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Defunding Cold War Canada
Table of Contents
Canada’s anti-Red, Cold War
propaganda in context
Rubbing political shoulders with the ABN in Toronto
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.
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.)
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
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 committee appointed by Josef Kaskelis, such as:
Father Brencli, president, of the Anti-Communist League in Saskatchewan
Wilson Woodside, political editor, Saturday Night magazine
Edith Hayder, broadcast commentator
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 Committee of the ABN in Great Britain
Hungarian Liberation Movement
National Bulgarian Front
Lithuanian Delegation of the ABN
Supreme Cossack Representation
Executive Committee of the League of Liberation of the Ukraine (now called the League of Ukrainian Canadians)
Ukrainian Canadian 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:
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
Anti-Communist League-Canada; John Wilkinson, a British Tory MP (1970-74,
1979-2005) who chaired the Banderite European Freedom Council.
Another speaker was Masood Khalili,6 the spokesman for
commander Ahmad Masood. Commander Masood later led NATO’s proxy in the US-led 2001 Afghan
invasion, the Northern Alliance.
Yuri Shymko, MPP, read greetings from
Ontario’s PC premier, Bill Davis.
Etobicoke Mayor (1972-1984),
chairman of Metropolitan8 Toronto (1984-88)
ABN conference 1986:
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
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
Ronald Reagan, and Prime
Minister Brian Mulroney.11
Other "internationally renowned figures"
speaking at the ABN's 1986 conference
The ABN's magazine also noted that:
1. ABN Correspondence, May/Jun 1953. http://bit.ly/ABN-51
2. UCC Bulletin, Summer 2008, p.4. http://bit.ly/UCC08
3. "Tribute to John Yaremko in Ontario Legislature," New Pathway, 2010. http://bit.ly/JY-ON
4. Kirk Niergarth, "George A. Drew’s Anti-Communist Tour of the USSR..., 1937," Ontario History, Fall 2015. http://bit.ly/G-Drew
5. ABN Correspondence, 1953, op cit.
6. "ABN Conference in Toronto," ABN Correspondence, Mar-Apr 1983, p.38. http://bit.ly/ABNcda
7. Robert Fisk, Independent, Nov. 14, 2001.
8. Orest Steciw, "ABN Canada 1981-1982," ABN Correspondence, Mar-Apr 1983, p.32. http://bit.ly/ABN-Cda-TO
(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.) http://bit.ly/ContrasGamb
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) http://bit.ly/abnswc2
(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. http://bit.ly/cialero
11. Mycak, op. cit.
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