From the Action Network
Coalition to Oppose the Arms Trade
TO PRIME MINISTER JUSTIN TRUDEAU, AND CHRYSTIA FREELAND (DEPUTY PM AND MINISTER OF FINANCE)
“We call on the Canadian government to stop giving financial support to East European ethnonationalist associations that whitewash their forebears’ complicity in the Holocaust and other crimes against humanity.
As taxpayers we oppose our government’s continued funding to the monuments, publications, events and meeting centres which are now used by these Canadian groups to glorify the memory of their Nazi-collaborating founders, leaders, activists and war heroes.”
After signing, please let others know about this petition and encourage more organizations to endorse it. Thanks!
The research published in Issue #70 of Press for Conversion! magazine led to the creation of this petition. You can read all of its articles for free here:
Myths and Cults
of Cold War Canada:
Ongoing state support for East European
émigré groups with deep fascist roots
(Collaborators, Crusades and Coverups
in an era of “truth and reconciliation”)
Why this petition is important:
- Government funding to groups that revere their communities’ fascist war heroes is an insult to the memory of Canadian troops who fought against the Axis powers in WWII. Continuing this state support is a betrayal of the stand taken by Canada and our allies in the fight against fascism.
- After centuries of financing genocide against First Nations, and perpetrating other forms of systemic racism, the Canadian government is facing widespread demands for truth and reconciliation. (Read more…)
- In light of these calls for justice regarding Canada’s role in genocide, the government should stop funding organizations that whitewash and exalt racist, antisemitic and fascist war heroes who aided Nazi Germany’s genocidal programs of political- and ethnic-cleansing.
- This process will require Canada to account for its decades of support for émigré associations whose founders and leaders included top officials of Nazi puppet regimes, officers of the Waffen SS, veterans of ethnonationalist guerrilla armies, and other apologists for fascism who welcomed Germany’s invasion of Eastern Europe as a liberating force. These groups represent right-wing diaspora communities in Canada of Czech, Estonian, Latvian, Lithuanian, Slovak and Ukrainian heritage.)
- Some of the groups in these communities, while obfuscating their forebears’ complicity in the Holocaust and other crimes against humanity, still receive generous government funding for their:
(a) publications and other media outlets,
(b) parades and festivals where racist/antisemitic leaders and movements are honoured,
(c) renovations to their cultural centres, where symbols, portraits and statues often venerate fascist statesmen, racist ideologues and Nazi-collaborating military commanders as “freedom fighters.”
- Government funding to groups that glorify their fascist heritage, includes grants to the Ukrainian Canadian Congress, the League of Ukrainian Canadians and its youth and women’s affiliates: the Ukrainian Youth Association and the League of Ukrainian Women. (Learn more about these four groups and their government funding.)
- Canada is also bankrolling 80% of a $7.5-million, national monument to anti-communism . Initiated and organized largely by East European groups with roots in fascist movements, this memorial — in Ottawa’s sancrosanct Parliamentary precinct — is used to venerate leading Nazi collaborators as “Victims of Communism.” For example, when the General Cttee. of United Croats of Canada donated to this monument they honoured fascist Croatian leaders Mile Budak and Ante Pavelić , Croatia’s wartime dictator. Having founded the fascist Ustaša, Pavelić ran Croatia as a Nazi puppet state. His Ustaša regime organized the genocidal mass murder of hundreds of thousands of Serbs, and tens of thousands of Jews and Roma. (Read more here.) In 2021, then-finance minister Chrystia Freeland — who has been deeply engaged with ultranationalist Ukrainian organizations since childhood — approved an extra $4 million for this monument.
- Besides defunding fascist-rooted groups and their monuments, the Canadian government should:
(a) acknowledge its shameful history of refusing to accept refugees (Jews and leftists) fleeing the Holocaust, but then going out of its way to welcome Nazi sympathizers, apologists and collaborators, including veterans of fascist military formations. (Read more here and here.)
(b) atone for its efforts to protect Nazi-collaborating war criminals from prosecution and extradition, and (c) make amends with communities that were victimized during Canada’s Cold-War era of US-style McCarthyism.
- Throughout the Cold War, ultranationalist East European groups rallied their communities’ support for Canadian complicity in US-led invasions and occupations, such as the wars in Korea and Southeast Asia. Millions of innocent civilians were killed in each of these wars.
- More recently, in Latin America, then-Foreign Minister Freeland took a lead role in The Lima Group. Through this multilateral state network, Canada’s government has been working since 2017 to oust Venezuela’s democratically-elected socialist government.
- Knowing our Cold War history is useful in understanding Canada’s current pro-US/pro-NATO foreign policies, particularly in Eastern Europe. Since 1991, extremely Russophobic movements, parties and governments there have fought for the “freedom” to celebrate their Nazi-collaborating heritage. In this context, Canada has continued to become an increasingly strident voice in the dangerous escalation of tensions between NATO and Russia.