The Heritage Front
A report to the Solicitor General of Canada
December 9th, 1995
The Review Committee has provided a large number of reports to the Solicitor
General of Canada. Some of them have been voluminous, some quite brief.
This report on "The Heritage Front Affair" comes somewhere
between those extremes.
In order to describe what we set out to achieve in this investigation, we
feel that we can do no better than quote from our Chairman's statement to
the Parliamentary Sub-Committee on National Security on September 13, 1994.
Only the readers of the report can judge whether we achieved the goals we
set for ourselves.
"First of all, Mr. Chairman, let me explain what we are doing.
As soon as the press report appeared in the Toronto Sun on Sunday, August
14 , we commenced an investigation to find out exactly what CSIS was doing
in this area.
We had already looked at CSIS activities regarding "extremist groups"
in 1990 to early 1991 and reported on the problems we found in our 1990-91
and 1991-92 Annual Reports.
That review looked at all investigations underway at the time. It was designed
to make sure that: only leaders who could reasonably be described as "threats
to national security" were being investigated; that the intrusiveness
of the investigations was proportionate to the possible threat; and that
there was no intrusion on innocent people's privacy. Our review focused
on the legality of investigative techniques used by CSIS, including human
The review we have underway now will examine every aspect of all allegations
that have been made; down to the smallest detail and including everything
even remotely relevant to the case.
The law gives us absolute and complete authority to look at every file,
examine any document (except Cabinet Confidences), or interview any person
we consider necessary. Contrary to the impression you may have received
from the news media, there are no limitations whatsoever on our access to
information held by CSIS. In this case, we are exercising to the full the
extraordinary powers given to us by Parliament.
But, as you know, Parliament also decided that the results of our reviews
should be passed to the Solicitor General pursuant to section 54 of the
Act. The Minister must then decide how much of our report can be made public
without endangering national security. Only in our Annual Report can we
decide what to make public.
We are seeking answers to the following questions:
1. Possible CSIS Source in the Heritage Front
2. Infiltration of the Reform Party
- a. Was there a CSIS human source or sources in the Heritage Front
and/or associated organizations? If so, what was the reason for this?
- b. Did a CSIS source either alone or with others prompt the creation
of the Heritage Front?
- c. Did CSIS allow a source to establish or become an executive
member of the Heritage Front? If so, what limitations did the Service place
on his or her participation? What were the reasons underlying the CSIS decisions?
- d. If there was a CSIS source in place, what is the likelihood
that the Heritage Front would have been established if that source had not
- e. Did a source direct the development of the Heritage Front computerized
- f. Did a source help to create and sustain the Heritage Front by
providing it with substantial funding directly (donations) or indirectly
(paying for accommodation, transportation, etc.)?
- g. Did a source actively promote the Heritage Front in a non-financial
3. Spying on the CBC
- a. Did the Heritage Front provide security for Reform Party meetings
in 1991? In 1992?
- b. If so, how did this come about?
- c. Did a CSIS source play a role in arranging Heritage Front security
for Reform Party meetings in 1991 and 1992? How many rallies and when?
- d. Did CSIS authorize a source to collect information on the Reform
Party? If so, did CSIS receive political direction in that regard?
- e. Did a source attempt to infiltrate the Reform Party and, if
so, was it to discredit Reform by publicly revealing a connection to the
- f. Did a source "track" Preston Manning? Did a CSIS employee
"track" Preston Manning?
- g. Did CSIS know about a source's security duties prior to the
rallies? When did CSIS learn about the activity?
- h. Did a source provide any information on the Reform Party? If
so, what did CSIS do with that information and what was the rationale for
the CSIS decision?
- i. If a source took part in any of the activities listed above,
what was the CSIS Toronto Region and Headquarters response to that information?
- j. When and how did the Reform Party learn about the racist security
4. Provision of Information to Racists about Jewish Groups
- a. Was CSIS spying on the CBC or anyone working for the CBC? If
so, what were the reasons underlying the CSIS decision?
- b. How did CSIS obtain information that the CBC program, The Fifth
Estate, was doing a story about white supremacists in the Canadian Forces?
- c. Did the Service comply with legislation and policy in (i) retaining
this information, and (ii) providing this information to the Minister?
5. Harassment Campaign Against Left-Wing/Anti-racists
- a. Did a source try to obtain information from the Canadian Jewish
Congress by impersonating a reporter, or by any other means?
- b. Did a source try to obtain information from the Jewish Students
Network by impersonating a Citizen reporter or an associate of author Warren
- c. Did a source initiate the above himself/herself or was he/she
directed to do so and by whom? If directed to do so, what was the rationale
for this decision?
- d. Did a source provide white supremacists in the USA and Canada
with money and detailed intelligence on Jewish groups or individuals in
6. Solicitor-Client Communications
- a. Did a source instigate breaking into voice-mail systems of left-wing
persons or anti-racists to acquire information?
- b. Did a source teach others in the racist movement how to do so?
- c. Did a source directly or indirectly harass or direct the harassment
(including death threats) of anti-racist activists?
7. Assessment of CSIS Human Source Handling
- a. Was a source present and did that source report on privileged
information exchanged between Wolfgang Droege and his lawyer?
- b. Did a source provide legal advice to Wolfgang Droege in judicial
or quasi-judicial fora?
In addition to the points made in the Chairman's statement to Parliament,
we have addressed the questions posed by the Sub-Committee on National Security,
and the questions posed by the Reform Party through the Chairman of the
Sub-Committee. The allegation that CSIS spied on Post Office workers is
- a. Did CSIS management of a human source, if any, comply with legislation,
ministerial direction and policy?
- b. What supervision and management control did CSIS exercise, and
was it adequate?
- c. Is ministerial direction and CSIS policy adequate to address
the situations encountered in a human source operation?"
During our investigation, we examined every CSIS file, every internal memo,
all reports, threat assessments, reports to the Minister, reports to Police
forces and other government agencies, and all other documents having anything
whatsoever to do with the "Heritage Front Affair".
We interviewed or contacted one hundred and twenty-one
people, many of them several times. We also held five full days of formal
Hearings under oath, during which we questioned the principal players in
the affair. In the vast majority of cases we received full co-operation
from the people we wished to interview. In particular, we received considerable
help from members, former members, or supporters of the Reform Party and
the Conservative Party.
We regret that despite our best, indeed incessant efforts, we were able
to interview very few members or former members of the Anti-Racist Action
group. We asked members of this group, both orally and in writing, on many
occasions to cooperate with our investigation. We also tried to alleviate
their concerns about providing us with information about their experiences
at the hands of the Heritage Front. We thought that
we had reached an agreement with them in late November, but they did not
call us back, as they had promised to do, and we learned from the media
that they had decided not to cooperate. We sent a final written request
on November 23, 1994 but have received no reply.
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