"The economic crisis is caused by U.S. imperialism. Through massive capital investments, sinister market manipulations and collaboration with the federal and provincial governments, the U.S. monopolies are destroying small farmers, small milk producers, small landlords and businesses. High U.S. investment and the plunder of Quebec's natural resources by the monopolies has created thousands of unemployed throughout the nation. U.S. monopolies with ties to 'Kentucky Fried Chicken' have destroyed the small poultry farms in the Saguenay Lac-St. Jean area and have built huge monopoly farms for the Montreal market. In Sherbrooke, Carnation Milk Company has liquidated the small regional dairy farmers in the same manner, greatly contributing to the fighting anti-imperialist sentiment throughout the whole region. Recently, U.S. investment in the pulp and paper industry has liquidated over 100 small mills per year and production has been taken over by large, mechanized monopolies which hire only a small percentage of the workers thrown out of their jobs. In iron ore mines and asbestos extraction the same situation exists.
"Today, faced with economic crisis at home, the U.S. imperialists have not renewed contracts with monopoly firms situated in Quebec, preferring to give them to their own faltering factories in the U.S. As a result, over 9,000 workers are being laid off in Montreal alone from Canadair, United Aircraft, Marconi and Northern Electric.
"U.S. imperialist economic plunder and control of Quebec has resulted in untold hardships and misery. Over 15 per cent of the work force is unemployed. In some regions such as Trois Rivieres, St. Jean and St. Jerôme, the unemployment has reached 40-50 per cent of the working people. In Montreal's working class neighbourhoods such as St. Henri and St. Jacques, unemployment has reached close to 50 per cent."
Youth fill Paul Sauve arena in Montreal in support of Quebec national liberation in 1970, on the eve of the declaration of the
War Measures Act.
On the eve of October 16 when the army was deployed in the streets, thousands of youth and students rose to their feet at the Paul Sauvé arena in Montreal and at assemblies at the University of Montreal to salute the fighting spirit of the Quebec patriots and to denounce the unprecedented repression.
"Down with fascism!" and "We are all from the FLQ -- come and get us!" were shouted, among other slogans. Other gatherings took place in Quebec City, Sherbrooke, Trois-Rivières and elsewhere. Across Canada, demonstrations in support of the struggle of the people of Quebec for sovereignty took place in Vancouver, Toronto, Calgary, Winnipeg and elsewhere. There was vigorous opposition to repressive terrorist activities and arrests of activists, progressive people including activists of CPC(M-L) which had been founded in Montreal in March 1970.
These working and living conditions aroused the anger and opposition of the people who aspired to advance their nation-building project, for a modern independent Quebec which is not under the rule of an Anglo-Canadian state, of U.S. imperialism and its war agenda. The people of Quebec saw the need to conquer political and economic power and to build the nation of Quebec on every front, so that Quebeckers would cease to be, in the words of the national poet of the Quebec nation Félix Leclerc, "drawers of water, hewers of wood, tenants and unemployed in our own country."
All in all, it can be said that revolutionary conditions prevailed in Quebec and Canada at that time in which communist ideas were rapidly gaining ground in the consciousness of the workers and youth. The newspapers of the time all attest to the fact that the Communist Party of Canada (Marxist-Leninist), its precursor organizations and its youth wings were at the heart of the actions, intervening in an active and organized manner to advance the struggle of the people of Quebec for their right to decide their own affairs.
It was to crush the struggle of the people which was developing on all fronts and to pursue the agenda of subjugating them to the needs of the expansion of U.S. imperialism that the Trudeau government promulgated the War Measures Act on October 16, 1970. It was also proof of the submission of the Canadian state to the U.S. imperialist and NATO intelligence agencies which pursued Operation Chaos whose objective was infiltration of and even the creation of different organizations through which they themselves participated in terrorist activities to then blame the people to justify the repression.
The activities of the FLQ were used to justify the proclamation of the most draconian war measures ever imposed during peacetime. The aim was to break the organized movement of workers and people who demanded justice and decent working and living conditions. And Trudeau did not act alone but in tandem with the CIA's worldwide "Operation Chaos" which included, among other things, state-organized terrorist attacks, coups d'état, assassinations, disappearances and rabid anti-communist propaganda, along with other dastardly operations. The Canadian government acted under the pressures and orders of the U.S. imperialists.
2. "The Rising Revolutionary Initiative of the People Will Certainly Smash the Bluster of the Anglo-Canadian Reactionaries! -- The National Executive of the Communist Party of Canada (Marxist-Leninist) issues statement on the 'War Measures Act' -- 'Public Order Act,' the situation in Canada and Quebec and the tasks of the Party," Mass Line, Vol. 2 No. 37, December 10, 1970.
Media disinformation about the invocation of the War Measures Act in 1970 tends to focus only on some events which were taking place in October 1970 and discussion on whether or not Pierre Elliot Trudeau over-reacted or if there truly was a state of apprehended insurrection at the time. Information brought to light in 2010 about the RCMP's secret plans, first devised in 1950, for indefinite detention and internment of thousands of Canadians, code-named PROFUNC (PROminent FUNCtionaries of the Communist Party), was used, amongst other things, to suggest that the phenomenon of the police being above the civil power was a thing of the past.
The synopsis of "Enemies of the State" aired by the CBC's Fifth Estate and Radio-Canada's Enquête on October 15, 2010 which exposed the "PROFUNC" plan began:
"The secret contingency plan, called PROFUNC, allowed police to round up and indefinitely detain Canadians believed to be Communist sympathizers."
"It seems hard to imagine today that a Canadian government would approve a plan to round up thousands of law-abiding Canadians and lock them away simply because they were perceived to be a threat to Canadian democracy."
The following is an excerpt from the statement issued by CPC(M-L) on October 16, 2014 commenting on this view:
"This attempt to portray the events of October 1970 and the PROFUNC plan as unimaginable today and the mass raids and arrests as the doings of a police force that just got a bit carried away in the past fails utterly in the face of the mass arrests, raids and dirty tricks of the police and horrendous acquiescence of the courts to the activities of the police before, during and after the G8/20 protests. It is an amazing statement given that Canadian citizens and residents of Canada were handed over to torture, the thousands of people whose names appear on no-fly lists, the thousands who are considered terrorists by virtue of being Muslim or Pakistani, or Arab, etc. or whose opinion clashes with that of the Harper government over the right to resist Zionism and the crimes carried out by the state of Israel.
"Both the invoking of the War Measures Act in 1970 and the revelations about PROFUNC, declared to be 'the most draconian national security program in Canada's peacetime history' are presented as anomalies, departures from the norm of Canadian 'democracy,' but sadly this is not the case.
"In fact, the 'debate' is not really about the past at all but about the present and it is to cover up that the police continue to be above the civil power. This is not an aberration. It reveals the true nature (of the civil power), the actual essence of the Canadian democracy. The only difference is that in the past, civil liberties were suspended occasionally and now in the name of the war on terror, a permanent state of emergency has been declared to warrant the redefinition of what a democracy looks like and acceptance of a permanent state of exception.
"One media outlet goes so far as to tell us that the majority of Canadians prefer 'peace, order and good government' even if it means giving up or suspending civil liberties. If civil rights are given up in exchange for peace, order and good government, what is peace, order and good government? Either it means nothing or it is a regime in which the police power is above the civil power, and it is the police which determine when rights can be suspended.
"Another debate suggests that the problem is to strike the right 'balance' between rights and security. What then is the definition of a right if it can be suspended? Who determines the conditions under which it can be suspended? According to Canada's Charter of Rights and Freedoms 'rights' have 'reasonable limits.' This means they are yours until you need them. This is in contempt of the very definition of a right which belongs to you by virtue of your being and which can be neither forfeited nor forsaken in any way, only affirmed and enforced.
"Even without special powers, in Canada the right to conscience is routinely violated. Far from being a departure from the norm, the persecution, arrest and jailing of the militants of the communist and workers' movement are features of what is called the Canadian democracy.
"In the period after the Second World War, despite the fact that the existence of the Communist Party and membership in it were not considered offences under the criminal code, Anglo-American democracy declared communism to be the enemy of democracy. This was the basis for the RCMP lists of thousands of communists and communist sympathizers it slated for indefinite detention. Apart from the arrests carried out during the War Measures Act, more than 2,500 arrests of members and supporters of the Communist Party of Canada (Marxist-Leninist) took place in the 1970s in an all-out effort by the Canadian state to smash the new party which had come into being. None of those arrests were carried out by invoking any special powers. Instead they were part of the RCMP's dirty tricks to portray the members of CPC(M-L) as petty criminals and destroy the organization. The RCMP carried out a campaign to frame and deport the founder and leader of CPC(M-L), Comrade Hardial Bains, and deprive him of citizenship for 30 years. The persecution of other Party comrades carries on to date.
"All of it shows that so-called safeguards known as civil liberties which we are led to believe protect us against impunity on the part of police agencies have always been subjected to 'reasonable limits.' Besides the persecution of progressive people, workers are legislated back to work, etc. On top of this, under some conditions, 'exceptional circumstances' are declared to justify the use of instruments like the War Measures Act as took place against the communist and workers' movement in both the First and Second World Wars, and for purposes of expropriating fishing fleets and houses of the Japanese using the pretext of internment, as well as in October 1970.
"All of it reveals the class nature of the democratic institutions this debate seeks to hide and that so long as sovereignty is vested in the prerogative of the crown which represents the monopolies and defends their interests, not in the people on a modern basis, this problem will only get worse. The fact that government ministers did not even know about the PROFUNC program shows the contempt in which the 'civil power' is held. Both Warren Allmand and Robert Kaplan, solicitors general in Trudeau governments, admit to this when they point out they knew nothing about PROFUNC.
"What the declaration of the War Measures Act in 1970 and PROFUNC actually show is not that the police were above the civil power in the past but that what is called the civil power is a form of police rule to protect the rule of the monopolies and their interests at home and abroad. The rulers portray these interests in a manner which claims that the role of the state is to defend the public good and that the state is neutral in the clash of class interests.
"Due to all the wrong-doings of the RCMP, in 1983 legislation creating the Canadian Security Intelligence Service (CSIS) to take over security and intelligence from the RCMP was introduced in Parliament. CSIS came into being in 1984. But far from changing the essence of the Canadian democracy in which the police are above the civil power, this never ceased but in fact increased. Since the creation of the CSIS both the CSIS and other police agencies act above the civil power as clearly revealed by the Maher Arar and other cases in which Canada has been involved in torture, rendition to torture and other crimes against humanity. In the case of the Afghan detainees handed over to the Americans and to torture shortly after Canada's involvement in the U.S. invasion of Afghanistan, even the Prime Minister was informed one week after the fact. A memo came to light about secret deals between Canadian and American special forces which specified that they must be kept secret from even the Prime Minister.
"In this regard, while the CBC and Radio-Canada 'revealed' all kinds of things about the PROFUNC plan, they failed to point to the current integration of Canadian and U.S. police, intelligence and armed forces, let alone the handing over of information about Canadians to U.S. spy agencies to be placed on no-fly lists, terror suspect lists, rendered to torture, etc. All of it shows that the PROFUNC phenomenon is a thing of the present, not the past. This is a problem which comes under the heading state terrorism, not democracy. [...]"
(Statement of the Communist Party of Canada (Marxist-Leninist), October 16, 2014)
In 2010, the CBC's The Fifth Estate and Radio-Canada's Enquête programs exposed a plan to indefinitely detain thousands of Canadians believed to be communists or communist sympathizers in the event of a "national emergency."
PROFUNC, which stands for PROminent FUNCtionaries of the Communist Party, was a top-secret plan first devised in 1950 by RCMP Commissioner Stuart Taylor Wood. It listed 16,000 suspected communists and 50,000 sympathizers to be spied on and possibly indefinitely interned.
The plan was kept secret even from the Solicitor General who was responsible for the RCMP. The CBC/Radio Canada program interviewed Robert Kaplan, who was Solicitor General of Canada from 1980 to 1984. Kaplan apparently inadvertently brought an end to the program in 1983 when he ordered the RCMP to stop whatever actions were responsible for elderly Canadians being barred from entering the United States. Kaplan stated that he heard about the program only when informed about it by the Fifth Estate. He told the CBC that he was appalled to hear that the Canadian government had been involved in such a plan: "I just can't believe it had any government authorization behind it," Kaplan said.
Information gathered under the PROFUNC program was used when the War Measures Act was declared in 1970. Trudeau had declared an "apprehended insurrection" but according to retired Lt. Julien Giguère, head of Montreal police's anti-terrorism squad at the time, their list of FLQ sympathisers had only 60 names. This list was considered too short in light of the claim of an "apprehended insurrection." So, according to Giguère, both the Sureté du Québec (SQ, provincial police) and the RCMP provided more names, leading to almost 4,000 raids and 500 arrests.
The CBC program described PROFUNC as one of the most draconian national security programs in Canada's peacetime history. It said that those on the list could be detained indefinitely, would be subject to "severe discipline" and shot if they tried to escape.
The lists included prominent Canadian public personalities and ordinary people -- men and women, and their children -- whose identities were kept hidden in sealed envelopes kept at RCMP detachments across the country. An arrest document known as a C-215 form was created for each potential internee. Files included personal details such as age, physical description, photos, vehicle information, and housing, and even the location of doors to be used in potential escapes, the CBC said. The lists of targets included the children of the men and women to be detained. The information was regularly updated, from 1950 when the program was created until 1983 when it is claimed it was disbanded.
PROFUNC provided for the RCMP to begin a massive roundup on what was designated M-Day, or Mobilization Day. Police commanders were secretly briefed on preparations for the day. The plan included special teams to be deployed in residential neighbourhoods, taking up tactical positions and rounding up the "targets" who would then be transported to temporary "reception centres" and later to permanent prisons or detention camps. Children would either be sent to relatives or interned with parents.
The CBC reported that internees also faced harsh punishment if they broke the strict rules of the camps, such as the following: "No internee shall converse with any person, other than an officer guard or staff member, unless he is permitted to do so under these regulations or is given special permission to do so by an officer."
Canadian Immigration Detention Headquarters
Montreal: Department of Labour Hostel
Toronto: Casa Loma
Winnipeg: Normal School
Port Arthur, Ont.: Port Arthur Country Club
Regina: Grandstand Exhibition Grounds
Edmonton: Canadian Immigration Quarters
Calgary: Northern Electric Building
Vancouver: Canadian Immigration Building
BC: A female-only facility housing 400 BC and Prairie internees.
Chilliwack, BC: A male-only camp for 400 British Columbians
Lethbridge, Alta.: A facility accommodating 400 male internees from the three Prairie provinces
Neys, Ont.: A camp for 400 men from Ontario.
North Bay, Ont.: A male-only facility for 400 Ontarians
Niagara Peninsula (St. Thomas or London area), Ont.: A facility for 400 women from Ontario, Quebec and the Maritimes
Parry Sound, Ont.: A co-ed camp, numbers not specified.
St. Gabriel de Brandon, Que.: 400 men from Quebec and Maritimes.
("PROFUNC -- Canada's Secret Plan for Indefinite Detention" - TML Weekly October 16, 2010.)
There are many official as well as media accounts of crimes committed against Canadians, Quebeckers and Indigenous peoples by the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP). Some of the crimes are left out of the accounts altogether; others are said to be unacceptable aberrations or necessary despite the violations of rights. All in all, it is said that such crimes belong to the past or even that they have contributed to strengthening our democracy. The Canadian Security Intelligence Service (CSIS) was created in 1984 to, allegedly, "collect intelligence but not pass to action" and thus we were to believe that the days of the dirty deeds of the RCMP were over. Of course, it is not true that after 1984 the security services stopped violating the rights of the people. These include cover-up of their involvement in the 1985 Air India disaster. Since 9/11, every manner of excuse has been given to violate rights with impunity. Bill C-51, the Anti-Terrorism Act 2015 extends powers to CSIS to allow it to conduct activities that resemble those of the RCMP prior to 1984.
This article provides a brief review of the official story and what the Communist Party of Canada (Marxist-Leninist) had to say about this at the time the events were taking place. The aim of the review is to sum up this experience so that people can provide themselves with a suitable guide to action which serves the present and opens a path to a safe and bright future.
As the official story goes, the RCMP carried out illegal activities until approximately 1977 as part of their work to safeguard Canadian "national security," but all of this was cleaned up in the period from 1978 through 1984, culminating in the separation of the RCMP's intelligence and enforcement wings, as recommended by the Commission of Inquiry Concerning Certain Activities of the RCMP (the McDonald Commission). The Commission carried out its investigation from 1977 through to 1981. The reorganization of the security forces took place from 1981 to 1984. The new regime was put in place in November 1984 with the appointment of the first Security Intelligence Review Committee.
On July 26, 1974, Robert Samson a former RCMP constable and member of the Combined Anti-Terrorist Squad of Quebec who had gone into the RCMP-Security Service (RCMP-SS) was injured by a bomb explosion in front of the Mount Royal home of Melvyn Dobrin, President of the Steinberg supermarket chain. Samson said he was meeting an informant at the location when he spotted and picked up a parcel which exploded in his face. The RCMP officially disavowed any link to Samson's activity and reported him to the Montreal police. The Quebec fire commissioner who interrogated Samson did not buy his story and he was charged with planting the bomb. During his court case, held in 1976, Samson spilled information about what he referred to as Operation Bricole. In exchange for immunity he explained that Operation Bricole involved a break-in at the Montreal office of Agence de Presse Libre du Québec (APLQ) "to take documents which were files of the most militant members as well as pertinent documents." He explained that the APLQ "always had a fairly big list of Quebec leftists." To this day, what Samson was actually doing on July 26, 1974 remains a mystery.
Shortly after the conclusion of Samson's trial, then-Solicitor General Warren Allmand told the House of Commons that the APLQ raid was an isolated incident "organized by either the Quebec provincial police or the Montreal police, and the RCMP assumed an assisting role."
At the same time, in June 1977, the Parti Québécois government of Quebec, launched its own inquiry into the police activities, the Commission d'enquête sur des opérations policières en territoire québécois (also known as the Keable Commission). Every step of the way, the Commission met with resistance and obstruction from both the RCMP and the federal government who challenged the Commission's jurisdiction to examine the affairs of a federal agency, arguing that it was invading the prerogatives of the federal government. The Trudeau government succeeded in having Canadian courts declare the investigation unconstitutional, even though a large number of the dirty operations were directed against the people of Quebec. It charged that the Keable Commission would be violating the Official Secrets Act. Solicitor General Francis Fox, who succeeded Allmand, refused to hand over subpoenaed documents, using the "absolute privilege" accorded to the Solicitor General under Canada's Federal Courts Act, a privilege without any recourse to appeal.
The Keable Commission nevertheless gathered enough proof to establish that the RCMP had taken part in a number of illegal activities as part of its surveillance operations after the October Crisis of 1970, including the following:
- A burglary at the APLQ offices;
- The burning of a barn in 1971 called La Ferme du Québec Libre in the Eastern Townships where members of the FLQ and the U.S. Black Panthers and various protest groups met;
- The issuing of 13 false FLQ press releases in 1971 from a dummy FLQ cell called André Ouimet, which claimed responsibility for the firebombing of the Brinks Company office in Montreal in January of the same year. The purpose of the communiqués was to create the impression that the FLQ was still active after the October Crisis of 1970. Some of them threatened the life of Minister of Justice Jérôme Choquette and claimed responsibility for firebombings that never took place. The media, especially the Journal de Montréal, published stories on the basis of those communiqués with titles such as "The FLQ Is Not Dead" and "Have We Underestimated the Strength of the FLQ?" The FLQ, which for all intents and purposes was decimated during the October Crisis, was now presented as a powerful organization with numerous cells whose frequent actions "represent an active threat to the security of the person and to civil liberties in Quebec." The Keable Commission dedicated a chapter to the role of the media in these intrigues.
- The theft of dynamite on the night of April 26 to 27, 1972 from Richelieu Explosives in Rougemont by policeman Rick Daigle assisted by corporals Bernard Chamberland and Normand Dubuc;
- The kidnapping of André Chamard, a law intern involved in the defence of the accused FLQ members on June 7, 1972. The RCMP first attempted to recruit Chamard as an informer using a drug case he was involved in as blackmail and subjected him to beatings and death threats.
- The theft of Parti Québécois membership lists in January 1973 during "Operation Ham," as part of a burglary of the courier company "Courier Dynamics Inc," an operation involving 66 RCMP officers.
RCMP Officer Donald Cobb, Inspector Jean Coutellier of the Sûreté du Québec and Inspector Roger Cormier of the Montreal police were eventually charged with authorizing a search without a warrant in relation to the APLQ break-in. The proceedings carried on until June 1977 when they pleaded guilty, eliminating public hearing of evidence. Their lawyer argued that they were outstanding citizens, that they had a momentary lapse when they failed to obtain a warrant and that they had done it with the best of motives -- to defend national security. They were granted unconditional discharges and returned to active duty.
On July 6, 1977, Solicitor General Fox acknowledged in the House of Commons that the APLQ break-in was not an "exceptional and isolated" case and announced that a Commission of Inquiry would be launched.
The McDonald Commission began its hearings on October 18, 1977. All told there were 169 hearings, 144 of them held in camera. It heard evidence from 149 witnesses about RCMP activities and the extent of knowledge about them by Ministers and senior officials.
The major topics it dealt with were summarized by the Commission:
"- Operation Bricole -- the APLQ Incident;
- Operation Ham -- the removal and copying of Parti Québécois membership lists;
- Surreptitious Entries (generally);
- Certain cases of attempted recruitment of Human Sources;
- Mail Checks;
- Burning of a Barn; Removal of Dynamite;
- Access to information in the possession of the Department of National Revenue, the Unemployment Insurance Commission and other government departments;
- Operation Checkmate -- countermeasures and disruptive tactics;
- Miscellaneous topics relating to the accountability of the RCMP to Government; the Relationship between the Security Service and its Human Sources."
The Commission promised that, subject to "the restrictions imposed upon us by our mandate as to matters related to 'national security,' 'public interest,' or 'the interest of the privacy of individuals,'" it would make what it heard "public as much as possible."
Fifty-two volumes of transcripts heard in camera were released as 45 volumes of redacted material. Some of this is now in the National Archives which can be accessed with CSIS approval. Once cleared for access, documents can be viewed by others. Much if not most of the evidence pertaining to this period right through to 1988 has been destroyed. The volume pertaining to the dirty deeds committed against CPC(M-L) was never released.
During the McDonald Commission's hearings in November 1979 and February 1980, it was revealed that the RCMP-SS destroyed files, particularly those related to Operation Checkmate. They destroyed files containing details about actual operations conducted, and others that were proposals for "unexecuted operations."
According to what the RCMP-SS told the Commission, the files were destroyed after two internal reviews, one in 1974-75, referred to as "Phase One" involving "mere proposals for operations" -- and the remainder in 1977. There were "approximately 25 volumes" related to Operation Checkmate in total.
The Commission was told that Deputy Director (Operations) Howard Draper and Staff Sergeant Ron Yaworski and Superintendent Gustav Begalki, who was in charge of "D" Operations -- the Counter-Subversion Branch that oversaw the Special Operations group supervising Operation Checkmate -- recommended the destruction of files. The Commission reported:
"By November 1974, [Yaworski] believed that many of the operations which had been carried out under the code name 'Checkmate' were 'wrong.' He came to this conclusion because of his 'increasing awareness of mounting public criticism in the United States of comparable programmes which had been carried out by the FBI.'"
The Commission reported that Yaworksi was concerned about "leakage of government documents" and the "possibility of the disclosure of what he considered to be 'very sensitive' and 'very explosive' information and about probable consequent embarrassment to the Security Service as a whole." He wanted to "lessen the possibilities of exposure of Operation Checkmate."
The Commission reported that the officers involved in the destruction of files discussed "the potentially 'very explosive' nature of what little material was still on the files." The Commission said no explanation was given as to what "very explosive" meant, or whether the "problems involved possible illegalities." No list of the materials destroyed was kept.
Begalki said that his reasoning for destroying the files was the "winding down" of the operation. The Commission reported: "Mr. Begalki says that the possible embarrassment to the Security Service in the event of the disclosure of any of the contents of the Checkmate files did not 'separately' have a bearing on his decision that the files should be destroyed. He later explained that that was not his reason, and that he did not know the contents of any of the files or that there were any illegalities described in them. He maintains that the lack of intelligence value was the criterion he applied in authorizing this destruction of the files, and which he expected Staff Sergeant Pethic to apply as he went through the files."
Individuals who participated in the destruction of the files, such as Staff Sergeant Pethic, told the Commission they had vague recollections of the files. Pethic said he "vaguely remembered a file on an individual." He said that "he retained only three documents: (1) an outline of the finances of either the Communist Party of Canada or a communist front organization, (2) a description of an individual's departure from a suspected communist front organization and (3) a document from an agency outside the Security Service."
The Commission concluded: "In our opinion the explanation given by Mr. Yaworski for recommending in 1974 the destruction of the Checkmate files, when analyzed, amounts to nothing less than an intention to reduce the possibility of the Government of Canada learning of acts which he himself had come to consider to have been 'wrong.' Standard criteria for the destruction of files were deliberately disregarded by him and Mr. Draper.
"We cannot ignore the fact that more than three years earlier, on June 30, 1971, in a memorandum prepared by Mr. Yaworski (although signed by Sergeant Pethic), it was said that 'containment measures being considered or attempted' might be 'of such a sensitive nature that they are not to be committed to paper.' Mr. Yaworski told us that by 'sensitive' he did not mean 'illegal' but rather the fact that the Security Service was using information from a source which might put the source in jeopardy, and to the fact that the Security Service was itself taking action rather than simply reporting its information to some other branch of government.
"We find this explanation unconvincing and we believe that Mr. Yaworski, drafting the memorandum for Sergeant Pethic's signature, was referring to a willingness to use deterrent methods, including illegal ones if necessary, to achieve what he described in the memorandum as a 'more aggressive and positive approach' to operations which would 'impede, deter or undermine' target groups."
No charges were laid for this deliberate destruction of evidence about the crimes committed against the peoples of Canada and Quebec. At some point, Ron Yaworski became a "Security Consultant" who, as late as 2002, appeared before a Senate committee as an expert witness during its in camera budgetary considerations on security matters. (The position of deputy director of operations for CSIS is held by a Jeff Yaworski. TML could not establish if they are related.)
Aside from the destruction of files in the 1974-77 period, in the transition of the RCMP-SS to CSIS, one of the issues was what to do with the files accumulated over more than 50 years of subversive activities. One scholar who has investigated the fate of the files writes: "The Security Service, with the federal government's permission had already destroyed 208,481 of its files between July 1983 and May 1984. With the appearance of the new spy agency, a decision was made to transfer some of the records to the National Archives of Canada. In 1987 CSIS created the National Archives Requirements Unit to review the documents in consultation with archivists. Out of nearly 500,000 records, 440,000 were destroyed. Twenty-nine thousand documents made the trip to the archives and 28,000 were retained at CSIS because of continuing value. The embarrassment factor was considered in at least one case when the records were being reviewed. After assessing a single volume in the collection relating to McGill University, an employee of CSIS was sure that the file deserved to be destroyed, since Canada's new spy service had 'no need for a file to be specifically opened on a university, [deleted] Keeping such a file can only bring us problems."
On February 19, 1975, the Communist Party of Canada (Marxist-Leninist) convened a press conference in Toronto to repudiate a sensationalist news item in the Toronto Star claiming that an FBI agent named Joseph Burton had infiltrated the Party and gathered internal information. The alleged infiltrator claimed that he knew that "Hardial Bains walked out of the north Korean embassy in Paris with $30,000" when such an embassy did not even exist.
In a statement issued at the time, the Party said:
"This manoeuvre on the part of the capitalist press was so clumsy that it showed their sinister motive to discredit the Party by raising doubts about [its] operations and causing suspicion in the minds of the people about [its] integrity."
founder and leader Hardial Bains counters the lies and slanders against
the Party at a Toronto press conference,
This activity was one of many carried out against CPC(M-L). It was neither the first dirty operation carried out against the Party by the RCMP-SS nor was it the last. The day will certainly come when the peoples of Canada will reconstruct the truth about the sordid treacherous activities carried out against them in the period that has supposedly been investigated and dealt with. But the biggest fraud of all is that CSIS gave rise to a "new" civilian agency to take care of national security intelligence. In fact, any RCMP-SS members who wished to do so were welcomed to join CSIS. It is said that many even kept their desks and that the new spy agency primarily consisted of former RCMP-SS members.
In the period of transition to CSIS, on August 12, 1984, the British Columbia Headquarters of CPC(M-L) was burned to the ground along with surrounding businesses, with total damages estimated at $3 million. It was as though CSIS was sending a message that nothing was going to change. A 22-year-old American citizen named Rolland Degroot was detained in connection with the fire, but the police and the media refused to properly investigate the matter so that nobody would be charged and there was to be no redress. In the days and weeks prior to the razing of the Party's BC Headquarters, various other attacks were carried out, not only on the BC Headquarters, but in Montreal as well.
Degroot was a self-proclaimed neo-Nazi who the police never charged or brought to justice. The black op was part of the state's racist offensive against the people of British Columbia and across the country to terrorize immigrants and get them to stop fighting for their rights. The state floated Nazi and white supremacist organizations which it used to launch racist attacks. It tried to blame the people for being racist, as it does today in the case of accusations that Quebeckers are Islamophobic or that Canadians demand that Muslims be "moderate" and swear loyalty to what are called Canadian values. All of this propaganda served to justify using state intervention against the people in both Canada and India just as today it is used in a similar manner at home and abroad.
During the period when these attacks were being launched, CPC(M-L) and its leader Hardial Bains raised the slogan to blame the state and not the people for racist attacks and fascist violence and called on the people to organize their own defence, since clearly the police were not going to defend them. The East Indian Defence Committee was founded in 1973 and then, in November 1980, the People's Front Against Racist and Fascist Violence was founded. Both organizations developed their work under the leadership of the Party and Hardial Bains. It brought organized form to work that had been carried out from early 1973 to unite the people of all walks of life and backgrounds in action to oppose the racist and fascist violence and make sure it would not take hold in Canada.
Hundreds of thousands of Canadians joined in mass opposition to the racist and fascist violence, including to the racist Green Paper on Immigration released by the Liberal government in 1975, a struggle the Party also led. The Green Paper divided Canadians between whites and "people of colour with novel and distinctive features" and enshrined the category Aboriginal to make sure all the Indigenous nations were lumped together on a racist basis. Following the Green Paper, as the recognition of state-organized racism took hold in the Canadian consciousness, Ontario issued the Pitman Report authored by Walter Pitman which declared that there was no evidence of state-organized racism and that Canadians "are all a little bit racist." This entire period laid bare the hand of the state behind racist and fascist violence. It clearly established the truth of what CPC(M-L) was saying. Because of this, the state did everything possible to isolate CPC(M-L), including staging attacks against it by police agents within the people's movement and then blaming CPC(M-L) for instigating violence when it defended itself against these assaults. CPC(M-L) was vindicated in court where the preponderance of evidence showed that it was the target of assaults and that it assaulted no one even when it defended itself against assault.
Later, the Canadian state stepped up its use of state terrorism against the people. Amongst other things, it concocted the theory of "Sikh fundamentalism" and "extremists" to justify the state attacks against those who were opposing injustice in Canada and in India, taking a stand against the Indira Gandhi regime, especially those from the Punjab nation seeking independence from India. Criminal attacks were also launched against the people of Kashmir and the other nations and tribal peoples in India fighting for emancipation and the brutal oppression and exploitation at the hands of the industrialists, landlords and their state.
The Air India bombing took place under these conditions and no amount of attempts to blame it on "Sikh extremists" could hide the hand of the Canadian spy agencies in creating these "extremists" and putting together this conspiracy. Under these conditions, thousands of Punjabi youth were slaughtered in Punjab, while black laws and black ops were used to suppress the opposition. Finally, the floodgates were opened to the perpetuation of anarchy and violence in India with Operation Blue Star in 1984 when the Golden Temple in Amritsar, Punjab, the holiest shrine of the Sikhs, was invaded by the Indian army which resulted in the slaughter of many people. This was the beginning of the escalation of state intervention in religious affairs where it dictates the conscience of the people and what they can and cannot do as a way of life. The policy of individual acts of terrorism and targeted assassinations became commonplace with the aim of keeping people out of politics. Indira Gandhi and her son Rajiv Gandhi themselves fell victim to this policy.
Thus the Canadian state erected the bogeyman of "Sikh fundamentalism." Following the 9/11 attacks against the twin towers in New York and the Pentagon in Washington, DC, this turned out to be yeoman's service for the imperialist system of states. This "Sikh fundamentalism" served as a model for the CIA as it erected the spectre of "Islamic fundamentalism" as the extreme which poses the gravest danger to society. On this basis, once again, it is the people who are blamed for the terrorist attacks while state terrorism in the name of combatting terror is erected as the solution. All of it reveals the modus operandi of the so-called intelligence services and their "strategy of tension" which, in turn, has the aim of making sure economic, social and other problems are not provided with political solutions.
Throughout all this period, the work to unite the people in action against the state-organized racist and fascist attacks proved the revolutionary character and mettle of CPC(M-L).
After the arson attack on its BC Headquarters, on August 20-21, 1983, the Party convened an Enlarged Plenum of the Central Committee where a report was presented entitled "The Arson Attack Against the Headquarters of CPC(M-L) in BC -- A Senseless Act of Individual Violence or a State-Inspired Crime Against the Party and the People?" The Party put the arson attack in the context of the long line of attacks of various forms that were launched against the Party, its members, supporters and offices from 1970 through to the arson attack.
The report to the Party's Central Committee drew the conclusion that the arson attack and the response of the police and the media had the aim of:
1) convincing public opinion that the arson attack was insignificant and hence that it is fine and normal to have such attacks on the Party;
2) sowing confusion in the minds of the people to downplay and negate the danger of fascism;
3) to create public opinion that such attacks are provoked by the target itself; and
4) to promote the bankrupt anti-communist theory of "two extremes," according to which the Marxist-Leninists and the fascists are fighting each other while the government and state agencies are the moderate middle-ground which is neutral and opposed to all extremes.
Within this context, the Plenum analyzed that the measures were being put in place to strengthen the repressive state apparatus as part of the all-round fascization of life, the suppression of the Marxist-Leninists and other progressive forces and "to incite crimes of so-called senseless violence" such as the arson attack in BC.
The report to the Central Committee addressed the McDonald Commission's report noting the similarity between the arson attack in Quebec in 1974 and the burning of the bookstore. It stated: "Far from condemning such crimes, the McDonald Royal Commission [...] sought to justify these crimes and to elaborate a framework to legalize the crimes carried out by the RCMP against the struggles of the people and the interests of the nation and to legalize the operation of the foreign espionage agencies of U.S. imperialism, the FBI and the CIA, and the direct intervention in Canadian affairs by the highest echelons of the United States government [...]." It pointed out that the Canadian Security Intelligence Service "will be legally empowered to carry out all the illegal and hooligan activities which the RCMP, the CIA and the FBI have carried out in the past, in the name of defending democracy and the interests of the nation against subversion."
The Central Committee posed the question: "Who are the terrorists and who is carrying out acts of political violence in Canada?" To answer the question, it looked to the McDonald Commission's report.
"The McDonald Commission openly admits the fact that the bourgeoisie and its RCMP and other police forces and spies, as well as fascist gangs, have been the source of terrorism, barn-burnings, kidnappings, torture and blackmail in the recruitment of informants, of racist and fascist hate messages on telephones and violent attacks against the national minority communities, workers' struggles and against the progressive and democratic forces and the Marxist-Leninists, attempted assassinations, and so on. The report also admits that the police and government authorities have fully cooperated with the American spy agencies and police forces in bringing spies to Canada to sabotage CPC(M-L), and the struggle of the Native people and other groups in Canada. Significantly, however, some sections of the McDonald Commission Report, such as the section on 'Operation Checkmate,' which deal specifically with how CPC(M-L) and its leadership, Comrade Hardial Bains, have been the targets of such terrorist attacks were never released for publication. This too serves the tactic of the bourgeoisie of slandering the Marxist-Leninists as the source of crime and violence by comparing them to the fascists and terrorists, while in fact remaining silent about their true activities and progressive stands.
"The McDonald Commission report also served to justify the fascization of the state and strengthening of the apparatus of repression, including the operation of the civilian spy agency, CSIS, under the guise that it is necessary to make illegal activities legal in the name of the interests of national security, in the name that Canada's interests are inseparable from those of U.S. imperialism and that those who fight for the democratic rights of the people and the interests of the nation [...] are the 'enemies' of the interests of the people and the nation and are the source of the danger to peace and security in Canada and to democracy.
"Thus, the McDonald Commission declared that the principal threats to Canadian security 'arise from the clandestine activities of agents of foreign powers in Canada, terrorist organizations and groups working actively to overthrow the foundation of parliamentary democracy.'"
The Report to the Plenum pointed out that "In the category of 'groups working actively to overthrow the foundation of parliamentary democracy' the Commission lumps the Marxist-Leninists together with the fascists so as to create maximum confusion, and then declares that the fascists are inactive and do not pose a threat." The report pointed out that it was not accidental that the Commission did not make more specific the category of "terrorist organizations." It was already documented that the RCMP and other police forces were behind all the terrorist activities they blamed on the FLQ, to say nothing about the "Western Guard" and other neo-Nazi, white supremacist organizations that had committed terrorist attacks. "The McDonald Commission even records certain of these attacks, as well as the work of the U.S. police agents operating in Canada, and condones these nefarious activities," the Report pointed out.
The Central Committee's report noted the admission of the McDonald Commission of the police-nature of the Canadian state and "that the activities of CPC(M-L) 'have been under intensive investigation in the 1970s. Its leader has been the object of both close surveillance and certain of the disruptive tactics which were carried out under the Operation Checkmate umbrella.' The Commission also confesses that 'Widespread harassment at every possible opportunity' was carried out against the Party members and supporters, including dismissal from jobs and deportations as well as attempts to kill members and supporters. Many of these activities were foiled by the vigilance of the Party, which condemned them and fought against them, right when they were perpetrated."
The Report warned that the "McDonald Commission speaks as if it were opposed to these activities, but this is deception to fool the gullible, to whitewash its own role and the fascization of the state and to prepare for further attacks. In fact, its own mission was to directly attack the Marxist-Leninists using the disguise of upholding the 'rule of law.' While the McDonald Commission was scribbling its justifications for 'law and order,' the attacks were still going on against the Marxist-Leninists and progressive forces across the country, as is still the case today, for these attacks never stopped for a single day."
The Report concluded that the creation of CSIS "[...] is a further step in the fascization of the state within the framework of the so-called parliamentary process and through 'constitutional means' and it poses a real threat to the lives and liberties of the people." Amongst other things it noted that the legislation would grant immunity for security service operatives and make it a criminal offence for anyone to reveal their identity.
The Report also identified the alleged fight against terrorism as "an important propaganda weapon for the ideo-political deception" of the people with the aim of liquidating and diverting their struggles.
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