend get called a nigger over 20 times …”

Welcome to London, Ontario! O Canada!  #sunnyways


Further reading:

TSAS: Right-Wing Extremism in Canada (PDF)

Canada’s Forgotten History of Segregation (Toronto Star)

Books:

Keeping Canada British: The Ku Klux Klan in 1920s Saskatchewan

White Hoods: The Ku Klux Clan in Canada