, 07.29.2019 07:38 AM

Bernier and his infamous neo-Nazi friend

Paul Fromm is perhaps the leading Canadian far Right leader. Fromm has decades of involvement with the Canadian organized hate movement, from the Edmund Burke Society to the Western Guard to the Heritage Front to a myriad number of white supremacist and neo-Nazi groups. The Southern Poverty Law Centre tells us this:

From 1974 until 1997, Fromm served as a public school teacher with the Peel Region Board of Education. He was fired from his position after speaking at several Heritage Front events, one of which fell on Hitler’s birthday. A video of the December 9, 1990, event captured Fromm, in front of a Nazi flag, speaking to a crowd shouting “Sieg Heil!,” “white power,” “Hail The Order!,” and “nigger, nigger, nigger, out out out,” while performing the Nazi salute. He also hailed John Ross Taylor, a Canadian fascist, as a “hero.”

I wrote extensively about Fromm in my book Web of Hate, too. In one chapter, I detailed how Fromm participated in an extraordinary 1990 rally to memorialize neo-Nazi terrorist and murderer Bob Matthews, the founder of The Order. As Fromm paid tribute to Matthews, dozens of neo-Nazi skinheads applauded and gave fascist salutes.  Fromm’s support for white supremacy and neo-Naziism has increased in the intervening years.

And now, Fromm has a new friend. Here he is with Maxime Bernier, the leader of the alt-Right White People’s Party.

Bernier has now been photographed with the bigoted Proud Boys, with the far-right Northern Guard flashing the white power symbol, his candidates with the neo-Nazi Soldiers of Odin. And now he has fully crossed the Rubicon, and he is consorting with the undisputed leader of Canada’s white supremacist movement.

In his words, and his deeds, Maxime Bernier has shown us who he is.  We need to start believing him.

29 Comments

  1. Gord says:

    A Conservative friend of mine supported Bernier in the CPC leadership race and, like many, felt he was cheated of the crown. He followed Bernier into his new party and even became a founding member of his local EDA, but noped out of there not long thereafter when this kind of crap started happening too frequently for it to be an accident.

    I’d love to see Scheer really go after them. “There’s the door” was a good start, but I think he has a golden opportunity to show Canadians that his brand of conservatism is an open and inclusive one. David Cameron gave one of the greatest speeches in favour of same-sex marriage I’ve ever heard: “Conservatives believe in the ties that bind us; that society is stronger when we make vows to each other and support each other. So I don’t support gay marriage in spite of being a Conservative – I support gay marriage because I am a Conservative.”

    I mean this really should be a no-brainer for Scheer. If he wants to win, he needs a “Sister Soulja” moment. A public lambasting and denunciation of Mad Max and his minions would provide it.

    • Mark D says:

      As a social and political conservative–and a founding member of the Reform Party’s move eastward–I briefly looked at Bernier and People’s Party of Canada.

      My conclusion is that they are evolving into the Canadian wing of the GOP.

      No thanks.

      At one time I was concerned that Bernier might split the right. Today, I am relieved that the Pied Piper of Trumpism has rid the Conservative Party of its GOP influences.

      • Cliff M says:

        Provide any evidence of Trump being a racist. Didn’t think so.

        • Cliff,

          How about ONLY the most recent evidence: Baltimore, Cummings, The Squad…

          • Bob Daye says:

            Criticizing a Congreeman for the sorry state of his district after 20 years in power is not racism. This in light of Baltimore receiving $16 BILLION in Grant’s last year. Where does the money go?
            Telling people who complain about the US, it’s not racist to tell them to leave if they don’t like it.

          • Ronald O'Dowd says:

            Bob,

            Yeah, right. Trump and Jared for FHEO!

          • Fred from BC says:

            Sorry Ronald….no racism in evidence there . Well, except for the Squad member who thinks blacks should only represent other blacks, and maybe the two anti-Semites (oops…spoke too soon: AOC has now made an anti-Semitic statement as well; before this, she was only guilty of having the worldview of a 13-year-old…)

            Bernie Sanders, the mayor of Baltimore and even Cummings himself have all said similar things about the particular district in question (which is NOT the entire city of Baltimore and Donald Trump never said that it was), along with many other politicians and activists…why are they all getting a pass here?

            I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: Donald Trump does so much bad stuff already that you DON’T NEED TO TELL LIES about him. There’s a reason that his popularity isn’t being hurt by this; the half of the American voters who think he is a racist is the same half who have always believed it (ie: the Democratic half)…the other half aren’t falling for it.

            You’re playing right into his hands, and he’s going to be re-elected because of it.

          • Fred,

            We won’t agree on this one. When I take his cumulative rhetoric since his inauguration, I don’t come to the same conclusion that you do. But I will give you this: do I think some members of the squad have made racist remarks? Yes I do. So on that basis, I put those who did in the same boat as Trump.

            And do I think Trump will use the immigration and subtle racism cards to be re-elected? Yup. And will it work? Of course it will, because the American mentality is not one of catering to their better angels…

          • Fred,

            Trump, per se, is a politically LOSING issue for Democrats. That’s what many progressive Democrats don’t get…

            The Democratic nominee can beat Trump but it’s only possible on the issues most concerning to the American people.

            Impeachment, though distinctly possible, is a complete waste of time as the Senate will never convict. (See Clinton.) Charges being laid against Trump upon leaving office is another pipe dream, (Again, see Clinton re: the Paula Jones deposition and his Starr testimony where he admitted to perjury and obstruction of justice.)

            So Democrats, get your shit together and trounce Trump on what really matters. Stop acting like rank amateurs. Listen to Pelosi for heaven’s sake.

          • Fred from BC says:

            “And do I think Trump will use the immigration and subtle racism cards to be re-elected? Yup. And will it work? Of course it will, because the American mentality is not one of catering to their better angels…”

            I think you’ve nailed it right there, Ronald. I still don’t think he’s a racist, but I think he *pretends* to be one when it suits him. Donald Trump is well known for making wild, out of the blue and outrageously provocative statements just to get attention. Some of his stated opinions are even contradictory…he doesn’t care, because it keeps his opponents off-balance, doesn’t it?

            Crazy like a fox, it seems…

            (either that, or the luckiest man alive)

          • Mark D says:

            Rep Steve King endorsing Faith Goldy for mayor of Canada’s largest city over Tory incumbent John Tory?

            I am far from a John Tory fan. But that was a pretty big wakeup call concerning the forces of Trumpism within the GOP.

        • The Doctor says:

          Umm, how about Trump continuing to insists that the Central Park Five are guilty, when they have definitively been proven innocent?

          How about Trump cruising around his New York rental properties and taking concrete steps to ensure that blacks would not be allowed to rent at said properties?

          There’s a couple for starters.

          • Ronald O'Dowd says:

            Doc,

            Just like Daddy Fred did. You know what they say about the acorn.

          • Fred from BC says:

            “Umm, how about Trump continuing to insists that the Central Park Five are guilty, when they have definitively been proven innocent?”

            Not to the satisfaction of everyone, it seems. Many police and prosecutors still say they are guilty (for a few different reasons which I won’t go into here…look it up if you must…). Are all those people “racists” as well? Maybe, like Donald Trump, they just hate to admit when they are wrong?

            (and why do the people who keep pushing this “Donald Trump hates black people” BS keep ignoring all his black friends, associates and employees?)

            “How about Trump cruising around his New York rental properties and taking concrete steps to ensure that blacks would not be allowed to rent at said properties?”

            How about you start checking your facts before you slander people?

            ___________________________
            MEDIA MEME:

            Donald Trump was a racist landlord who was sued by the U.S. Justice Department for not renting to African Americans. After he didn’t change his racist rental policies, the Dept. of Justice sued him again.

            WHAT REALLY HAPPENED:

            Fred Trump created a rental company, ran it for decades, and by 1973 it managed 14,382 apartments. By then, 17 African Americans had filed 15 complaints of discrimination in the application process. Also, four “testers” were sent to five Trump properties. They found that four rental employees discriminated. So in 1973, the Department of Justice filed a complaint against Fred Trump, Trump Management, and its new president, young Donald. At properties operated by them, almost 4.5% of tenants were black. One building had 40% black tenants. But five buildings had none. By 1974, the DOJ had collected accusations (formal, informal, and hearsay) by 43 accusers (named and unnamed) against 38 employees (out of hundreds) of Trump Management in 20 properties (out of 39), during 14 years. Three of them blamed Fred Trump. None of the 43 accusers blamed Donald Trump; there’s no evidence that he created or carried out discriminatory policies. In 1975, the Trumps began policies of affirmative action renting, to reach 10% black occupancy. By 1977, they exceeded this requirement. Finally, the DOJ closed the case for “lack of evidence” or new complaints.

            ______________________________

            “There’s a couple for starters.”

            Yes, a couple more unsubstantiated allegations. Just what we need.

            (but hey….hows that RUSSIAN COLLUSION thing coming along? Trump should be indicted any day now, right?)

          • The Doctor says:

            Jesus Christ Fred, the Central Park Five were exonerated on the basis of DNA evidence. What confessions occurred were demonstrably coerced, false and incoherent in the context of the facts.

            What are you going to claim next, that David Milgaard really did rape and kill Gail Miller? Because some cops still think he did?

          • Fred from BC says:

            “Jesus Christ Fred, the Central Park Five were exonerated on the basis of DNA evidence. What confessions occurred were demonstrably coerced, false and incoherent in the context of the facts.”

            I agree, although some might argue (not me, in this case) the while DNA doesn’t lie, the people who manipulate it sometimes do (and have been caught at it, in fact). I actually don’t believe they were guilty either.

            My point was that you can’t take Trump’s refusal to admit the truth as evidence of racism, because it’s not. It’s arrogant, childish, stubborn and a whole lot of other things (in other words, typical Donald Trump)….but NOT evidence of racism. Not unless he makes specific statements about their race that prove otherwise.

  2. Dennis says:

    Bernier or Maxi Pad as i call him couldn’t attack or support people any worse for his party.. he also did a photo opp with a white nationalist group but told them to cover their shirts.. the Pad didnt realize they would post the pics on there fb page with the complete story..

  3. Dennis Doerksen says:

    as a Conservative i am so happy Bernier never won the leadership race.. he would of destroyed the party… now look at him…he is such a failure morally and politically..

  4. Mark D says:

    Speaking as a social and political conservative…

    Seeing what is going on in the U.S. with Trumpism overtaking the GOP, I think it is probably in Scheer’s best interest to stay as far away from Bernier as possible. The Peoples Party of Canada has basically evolved into the Canadian wing of the GOP.

    Last year at this time I was concerned about Maxime splitting the right. However, watching the GOP under Trump stir racial politics has left me horrified. If Trumpists are to exert any influence in Canadian politics, I would much rather they start their own political party than attempt to exert influence within the Conservative Party.

    Provoking racial tension and distrust is socially irresponsible, fiscally destructive, and–I believe as a practicing Christian–morally and spiritually repugnant.

  5. Pedant says:

    Bernier’s pledge to halve Canada’s immigration intake is a winning position. It would STILL he higher than the US intake per capita (yes, even after halving it – that’s how extreme Canada’s current target is) and it’s a position a very sizeable chunk of the electorate could support. Take some pressure off Canadian cities’ infrastructure and Canadian salaries and assimilate existing immigrants. It’s a good plan.

    Why he had to pair the above perfectly legitimate position with a weird appeal to the far-right is beyond me! What does he think he’s doing? He’s going to lose potentially tens of thousands of voters attracted to his immigration message because they can’t stomach the racial overtones.

  6. Zachary says:

    Warren,
    A simple photo with someone going through a handshake lineup does not mean friendship. I’m sure over the years you’ve had to shake hands with a few people you yourself may agree or disagree with. To imply a relationship based on what appears to be a carefully cropped photo is unfair.

    This appears to be a meet and greet line in a hotel room, which is how Bernier has been conducting business for months. I went to one of his meetings, not as a show of support, but because I wanted to hear his platform and evaluate him based on that.

    My observation was that there definitely were clueless and ignorant racists in attendance, but instead of encouragement, they were given the cold shoulder. A person I know spoke with Bernier privately after and was not given nudge-nudge, wink-wink answers implying racism, but instead fairly libertarian answers, which is what Bernier has been campaigning on all along.

    I haven’t been to one of his meetings since. Maybe they’ve devolved into KKK-style rants? I doubt it. I suspect the neo-Nazis are attending in hopes of achieving their goals through Bernier, but I seriously doubt he is actually endorsing Hitlerian views, or we would have heard about it from the mainstream media. I imagine that these fascist fanciers will be disappointed.

    Maybe I’m wrong and these two guys are the best of pals. If you can show proof of that, aside from a cropped photo, you should do so.

    This is not written as an endorsement of Bernier. I haven’t followed his escapades this summer. I simply wanted to point this picture may not tell the story that’s implied.

  7. Irene says:

    Most Canadians would like a more reasonable and responsible immigration policy, according to polls. As Bernier is the only politician talking about lower immigration, a few that attend his events may have more extreme views on immigration but that doesn’t mean their views are Bernier’s views. It’s likely that this photo is one of hundreds taken of attendees who waited to have photos with Bernier. It’s misleading and not fair to claim friendship if the article doesn’t present any further facts to support that.

    • Pedant says:

      Canada has the highest per capita immigration intake in the Western world except for New Zealand. It’s 3 times the rate of the US. Not coincidentally, Canadian salaries are peanuts compared to equivalent positions in the US and Toronto and Vancouver have become two of the most expensive cities in the WORLD.

      Our cities need a break from excessively high immigration and our workers need a chance for their salaries to rise to something more commensurate with the cost of living.

      Bernier is a hero for firing the opening salvo on an issue long ignored by the mainstream parties. I’m annoyed that he’s screwing it up but you may well be right – he may have had no idea who that guy was and it’s not like he can screen all attendees to his events.

    • Irene,

      All the press gallery has to do is pick up the phone and call himself. Then he can tell us all, Yes or No.

    • How does that explain the unspecified “values test” that is an obvious dog-whistle?

      • Pedant says:

        What’s wrong with a values test in principle? In practice it may be open to abuse and difficult to objectively administer, but it is perfectly rational to screen prospective immigrants for those most likely to assimilate into Canadian society.

        • Pedant,

          But the art is in the doing. It takes a master craftsperson to get that one right.

          • Fred from BC says:

            I like it myself, in theory….but yeah, you’d have a helluva time getting it correct. Some people will scream ‘racism’ no matter how carefully you word it or how painstakingly you explain the reasons for it.

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