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Defunding the 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”)

Issue #70, Press for Conversion! (Spring 2021)
of the
Coalition to Oppose the Arms Trade (COAT)
Read a summary of this issue            See articles on the state funding of fascist-linked groups

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Defunding Cold War Canada

Table of Contents

Canada’s anti-Red, Cold War propaganda in context
L.B.Pearson: Godfather of Cda’s Cold War on the new "Red" enemy
Pearson College and NATO’s United World Colleges
The CBC’s “Voice of Canada” --  Weapon of Cold War propaganda
‘Voice of America’ & the CIA’s ‘Radio Free Europe’ & “Radio Liberty’
L.B.Pearson: Groomed by King, St. Laurent & the ‘Big antiRed Machine'
Mackenzie King gave shocking praise for Hitler until the eve of war in 1939
Liberal immigration: "None is too many" and Too many is not enough
Why did King have such adoring admiration for Nazi Germany's dictator?
King loved Hitler’s hate speech against “Jewish international Bolshevism”

“Captive Nations” and their "Black-Ribbon-Day" crusade
The ignored historical context of “Black Ribbon Day” (Aug. 23, 1939)
“Captive Nations”: Nazi trope to CIA meme to Cold-War trump card
The “Captive Nations” conceit in Nazi propaganda
John Diefenbaker: Strong voice at the UN for “Captive Nations” bloc
The BRD campaign: Canada’s top Cold War propaganda export
The late Cold War context of the BRD crusade
Ongoing propaganda of the former "Captive Nations":
    (1) Canada’s anti-communism monument and (2) the Magnitsky laws

Far-right roots:
East European émigré groups in Canada & abroad

Estonian Central Council in Canada
   Estonia glorifies Nazi veterans as ‘freedom fighters’
Estonian World Council
Lithuanian Canadian Community and the Lithuanian World Community
   Lithuanian nationalists now have 'freedom' to glorify Nazi heritage
Latvian National Federation in Canada
World Federation of Free Latvians
Slovak World Congress and the Canadian Slovak League
Council of Free Czechoslovakia & Czechoslovak Nat'l Assoc. of Cda.

Ukrainian linchpin of Cda’s postwar, far-right diaspora
Krakow and Ottawa, 1940: "A Tale of Two Cities," and two UCCs:
(1) Germany’s Ukrainian Central Cttee. and (2) Canada's Ukrainian Canadian Cttee.

The Anti-Bolshevik Bloc of Nations & World AntiCommunist League
Yaroslav Stetsko: Leader of proNazi Ukraine, 1941

State-funded centres of Canada’s Bandera cult and its Bandera youth
Roman Shukhevych: Assassin, terrorist, war criminal and cult hero

Getting them young: Instilling Ukrainian patriotism in children and youth
Plast recruited for Nazi’s Waffen SS Galicia; now recruits for Ukraine
From Chomiak to Freeland: “keep that flame alive”
Chrystia Freeland: “Accidental journalist” or groomed for the job?
Myron Kuropas: Downplaying Holocaust; Exaggerating Holodomor
Turning from same page: Freeland wrote for pro-fascist publications
Yuri Shymko: From Bandera youth leader, MPP & MP, to elder statesman
Lisa Shymko: In the footsteps of family, community & far-right, war heroes
Rubbing political shoulders with the ABN in Toronto

The struggle continues...                                            Abridged Index

Rubbing political shoulders with the ABN in Toronto

By Richard Sanders

(Click here for a PDF to see this article as it appears in print)

During the Cold War, many Canadian politicians joined forces with the Banderite-led AntiBolshevik Bloc of Nations in Toronto.

ABN conference 1953:

The first ABN Congress in Canada was held on March 21-22, 1953, at the grand Prince George Hotel in Toronto. Those in attendance included: Bulgarians, Belorussians, Cossacks, Latvians, Lithuanians, Rumanians, Slovaks, Croats, Hungarians and Ukrainians.

Congress participants represented ABN branch organizations in Toronto, Montreal, Winnipeg, Edmonton, Sudbury, Fort William, Hamilton, St. Catharines, Timmins, Welland and Lethbridge.

Josef Kaskelis
later spoke at the
ABN Conference in Miami, 1979.

A Lithuanian-Canadian, Josef Kaskelis, opened the ABN's first congress in 1951.  (Kaskelis served as  ABN-Canada’s leader for the next 30 years.)

After opening the 1951 congress proceeded Kaskelis appointed its presidency.

The ABN's presidency in 1951 included Ostap Sokolsky,1 who was then the leader of Canada’s Waffen-SS Galicia veterans’ association, a key national organization active within the government-created and government-funded Ukrainian Canadian Congress (UCC).

ABN’s presidency also included Ontario’s first Ukrainian MPP, Ivan (John) Yaremko (right), a Progressive Conservative (PC) who unseated a communist MPP named A.A. MacLeod (left), in 1951. Yaremko was an Ontario cabinet minister (1958-72) and Ontario's Solicitor General (1972-74).

Ontario MPPs Gerry Martiniuk, Donna Cansfield and Cheri DiNovo join members of John Yaremko’s family, Ukrainian community leaders, and Borys Wrzesnewskyj, MP, on the main steps of the Ontario legislature after the government tribute to John Yaremko.


In 2008, Yaremko gave the UCC a gift of $25,000 to start an Ottawa lobbying office.2

In 2010, the UCC successfully lobbied to get all of Ontario MPPs to endorse a glowing tribute to Yaremko's  that did not mention his ABN past.3


George Drew

Ontario Premier (1943-48)

During the 1930s, George Drew had so admired Benito Mussolini and Adolph Hitler that he wanted Britain to ally with Fascist Italy and Nazi Germany in order to "resist the Soviet menace."

Speakers at the ABN's 1951 congress included ABN leader Yaroslav Stetsko and George Drew, the former Ontario premier (1943-48) who was then leading Canada’s Progressive Conservative (PC) party.

After being an MP (1948-57), Drew was Prime Minister John Diefenbaker’s High Commissioner to Britain (1957-64).

Drew saw the USSR "as the greatest threat to world peace," said historian Kirk Niergarth. He also notes that Drew so admired Mussolini and Hitler in the 1930s, that he wanted Canada to help the UK "to ally with fascist Italy and Germany to resist the Soviet menace."4

Among the other ABN activists named in the report on this congress were members of the ABN's executive com
mittee appointed by Josef Kaskelis, such as:
Father Brencli, president, of the Anti-Communist League in Saskatchewan
son Woodside, political editor, Saturday Night magazine
Edith Hayder, broadcast commenta
Mr. Yelegranis, Lithuanian consul in Canada

Delegates at the ABN congress heard from:
Yaroslav Stetsko,
president, Central Committee of the ABN
Executive Committee of the American
Friends of the ABN
Executive Commit
tee of the ABN in Great Britain
Liberation Movement
National Bulgarian
Lithuanian Delegation of the
Supreme Cossack Representation
Executive Committee of the League of Liberation of the Ukraine (now called the League of Ukrainian Canadians)
Ukrainian Cana
dian Committee (now called the Ukrainian Canadian Congress) based in Winnipeg.

There were two lectures given: (1) W. Solonynka (Ukraine): “We the Members of the ABN are Fighting against Bolshevism and All Forms of Russian Imperialism“ and (2)  K. Akula (Byelorussia): "Present World Crisis and the Way Liberation."5

ABN conference 1981:

John Wilkinson

Yaroslav Stetsko, keynote speaker

At this ABN congress, organised by Oleh Romanyshyn of the League of Ukrainian Canadians (LUC), émigrés from "captive nations" celebrated the 40th anniversary of supposed "Ukrainian independence in 1941 led by Mr. [Yaroslav] Stetsko." This fascist leader, who vowed allegiance to Nazi Germany, was this ABN event’s key speaker.

Others included leaders of ABN chapters; the World Congress of Free Ukrainians; LUC; the Canadian Anti-Soviet Action Committee; Ron Gostick of the World Anti-Communist League-Canada; John Wilkinson, a British Tory MP (1970-74, 1979-2005) who chaired the Banderite European Freedom Council.

Dr. Edward Mark O’Connor, also spoke at this ABN conference. He was a former "
executive of the War Relief Services of the National Catholic Welfare Conference (NCWC) (1943-48) and the led the US Displaced Persons Commission (1948-52), ... collaborated in secret operations to spirit Nazis out of Europe [thorough] top secret escape routes operated by US military intelligence....These operations continued through the 1950s while O’Connor served on the staff of the US National Security Council." He was a presidential aide who directed Eisenhower’s "Committee to Investigate Communist Aggression" (1954).

Masood Khalili and Ahmad Masood

Robert Fisk

Another speaker was Masood Khalili,6 the spokesman for Afghan mujahideen commander Ahmad Masood. Commander Masood later led NATO’s proxy in the US-led 2001 Afghan invasion, the Northern Alliance. 

"From 1992 to 1996," said renowned investigative journalist Robert Fisk, "the Northern Alliance was a symbol of massacre, systematic rape and pillage" and left Kabul "with 50,000 dead."7

Yuri Shymko, MPP, read greetings from Ontario’s PC premier, Bill Davis.

Speakers at the ABN's 1981 conference also included various politicians7 from different parties, including: 

Dennis Flynn, the Etobicoke Mayor (1972-1984), chairman of Metropolitan8 Toronto (1984-88)
Jesse Flis,
a Liberal Party MP of Polish descent (1979-84, 1988-97)
Michael Wilson, PC MP (
1979-93), cabinet minister (Trade & Finance); Cda's ambassador to the US (2006-09)
John A. Gamble,
PC MP (1979-84), independent (1988-93), Reform party (1993)

Bill Davis Dennis Flynn Jesse Flis Michael Wilson John Gamble

ABN conference 1986:
ABN-Canada’s "Campaign Freedom Conference," co-organised by Lisa Shymko, was held November 20-22, the 43rd anniversary of the ABN’s Nazi-sponsored creation in 1943. ABN-Canada’s chair, Orest Steciw, paid tribute to recently-deceased ABN leader, Yaroslav Stetsko, who won their Gold Medal of Freedom. Speakers included new ABN leader, Slava Stetsko, plus spokesmen from "anti-communist resistance movements" in Angola, the Baltics, Caucasus, Ethiopia, Kampuchea, Mozambique, Laos, Ukraine, Turkestan and Vietnam.9

Habib Mayar (Afghan mujahideen leader), Mario Calero (Nicaraguan contra leader), Truong Quang Si (Vietnamese American Republican Coalition) and Raymond Tralla (Estonia). From ABN Correspondence, Jan-Feb 1987, p.9.

Nicaraguan contra leader Mario Calero was there to speak about his FDN "freedom fighters." Loyal to ousted US-backed tyrant Anastasio Somoza, the FDN used terrorism to fight the popular socialist, Sandinista government.

A declassified CIA report on contra cocaine trafficking said that "Calero has one of the most seamy reputations .... as being up to his knees in corruption, ... a hatchet man for the hardcore unreconstructed right ..., a symbol ... of all ... perceived to be rotten in the FDN."10

ABN Correspondence, Jan/Feb 1987

ABN-Canada chairman, Orest Steciw, addressing 1986 "Campaign Freedom Conference," Toronto.
Photo: ABN Correspondence, Jan/Feb 1987, p.10

Besides hearing from MPP Yuri Shymko, cabinet minister (Secretary of State) David Crombie (former-mayor of Toronto, 1972-78 and PC MP, 1978-88), ABN delegates met Pat Boyer (PC MP, 1984-93), US congressman Jack Kemp (1971-89) and heard written greetings from top global contra US Pres. Ronald Reagan, and Prime Minister Brian Mulroney.11

(Read their warm greetings to the ABN conference)

ABN reception at Ontario Legislature
ABN leader Slava Stetsko (right) addresses group including Canada's then-Secretary of State for Multiculturalism, David Crombie, Progressive Conservative, MP (left), and Yuri Shymko, Progressive Conservative, MPP (centre)

ABN conference banquet:
Slava Stetsko links arms with Alexander Kyndiy (MP) and Ukrainian Andrew Witer (Progressive Conservative, MP, 1984-88). Also there were Patrick Boyer (Progressive Conservative, MP, 1984-93), Rev. Semen Izyk (Chairman, ABN-Canada (Manitoba), and co-organizer of the ABN's 1986 conference, Lisa Shymko.

Other "internationally renowned figures"
speaking at the ABN's 1986 conference

The ABN's magazine also noted that:
"Speaking at these sessions were internationally renowned figures, such as:
Brian MacDonald (Director of the Canadian Institute of Strategic Studies);
Margolis (Toronto Sun columnist and specialist on international relations);
Haggman (Director of the European Freedom Council’s Institute for Psychological Warfare Against the USSR);
John Kolasky (Canadian Sovietologist and specialist on
international communist movements);
Herbert Romerstein (United States
Information Agency expert on psychological warfare);
Maurice Tugwell (former
Director of the Canadian Centre for Conflict Studies); and
Bohdan Fedorak (
President, Council of Nationalities, American Friends of the ABN).

climax of the conference was the banquet attended by over 800 guests.
the banquet was Ted Woloshyn (CFNY FM Radio).

Speakers at the banquet included:

Orest Steciw (chair, ABN-Canada)
Habib Mayar (Representative, Mujahideen
Afghan Freedom Fighters; leader, Afghan Community in America)
Deressa (Ethiopia) and
General Nguyen Van Chuc (Freedom Force of the
Coalition of Vietnamese National Parties.)12

References and Notes

1. ABN Correspondence, May/Jun 1953.

2. UCC Bulletin, Summer 2008, p.4.

3. "Tribute to John Yaremko in Ontario Legislature," New Pathway, 2010.

4. Kirk Niergarth, "George A. Drew’s Anti-Communist Tour of the USSR..., 1937," Ontario History, Fall 2015.

5.  ABN Correspondence, 1953, op cit.

6. "ABN Conference in Toronto," ABN Correspondence, Mar-Apr 1983, p.38.

7. Robert Fisk, Independent, Nov. 14, 2001.

8. Orest Steciw, "ABN Canada 1981-1982," ABN Correspondence, Mar-Apr 1983, p.32.

(John Gamble, MP (Conservative) a WACL director, led its affiliate, the Canadian Freedom Foundation. In 1986, Ronald Reagan’s CIA director Bill Casey linked Gamble to Iran-Contra funding, through Toronto’s Vertex Investments.)

9. Iryna Mycak, "Toronto Hosts Campaign Freedom, Nov. 20-22, 1986," ABN Correspondence, Jan/Feb 1987, pp.9-12. (Lisa Shymko, pp.12,25,39)

(Note: Backing the US war in Vietnam, Truong Quang Si, fled there in 1975. Speaking at ABN congresses in Toronto (1981, 86, 90), he was national chair of the Vietnamese American Republican Coalition.)

10. Overview: Report of Investigation (96-0143-IG), CIA, Jan. 29, 1998.

11. Mycak, op. cit.

12.  Ibid., pp. 12-13.

Learn more....  You may also be interested in these resources...

Click to read the contents of this magazine online

Captive Canada
Renditions of the
Peaceable Kingdom at War,
from Narratives of WWI
and the Red Scare to the
Mass Internment of Civilians

(Or, how we learned to stop worrying,
keep calm and carry on loving the
myths that define and confine us.)


Read the introductory article:
"The Canada Syndrome,
a Captivating Mass Psychosis

Click to read the contents of this magazine online

Fictive Canada
Indigenous Slaves
and the Captivating Narratives
of a Mythic Nation

Read the i
ntroductory article:
True Crime Stories and
the Politics of Literary Escapism:
Canada as a Fiction in the
Imperial Genre


Watch the COAT website
for news about....

  (1) an upcoming book
by Richard Sanders

with the
  working title...

The Grooming
of a Liberal
War Hawk
Chrystia Freeland

Stop Canadian government
funding of groups that
glorify Nazi collaborators

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