The fears of the Reform Party's Executive about infiltration came to
pass in Ontario during 1991. One of the Toronto area constituency associations,
Beaches-Woodbine, became the focus of the Heritage Front's activities.
Hugh Pendergast was the President of the association and he went on to
be a candidate in that riding. Pendergast initially organized the association
and he was later assisted by several people associated with the extreme
right. Prominent among them were: Alan
Overfield, who owned and operated a bailiff
company; Nicola Polinuk, Don Andrews' common-law wife; and James Dawson,
a Heritage Front member. The majority of the riding association members
were not extremists.
Pendergast would later tell the Reform Party's Special Committee which investigated the infiltration attempt that he initially saw nothing odd in the behaviour of some of the new members in his riding association. But he said that later on, some of these people started getting "pushy" and tried to take over the association.
After the April convention in Saskatoon, the Reform Party planned to have Preston Manning tour Ontario in June 1991. Reg Gosse, Chairman of the Ontario Expansion, asked Andrew Flint to set up the large Reform Party meetings in Ontario (the province was divided into four sectors for organizational purposes). Flint was asked to organize major rallies in the Toronto area and he chose the International Centre in Mississauga, near Toronto's Pearson International Airport for the first one.
In 1991, Preston Manning had no RCMP protection and no personal bodyguards to accompany him. The Reform Party leader depended on local organizers for such arrangements when suddenly Toronto area interest in the Party exploded and thousands attended the meetings. The decisions about security were therefore local, and no one at the national office was monitoring this aspect of Ontario operations.
In early 1991, the Reform Party in Ontario was concerned about groups which might disrupt or even possibly try to take over or at least discredit their fledgling riding associations. One umbrella group which had already tried to do so was CARP - the Coalition Against the Reform Party. The group was described in various news accounts as being a rather mixed bag of representatives from both the far left and single-issue groups. CARP disrupted a meeting in the Trinity Spadina riding.
On May 27, 1991, Andrew Flint was at a Beaches-Woodbine information meeting for the Reform Party in a Church on Woodbine Avenue. There he met Al Overfield. To highlight the good things that he could do for Reform, according to Bristow, Alan Overfield thought that he should display his security people. Overfield asked his employees to attend and asked Wolfgang Walter Droege to have several members of the Heritage Front appear at the small Beaches-Woodbine riding association meeting. Overfield was inside the meeting where he met Flint, while his team, which included Droege, Mitrevski, Bristow, Dawson and a couple of others, waited outside, ostensibly doing security for the meeting. At least one of the Heritage Front people standing outside had no idea why they were there.
Hugh Pendergast remarked to Andrew Flint that he was somewhat intimidated by the size of Overfield's security staff who were lingering outside this meeting.
Alan Overfield has described himself as associated with the Nationalist Party of Canada (NPC) in the past. Through his early association with Don Andrews and the NPC, Overfield came to know and eventually employ Wolfgang Droege as a part-time bailiff. As a result of this relationship and his position within the Reform Party, Overfield obtained Droege's assistance and through him, the Heritage Front members, for Reform Party security duties.
Flint was organizing meetings in the Toronto area and Overfield offered to do security for Reform, free of charge. Overfield would later tell the Committee that the security group was the idea of the Reform Party's Executive Council. Flint had confidence in Overfield's company because as bailiffs, they had to be licensed by the government. Reg Gosse, Chairman of the Ontario Expansion of the Reform Party at the time, stated that he asked Overfield if all of his personnel on the security team were bailiffs. He said that Overfield replied, "yes". Overfield, furthermore, was acting as a Director for the Beaches-Woodbine riding association and neither Flint nor Gosse had any reason to doubt him.
The Reform Party's Ontario organization was described as having no money at this time and offers of free services from small businesses were welcome. When Flint said that bailiffs could provide security, Ron Wood, Manning's Press Secretary said "OK if this does not cost any money." Andrew Flint accepted Overfield's offer to provide security at the upcoming meetings.
John Thompson, a Reform member and advisor, said that the Party should expect a lot of the CARP people, possibly hundreds, to show up at the planned major rally in Mississauga. Consequently, the organizers wanted adequate crowd control, and the Reform leader Preston Manning had to be protected.
Wolfgang Droege said that he learned about the security group from Al Overfield. He said that it was Overfield who suggested that they could influence the Reform Party. Overfield would later say that it was Grant Bristow's idea (section 7.3 in this chapter reviews the plots). Droege thinks that he got Grant Bristow involved. He thought it was also possible, however, that Overfield approached Bristow.
On June 10, 1991, Toronto Region informed CSIS HQ that Droege, Bristow, Lincoln and Dawson "were employed as security people for a recent Reform Party constituency meeting held in Toronto." The report noted that the placement was organized by Al Overfield who was a Reform Party member and local organizer. CSIS learned that the same individuals were again contracted by Overfield to provide personal security for Reform Party leader Preston Manning at a major rally to be held in Toronto on June 12, 1991.
Al Overfield said that his group performed security duties twice at a high school in Scarborough, after the Church on Woodbine meeting. Droege was present but Bristow was not. Overfield later said that Bristow had done security for "two or three" or "a couple of riding associations" at a Don Mills school and at Scarborough Collegiate Institute in April 1991. 
Grant Bristow was at only one Reform meeting prior to the big Mississauga rally. Overfield claimed that Bristow attended the Scarborough meetings at least twice, and one in Markham (May 1991), probably with Peter Mitrevski and Droege.
Based on the information we collected, we believe that Grant Bristow attended only one meeting prior to June 12, 1991 - the Beaches-Woodbine information meeting.
When the Reform Party decided to hold its major rally at the International
Centre in Mississauga, Andrew Flint asked Al Overfield to provide security
and, as mentioned earlier, this was agreed to by the coordinator of the
Party's expansion into Ontario, Reg Gosse.
Overfield and Flint agreed to meet during the first week of June 1991
to go over security arrangements at the International Centre. Flint met
with Overfield, Bristow and the International Centre's head of security
to make arrangements for the rally. This was Flint's first exposure to
Grant Bristow; Overfield had mentioned that Bristow would attend the meeting.
The Source said that a few days before the Mississauga rally, Droege had said to Grant Bristow: "I need your help to do security for the Reform Party". The Source said he informed his handler that Overfield and Bristow would attend the meeting.
On the way in to the International Centre, Bristow saw a former employer who is Jewish and who introduced him to his companion, saying "I made him (Bristow) what he is today".
At the planning meeting, Bristow really stood out, said Flint. He was an immaculate dresser, his shoes sparkled, he wore a neatly trimmed beard, and overall he appeared clean-cut. Bristow made an impression on him as being articulate and intelligent. His knowledge of security issues was deemed excellent by Flint and the Centre's Head of Security. For Flint, the Mississauga rally was to be the first major event and it was a learning experience. Flint said Bristow did most of the talking at the meeting and generally dominated the conversation.
In that meeting, Bristow described his role as the "drop man" - the person who would shadow Preston Manning from the time he arrived at the rally to the time he left. Bristow would be the person who would deflect any attack from an assailant. To do so, he would have to closely follow Manning all the time he was in the hall. Overfield denied that the meeting ever took place. The Source reported that Overfield decided that some people should be posted to various spots in the International Centre. Bristow suggested that the potentially dangerous types, the Skinheads, be posted well away from Manning. Wolfgang Droege would tell SIRC in 1994 that Bristow wanted to have the role of Manning's personal bodyguard, and Grant "elected himself" to handle security.
Grant Bristow was also going to be the liaison person with the Peel Regional Police who had a sub-station in the International Centre. Overfield said that Bristow happened to know the Inspector at the local division.
Al Overfield stated that he was the person who assigned the security
roles for the team at all Reform Party meetings.
Overfield said that he decided ahead of time who was required. On the night
of the Mississauga rally, June 12, 1991, there were perhaps a dozen of
Overfield's security people present. Then Overfield, Bristow, Whit Gibson
and Jerry Young met in a cafeteria to assign everyone their specific positions.
The primary task for the security group was to keep CARP people away and to guard Preston Manning. The security group was divided into two, with one section outside to watch CARP and the other on the inside for crowd control and to protect Manning. Inside the International Centre, a crowd estimated at 6,000 gathered to hear Preston Manning's speech.
Overfield was supposed to be protecting Preston Manning but he had too much to do and so he delegated the job to Bristow. He spent most of his time "fighting fires", and admitted that he was not actually around Bristow and Manning that much. Overfield said that although skinheads were not invited to the meeting, there might have been former skinheads in the crowd, but they were appropriately dressed and had cleaned up their act.
Bristow was supposed to have supplied the security equipment for the security team, Overfield said, but all he ever brought were walkie talkies, which "were virtually useless".
Manning was picked up at the airport and driven to the back door of the Centre where Bristow and Peter Mitrevski were waiting. Steve Erickson might also have helped. The group walked through the back corridors to the "green room" where Manning was met by Deborah Grey, Gordon Shaw, Reg Gosse, Andrew Flint and the security people.
Andrew Flint said that he "highly doubts" that serious discussions took place in this environment, with all of these people present. Reg Gosse had the same response. Ron Wood, Preston Manning's Press Secretary, remained close to Manning throughout the rally and stated unequivocally that no sensitive Party discussions took place.
SIRC received information that Droege told a reporter that Bristow had been shadowing Manning. The reporter asked if Bristow had taken notes. Droege said he did not know but Bristow potentially could have because Bristow was privy to Manning's private conversations.
Alan Overfield said that Bristow had "a considerable conversation with Mr. Manning." Overfield also told us that "I introduced myself to Mr. Manning and I had a short discussion with him regarding my political background again." Mr. Manning denies that this conversation ever took place.
Bristow, as agreed during the planning meeting, stayed relatively close behind Manning wherever he walked. Bristow remained at the bottom of the stage when Manning was on the platform. When Manning walked off the stage, Bristow followed him to the "green room" where Manning thanked the six or seven security people for their "excellent job". Manning has said that he does not remember Bristow from the event. The Source informed the Review Committee that Bristow never overheard any conversations between Preston Manning and his staff.
Based on the information we received, the Review Committee is of the opinion that Grant Bristow was not privy to sensitive information.
The event over, the security detail walked Manning to the back door where Bristow and three others got into the "chase car" to follow Manning's car to the airport. Bristow and the others were back at the Centre in 10 or 15 minutes to help collect the money buckets at the end of the evening to give to the organizers. The evening over, the Overfield security team left.
Membership in the Reform Party after the big Mississauga rally in June
1991 skyrocketed in Ontario and many ridings had public/town hall meetings.
At the Trinity Spadina meeting, more people from CARP than Reform people
showed up and the former seized the microphone and tried to take over the
meeting. The meeting was cancelled - other ridings in the Toronto area
feared a re-occurrence.
Due to the effective performance of the Overfield security team in Mississauga, several ridings contacted Al Overfield directly or through the Beaches-Woodbine association asking him to attend and keep an eye on things. The security group was present at a Broadview Greenwood riding meeting, for example, just after the major rally. At the meetings, Overfield said, they would attempt to be unobtrusive, and gently escort out troublemakers.
On June 19, 1991, an article about Wolfgang Droege and his racist beliefs appeared in the "Toronto Star":
"But Droege does take some comfort in the current political
mood of the nation, most notably the public's positive response to the
Reform Party. While Preston Manning would likely shudder receiving the
Heritage Front's seal of approval, the fact is, he's got it. 'They have
given us some hope.'"
During July 9, 1991, the security group was at a Legion Hall on Dawes
Road for the founding of the Beaches-Woodbine constituency association.
The interim board for the riding closed on this date. The election of executive
officers closed on July 30, 1991. Grant Bristow, dressed in blue jeans
and a light blue shirt, was outside the hall with Wolfgang Droege doing
perimeter security on the property line which separated the Legion Hall
from the street. Al Overfield has stated that 10 people from CARP appeared
at the hall to protest. The protesters
were walking around the street and Bristow and Droege were doing the same
thing. Al Overfield was elected to the riding executive as one of 12 board
Overfield's security group provided services through the summer - Flint estimates three to five times through the summer of 1991; he did not know if Bristow was present. Overfield then told the Committee that Bristow was present at two meetings: one at a Scarborough school and the other at the Legion Hall described below.
People's memories about the meetings which Grant Bristow attended during the summer and fall of 1991 are poor. Al Overfield thinks that perhaps Bristow appeared two or three times (he thinks Bristow may have sat outside in his car at a Scarborough meeting). Wolfgang Droege estimated that Bristow may have attended five Reform meetings in all.
Al Overfield wanted Bristow to go to Reform Party meetings and fundraisers, beyond those reported here, but Bristow said that he never did so. Overfield said that Bristow usually appeared when an important Reform Party figure was present.
The Source stated that Bristow was present only at the Legion Hall on Dawes Road. By the fall of 1991, CARP had disbanded and was a non-issue.
In the course of the Review Committee's investigation, we learned of
several plans by members of the extreme right and those who allied themselves
with the racists, to discredit the Reform Party. Two such plans are described
below. A third plot is described later in the report.
Overfield met Don Andrews in 1967 and became an active member of the organization that Andrews and Paul Fromm founded, the Edmund Burke Society.
On February 23, 1972, the right wing Edmund Burke Society became the white supremacist Western Guard. The leader of the former and member of the latter, Paul Fromm, succeeded in taking over the Ontario wing of the national Social Credit Party. The national president of the Social Credit Party then placed the entire Ontario Branch under his personal trusteeship to counter Fromm's activities. According to one author, among the four members of the Western Guard who ran for Social Credit was one Alan Overfield. He ran in the Beaches Woodbine riding and was expelled from the national Party, but not the provincial group. Though Ernest Manning was the leader of the Party, the members of the Ontario wing blamed Preston Manning, his son, for the organization being placed in trusteeship. Fromm told SIRC that "I don't trust Preston Manning."
One year after the formation of the Western Guard, the name changed to the Western Guard Party. The leader was Don Andrews who established a special cadre to distribute leaflets, paint racist messages on buildings and harass Jews and Blacks. Among its members was Wolfgang Droege. One of its para-military group "soldiers" was Alan Overfield. In 1973, Overfield says that he founded the Canadian Liberty League "as an alternative to the Western Guard."
Andrews subsequently formed the Nationalist Party of Canada (NPC) in which Al Overfield was a member. Overfield says it is possible he was a member of the NPC but he did not remember. Overfield produced a list of the weapons that would be required for the ill-fated coup attempt against Dominica; the attempt resulted in a three year prison sentence for Droege.
Bristow was informed that Overfield and Fromm felt that Preston Manning could have protected them and the others in the far right years ago in Social Credit Party days and did not do so. Through his association with Andrews and the NPC, Overfield "came to know and eventually employed Wolfgang Droege as a part-time bailiff." Overfield considered himself a friend to Wolfgang Droege and would not "turn his back on him. Droege confided in Overfield." As a result of this relationship and his position within the Reform Party, Overfield obtained Droege's assistance for Reform Party security duties.
Overfield told the Review Committee that he had been inactive in politics for 15 years, "but it was in his blood" and when Reform came along, he decided that it was close to his beliefs and he was one of the first to join in Ontario. He said that before he joined, "he let the Reform Party executive know about his political past, and they had no problems with it." He said that he informed them that he had been a member of the Edmund Burke Society. He apparently did not mention his long involvement with the Nationalist Party of Canada.
Al Overfield stated that he was signed up in the Reform Party by Harry Robertson. Robertson has no memory of that taking place. Overfield has also stated that Stephen Harper, MP knew his background. Harper had no recollection of meeting or even speaking with Overfield. Harper explained that in 1989-90, he was giving the Party's platform a strategic focus and was working out of MP Deborah Grey's office. He was building issues into the Reform Party's platform to actively discourage extremists and "nut cases".
All of Harper's files during that period were given to Reg Gosse. Harper asked Gosse to find his material when Dunphy's exposÈ article came out in late February 1992. Gosse said he was not able to locate the files in question.
Overfield described himself as an "activist" who filled a void in the Party: he organized, recruited and provided personnel. By doing so, he said he worked his way onto the executive by helping Hugh Pendergast. At the time, said Overfield, he protected Hugh Pendergast from internal and external attacks. Overfield stated that Pendergast eventually learned to recognize attacks on his own. Overfield later told the Committee that Pendergast was not weak but lacked interpersonal skills.
Overfield said he joined the Reform Party in January or February 1991.
On July 5, 1991, Toronto Region forwarded CSIS HQ a letter which was
sent to all Reform Party Ridings. The letter stated:
"TO WHOM IT MAY CONCERN
This letter will confirm that Alan J. Overfield and Grant Bristow are jointly responsible for the security of all present and future Reform Party Events that are planned for this region. They have been given our full co-operation and permission to ensure the safety of our guests and members.
If you have any further questions in this regard, I would be pleased to discuss their responsibilities in further detail with you.
Andrew A. Flint Regional Co-ordinator"
Grant Bristow stated that Overfield asked for the letter in order to
receive recognition and to show that he was appointed. Grant Bristow's
name was included in the letter because he said: "Unless we have
a letter of understanding, there could be legal liabilities if there was
a confrontation with protestors at a Reform Party event".
CSIS received no reporting on Reform Party activities or events. Bristow's involvement was described as security for Party events. The Source would be in a position to monitor this (white supremacist) situation. CSIS HQ was asked to comment on the matter and did so in August 1991 (see section 5.4, Headquarter's Instructions and Debates).
Just prior to the Mississauga rally, on June 10, 1991, it was learned that Overfield was one of the Directors of the Beaches-Woodbine Reform Party riding association. Overfield had stated that he had a couple of men who were going to handle (i.e., protect) Manning because the police were refusing to give any assistance. Overfield informed a colleague that CARP announced that they would send eight busloads of people to protest the appearance of Preston Manning at the rally near Toronto.
Overfield's plan, he confided to extreme right wing colleague Paul Fromm, was to unify all the right wing people into one cohesive organization. He was pushing to infiltrate, literally take control of, ten or twelve Riding Associations in Metro (Toronto). Even if they did not win the Riding Associations in an election, at least they would have control. The attraction of Reform for Overfield and like-minded persons, he said was that it was strictly white bread, 100 percent white Canadians, really anti-immigration; there was really no difference between those people and them (Overfield's group).
Wolfgang Droege would say that it was Grant Bristow who thought that some ridings could be controlled by the Heritage Front. He would later tell the Review Committee that Overfield said that "he could arrange for us to have a security team and with doing security we could also then have a certain influence within the Party."
We learned that Overfield said that he dove in (to the Reform Party) a couple of months ago and so far had worked within the Party, just playing the party worker, mainly because he did not want them pulling a Social Credit (manoeuvre), outlawing them overnight and they did not want to shoot themselves in the foot when they got even close to power or got a chance at it.
Overfield said he had sent a message to rival Don Andrews that if he tried to join the RP he would fight him tooth and nail. He thought instead Andrews would plod along with his stupid Nationalist Party (of Canada). He would fight Andrews entering the RP even though Reform said they would accept anyone whose heart was in the right place.
Droege too was to later say to the Review Committee that "their (Heritage Front) involvement, however, was not questioned by the Reform Party; the HF was 'not an issue', even though we were one of the main organizers".
Through the Source, CSIS corroborated the existence of Overfield's plan that the White Supremacist movement should take control of at least twelve local riding associations. The purpose of this action was to form a voting block of "agents of influence" within the Reform Party's political apparatus. Once successful, the block would push senior Party executives to adopt policies favourable to the White Supremacist movement. An example of such a policy would be a call for reductions in non-white immigrants into Canada and tough restrictions on refugees.
In October 1991, Overfield was looking for a few people for the Reform Party because there was some trouble in the area between Markham and Victoria Park and Eglinton and Elsemere and there was a good chance they could take over the riding association.
Al Overfield was not the only one with a hidden agenda. The Service
learned from a Source that Droege too had clandestine plans. As far as
Droege was concerned, the Reform Party was threatening the momentum of
the White Supremacist Movement. The Reform Party had to be disrupted so
that the Movement could carry out its own political agenda.
Droege held a view common to those in the extreme right that the same situation occurred in the United Kingdom when the Conservative Party undermined the National Socialist Party's momentum, and in the end the Neo-Nazi organization fell apart. Droege wanted to prevent the same situation from happening in Canada.
The Source reported Droege as having said that the White Supremacist Movement wanted to discredit Preston Manning and the Reform Party before the general election in 1993. This idea would be accomplished by the Movement publicly identifying itself and its security relationship with the Reform Party's senior executive level. Among those who allegedly knew of the Droege plan were Gerry Lincoln, James Dawson, Ernst Zundel, Terry Long, Jurgen Neumann, Peter Mitrevski, and Grant Bristow. Zundel and Lincoln denied knowledge of any plot.
The Source stated that Droege believed that by getting involved with the Reform Party, eventually the media would take notice and Droege hoped they would wait until the 1993 election before burning the Reform Party.
The Source reported on July 31, 1991 that a discussion with Droege at times became heated as the Source tried to point out the negative aspects for the movement, including possible Federal Government security interest in Droege's involvement with the Reform Party. Droege responded that he did not want to think about the retribution. He said don't tell Overfield because Preston is a big boy.
The Source informed his handler about the hidden agendas of Overfield and Droege and was instructed to do what he was told and that the handler would get direction on this.
In the end, Droege stated that he and other Heritage Front people would continue to perform security duties with or without the assistance of the Source. Toronto Region understood that Droege and his associates received no compensation for their security work, but undertook this activity as a favour for Overfield.
The Region took care to point out that there was no investigation of Reform Party activities, but rather, the actions of Wolfgang Droege were of CSIS' interest. Toronto Region believed that Droege's activities with the Reform Party were going to continue. Because of this, the Source should continue to participate in the security duties to allow CSIS to monitor the White Supremacist infiltration and disruption activity within the Reform Party. Due to the political sensitivities associated with the Source operation, the Region's Investigator and his Chief requested Headquarters comment and approval.
On August 1, 1991, the Director General of Toronto Region discussed this matter with the Assistant Director Requirements at Headquarters. The Deputy Director General Operations in Toronto Region asked that the issue be brought to the attention of the Assistant Director.
A CSIS employee was a volunteer Director of Memberships for a Toronto
area Reform Party riding association. Returning from his holidays on July
16, 1991, a co-worker told the CSIS employee that Droege had been on TV
at a Reform Party meeting. On July 18, 1991, the Service employee met with
Paul Kelly, President of the Scarborough West riding association and the
two watched a videotape of the event. The Service staff member asked Kelly
if he knew who Droege was. Kelly stated he believed Droege was with security.
The CSIS employee stated "that guy is no good for this party."
When Kelly asked why, the reply was "look, I know".
The Service member said he was not divulging classified information "since an article had appeared in the Toronto Star on the 19th of June identifying Droege as a white supremacist". The employee advised Paul Kelly to bring this to the attention of Andrew Flint, and asked to be kept out of it.
On July 30, 1991, the CSIS employee visited Kelly's house to pick up some membership cards. He alleged that Flint was also there and asked Flint what he thought of the article. Flint was said to have stated he would not knowingly use him again for a party function. Word got back to Droege that a member of CSIS informed the Reform Party that Droege was a white supremacist.
Paul Kelly told the Review Committee that he had been informed that some Reform people were also in the Heritage Front; they may have included Overfield. Kelly was uncertain about the timing of these comments. Kelly said he would have spoken to Andrew Flint about the matter.
The Service's assessment of the consequences likely to flow from the actions of its employee at the time was that the reaction of the Reform Party was difficult to predict. There might have been some attempt to imply that the Service was investigating the Reform Party although they thought that unlikely since the Party would not want its association with Droege publicized. The Internal Security Unit in Toronto Region reviewed the incident.
On August 4, 1991, it was learned that it was actually Al Overfield himself who identified Droege as a racist to Reform Party people. According to one report, Flint learned from Reform Party member Paul Kelly that Droege was a serious problem. Kelly would not explain what the problem was and that may have prompted Flint to question Overfield.
Andrew Flint has stated that he does not have any memory of being informed in 1991 that Droege was a serious problem, nor that he reported the incident described above to other officials in the Reform Party. He said that Paul Kelly recently told him about the incident, but Flint still does not remember it. When SIRC interviewed the CSIS employee in 1994, he said the events described above were possible, but he too did not remember meeting Flint.
Overfield told the Review Committee that a CSIS member approached him about the security team and Overfield threatened to expose him. Overfield then said he was advised by the Reform Party "to dispose of Mr. [ ]" and he asked him to resign, which he did. Overfield also stated that Reform Party member John Thompson claimed to be a member of CSIS. John Thompson flatly denied Overfield's assertion. We believe Thompson's version on this issue.
On July 22, 1991, Al Muxworthy from the Don Valley North riding made a courtesy call on Bernie Farber, the Director of Community Relations for the Canadian Jewish Congress. Farber expressed concern to him about Droege's public endorsement of the Reform Party in the June 19, 1991 article in the "Toronto Star". The article did not say Droege was a member.
Two days later, Muxworthy wrote to the Executive Secretary to Preston Manning to express his concern; he attached a copy of the article. The letter disappeared and was never found.
Prior to the Mississauga rally, it was learned that Overfield was dealing
with Andrew Flint who was the East End Toronto organizer and part of the
Ontario Executive. Overfield said he was unofficially made a Director for
the Beaches Woodbine area and he was signing up everybody in sight for
the Reform Party. The Party, he alleged, would accept anybody, they knew
who they (Overfield et al.) were, but unofficially the Party was saying
keep your mouth shut.
Overfield told the Review Committee that, at the time, Heritage Front membership was not a bone of contention. He believed that the Reform Party "played stupid" about such connections, but knew well the background of many of its new members. He said that the Reform Party had Klan members out West: "'racists' are not in the Reform Party closet". The Reform Party Chairman has completely denied this assertion.
Overfield says that he saw Grant Bristow pay for all Heritage Front memberships. He also said that Bristow was constantly recruiting for the Reform Party among the young fellows (Skinheads), which led him into arguments with Overfield following the meetings. Overfield said that Bristow would later tell him that "we can get control over this Party" but Overfield said that he did not want Bristow to recruit. We learned that Overfield admitted that he personally signed up the skinheads. We saw no reliable evidence that Bristow was involved in this activity.
Overfield said that he did not know who was with the Heritage Front when he signed up new memberships. He said that he was never asked, and never offered information about the Heritage Front membership of the security personnel. On another occasion, Overfield told the Review Committee that he signed up "ten to twelve people from the Heritage Front and Bristow encouraged five other people to join". Finally, under oath, Overfield said he recruited 22 members for the Reform Party, five of whom were in the Heritage Front: Peter Mitrevski, Nicola Polinuk, Droege, Zvominir Lelas and Tony Cinncinato. He said he was unaware at the time that the latter two were associated with the HF.
The Source has stated that Grant Bristow was nearby when Overfield was signing people up at his house in the basement or the backyard. Overfield tried to get Droege to join the Reform Party but the latter refused to pay the $10 fee to join the Party, as he did not think much of Preston Manning. Overfield provided the money for Droege's membership and threatened to take it off his cheques from the bailiff company. Droege told the Review Committee that he paid for his membership.
Droege has said that he was not present at the time; his interests were not with the Reform Party, but with the Heritage Front, though he thought they might potentially be able to influence it. On another occasion, Droege told the Committee that he did suggest to people that they sign up, but Al Overfield "was actively trying to sign up members". Droege said that he never witnessed Grant Bristow trying to sign people up for the Reform Party, though he heard about it.
Droege stated that he and Bristow talked about "sending people into Reform, trying to get them on riding associations so we could have input and maybe influence policy down the road".
The Source was asked to join the Reform Party by Overfield. The Source responded that Overfield was late and gave the impression that he had already done so. The Source had been told not to join by the handler. The Source could not remember making a speech encouraging people to join the Reform Party, but might have done so after Droege asked him to do it.
When the membership book came out at various meetings, the Source said that he made himself "scarce". In regard to who paid the Reform Party fees for Heritage Front members, the Source only observed that Overfield paid for Droege's membership. Whereas the Source did not provide money to other people, he said that he may have assisted Overfield to get information on the sign-up forms; this would have been done at the request of Droege or Overfield and certainly the Source had no authority to sign up anyone. Droege's colleague Paul Fromm told SIRC, in relation to Droege, "I certainly have heard him say back at the time that people should join the Reform Party".
The Source stated that he may have been involved when one person joined - a college instructor completely unaffiliated with the extreme right wing.
Wolfgang Droege has said that he did not attend the June 1991 C-FAR meeting. Bristow has indicated that he was only at Reform or C-FAR meetings where Droege was present.
Paul Fromm testified before the Review Committee that Overfield set up a table at the C-FAR meeting "to take Reform Party memberships and Grant Bristow was actively involved in trying to, you know, shepherd people over to the table and get them to sign up". Fromm explained that the reason he allowed Overfield to set up the table was: "We generally take the view: Look, if you've got some information you want to pass on, we're a forum, pass it on. So we said: Fine, set up your table".
Overfield said that he attended only one C-FAR meeting. Prior to that meeting, Overfield said that Hugh Pendergast thought it would be a good idea to set up a table there. Overfield said that Pendergast came in with the table, and Tony Cincinnato and Fromm had an argument because Fromm had not been consulted beforehand. Fromm, said Overfield, apparently does not like the Reform Party and had had a falling out with Preston Manning.
Hugh Pendergast told the Committee that he "heard" that Bristow actively encouraged people to sign the Reform Party memberships at the 1991 C-FAR meeting. He stated that Bristow was buzzing around the meeting while Overfield was quietly sitting at the sign-up table at the back of the hall. The people in the hall were encouraged to pay a $10 Reform Party membership fee and make a $10 donation.
Overfield said that he, Tony Cinncinato and Hugh Pendergast were encouraging sign-ups. Overfield said that Bristow got Heritage Front people to sign up using Overfield's book. This was normally done after the meetings were over and people were milling around. When asked why he did not report this activity to the Reform Party, he said he "kept his mouth shut and let a person here and there know"; when asked who he told, he replied, "Andrew Flint". When asked again why he co-signed for the new Heritage Front members, he said "it was not my job to say 'you can't join'" the Party.
In March 1993, it was learned that Al Overfield promised to dig up a Reform Party membership card so that Droege could copy it. Droege said that he was thinking about issuing membership cards to HF members.
In regard to the June meeting of Paul Fromm's C-FAR, the Source said that he had no knowledge of whether Overfield sold Reform Party memberships there. The Source stated that any sign-ups would have been as a result of revenge: Fromm, Andrews and Overfield were all members of the old Social Credit Party in Ontario. They thought that Preston Manning could have stopped their expulsions. Around this time, Fromm was involved with the Confederation of Regions Party and the Source could not see Fromm doing this as a favour to Reform.
In November 1991, it was learned that Overfield and Peter Mitrevski were to do security at Broadview and Greenwood "for a riding association going together." Overfield said that all the young skinheads he had signed up out there would go.
As noted earlier, Al Overfield, in the whole time he was a member of the Reform Party signed-up only twenty-two members. He told the Review Committee that, of this twenty-two, "only five were HF members; the other sixteen were not at all associated with the extremist group."
In the autumn of 1991, James Dawson and Nicola Polinuk were described as district directors in the Beaches Woodbine riding. Hugh Pendergast noted they were seeking election to the executive.
In August 1991, the Human Sources Branch in CSIS HQ responded to a Toronto
Region suggestion (July 30, 1991) that the Source remain in place with
the security group for the Reform Party meetings. The response, which was
actually provided by the Chief of the Desk dealt with two issues.
The first issue for the Desk was:
The Chief concluded that Droege's involvement in the Reform Party was
not central to the focus of the Service's investigation: "the capability
of Droege and others in the Right Wing political leadership to plan, direct
and initiate acts of violence to advance their racist agenda".
Consequently, the involvement in the Reform Party was "not of concern
The second issue was:
As the Source appeared to be a trusted confidante of Droege, the Chief
thought the relationship could withstand a difference of opinion. Consequently,
"I am more inclined to direct Source to disengage from any activity
whereby Source could become associated with the Reform Party".
On August 8, 1991, the Human Sources Branch at CSIS HQ instructed the Region: "Please direct the Source to avoid Reform Party activities".
The next day (August 9, 1991), the Assistant Director Requirements at CSIS HQ added his voice to the matter. He stated that he agreed with the CSIS HQ response, but he wanted the point made more firmly:
"There is no apparent reason to be involved, therefore, Source
should not be. If TR has arguments to the contrary, we will listen but
in the interim no activities in/with the Party. Please ensure that Source
does not/not involve himself with any Reform Party activities in any form."
On August 23, 1991, Toronto Region Investigator informed CSIS HQ that
"the Source has been directed to refrain from further Reform Party
activities and has agreed to these instructions." In the same
message, Toronto Region expressed the concern that:
"Wolfgang Droege and his colleagues in the NPC who are involved
in the periphery of Reform Party activities may suggest that the CSIS is
investigating the Reform Party even though this is not true.
HQ may wish to consider the feasibility of debriefing the leader of the Reform Party of the Service's interest in individual(s) who support the White Supremacist movement that may have connections to the Reform Party but at the same time assure the leader that we are not/not investigating the Party."
On August 28, 1991, three managers in the Human Sources Branch and the
Counter-Terrorism Branch at Headquarters stated their view that:
"A certain threshold of danger would have to present itself
before it would be feasible to consider debriefing the leader of the Reform
Party, regarding certain white supremacists connections within. The present
circumstances would not seem to warrant this action."
The Service view was that the decision not to inform the Reform Party
did not violate the CSIS mandate, but to have done so might have been construed
as a violation and also jeopardized the Source's security.
SIRC interviews with CSIS managers from HQ and Toronto Region and the
Deputy Director of Operations and Analysis revealed that all are of a mind
that the Source was indeed directed to leave the security group. The instructions
from CSIS HQ for the Source to refrain from Reform Party activities appeared
to be clear and although that should have been the end of the issue, this
may not have happened. The instructions did not actually specify that the
Source leave the security group. The Source attended the Pickering rally.
To place the issue in context, the Overfield security group's activities took place during a period of transition at the executive level in CSIS. The Deputy Director Operations and Analysis (DDO) was the Acting Director, for a considerable time in the Summer and Fall of 1991.
The Deputy Director Operations and Analysis informed the Review Committee that he and the Assistant Director Requirements (ADR) made the decision not to inform the Reform Party as the situation was not sufficiently egregious that it warranted that kind of action.
The DDO said that the Service had no mandate, in fact, no lawful authority to tell Mr. Manning anything. Another option that he noted was to go to the Minister or the Privy Council Office and let the latter talk to Mr. Manning. The DDO said that if the investigation had been within the CSIS mandate, it could have been construed as an attempt to subvert a democratic institution. That would fall under 2(d) of the CSIS Act, and the Minister's approval would have been needed.
The DDO said that he and the Assistant Director Requirements decided that the Reform Party was perfectly capable of policing itself, cleansing its own ranks, and taking care of itself; our job was not to keep undesirables out of the Party. He believes that he "probably did tell the Director" and that government agencies were informed about the attempts through the CSIS Reports.
We saw no written evidence that the issue was brought to the attention of the Director during the Summer or the Fall of 1991.
The new Director, Raymond Protti, arrived on October 1, 1991 and the
briefings began on the key issues and operations in the Service.
On January 9, 1992 a Briefing Note was sent to the Director who had asked for details on any targets or sources of the Service who may have been involved with the Reform Party. The request arose during a general briefing about Human Sources.
The Director was informed that:
"The Reform Party has never been investigated by the Service."
The Note did say, however, that there were a few instances where Service
investigations on mandated targets had surfaced peripheral information
regarding the Reform Party.
Among the issues described were:
The Counter-Terrorism Branch pointed out that three other Droege associates
were also providing security, but CSIS was interested in them only because
of their white supremacist activities.
The Briefing Note concluded by reiterating that CSIS was "sensitive to investigations that touch on the Party and have issued appropriate direction to ensure that only targets' activities related only to our mandate are reported."
CSIS reported on the infiltration of the Reform Party by the Heritage
Front in two of their CSIS Reports and one Threat Assessment. These reports
were routinely given wide distribution within the Federal Government's
In the report dated August 23, 1991 entitled the Extreme Right and Racist Skinheads, CSIS stated that "Droege encouraged members of the Heritage Front to become involved with the Reform Party which seems to be viewed as a formidable rival by extreme right-wing figures". Droege hoped to discredit the Reform Party which he thought would eventually benefit the extreme right-wing. The Service believed that Preston Manning was unaware of Droege's involvement in the security group which protected him.
Although this report would have been sent to the Ministry of the Solicitor General as a matter of course, we have not seen evidence to suggest it was brought to the attention of the Solicitor General. We noted too that the issue does not appear in any other material which we have seen and which went to the Minister's office.
On May 26, 1992 the Counter Terrorism Branch issued a Threat Assessment on Preston Manning. The assessment mentioned the media reports of the infiltration of the Reform Party but concluded that the Service was unaware of any Heritage Front plans to use violence or otherwise physically disrupt/attack Reform meetings or Manning to revenge the expulsions from the Party earlier that year.
In the "Endnotes" of a July 1992 CSIS Report, the Service stated that the Heritage Front militants became members of the Reform Party in 1991, "in an attempt to use the latter as a springboard to obtain greater visibility".
On January 8, 1992, the Assistant Director Requirements told the Region
that he wanted them to:
"review the direction given to the source and handler re: reporting
on the targets' activities. As I recall, those instructions were very explicit;
however the reiteration of them here seems somewhat confusing. (referring
to a Briefing Note) For example, I cannot imagine how we could avoid reporting
on Droege's activities in the Reform Party as suggested in the Briefing
In effect, we should already have: he provides security. Since he appears to be intending to undermine or discredit a legitimate political institution, we must assess what he is doing to achieve that objective.
What we should not be reporting - which is what I understand the direction to be - is reporting on the RP, its members, activities, etc. Close monitoring of the source operation is necessary to ensure that we remain within our mandate."
In a January 9, 1992, message to the DDG Ops in CT Branch, the frustration
was beginning to show in regard to the Droege investigation: "I'm
not sure we aren't sucking and blowing at the same time here. Droege is
a 2(c) CT target - the undermining of a political party, if it is real,
is 2(d) and reporting beyond Level 1 is requiring Ministerial approval
- I think we should sit down and discuss this whole issue so the game plan
is clear to all of us."
On January 15, 1992, a note passed between CSIS HQ personnel in the Human Sources Branch stated that, "I don't believe we need to instruct Toronto Region any further. If RCT (CT Branch) wish to alter the instructions to Toronto Region they can discuss it with OHS (Human Sources Branch) and the ADR (Assistant Director Requirements)." He would discuss it further with RCT for a coordinated response to the ADR.
On January 27, 1992, the CT Branch outlined its position in regard to the Source's activities:
"Droege's comments are probably well known by R.P. members,
particularly the moderate middle roaders, who are aware of the possibility
of the right wing extremist fringe; and the optical damage they can do
to the Party.
Our focus is not on the Party, and I believe it is too early, without additional substantiating information, to look any further into the 2(d) aspects. You're right, however, to have us tune our antennae."
The Review Committee asked the Source what instructions he had received
from the Handler over the course of his association with the Overfield
security group for the Reform Party. The Source stated that the Handler
said that the rules were that:
The Source would give everything he collected to the Handler who would
decide what was to be retained or not used. For example, when Overfield
was planning something with Andrew Flint, the Source would report it, but
he did not take notes on the platform of the Party or other information
relating to it. The Source said that
when he was told to avoid Reform Party activities, he did so.
In November 1991, Flint spoke to Overfield again and asked him to provide
security for the next big rally in Pickering. Overfield said that he would
not at all mind doing it.
For the Pickering rally on January 22, 1992, there are conflicting stories as to what the Overfield security group actually did. According to Andrew Flint who organized the rally, the Metro East Trade Centre provided their own security people for Preston Manning. Overfield's group were only to collect tickets at the front door and provide crowd control.
Al Overfield, on the other hand, stated that the Saturday before the rally, he and Grant Bristow surveyed the site and discussed various security options. Overfield said he was the Head of Security and he appointed Bristow as his assistant and the "takedown" man to protect Preston Manning. Overfield said that Bristow wanted the job, "looked like he had good background training, he was dynamic and liked to stay in the forefront". Bristow "was right on top of Manning" while Overfield ran back and forth "fighting fires." Bristow has no memory of a pre-rally survey. Overfield may have confused the two large rallies.
Flint has no recollection that Bristow was there and would not have recognized him if, for example, he had shaved off his beard. The security people were present when Manning came into the building and the security group "may have floated around" in the back to prevent the public from going into unauthorized areas. Manning arrived just before the rally was to begin and waited from approximately 7:00 p.m. to 7:15 p.m.; the security group was likely hanging around at this time. Once again, Ron Wood, Press Secretary to Preston Manning, stated that no conversations that were remotely sensitive took place.
Ron Wood said that, for him, only one person stood out in the security group, a guy with a long black leather or polyester coat who "looked like a Nazi".
At the Pickering Rally, said Andrew Flint, a man spotted Peter Mitrevski as one of the security people and this was reported to the National Council and to the Canadian Jewish Congress.
After the event, there was a media scrum following which Flint drove a car in which Manning was being interviewed by the Wall Street Journal. Overfield's team escorted Manning out of the building and provided shadow cars for Flint's car until it reached highway 401 and was out in the open.
Droege told a colleague that he did not get to talk to Manning because one of the Ontario organizers did not want him to get too close to the cameras. He said they (Reform Party) had already been called by CSIS to try and have him (Droege) kicked out.
At CSIS, an Administrative Interview took place in early February 1992 and the Human Source officers apparently assured themselves that the Source understood the directions he had been given. The Human Sources interviewer discussed with the Source the August 1991 Headquarters message that the Source was to withdraw from this responsibility of security and not be involved with the Reform Party.
The Human Sources manager reiterated that the Source was not a member of the Reform Party and was not involved in any Reform Party activity in 1991. The Source stated that this withdrawal from security responsibilities caused some friction with Droege and a loss of credibility. However, he has managed to survive using various alibis and excuses and everything is OK now.
The Source continued to find his role challenging and exciting but at times it became difficult to operate in this milieu with such requests as withdrawing from security for the Reform Party, but he manages to survive. The Human Source officer explained the reasons for such directions. CSIS instructed and queried the Source about criminal activities and he responded that he had not been involved in criminal activities.
The Reform Party did not use the security group after the Pickering
event. On February 28, 1992, the story appeared in the "Toronto
Sun" that the Heritage Front had infiltrated the Reform Party.
In the Heritage Front's work with the Reform Party, they had behaved "impeccably", according to Flint. Unlike other groups who took advantage of the fledgling Party in Ontario, the Front did not make statements to the press or use the occasions to distribute their material. Flint said they gave no indication of their racist philosophy.
But once the story broke in February 1992, the Front made up for lost time. The revelations put a shadow on the Pickering rally, the third largest in the Reform Party's history. Droege was on television every day. After this, every time Preston Manning showed up in Toronto, Droege would try to be outside the meeting.
In the fall of 1992 for example, at the opening of the Oshawa office, Manning was present and Droege showed up. The HF also made it a point to be present at nomination meetings, such as the one in Don Valley West where John Gamble was running - they seemed to be everywhere.
As the infiltration of the Reform Party became public knowledge at the end of February 1992, Droege commented that there were hundreds of Heritage Front people in the Party. The Source has stated that this type of statement "was a standard line for Droege." The Source was only aware of Overfield, Dawson, Mitrevski, Nicola (Polinuk) Andrews, and possibly Max French. Droege told the Review Committee, "I don't think I stated hundreds. At that time, in February 1992, that is when we started really to grow." He estimated that later on, "maybe 150 to 200 people...would have been possible members of the Reform Party." He offered no evidence for the estimate.
Paul Fromm, an associate of Droege, has characterized the "hundreds" figure from the latter as "a little white lie." Al Overfield thought the estimates were "very valid", and that the two groups had become quite intertwined.
Droege stated to the Committee that in February 1992, the Heritage Front had about 40-50 members in the Reform Party, spread across a number of ridings in the East End (mostly). Some members were on the executives of Reform constituency associations. Ultimately, however, he believed that some 150 to 200 Heritage Front people could possibly be Reform Party members.
The Source said that his last contact with anyone associated with the Reform Party took place after the meeting in Pickering Ontario; he saw Hugh Pendergast by chance at Overfield's place.
Thomas Flanagan, the Reform Party's Chief of Strategy in 1992, first
learned of the infiltration problem when Bill Dunphy from the "Toronto
Sun" telephoned him on February 27, 1992. Dunphy wanted a comment
for the story he was to run the next morning about the Heritage Front infiltration
of the Reform Party. The Party's Chairman
described the call as "an incredible story."
Once told, the Reform Party launched an investigation. A Special Committee of the Executive Council was struck to look into the allegations. The Special Committee was chaired by Myles Novak who was the President of the Reform Fund Canada and who was on the Management Planning Committee. The Secretary of the Special Committee was Thomas Flanagan, a Professor at the University of Calgary.
The Committee could make recommendations and terminate memberships. The Party had deliberately put a strong termination clause (2(d)(iii)) in the Reform Party of Canada Constitution because, as Ernest Manning used to say, "a bright light attracts a lot of bugs". After a member is expelled, the Chairman mentioned, there is an arbitration clause which can be used by the former member.
Flanagan then learned that someone in the Party had some knowledge of similar events and an internal investigation was already underway.
Michael Lublin, a Reform Party member, had brought to the attention of Reform Executive Council member Dick Harris a press article which raised the question of racists and the Reform Party. Lublin and Harris met with Bernie Farber of the Canadian Jewish Congress. The latter expressed concern about possible other racists in the Party, not just the HF, and gave Harris a list of nine names to check against the Reform Party membership lists. Lublin says these events took place in 1991 and Reform members state the actions occurred in January-February 1992.
After his travels, Harris said he returned to Calgary and asked the Membership Chairman to check the nine names; only one was a member - Wolfgang Droege. Harris then asked that the names be checked against Info Globe. At that point, journalist Bill Dunphy called Flanagan about the story which subsequently appeared on February 28, 1992.
The Reform Party investigation revealed that Al Overfield was a bailiff
who employed Droege and others in his business. The Special Committee learned
that Overfield had sold/sponsored 22 memberships (at $10.00 a membership)
to which he signed his name after giving out the forms. Al Overfield was
considered not to be a member of the Heritage Front but he consorted with
them while he was a member of the Reform Party.
The Special Committee concluded that of the 22 names, four were Heritage Front members: Wolfgang Droege, Jim Dawson, Nicola Polinuk and Peter Mitrevski. They were expelled from the Party. Others may have also been members, but the Special Committee had difficulty confirming that they belonged to the Heritage Front. Flanagan asked his Toronto officials to telephone each of the names to find out whether they were affiliated with the Heritage Front - most denied it.
Andrew Flint remembered the wording of Overfield's expulsion letter that "he showed poor judgement in the hiring of known neo-Nazis."
When Droege received the Reform Party letter which terminated his membership in March 1992:
"So I thought well, if they want to play these games, fine.
What we will do is we will endorse the Reform Party openly."
Despite his expulsion by the leadership of the Reform Party, Droege
stated that he "felt much of the membership in the Reform Party
seemed to have very similar opinions as I did on most issues."
Two or three other members were expelled from the Party, among them Anne Hartmann of the Northern Foundation. Flanagan became suspicious of her after learning that a racist article was written by one of her children. When Hartmann was evasive with Flanagan, a written warning was sent to Party members. When she attacked the Party publicly, she was expelled in September 1992.
Neither Tom Flanagan nor other members of the national Executive Council we spoke to ever heard Grant Bristow's name during or after the Reform Party investigation, until August 1994.
According to Al Overfield, there was no conspiracy, and they did not resist when they were kicked out. He said that everything was done to avoid any embarrassment. Overfield said the conspiracy story came from an article in the "Toronto Sun" and Tom Flannagan.
The Chairman of the Reform Party said he never believed or thought that
there were higher levels to the infiltration story, i.e., the possibility
of direction by others. But many of the
Reform Party members and officers we spoke to were absolutely convinced
that the infiltration was directed by persons associated with the Progressive
Conservative Party in order to discredit the Reform Party.
"The Heritage Front Affair" is the first time that some officials in the Reform Party think that they may have evidence of such a conspiracy.
On June 12, 1992, Michael Lublin, a member of the Kitchener-Waterloo
Jewish community and the self-professed "highest ranking Jewish
member of the Reform Party went on national television to denounce the
party as racially intolerant and anti-Semitic, and to declare that a Reform
Government would be a disaster for Canada."
Thus began another chapter in the complex lead-up to the 1993 federal election.
Michael Lublin told the Review Committee that he joined the Reform Party in April 1991 because he liked their economic policies. Lublin told his then friend, John Toogood, that he was interested in Reform because they were standing up for civil liberties and he thought that Reform was misunderstood.
In June 1992, Lublin had a rift with the Reform Party; he became angry, he said, after "pin stripe racists at the Waterloo riding level made things tough" for him. He said he left the Party when he was prevented from going to a meeting. Paul Kelly stated that Michael Lublin applied for the job of Regional Coordinator for Southwestern Ontario. He did not get the job but Reg Gosse did. Lublin later said that the differences of opinion with Reg Gosse were racially motivated. Gosse completely denied the allegation and said he was upset that Lublin would say so, having spent many "long hours" listening to Lublin's problems.
The Party had turned Lublin down for a position on June 9, 1992 and he went public with his criticism of Reform on June 12, 1992.
Lublin said his friend John Toogood, a university student, acted as
an political advisor to him and Lublin took him to Reform Party meetings.
Toogood agreed that they attended some meetings together, but he denied
being an "advisor" and also stated that he was always
candid about his Conservative Party links.
Toogood says that Lublin called him to say there were to be other Reform Party meetings and they went to two or three such meetings together; he said he went to learn what Reform's appeal was and he never attended any small riding meetings: the ones he went to were publicly advertised, large, and attended by the media. Toogood says there was never any doubt that both Gosse and Lublin knew he was a member of the PC Party. Reg Gosse confirmed Toogood's statement.
In the Summer of 1992, Toogood told SIRC, he worked in Solicitor General Doug Lewis' office and had little or no contact with Lublin at that time, to speak of. As a summer student, he answered the telephones, and liaised with the Ministry of Justice in regard to the gun control issue. His only contact with CSIS was to book appointments. In regard to the Reform Party, Toogood said he wrote synopses of their Justice policy: all based on newspaper articles and Reform Party literature. He stated that at no time while working for Doug Lewis or otherwise, did he ever make use of any external groups or agencies.
Lublin said that Joe Lafleur, a Conservative official, tried to recruit him. Lafleur told the Review Committee that he did not try to get involved in the Reform Party. Lublin, who was seeking a job, gave Lafleur a Campaign Contributions list which Lafleur said he never used: he just threw it in a file cabinet and left it there. Lublin said the list was a publicly available corporate contributions list. Lafleur said he was happy to hear Lublin's complaints about what was going on in the Reform Party, as they were the opponents, but no dirty tricks took place.
Lublin first told us that John Toogood and Bernie Farber, the Canadian
Jewish Congress Director of Community Relations were working together to
discredit the Reform Party. He later
said they did not work together toward the goal.
Lublin also says that he had a conversation with Hugh Segal, Advisor to
Prime Minister Brian Mulroney.
Both Toogood and the CJC Director have stated that they have never met or spoken to each other, much less conspired together. Both completely denied they ever tried to discredit the Reform Party. Hugh Segal received a message from Lublin but does not believe he ever spoke to him. Segal says he had his secretary give the name of a party official to Lublin to contact, wary of the negative comments Lublin made about his former mentors in the Reform Party.
Lublin described Droege as a complex, complicated and interesting individual,
notwithstanding the fact that Lublin's Serbian friends fought Droege's
people in the Kitchener-Waterloo area.
It was learned that in November 1992, Lublin called Droege for information about a lecture by British Nazi sympathizer, writer David Irving. Droege said it was a closed meeting, but authorized Lublin to inform the media. Lublin stressed they keep their association with one another secret and Droege agreed.
In the Spring of 1993, Preston Manning came to Oshawa. Lublin said that lawyer Louis Allore called him in Florida to say he wanted to discredit Manning. He would pay Droege $500 to have the Heritage Front "hound Manning" in May or June 1993. Allore told Lublin that Droege does not get paid until the "stunt" appears in the newspaper.
Bristow was aware that Michael Lublin was an anti-racist who wanted
to be a spokesperson for the Jewish community. The hearsay within the Heritage
Front was that Lublin had his eye on the Director of Community Relations'
job at the Canadian Jewish Congress.
Bristow overheard some of the conversations between Wolfgang Droege and
Michael Lublin: Lublin did not like Reform and wanted to be seen as a peacemaker
between the Nazis and the Jews. As a negotiator, he could make a name for
himself. Bristow took a photograph of
Lublin and Droege arm-in-arm together.
Alan Overfield said that Michael Lublin was a case of "sour grapes". Although Lublin accused the Reform Party of being racist, he still attended their meetings. Lublin knew Droege by his first name and he was involved in a lot of manipulation in the Jewish Community.
Bristow believed that Wolfgang Droege received cash from a Bay Street fellow to attend Reform Party meetings to discredit and embarrass the Party. Bristow was of the opinion that Lublin coordinated the contacts but that the money came from the other person.
We received reports that someone called CITY TV in Toronto to tell them that Droege would attend Reform Party meetings. The staff we spoke to at CITY TV denied they were informed in advance of Heritage Front activities. The Source, however stated that it was "standard methodology" for someone to call CITY TV in Toronto to tell them that Droege would attend Reform Party meetings. A Reform Party member and advisor has stated that reporter Colin Vaughn was present at some of the Reform Party demonstrations. Droege said he had no knowledge about the CITY TV matter.
Droege told Bristow that Lublin thought it was a good idea if Droege went to Reform Party meetings: Lublin would call the Press to make sure Reform was discredited. The Review Committee has confirmed that Michael Lublin made at least some of the calls.
It was learned that Lublin told Droege during April 1993 that he had contacted the media to tell them, that Heritage Front members voted at the John Gamble nomination meeting. He later said that he told reporter Colin Vaughn that this made him fearful as a Jew. He suggested that two well-known officials in the Reform Party be made the fall guys. Droege agreed.
In April 1993, Droege told Bristow that the Heritage Front might wish to engage Michael Lublin for publicity purposes and also the two groups could work together to discredit Preston Manning and the Reform Party. The Source subsequently learned that Lublin had some personal grudge against the Reform Party and is seeking to form a clandestine alliance with the Heritage Front.
It was further learned that Lublin told Droege that the Heritage Front should publicly claim that Lublin was their (HF) primary opponent. Lublin would like the notoriety to establish himself as the guardian of the Jewish community and to weaken groups like the Canadian Jewish Congress and the B'nai Brith. Lublin even suggested that the HF should blow up his personal vehicle so that he could show the public that he was an important neo-nazi enemy.
Lublin was reported as saying to Droege that the two could feed off one another to gain maximum media exposure. Droege confided to the Source that he would be open to a mutual campaign of publicity and controversy with Lublin.
Lawyer Louis S. Allore was on the Board of Directors of the Ontario
riding association (Pickering, Ajax, Whitby) for the Reform Party. During
the fall of 1991 or the spring of 1992 serious conflicts arose in the riding.
Riding President David Barber held a secret meeting with some Board members to try to oust Allore. When the full board found out, they reacted and Barber was ousted as President. Jack Hurst and Reg Gosse came in to mediate and Allore subsequently conducted a vendetta against them. Allore also complained when the Party expelled John Gamble and David Andrus.
David Andrus stated that Allore devoted a lot of time and campaigned seriously for the nominated candidate in his riding. He was expelled from the Party for his support of Gamble (see 5.6.8). Once expelled, he carried on a one man campaign through the media to tell the press what he thought of the Reform Party and Preston Manning. He launched two legal actions against Manning and Andrus said that he was making some progress when he died in August 1994. Andrus saw it as a questionable death and said that Allore was a man of integrity.
Richard Van Seters, John Gamble's campaign manager viewed Allore as bitter about his expulsion and as a person who went to extremes to create embarrassment. Van Seters said that Allore talked to the Heritage Front and "they were employed to disrupt" the Gamble meeting. After his expulsion, Van Seters said that Allore corresponded with Conservatives Jean Charest and Mike Harris. John Gamble, however, did not think that Allore would have anything to do with the Heritage Front.
The Review Committee was informed that the only point of contact between Allore and Harris were the two letters which Allore sent to the Ontario leader. The two never met. Similarly, Jean Charest said he does not remember ever having met Louis Allore. The five letters which Allore sent to Charest were never answered.
On April 29, 1993 a story appeared in a satirical magazine. The article stated that Droege, "has been happily describing how he is exacting his revenge while having someone else pay for it...the mysterious paymaster is a Toronto area Tory campaign chairthingy." Some present and former Reform Party officials believed the story contained some truth.
The source of the report was John Thompson, a Reform Party member, who said that he had had a source infiltrate the Heritage Front one Summer.
On August 21, 1994, it was learned that Droege advised Gerry Lincoln that lawyer Louis Allore, was a person he had met, who was trying to infiltrate the Reform Party. Droege confided to Lincoln that Allore gave him some money personally. This was probably in relation to the Oshawa Conspiracy (see 7.6.7). Lincoln said he never heard about the matter.
Wolfgang Droege, under oath, informed the Review Committee that he received $500.00 from lawyer Louis Allore to publicly support the Reform Party. He was given the money to attend a meeting where he could embarrass Preston Manning. When asked if others were involved, Droege said he did not know, although Allore was in touch with other dissidents from the Reform Party such as John Gamble and David Andrus. Droege stated, "it was mainly an attempt by myself and Louis Allore to discredit Preston Manning."
On May 27, 1993 Wolfgang Droege left his home and picked up Tracy Jones,
Peter Mitrevski and Drew Maynard in the Hillington/Danforth area; he then
he drove to Whitby, Ontario just before noon. He picked up an envelope
at the Ontario Court Division (Rossland Road East) and then drove to Oshawa
where he tried to attend a Reform Party Meeting at 50 Bond Street.
Wolfgang Droege and Peter Mitrevski appeared at the Reform Party meeting in Oshawa at which Preston Manning was to appear before the Canadian Auto Workers. The two racists had received $10.00 tickets to attend the meeting but the Reform Party officials refused to allow them to enter and refunded their money. They were escorted out of the building by police officers.
The next day, it was learned that Droege told Marque Poole Jewer that the incident in Oshawa went pretty well because there was some publicity in Oshawa about his being kicked out by the police. Droege revealed that some Reform Party dissidents were going to start a new party as soon as the election was over, and he was expecting to receive some favours in return since he already did them a few (see section 7.6.13 below). The Heritage Front leader also said he was going to meet with an attorney (thought to be Louis S. Allore) the following week to receive taskings.
Droege told the Source several days later that he was given $500.00 and two tickets to the event by Michael Lublin. Lublin denies he provided the $500 or the tickets and said he was in Florida at the time. Droege took Peter Mitrevski with him and was to pay him $100.00 for his participation. Drew Maynard and Tracy Jones were taken to hand out flyers. Droege said that the Reform Party claim that the Conservative Party had hired him to discredit Preston Manning was humorous. One and a half years later, on the day that the lawyer died in a car accident, Droege again said that Allore gave him some money 'personally'. A CSIS Investigator stated that he believed that the deal was brokered by Michael Lublin.
Whereas the evidence is circumstantial, it appears that Droege collected an envelope containing $500.00 and two tickets from Louis Allore and then, to embarrass the Reform Party, went to the meeting where Preston Manning was to speak.
Droege first told the Review Committee that he did not receive money to attend Reform Party meetings: "afterwards, though, they would go out for a few beers. No money changed hands." He denied receiving money from Michael Lublin, who he said, was "an opponent" and, because of him, Droege "got kicked out of the Reform Party." At a subsequent hearing on oath, Droege stated that Louis Allore paid him to attend the Reform Party meeting.
One of the main planks in conspiracy theories is the John Gamble Affair.
Gamble, a former Progressive Conservative Member of Parliament and contender
in that Party's leadership race in the early 1980s, won the nomination
on March 31, 1993 as the Reform Party candidate for the riding of Don Valley
Prior to the Meeting. Six days before the nomination meeting, the Secretary to the Reform Party, Mike Friese wrote to the President of the riding association, David Andrus to say that Gamble's nomination would be bad for the Party because of his association with Paul Fromm and Ron Gostick who were publicly perceived to be associated with extremist views. Another letter from the Party also said, apparently, that Fromm was working with Gamble in the World Anti-Communist League during the mid-1980s.
Gamble was the North American Chairman of the World Anti-Communist League and was the subject of an article in "This" Magazine. He said that Don Blenkarn and others in the Conservative Party were also mentioned as supporters of the League. One of the accusations against the League was that it was anti-semitic, but Gamble saw that as "ancient history" and the people involved were no longer associated with the League; Gamble had never known them.
The Nomination Meeting. At Gamble's nomination meeting on March 31, 1993, Wolfgang Droege (expelled from the Reform Party the year before), Peter Mitrevski and a few others showed up outside the hall and made a public show of support for Gamble. The candidate, in turn, made a statement saying he would not refuse such assistance.
It was learned that Michael Lublin left a message for Droege on March 31st that they should get together and organize something for a candidates meeting scheduled for that night for the Don Valley. Lublin added that all the media would be there and it could be important.
The Source remembered that Droege and Peter Mitrevski supported John Gamble's nomination. Droege told the Source that Gamble is not a bad guy and that he held him in high esteem. Droege also told the Source that he was given the financial incentive to embarrass the Reform Party by a supporter of Gamble. The Source did not know who the supporter was.
John Gamble told us that he met Droege only once - and that was at the nomination meeting. Droege was pointed out to him by a member of a television news team. The reporter asked Gamble if he wanted the support of the people outside his meeting. Gamble said he would accept help "from anyone here if I can get it." The candidate said that he was told who Droege was after he made the comment. Gamble emphasized that he had no contact with the HF at any other time: Droege was not a member of Gamble's riding association and he did not recognize him, nor those with him. There were six or seven other Heritage Front people at the nomination meeting, but Gamble would not recognize any of them if he saw them now. Gamble never heard of Bristow, until he read about him in the press.
Droege has confirmed that Grant Bristow did not attend the nomination meeting. Droege and the others were there, he said, to lend support to Gamble and they urged people they knew to work for him. Droege said they only involved people who he knew could vote.
The Appeal. At a meeting on April 2, 1993 the Executive Council of the Reform Party nullified the nomination of Gamble. On May 8, 1993 a hearing took place in Calgary to hear Gamble's appeal. Ron Wood told SIRC that there was never any evidence of a conspiracy, but Gamble, as an ex-Tory, raised questions in the Reform Party as to what was happening and whether the purpose of his candidacy was to embarrass the Party.
Gamble and senior members of the riding association went to Calgary to appeal and said they brought with them the ballots which members in the riding were asked to fill out. In Calgary, according to Gamble, little notice was taken of the ballots and this convinced him that the Executive Council's decision was made before he arrived.
Another document that Gamble brought was a letter from Paul Fromm. John Gamble met Paul Fromm when the former was a Conservative Member of Parliament. He had received some Citizens for Foreign Aid Reform (C-FAR) literature and, since Gamble was concerned about taxes and where foreign aid money was going, he arranged a get-together between several Mps and Fromm. The two would later meet on several occasions.
Fromm attended a World Anti-Communist League conference in San Diego, which Gamble did not attend; nor Gamble says, did he send Fromm. During the March 1993 nomination issue, a member of Gamble's staff heard that Fromm was described as the Secretary for the World Anti-Communist League and the staff member asked Fromm for a letter. The letter from Fromm, dated May 6, 1993 states that he never held the position of "second in command to former MP John Gamble in the Canadian Branch of the World Anti-Communist League." Gamble says he last spoke to Fromm nine or ten years ago.
At lunch, Gamble held a press conference to announce what had happened. He stated that the Executive Council members did not appreciate the move. About ten days later, the memberships of those who launched the appeal were revoked.
Kim Campbell. One of the statements made in support of the Conservative conspiracy theory was that Gamble, a former Tory, met with Conservative leadership candidate Kim Campbell and MP Bobbie Sparrow in Calgary the same day as he appeared at his Reform Party appeal hearing. People in the Reform Party thought it odd that a Progressive Conservative leadership candidate would take time out from her busy schedule to meet with a former Tory.
The evening of the appeal hearing in Calgary, the four members of the Reform Riding Association dined at the Calgary Inn and had nothing to do after dinner. Campbell and Bobbie Sparrow had a meeting in the hotel to encourage others to come to Ottawa to support Campbell. Gamble and Andrus met a lot of people they knew while walking in the halls and they decided to drop into the reception room.
Inside, they chatted with Sparrow and Kim Campbell, but, said Gamble and David Andrus, it was no more than a social meeting and nothing about Reform was discussed. Andrus and Gamble then went to another reception room and popped their heads into a Carol Channing performance which was underway at the time.
After the Gamble expulsion, Van Seters said he was contacted by Bobbie Sparrows' campaign manager by telephone. This person was trying to obtain more "Gamble Affair" information.
In April or May of 1993, Allore, Gamble, David Andrus and Lublin met
to talk about forming a new political party and setting up a constitution.
They concluded that it was too much work and too close to the election.
Andrus was not well and could not devote the energy required to do the
work properly. They had a couple of meetings to discuss the concept, but
Richard Van Seters, a Gamble supporter, said that Lublin was sympathetic toward John Gamble and the controversy offered Lublin an opportunity to get some more attention.
Conservatives and Lublin. Gamble said he had run against the Conservatives in 1988 as an independent and had no knowledge of any Conservative plot against the Reform Party, having left the Pcs in 1985. He joined the Progressive Conservative provincial party in Ontario earlier this year (1994).
Gamble thinks he met Michael Lublin before the nomination meeting. Lublin went to Gamble's home and told him about his experience with the Kitchener Waterloo Reform association. During the accusations against Gamble, Lublin came forward to say that Gamble was not anti-semitic.
Michael Lublin has informed the Review Committee that he suggested to Droege that he attend the Reform Party meeting as a way to discredit the Party. He later denied he was involved.
Other Theories. Richard Van Seters, Former Chair of the Reform Don Valley West Nomination Committee said he was not certain whether the Heritage Front was sent by Reform to discredit John Gamble to have him tossed out. One possible reason, said Van Seters, was the fear that Gamble might be a threat, that is, might vie for the Reform Party leadership as he did in the Conservative Party. Van Seters thought that comments by Ron Wood, Preston Manning's press secretary, after the Reform Party hearing in Calgary were consistent with this theory. Joe Clark, Van Seters pointed out, had a business relationship with Reform Party Chairman, Clifford Fryers.
Van Seters said that during the 1993 federal election campaign, a former Minister in the Conservative Party, Dorothy Dobbie, was an observer at a Winnipeg Reform Assembly and was actively trying to contact Reform dissidents. Van Seters said that among those she contacted were Louis Allore and Michael Lublin. Lublin confirmed the contact. Dobbie told SIRC that she did have some contact with Allore and Lublin during September/October 1993. She said that she never provided any instructions to them to discredit the Reform Party and she said she never had any contact with the Heritage Front or Grant Bristow.
David Andrus would add another theory: the HF presence created the perception that Gamble was associated with that group and "one wonders if Reform at the senior level used the HF". "They (the Overfield group) were used as bodyguards and everyone was told to use them; there was something more going on than meets the eye."
It was learned in early April 1993, that Michael Lublin told Droege that he had advised the media that the Heritage Front was asked by someone in the senior level of the Reform Party to come out and draw the connection between John Gamble and the HF to discredit Gamble.
David Andrus was the former President of Don Valley West Riding Association
of the Reform Party. Reform Party officials point to Andrus as one of those
who may have been involved in a campaign to discredit the Reform Party,
possibly by using the Heritage Front.
Andrus was at one time the business partner of Michael Wilson, former Conservative Finance Minister, and had helped to run Wilson's election campaign. He had also once been a fund-raiser for the Liberal Party. He joined the Reform Party after speaking with Preston Manning and attending the Saskatoon Assembly.
Don Valley West Riding. Andrus lived in the Don Valley West riding and, as he had been involved in running political campaigns before, he became President of the riding association for the Reform Party, probably in March 1992. Andrus said that it was an experienced seasoned riding executive in contrast to many other Reform associations at the time.
Andrus said he set up a Nominating Committee which he did not sit on to select a candidate as he thought it was not appropriate. The Nominating Committee selected 3 candidates, among them, John Gamble, the only one with political experience.
All candidates were to be heard by the membership at large at a meeting on May 27, 1993. Some days beforehand, Andrus received a call and was told to say that Gamble should not be nominated.
At the nomination meeting, Droege and his group attended en masse; several other riding presidents attended the meeting and asked Andrus, "did you know that Droege was over there".
Andrus said he told Droege, "I don't know why you're here, but I want you to understand this is a private meeting". Andrus said he would have had them thrown out by the police if they spoke out. Droege and his associates stood at the back of the auditorium and cheered enthusiastically for Gamble, in a very noticeable manner.
After the meeting, the media interviewed Gamble, Droege, and Andrus. Droege said he was there to see that the right candidate was chosen. In hindsight, said Andrus, he should have had them thrown out.
Andrus said he knew nothing about the Heritage Front and he said he was never associated with them. Andrus said that to be "branded" as a racist was a mean blow and there was no basis in fact for that. He stated that he spent 10 to 11 years as Executive Officer for World Vision in Canada and was the International Treasurer for the aid agency, a role inconsistent with being a racist.
One of the theories about a Progressive Conservative Conspiracy in the
Reform Party concerns John Beck. He was expelled as a candidate for the
York Centre riding in October 1993 and the theory is that he was linked
to Grant Bristow, and perhaps also to the Heritage Front in order to embarrass
the Reform Party. Hugh Pendergast of
the Beaches Woodbine riding association said that John Beck attempted to
"suborn" the nomination in Pendergast's riding and the
latter saw this as part of the Conservative plan.
An unknown caller to MP Deborah Gray's office said that John Beck was a
"set-up": he was funded by the Tories and was associated
with the Heritage Front.
John Beck responded to a newspaper advertisement which sought a candidate to run for the Reform Party in the riding of York Centre. He said he was interviewed by John Lawrence, the "manager" for the association. Beck went to the meetings, studied the Reform party's platform and won the nomination in May 1993. he said he did everything "according to Hoyle" to obtain the nomination.
In a pre-election interview in October 1993, Beck was quoted by the York University student newspaper Excalibur as saying that some immigrants brought "death and destruction to the people." He also made unflattering remarks about Native Canadians.
In the wake of the statements, the Reform Party forced him to give up his campaign and expelled him. Ron Wood, Preston Manning's press secretary, was later quoted by Varsity, the University of Toronto student newspaper, as blaming Beck for the loss of as many as four federal seats in Ontario and alleged he was part of a dirty tricks campaign by the Progressive Conservatives.
We reviewed allegations that Beck was associated with "The Heritage Front Affair". Beck denied knowing or having contact with Wolfgang Droege, Grant Bristow or anyone else in the Heritage Front. He also said he never had any contact with Paul Fromm, Don Andrews or anyone from the Progressive Conservative Party.
The former features editor for Excalibur, the student newspaper which revealed the Beck comments which led to his expulsion from the Reform Party was quoted as saying:
"she doubts Beck was a plant. She said that if Beck had deliberately
set out to sabotage his own campaign, he could have used a medium with
much more influence than Excalibur (the student newspaper). "Frankly,
I think it was a fluke," she said. "He just blurted out how he
The Review Committee saw absolutely no information in support of the
allegation that John Beck was associated with Grant Bristow, CSIS, or the
Over the course of the Review Committee's investigation of "The
Heritage Front Affair", a considerable number of allegations and
statements have been made by and about the white supremacists and their
activities in relation to the Reform Party. This section reviews several
of the allegations and the answers which the Committee has obtained through
Reform Party raised the question as to why, when David Maxwell French was
revealed as a Heritage Front member, he allegedly called the Reform Party
"race traitors". There
is also the issue of who encouraged French to remain in the Party.
According to the Source, French was expressing a strongly and widely held belief in the extreme right: that in the United Kingdom, the Conservative Party under former Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher won her elections by adopting the platform of the racist National Front Party. In so doing, she "pacified the masses."
Preston Manning was seen by the white supremacists as an agent of ZOG (the Zionist Occupation Government) - an appeaser of the masses like Margaret Thatcher. His success in Canada would appeal to those targeted by the extreme right and would allow the population in this country to vent their frustration. It was believed that the right wing would need another 15 to 20 years to organize and attract wide support, especially after the Heritage Front expulsions from the Reform Party.
According to the Source, Max French drifted out of the Nationalist Party of Canada and towards Droege and the Heritage Front after a "falling out" with Don Andrews.
There is no evidence that David Maxwell French was under pressure from anyone to remain in the Reform Party. He had been named, and his photograph published, in an article by Bill Dunphy in the Toronto Sun, in February 1992. It was simply going to be a matter of time before someone in the Reform Party noticed that he had not been expelled along with all the other known racists. No intelligent conspirator would have used such a well-known racist to infiltrate the Reform Party.
The Review Committee asked Bristow whether he had had any contacts with
members or officials of the Progressive Conservative Party.
Bristow had two links to Progressive Conservatives. In 1984 he worked in the election campaign for David Crombie. Bristow thought that Crombie had been an excellent mayor of Toronto and he therefore wanted to support the candidate's federal election campaign.
In the second case, Grant Bristow worked in the 1988 election campaign for Otto Jelinek, solely at the request of Bob Tye. Tye was Bristow's Supervisor at the firm of Kuehne & Nagel, and served on the executive of Otto Jelinek's campaign as a fundraiser. During the 1988 election campaign, Tye and Bristow had a friendly relationship.
Bristow and Jelinek met a couple of times at Jelinek's home. During the election, Bristow performed two activities: he canvassed door to door the Sunday before the election, talking and handing out pamphlets. On election day, Bristow went to the polling station at night to count ballots; otherwise, Bristow said, he would not have been able to get into the victory party which was to follow.
Allegations have surfaced about prominent Conservative Party official John Tory and his contacts with Grant Bristow. Overfield told the Review Committee under oath that his "well-founded suspicion" was that Wolfgang Droege "received funds through Grant Bristow, directly from John Tory; also Otto Jelinek and John Gamble." Al Overfield adduced no facts whatsoever to support this assertion.
John Tory's law firm was chosen by the former government to prosecute Droege for the Heritage Front hate line. It was learned that Droege told a reporter that it was not true that Droege was being paid by John Tory. But later, Overfield told Droege that they may as well do John (Tory) a favour and both Overfield and Droege laughed. Droege felt that to drop John Tory's name would get them [the Reform Party] really going. Overfield and Droege agreed that this was the right approach.
The Review Committee learned that Overfield said that he did Jack Hurst a favour, he was the one who 'fucked' Overfield with the Reform Party. Hurst had been given ten names to check for Heritage Front affiliations by the Reform Party's Special Committee in 1992.
The Review Committee has confirmed that the above conversations took place.
Tory denied completely even knowing about Bristow until recently, much less having met him. He was not involved in any of the Canadian Human Rights Commission/Tribunal proceedings, though someone else in his firm may have been, he said.
Overfield then told the Review Committee that he ultimately concluded that Toronto Sun reporter Bill Dunphy paid Bristow "to infiltrate and create the Heritage Front." The Review Committee has not contacted Bill Dunphy regarding this allegation.
Former Solicitor General Doug Lewis was asked by the Review Committee whether he issued any instructions, oral or written, to the Director of CSIS or his staff at the Service to investigate the Reform Party. Doug Lewis responded, "Absolutely not!" When asked if any of his staff issued such a direction, the response was "One can never have complete knowledge, but I would be amazed if these instructions were ever issued. Blair Dickerson handled these things and we never had any discussions about this and she wouldn't have done so. I can be as assured about her as anybody." He also stated, "I know I never gave any direct or indirect instructions and I would be amazed if my staff did. I would be more than amazed if (my) staff took any action." The Committee also spoke to Blair Dickerson and she denied issuing any instructions to CSIS in regard to the Reform Party.
The Security Intelligence Review Committee has seen no evidence whatsoever to substantiate the allegation that Grant Bristow sought to discredit or infiltrate the Reform Party on behalf of Doug Lewis or the Progressive Conservative Party of Canada.
The Review Committee examined the links between Paul Fromm, the Heritage
Front and the Reform Party. The material we examined suggests that Fromm
attempted in 1987 and 1988 to ally himself with the Reform Party and use
it to reach his political objectives. Having failed to achieve that, Fromm
was, in subsequent years, in contact with those Heritage Front members
who attempted to discredit the Reform Party.
1987 Western Assembly. In 1987, Paul Fromm arranged for author Peter Brimelow to speak at the Reform Association's Western Assembly which was held in Vancouver at the end of May. The Reform Association granted Fromm observer status for his efforts. The decisions taken at the Western Assembly led to the creation of the Reform Party of Canada.
In 1994, Fromm told the Review Committee that he was involved with the Assembly as "a number of our subscribers in B.C. and Alberta were involved." He said that he was "looking for people who were interested in subscribing to his publications."
We learned that Fromm concluded that Doug Christie's Western Canada Concept would never obtain the base of support necessary to be elected, and so Fromm had turned his attention to the Reform Association's Western Assembly. Fromm said he attended the Western Assembly because it gave him the opportunity for a book table, the sales from which, proved quite lucrative.
1988 Activities. Fromm showed renewed support for the Reform Party in 1988 when he went to their policy conference in Calgary. He said he urged the Party to come East. Fromm had made liaison with the Reform Party his priority and he made overtures to Preston Manning to establish an Ontario wing of the party.
As Droege would later say about his own views, Fromm's perception was that the general membership of the Party was more right wing than its executive.
With the assistance of an associate who had links to the Aryan Nations, Fromm made inroads with a Fraser Valley constituency association. We learned that in February 1988, Fromm was in contact with a Reform Party candidate in the 1988 federal election for that riding and a member of the executive.
In an early endorsement of Reform Party, the Spring 1988 issue of the Canadian Population & Immigration Quarterly Report, published by Fromm's C-FAR organization, contained a copy of a Reform Party pamphlet on immigration. The C-FAR publication said that it endorsed no political party but directed those interested to write directly to the address provided on the Reform Party of Canada flyer.
On August 12, 1988 Paul Fromm attended a three day Reform Party Policy Convention in Calgary.
"Disassociated" from the Reform Party. In August 1988, Paul Fromm spoke at a meeting on Vancouver Island where many in attendance were Reform Party of Canada members. Some of these individuals objected to the racist tenor of Fromm's speech, and complained to Preston Manning about Fromm's ties to the party.
In October 1988 Preston Manning sent Fromm a letter asking the latter to "disassociate" himself from the Reform Party. This letter may have contributed to Fromm's decision that the RPC was not the appropriate vehicle to further his political objectives. Fromm then ran as a candidate for the Confederation of Regions (COR) Party in the riding of Mississauga East.
Fromm informed the Review Committee that when he realized the Reform Party was not going to come East to Ontario, "I looked elsewhere."
Subsequent Links to Reform. In February 1989, while in Vancouver, Fromm asked a Reform Party member to organize a centennial party in celebration of Adolf Hitler's birthday. The member planned to arrange things so as to involve as many local skinheads as cared to attend, but changed his mind after learning that almost all of the Vancouver skinhead community would be travelling to the Aryan Nations compound in Hayden Lake, Idaho for the occasion.
On December 5, 1990 Fromm said that he was asked to speak at the Martyrs Day Rally where, he said, he spoke about those in Canada who have "suffered" for freedom of speech. He stated that some of the other speakers, "I admit, were pretty radical, pretty off-the-wall."
On June 13, 1991 Overfield set up a table at a C-FAR meeting to take Reform Party memberships. Our analysis of that event is provided in section 7.3.5. Fromm was a featured speaker at a Heritage Front meeting on September 5, 1991.
In regard to the "John Gamble Affair" described earlier in this paper, the direct contacts between Paul Fromm and John Gamble took place in the early 1980s. When the allegation about Fromm was laid during the 1993 nomination issue, the Review Committee was told, a Gamble campaign worker contacted and secured a letter from Fromm who denied the charge.
There is no evidence in the material we examined that Fromm actively supported John Gamble's nomination for the Reform Party in the Don Valley West riding for the 1993 federal election.
Overview. The SIRC investigation revealed that there were several persons in Paul Fromm's circle who were involved with the Reform Party from 1987 to 1991. In addition to Fromm, they were: Peter Lindquist, Al Overfield, Raymond Renwick and Robert Jarvis. The reports we saw did not focus on the Reform Party's activities.
1 SIRC interview of Andrew Flint, Former Ontario Regional Coordinator,
2 SIRC interview of Clifford Fryers, Chairman and Chief Operating Officer of the Reform Party of Canada.
3 SIRC interview of Clifford Fryers, Chairman and Chief Operating Officer of the Reform Party of Canada.
4 SIRC interview of Clifford Fryers, Chairman and Chief Operating Officer of the Reform Party of Canada.
5 Hugh Pendergast stated he is not a racist and he rejects any association with racist ideologues.
6 Al Overfield was described as a former member of the extremist organization, the Western Guard and subsequently was associated with the Ontario section of the Social Credit Party which national leader Ernest Manning refused to recognize. Murray Dobbin, Preston Manning and the Reform Party, 1992.
7 SIRC interview of Thomas Flanagan. Pendergast later said he did not think Overfield tried to take over the riding association.
8 SIRC interview of Reginald Gosse, Former Chairman of Ontario Expansion for the Reform Party.
9 SIRC interview of Andrew Flint, Former Ontario Regional Coordinator, Reform Party.
10 SIRC interview of Thomas Flanagan.
11 Globe & Mail, June 14, 1991; Globe & Mail, June 13, 1991.
12 SIRC Hearing, Wolfgang Droege.
13 SIRC interview of Bristow.
14 SIRC interview of Andrew Flint.
15 SIRC interview of Andrew Flint, Former Ontario Regional Coordinator, Reform Party.
16 SIRC Hearing, Alan Overfield.
17 SIRC interview of Reg Gosse. The Heritage Front members were not licensed bailiffs.
18 SIRC interview of Ron Wood, Preston Manning's Press Secretary.
19 SIRC interview of Andrew Flint, Former Ontario Regional Coordinator, Reform Party.
20 At least fifty people did arrive to protest the rally.
21 SIRC interview of Wolfgang Droege.
22 SIRC interview of Alan Overfield.
23 SIRC interview of Alan Overfield.
24 SIRC interview of Grant Bristow.
25 SIRC interview of Alan Overfield.
26 SIRC interview of Alan Overfield.
27 SIRC interview of Andrew Flint, Former Ontario Regional Coordinator, Reform Party.
28 SIRC interview of Source.
29 SIRC interview of Bristow.
30 SIRC interview of Andrew Flint, Former Ontario Regional Coordinator, Reform Party.
31 SIRC interview of Andrew Flint, Former Ontario Regional Coordinator, Reform Party.
32 SIRC interview of Alan Overfield.
33 SIRC interview of Bristow.
34 SIRC interview of Wolfgang Droege.
35 SIRC interviews of Alan Overfield.
36 SIRC interviews of Alan Overfield.
37 SIRC interview of Andrew Flint, Former Ontario Regional Coordinator, Reform Party.
38 SIRC interviews of Alan Overfield.
39 SIRC interview of Alan Overfield.
40 SIRC interview of Alan Overfield.
41 SIRC interview of Andrew Flint, Former Ontario Regional Coordinator, Reform Party.
42 SIRC interview of Andrew Flint, Former Ontario Regional Coordinator, Reform Party.
43 SIRC interview of Reginald Gosse.
44 SIRC interview of Ron Wood, Press Secretary to Preston Manning.
45 SIRC Hearing, Alan Overfield.
46 SIRC interview of Andrew Flint, Former Ontario Regional Coordinator, Reform Party.
47 SIRC interview of Andrew Flint, Former Ontario Regional Coordinator, Reform Party.
48 SIRC interview of Andrew Flint, Former Ontario Regional Coordinator, Reform Party.
49 SIRC interview of Andrew Flint, Former Ontario Regional Coordinator, Reform Party.
50 SIRC interview of Hugh Pendergast.
51 SIRC interview of Alan Overfield.
52 Rosie DiManno, "Ex-mercenary aims for country 'uniquely' white", Toronto Star, June 19, 1991.
53 SIRC interview of Alan Overfield.
54 SIRC interview of Hugh Pendergast
55 SIRC interview of Andrew Flint, Former Ontario Regional Coordinator, Reform Party.
56 SIRC interview of Alan Overfield.
57 SIRC interview of Alan Overfield.
58 SIRC Hearing, Wolfgang Droege.
59 SIRC interview of Source
60 SIRC Hearing, Alan Overfield.
61 Stanley R. Barrett, "Is God a Racist?", Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 1989.
62 Murray Dobbin, "Preston Manning and the Reform Party", Halifax: Formac Publishing, 1992, pp. 277-278.
63 SIRC Hearing, Alan Overfield.
64 SIRC Hearing, Paul Fromm.
65 Stanley R. Barrett, "Is God a Racist?", Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 1989, p. 79.
66 SIRC Hearing, Alan Overfield. Mr. Overfield denies being a "soldier" of the Western Guard Party and says he does not agree with the harassment of Jews and Blacks.
67 SIRC Hearing, Alan Overfield.
68 SIRC interview of Alan Overfield.
69 SIRC Hearing, Alan Overfield.
70 SIRC interview of Bristow.
71 SIRC interview of Alan Overfield.
72 SIRC interview of Alan Overfield.
73 SIRC interview of Alan Overfield.
74 SIRC interview of Harry Robertson.
75 SIRC interview of Alan Overfield.
76 SIRC interview of Stephen Harper.
77 SIRC interview of Stephen Harper.
78 SIRC interview of Alan Overfield.
79 SIRC Hearing, Alan Overfield.
80 SIRC Hearing, Alan Overfield.
81 SIRC interview of Grant Bristow.
82 SIRC interview of Wolfgang Droege.
83 SIRC Hearing, Wolfgang Droege.
84 SIRC interview of Wolfgang Droege.
85 SIRC interview of Source.
86 SIRC interview of Source.
87 SIRC interview of Source.
88 Rosie DiManno, "Ex-mercenary aims for country 'uniquely' white", Toronto Star, June 19, 1991.
89 SIRC interview of Paul Kelly, Former President, Scarborough West Riding Association, Reform Party.
90 SIRC interview of Andrew Flint.
91 SIRC interview of CSIS employee.
92 SIRC Hearing, Alan Overfield.
93 SIRC interview of Thomas Flanagan, Secretary to the Special Committee of the Executive Council, Reform Party of Canada.
94 SIRC interview of Thomas Flanagan, Secretary to the Special Committee of the Executive Council, Reform Party of Canada.
95 SIRC interview of Alan Overfield.
96 SIRC interview of Clifford Fryers, Chairman and Chief Operating Officer of the Reform Party of Canada.
97 SIRC interview of Alan Overfield.
98 SIRC interview of Alan Overfield.
99 SIRC interview of Alan Overfield.
100 SIRC Hearing, Alan Overfield.
101 SIRC interview of Source.
102 SIRC interview of Wolfgang Droege.
103 SIRC Hearing, Wolfgang Droege.
104 SIRC Hearing, Wolfgang Droege.
105 SIRC interview of Source.
106 SIRC interview of Source.
107 SIRC Hearing of Paul Fromm.
108 Instructor at Humber College.
109 SIRC interview of Wolfgang Droege.
110 SIRC interview of Bristow.
111 SIRC Hearing, Paul Fromm.
112 Tony Cincinnato is a follower of the Aryan movement and was active in the Toronto white supremacist milieu during the early 1990's. In November 1990 he established a Toronto Ku Klux Klan cell (now defunct) and is an associate of Wolfgang Droege.
113 SIRC interview of Alan Overfield.
114 SIRC interview of Hugh Pendergast, Former Reform Party Candidate and President, Beaches Woodbine Riding Association.
115 Hugh Pendergast completely denies he encouraged anyone to sign-up at the C-FAR meeting.
116 SIRC interview of Alan Overfield.
117 SIRC interview of Alan Overfield.
118 SIRC interview of Source.
119 SIRC interview of Hugh Pendergast.
120 SIRC Hearing, CSIS Deputy Director Operations and Analysis (DDO).
121 SIRC Hearing, CSIS DDO.
122 SIRC Hearing, CSIS DDO.
123 The former Solicitor General did not recall this report. SIRC interview of Doug Lewis.
124 SIRC interview of Source.
125 SIRC interview of Source.
126 SIRC interview of Andrew Flint, Former Ontario Regional Coordinator, Reform Party.
127 SIRC interview of Andrew Flint, Former Ontario Regional Coordinator, Reform Party.
128 SIRC interview of Alan Overfield.
129 SIRC interview of Bristow.
130 SIRC interview of Andrew Flint, Former Ontario Regional Coordinator, Reform Party.
131 SIRC interview of Andrew Flint, Former Ontario Regional Coordinator, Reform Party.
132 SIRC interview of Ron Wood, Preston Manning's Press Secretary.
133 Peter Mitrevski is a white supremacist and a former member of the Nationalist Party of Canada. He is a trusted associate of Wolfgang Droege in the Heritage Front and one of the few who was described as knowing about Droege's agenda to discredit Preston Manning.
134 SIRC interview of Andrew Flint, Former Ontario Regional Coordinator, Reform Party.
135 SIRC interview of Alan Overfield.
136 SIRC interview of Andrew Flint, Former Ontario Regional Coordinator, Reform Party.
137 SIRC interview of Andrew Flint, Former Ontario Regional Coordinator, Reform Party.
138 SIRC interview of Source.
139 SIRC Hearing, Wolfgang Droege.
140 SIRC Hearing, Paul Fromm.
141 SIRC interview of Alan Overfield.
142 SIRC Hearing, Wolfgang Droege.
143 SIRC interview of Source.
144 SIRC interview of Thomas Flanagan, Secretary to the Special Committee of the Executive Council, Reform Party of Canada.
145 SIRC interview of Clifford Fryers, Chairman and Chief Operating Officer of the Reform Party of Canada.
146 SIRC interview of Clifford Fryers, Chairman and Chief Operating Officer of the Reform Party of Canada.
147 SIRC interview of Clifford Fryers, Chairman and Chief Operating Officer of the Reform Party of Canada.
148 SIRC interview of Clifford Fryers, Chairman and Chief Operating Officer of the Reform Party of Canada.
149 SIRC interview of Thomas Flanagan, Secretary to the Special Committee of the Executive Council, Reform Party of Canada.
150 SIRC interview of Michael Lublin.
151 SIRC interview of Thomas Flanagan.
152 SIRC interview of Thomas Flanagan.
153 SIRC interview of Thomas Flanagan.
154 SIRC interview of Thomas Flanagan.
155 SIRC interview of Andrew Flint, Former Ontario Regional Coordinator, Reform Party.
156 SIRC Hearing, Wolfgang Droege.
157 SIRC Hearing, Wolfgang Droege.
158 SIRC interview of Thomas Flanagan.
159 SIRC interview of Clifford Fryers, Chairman and Chief Operating Officer of the Reform Party of Canada.
160 Murray Dobbin, "Preston Manning and the Reform Party", Halifax: Formac Publishing Company, 1992, p. 271.
161 SIRC interview of Michael Lublin.
162 SIRC interview of John Toogood.
163 SIRC interview of Michael Lublin.
164 SIRC interview of Paul Kelly.
165 SIRC interview of Richard Van Seters, Former Campaign Worker for John Gamble.
166 SIRC interview of Michael Lublin.
167 SIRC interview of John Toogood.
168 SIRC interview of John Toogood.
169 SIRC interview of Reg Gosse.
170 SIRC interview of John Toogood.
171 SIRC interview of Joe Lafleur, Former President, PC Party, Kitchener-Waterloo.
172 SIRC interview of Michael Lublin.
173 SIRC interview of Michael Lublin.
174 SIRC interview of Michael Lublin.
175 SIRC interview of Michael Lublin.
176 SIRC interviews of John Toogood and Bernie Farber.
177 SIRC interview of Hugh Segal.
178 SIRC interview of Michael Lublin.
179 Lublin denied that this conversation ever took place.
180 SIRC interview of Michael Lublin.
181 SIRC interview of Bristow. Lublin denied this was his objective and he said that he did not have the qualifications for the job.
182 SIRC interview of Bristow.
183 SIRC interview of Alan Overfield.
184 SIRC interview of Bristow.
185 SIRC interviews with: Colin Vaughn, Reporter; Ben Chin, Reporter; and John Thornton, Senior Assignments Editor.
186 SIRC interview of John Thompson.
187 SIRC interview of Wolfgang Droege.
188 SIRC interview of Michael Lublin.
189 SIRC interview of Andrew Flint.
190 SIRC interview of Andrew Flint.
191 SIRC interview of John Gamble.
192 SIRC interview of David Andrus, Former President of Don Valley West Riding Association, Reform Party.
193 SIRC interview of Richard Van Seters.
194 SIRC interview of Richard Van Seters.
195 SIRC interview of John Gamble.
196 SIRC interview of Bill King, Aide to Mike Harris.
197 SIRC interview of Eric Wildhaber, Assistant to Jean Charest.
198 Frank Magazine, "A Wolf in Tory Togs", April 29, 1993, p. 15.
199 SIRC interviews of Ron Wood and Richard Van Seters.
200 SIRC interview of John Thompson.
201 SIRC interview of John Thompson, Reform Party Advisor.
202 SIRC Hearing, Wolfgang Droege.
203 Bill Dunphy, "Manning hounded by racist", Toronto Sun, May 28, 1994.
204 SIRC interview of Wolfgang Droege.
205 SIRC Hearing, Wolfgang Droege.
206 SIRC interview of Troy Tait, Policy Coordinator, Reform Party.
207 SIRC interview of John Gamble.
208 Lublin denied he was involved with the meeting.
209 SIRC interview of Source.
210 SIRC interview of John Gamble.
211 SIRC interview of Wolfgang Droege.
212 SIRC interview of Thomas Flanagan.
213 SIRC interview of John Gamble.
214 SIRC interview of John Gamble.
215 SIRC interview of John Gamble.
216 SIRC interview of John Gamble.
217 SIRC interview of David Andrus, Former President of Don Valley West Riding Association, Reform Party.
218 SIRC interview of John Gamble.
219 SIRC interview of Thomas Flanagan.
220 SIRC interview of John Gamble.
221 SIRC interview of Richard Van Seters.
222 SIRC interview of John Gamble.
223 SIRC interview of David Andrus, Former President of Don Valley West Riding Association, Reform Party.
224 SIRC interview of Richard Van Seters, Former Campaign Worker for John Gamble.
225 SIRC interview of John Gamble.
226 SIRC interview of John Gamble.
227 SIRC interview of Michael Lublin.
228 SIRC interview with Michael Lublin.
229 SIRC interview of Richard Van Seters.
230 SIRC interview of Richard Van Seters.
231 SIRC interview of Richard Van Seters.
232 SIRC interview of Dorothy Dobbie.
233 SIRC interview of David Andrus
234 SIRC interview of David Andrus, Former President, Don Valley West Riding Association, Reform Party.
235 SIRC interview of David Andrus, Former President, Don Valley West Riding Association, Reform Party.
236 SIRC interview of David Andrus, Former President of Don Valley West Riding Association, Reform Party.
237 SIRC interview of David Andrus, Former President of Don Valley West Riding Association, Reform Party.
238 SIRC interview of David Andrus, Former President of Don Valley West Riding Association, Reform Party.
239 SIRC interview of David Andrus, Former President of Don Valley West Riding Association, Reform Party.
240 SIRC interview of David Andrus, Former President of Don Valley West Riding Association, Reform Party.
241 SIRC interview of David Andrus, Former President of Don Valley West Riding Association, Reform Party.
242 SIRC interview of Thomas Flanagan.
243 SIRC interview of Hugh Pendergast.
244 SIRC interview of Betty MacDonald
245 SIRC interview of John Beck.
246 Bruce Rolston, "Reform blames Tories for racist candidate." Varsity, October 4, 1994. Ron Wood was not available to comment on the quote when we sought to speak to him in November, 1994.
247 SIRC interview of John Beck.
248 Bruce Rolston, "Reform blames Tories for racist candidate." Varsity, October 4, 1994.
249 French vehemently denies ever making any such statement.
250 SIRC interview of Source.
251 SIRC interview of Source.
252 SIRC interview of Don Andrews.
253 Droege, however, encouraged French to reveal his membership during the 1994 municipal elections to increase his publicity.
254 SIRC interview of Grant Bristow.
255 SIRC interview of Grant Bristow.
256 SIRC interview of Grant Bristow.
257 SIRC Hearing, Alan Overfield.
258 Droege does not recall such a conversation. Overfield replied that he may or may not have said that.
259 SIRC interview of John Tory.
260 SIRC Hearing, Alan Overfield.
261 SIRC interview of Former Solicitor General Doug Lewis.
262 SIRC interview of Blair Dickerson.
263 SIRC Hearing, Paul Fromm.
264 SIRC Hearing, Paul Fromm.
265 SIRC Hearing, Paul Fromm.
266 SIRC Hearing, Paul Fromm.
267 SIRC interview of John Gamble.