James Shaver Woodsworth:  Untypical Canadian


J A M E S    S H A V E R



An Address delivered at the Dinner
to inaugurate the
Ontario Woodsworth Memorial Foundation
King Edward Hotel, Toronto
Saturday. October 7th, 1944



The photograph of Mr. Woodsworth on the back cover
is copyright by Karsh, Ottawa, and used by permission.

Published by the


Copyright, 1944
Ontario Woodsworth Memorial
First Printing, November, 1944


Typography:  Service Linotyping Co., Toronto
Press Work:  Merchants Press, Toronto



I am proud and grateful that the task was assigned to me in this evening’s proceedings of speaking about Mr. Woodsworth’s life. I am proud to have been a friend of his for some twenty years.  To enjoy his friendship was a moral education in itself.  He was the most completely honest man that I have ever known; and the most completely selfless man, free from merely personal ambition, never indulging in selfish intrigues or struggles for personal power.  It is a great source of strength to the C.C.F. that its first leader was J. S. Woodsworth, and in the movement which he founded it is our duty to keep alive the values which he held dear and to which he devoted his life.

James Shaver Woodsworth (1874 - 1942)

James Shaver Woodsworth
(1874 – 1942)

So I am going to preach a little sermon about his life and work.  If there is a text it will consist of a quotation from John Bunyan which I shall give at the end.  Mr. Woodsworth himself, in a pamphlet which he published in 1926, spoke of his life as a modern pilgrim’s progress, and I can think of no description that is more fitting.  Hence the Bunyan text.  The general theme of my discourse will be that he came from an environment which was most typically Canadian but that he developed qualities of character which are for the most part un-Canadian or which at least are found far too rarely in our Canadian community.

First of all, as to the environment.  James Shaver Woodsworth was born in 1874 near Toronto, the son of parents who both came of loyalist stock.  His forbears were men and women who moved up to British soil in Upper Canada from



New York and Pennsylvania after the American Revolution.  His paternal grandfather, Richard Woodsworth, who was a local Methodist preacher in Toronto, served on the loyalist side in the Rebellion of 1837.  All those who ever visited the Woodsworth home in Winnipeg will have seen hanging on the study wall the sword which was carried by grandfather Woodsworth whem he turned out to help preserve the British connection against the grandfather of the Right Honorable William Lyon Mackenzie King.  The Woodsworths were Methodist; Richard Woodsworth, as I have said, a local preacher here in the Toronto district; his son, James Woodsworth, the father of our James Shaver Woodsworth, a pioneer missionary in the North-West who rose to be the Superintendent of Methodist missions there and played a great part in the building up of our Canadian prairies.

This double inheritance of pioneer loyalism and pioneer Methodism needs to be emphasized.  For there is nothing that is more distinctively and essentially Canadian than that combination.  We are accustomed to think of the loyalists in Upper Canada as having been mainly Anglican.  But the Anglican part of loyalism has left us mainly a tradition of stuffiness and snobbery.  It was the Methodists (with some considerable help from the Scotch Presbyterians) who formed the creative element in early Canada, and who did most to make us what we are today in Ontario.

I remember a few years ago sitting one evening in the chapel of Victoria College when Ned Pratt was giving a recital of his poem Brébeuf and His Brethren.  The audience consisted of the cream of the graduates of that great Methodist college.  Everywhere one could see faces of men who were



prominent in the professional and business life of Toronto.  The chairman was the titled head of one of the most famous Methodist families of Ontario.  And as I listened to those austerely beautiful lines about the struggle of Brébeuf and his companions to convert the Indians to Chris­tianity, and my eye wandered over the members of the audience (with here and there the care­worn face and threadbare garments of some university professor sticking out incongruously in that comfortable gathering), I could not help reflecting that, after all, it was neither the Jesuits nor the Iroquois who eventually won Ontario, and who set the imprint of their character upon the life of this province; it was the Methodists.

The Woodsworth family moved to the West in 1882 and young Woodsworth grew up in that great new prairie community whose settlement and expansion were main factors in the making of our twentieth-century Dominion of Canada.  He received the best education that was available to the young Canadian of his day.  He went through Wesley College in Winnipeg, then came down to Victoria College in Toronto to study theology, and completed his academic training by a year at Oxford.  When he graduated at Wesley in 1896 he was elected Senior Stick by his fellow students.  No one who is familiar with Canadian college life needs to be told that the Senior Stick is the man who is considered by his fellows to be outstanding for his ability and energy, but who is also known by them to fit most perfectly into his environment, who accepts most implicitly the values of his generation, who can be trusted never to think dangerous thoughts.  It is interesting to speculate what some of James Woodsworth’s respectable, right-thinking classmates of the class



of 1896 must have thought of their Senior Stick in later years when he turned out to be the leading non-conformist of his country.  No doubt he must have already shown those strong individual characteristics of his; and his evangelistic background would have made him critical of the society in which he lived.  But most Canadian evangelicals have settled down long before they are middle-aged to a very comfortable acceptance of their environment.  And this was just what James Woodsworth failed to do.

Perhaps Oxford had a good deal to do with this.  He went to England in the fall of 1899.  This was the very moment of the outbreak of the Boer War, and he must have become familiar with all the fierce discussion which went on at that time in England (hut which was not reproduced in Canada, though we also took part in the Boer War) about the moral values of imperialism.  It was in the next year, 1900, that the Labor Party was founded, and he must have heard a good deal of talk on this subject too.  Oxford must have accentuated whatever tendencies he already had to emphasize the social gospel of Christianity as distinct from its theological dogmas.  It was full at that time of the new humanitarian and social-reform ideas which were bringing about far-reaching changes in English politics.  Woodsworth did what many another young Oxonian was doing and spent part of his time living in a settlement in the east end of London.

Whether it was Oxford that did it or not, at any rate he came back to Canada with his mind full of a social philosophy which was hardly yet familiar to most of his fellow Canadians, who were still dominated by the nineteenth century individualistic ideas of a pioneer community.  He



was the first of those radicals whom Oxford has sent back to us, the forerunner of the Frank Scotts and Dave Lewises and Ted Jolliffes of our own day.

Back in Canada he entered upon the career for which he had been preparing, that of a minister in the Methodist Church.  He became assistant minister in Grace Church, Winnipeg.  The city of Winnipeg at the opening of the twentieth century was the most dynamic spot in Canada.  It was the reception centre through which poured the thousands of new immigrants to be distributed across the whole of western Canada, and it was the collecting centre from which were shipped the millions of bushels of wheat that formed the basis of the new Canadian economy.  And it was in dealing with problems of this new civilization that J. S. Woodsworth was to show those distinctive qualities that made him so unusual a Canadian.

What were these qualities which we think of most readily when we look back over Mr. Woodsworth’s life?  We may note four of them which made him different from most of his fellow Canadians who had come from much the same environment.

First and most important of all was moral courage.  We may as well admit that this is not a quality which is very common in Canada.  Physical courage we have in abundance.  But the man who is willing to stand by himself when he disagrees with his society, who insists, whatever the cost, on proclaiming the truth as he sees it, is somewhat rare in our history.  This kind of courage is one of the things that makes English history so inspiring.  But Canadians, both English Canadians and French Canadians, are far too devoted



to group solidarity and far too fond of the material success which comes from unquestioning acceptance of the prevailing standards of their group.  J. S. Woodsworth showed from the beginning to the end of his career a willingness to make sacrifices for his principles.  He never failed when this test was applied to him.  That nation is most fortunate which produces the highest proportion of sturdy individualists of this kind.  Liberty is safe only in a society in which such individuals are fairly common.  This is the secret of English history.  And we shall no doubt have frequent occasion to thank heaven that the founder of our Canadian socialist party was the most stubborn individualist of his generation.

A second outstanding quality was his sympathy with the underdog, with the downtrodden and disinherited.  Such sympathy is part of the tradition of Christianity and of the tradition of democracy, and its existence should not require comment.  Yet again, this is a quality which has been displayed much more in English than in Canadian history.  We do not exactly pass by on the other side in Canada when we see a man who has fallen among thieves.  But we have schooled ourselves to believe that in this land of opportunity there are no people needing help.  James Woodsworth’s life was one long process of identifying himself with the unfortunate and the exploited.

To both of these qualities of moral courage and social sympathy we do, however, pay lip service.  Mr. Woodsworth displayed a third quality in which we hardly even profess to believe.  That was a passion for clarity.  In Canada, in spite of the clearness of our physical atmosphere, we



prefer to live in a mental atmosphere of haze and mist.  We never make issues clear to ourselves.  Our national instinct is against defining differences so that they can he clearly understood or reconciled.  We prefer to leave issues undefined, with an assumption that all right-thinking people would agree about them if ever they were defined and that in the meantime all problems can be solved by indulging in emotions of vague Rotarian good-will.  We prefer not to face the fact that our national society is divided vertically into sections and horizontally into classes.  At its worst this attitude becomes a dangerous hypocrisy.  We need a constant supply of Woodsworths to keep plagu­ing us into the unpleasant duty of facing up clearly to the issues that confront us.

And this leads to consideration of the fourth Woodsworth quality to which I should like to draw attention.  He was an intellectual pioneer in an era in our history when a new understanding of and a new approach to our national problems was becoming necessary.  He began his work in Winnipeg in the period of the great wheat boom.  Canada was growing and prospering as she never had done before.  And all that was needed, so far as most Canadians could see, was to shovel in more immigrants, to grow more wheat, to build new railways and new manufacturing plants, to develop our real estate, to make two subdivisions grow where only one had grown before.  But what was really happening to us was that we were becoming an integral part of the great society of the industrial revolution; and this meant that our phenomenal growth of which we were so proud was reproducing in our midst conditions with which older countries had long been un-



happily familiar.  J. S. Woodsworth was one of the first to draw attention to our new problems such as that of the cultural assimilation of the European immigrants and that of the growth of urban and rural slums.  These are the themes of the two books which he published in those early years — Strangers Within Our Gates (1909) and My Neighbor (1911).  The ideas in them are now familiar enough to everyone and there was nothing original in them, as he would have been the first to declare, at the time.  He was simply applying the more mature wisdom of older civilizations to these newly emerging conditions in Canada.  What was original was that a native Canadian should be doing so.  And the ideas which he propounded then were those at which he was to keep driving all his life.  He would not have called himself a socialist in those days, I supposed; but it is significant that he was already saying that our inherited individual enterprise was not enough to deal with these new social problems but that they called for the intervention of organized community effort.

His fundamental faith from the start was in study and research, and in public education to spread the results of study and research.  He wanted to bring the minds of his fellow Canadians up to date.  He wanted to help them to tackle their twentieth-century problems with twentieth-century ideas.  “I know a lot of my friends,” he once said in a later political speech, “who won’t drive a car that is of a model more than two years old.  A great many of us have machinery in our minds that is of a model a hundred years old.”  Long before the C.C.F. was founded, and with equal persistence after it was founded, it was the


same Woodsworth at work, filled with a passion for the spread of social understanding.  This kind of intellectual pioneering is perhaps what we need most of all in Canada.

Mr. Woodsworth’s career from the time of his return from Oxford falls into two clearly divided periods.  The dividing line is the Winnipeg strike of 1919.  Before that, as minister of the gospel and as social worker, he was to find himself unable to conform to some of the beliefs and practices of his society, and by the end of the summer of 1919 he was an outcast from all the respectable and right-thinking people among whom he had grown up.  After that, from the election of 1921, he was to devote his life to building up a political movement which would give expression to the social and economic ideas in which he believed.

His religious studies had made him a modernist in theology.  And very soon in his ministry in Winnipeg he found himself in intellectual difficulties about the doctrines of his church.  He had already decided to resign as early as 1902 but was dissuaded.  In 1907, he handed in his resignation along with a lengthy and forthright statement of his reasons.  He could not accept the interpretation put by his church upon baptism and the Lord’s Supper; he did not believe in the doctrine of the atonement; he had difficulties about the religious experience of conversion, and about many other things in the Methodist statement of faith.  “Such are the doctrines of Methodism.  Without discussing particular doctrines, let me briefly state my position thus:  Many of the doctrines, of course, I believe, but there are some that rest upon historical evidence which for me is not conclusive.  Some are founded on psy-


chological conceptions and metaphysical theories quite foreign to modern thought, and are for me meaningless.  Some deal with matters upon which, it seems to me, it is impossible to dogmatize.  Upon some I must suspend judgement.  Some I cannot accept in the form in which they are stated.  Some I cannot accept at all.  Yet I am required to ‘sincerely and fully believe the doctrines of Methodism’ and to ‘endeavor fully and faithfully to preach them’! … Some may say that it is necessary only that I believe the essential underlying truths.  But who is to determine what are the essential underlying truths?  Words have well-recognized meanings.  We cannot play fast and loose with them. … In this matter of personal experience lies the root of the difficulty.  My experience has not been what among Methodists is considered normal. … My experience has determined my theology, and my theology my attitude toward the Discipline.  And all three, according to our standards, are un-Methodistical.”

It is of course possible for honest and intelligent men to differ as to how far historical statements of doctrine are to be taken in the literal or how far in the symbolic sense.  At any rate, a committee of the Methodist Conference reported:  “Having had a full and frank conversation with Brother James S. Woodsworth re the cause of his resignation, we find that there is nothing in his doctrinal beliefs and adhesion to our discipline to warrant his separation from the ministry of the Methodist Church, and therefore recommend that his resignation be not accepted and his character be now passed.”

Eleven years later, in June 1918, Mr. Woodsworth again offered his resignation.  In the mean-


time the war had come, he had publicly stated his opposition to conscription, and had lost his position in Winnipeg.  This time he wrote in his letter of resignation:  “As years went by, certain disquieting conclusions gradually took form.  I began to see that the organized Church had become a great institution with institutional aims and ambitions. … Further, the Church, as many other institutions, was becoming increasingly commercialized.  This meant the control of the policies of the Church by men of wealth, and in many cases the temptation for the minister to become a financial agent rather than a moral and spiritual leader.  It meant, also, that anything like a radical programms of social reform became in practice almost impossible … In the meantime another factor makes my position increasingly difficult.  The war has now gone on for four years. … According to my understanding of economics and sociology, the war is the inevitable outcome of the inevitable outcome of the existing social organization, with its undemocratic forms of government and competitive system of industry. … This brings me to the Christian point of view.  For me, the teachings and spirit of Jesus are absolutely irreconcilable with the advocacy of war.  Christianity may be an impossible idealism, but so long as I hold it, ever so unworthily, I must refuse, as far as may be, to participate in war. … The vast majority of the ministers and other church leaders seem to see things in an altogether different way.  The churches have been turned into very effective recruiting agencies. … There is little dependence on spiritual forces.  The so-called Prussian morality that might makes right and that the end justifies the mans is preached in its application


if not in theory. … Apparently the church feels that I do not belong and reluctantly I have been forced to the same conclusion.”

This time the resignation was accepted promptly.  Perhaps the Methodist church, in this contrast between its remarkable flexibility in dealing with the theological heretic and its very stern orthodoxy towards the political heretic during the hysteria of war, does not show up too well.  But these transactions are not recalled here for the purpose of criticising the church.  It will be more fruitful for us to remind ourselves that it is possible for radical political parties as well as for evangelical churches to become over-institutionalized, to accept too whole-heartedly the values of the society in which they live, to become too intent on success according to the standards of that society.  May the C.C.F. continue to produce its Woodsworths in the future as the Methodist church has done in the past!

While Mr. Woodsworth’s resignation from the church was not accepted in 1907, he decided to abandon the regular work of a church pastor; and in that year he became head of All People’s Mission, a settlement of the Methodist church in the north end of Winnipeg.  Here he spent six busy years in social work.  In 1913 a group of friends found the money to set up the Canadian Welfare League and to put him in charge.  And in 1916 the governments of the three prairie provinces joined to establish the Bureau of Social Research with J. S. Woodsworth as director.  During these years he became, as Olive Ziegler puts it very truly in her biography, a “consulting sociologist” not merely for Winnipeg and its neighborhood but for the whole of Canada.  His successive of-


fices became centres to which men of all classes resorted for advice and information.  It was in these years that he published the two books already mentioned for the use of study groups in the church.  He was also constantly on the move, investigating conditions all over the West, and writing memoranda and reports upon them.  He became a national figure as a lecturer, and was heard with approval in all parts of Canada.  And in addition to his many other activities it is noteworthy that he was chosen as the representative of the Winnipeg Ministerial Association upon the Trades and Labor Council of the city.  In these activities he found a field of work in which theological difficulties did not intrude; and everywhere he went his message was the same — the need to study and understand the emerging social problems of the new era in Canada.  He made himself the interpreter of the working classes to the more comfortable and successful groups of our Canadian community.

All this work was brought to a sudden end in the winter of 1916-17 when he felt it his duty to publish his objections to conscription.  His governmental employers at once closed down the Bureau of Social Research.  He found himself out of a job and was bitterly denounced by many who had been his associates in his social work.

He moved out to the Pacific coast and took up a small mission charge at a place called Gibson’s Landing some twenty miles from Vancouver.  Here, cut off from all his former activities, he found temporary rest.  But shortly he became interested in the local cooperative store, an enterprise which met with the stern disapproval of a gentleman who was a leading member of


church, and he had to leave.  He was now one of the unemployed indeed.  He moved into Vancouver and became a casual laborer, a longshoreman.  This was the hardest period of all his life, but there is no need to dwell on what he went through.  After the severe testing of these two or three years, as all who met him later in life can testify, nothing ever daunted him or embittered him.  Here is an extract from an article he wrote at the time.  The article is headed:  “Come on in — the Water’s Fine!”

“My Winnipeg friends who knew me in connection with church work or social service activities would probably hardly recognize a longshoreman in grey flannel shirt, overalls and slicker, who lines up with a gang alongside a ship. … Yet it is the same J.S.W. who, though declared to be down and out, is in reality feeling fairly fit and looking forward to the fight. … Yes, I hesitated to make the plunge.  Where a man has spent all his time up to middle life along one line it is not easy to make a complete break and, as it were, start life all over again.  But circumstances have a curious way of pushing one right up to the brink.  Then, unless a man is a downright coward, it is a case of ‘Here Goes!’ … And the water was cold — no doubt about that!  Longshoring is hard and monotonous and irregular and, taking it the year round, not much better paid than other unskilled labor.  Being a town-bred boy and having gone through school and college into professional life, I had never done manual work.  Piling heavy rice sacks or stowing flour or loading salmon or trucking up a steep slippery gangplank is no child’s play … But, once in, one has to make the best of it.  No one sinks without a struggle, and



in the struggle the blood goes coursing through one’s veins till the whole body is atingle. … There is a certain exhilaration in having broken through artificial distinctions — in meeting men as men irrespective of nationality or creed or opinions — in being one of them. … Perhaps it is in part because ‘he that is down need fear no fall’ — that the workers ‘have nothing to lose but their chains’ — but there is a certain sturdiness and fearlessness about the workers that is not commonly found among the so-called higher classes. … At present the odds seem against us.  But though muscles often ache and the back is tired and much is uncongenial, there is more than compensation in being as yet no man’s slave.  And what if, after all, as we believe, we are right!  So, after the first shock, I have got my breath and shout back my message of good cheer:  ‘Come on in — the water’s fine!'”

This was his apprenticeship for his later work as a labor leader in parliament.  He became a member of the longshoremen’s union.  He helped to organize the Federated Labor Party of British Columbia, wrote for the labor paper, became a regular speaker at labor meetings.  In the summer of 1919 he was sent on a speaking tour of western Canada in the interests of the labor movement, and at Winnipeg he found himself in the middle of the famous Winnipeg strike.

The strike had begun as a dispute about collective bargaining in a few machine shops.  By the time Mr. Woodsworth arrived this dispute had spread into a general sympathetic strike of the Winnipeg labor forces and had been going on for some weeks.  It had become a trial of strength between the workers and the owning classes of



Winnipeg.  The latter persistently charged that the workers had ulterior motives, that they were aiming at a social revolution and the setting up of a Soviet government.  But for a long time there were no outbreaks of violence.  The provincial government failed to take any effective action.  The so-called Citizens Committee, formed to put down the “revolution,” devoted itself to a campaign of hysteria; and eventually trouble did break out between special police and processions of workers and their sympathizers.  The Dominion government intervened to force a crisis, or at least that was how its action looked to the workers.  (The chief representative of federal authority was the Hon. Arthur Meighen, Minister of the Interior.  In 1942 it was to be the cause of special pleasure to many C.C.Fers whose memories went back to the days of the Winnipeg strike that the C.C.F. served as the instrument in the famous South York by-election for retiring Mr. Meighen to private life.)  Leaders of the workers were arrested and charged with seditious conspiracy.  Against most of them the charges were successfully maintained after long trials in Winnipeg; and the strike was broken.  It remains a landmark in our Canadian social and political history.  For the first time we had clearly aligned against each other the two major classes into which modern industrialism has divided our society; and the manner in which the privileged class reacted to the events of that June in Winnipeg left no doubt as to which of the two groups was the more class-conscious or the more determined to fight by fair means or foul for its position.

Mr. Woodsworth immediately on his arrival in Winnipeg became active in addressing the mass



Tory Stronghold, Parliament, Grit Stronghold, Woodsworth, C.C.F.

Tory Stronghold | Parliament | Grit Stronghold | Woodsworth C.C.F.

meetings which the strikers were holding.  It is worth recalling that the first of these meetings at which he spoke had as its opening speaker the well beloved padre of the First Division, Canon Scott of Quebec.  Mr. Woodsworth also helped in the publication of the workers’ strike bulletin which they got out every day to present their side of the case.  His set of the Western Labor News he later presented to the Library of the University of Toronto.  As one reads it today one is struck by the mildness and coolness of its language and the reasonableness of its demands.  Can we really believe that leaders who used such language were aiming at wrecking the comfortable homes of Winnipeg and bolshevizing the whole country?  But the editor, F. J. Dixon, was arrested along with the other strike leaders; and after Mr. Woodsworth had filled in for him for a week, he was arrested too.  The charges against Dixon



failed, and in due course the authorities quietly dropped their case against Woodsworth.

If you want to appreciate the atmosphere of panic in which the authorities in Winnipeg were working, it is worth while to read the items in the indictment by the Crown against J.&nbspS. Woodsworth.  There were six counts, three of which consisted of articles appearing in the labor bulletin from the pen of Mr. Dixon.  The three crimes of composition for which Mr. Woodsworth himself had been responsible were:  (1) An article entitled “Is There a Way Out?”, written shortly after his arrival in Winnipeg, pleading for an understanding of the underlying issues by both sides, suggesting a Royal Commission to investigate the whole situation, and ending “Let us reiterate that there are very reasonable men in both camps.”  (2) Two quotations from Isaiah (10:1-2 and 65:21-22).  (3) An article entitled “The British Way,” with long quotations from a manifesto of the British Labor party demanding a new social order.  Well, it is no longer seditious to write about a new social order in Canada.

The Winnipeg strike will long remain a subject of dispute in our modern Canadian history.  It was the first definite trial of strength between opposed social forces in our new industrial civilization.  It showed how strongly entrenched are the established ruling groups in our society; how bitterly and unscrupulously they will fight for their privileged position; how prone is the government, which supposedly represents all the people, to take the side of the powerful; and how difficult it is for the other side to get its case before public opinion at all.  As for Mr. Woodsworth, it left him a complete outcast from the



respectable part of society.  But, as things were to turn out, his identifying of himself with the labor cause was to give him a seart in parliament for the next twenty years and to make him the natural spokesman of all Canadians who were seeking a more democratic social order after the war which had been fought to make the world safe for democracy.

In the federal election of 1921 J. S. Woodsworth was elected as member for Winnipeg North Centre, and he continued to hold this seat until his death.  This later part of his career is more familiar to all of us, and there is no need to trace its events in any chronological order.  There are several points, however, which are worth emphasizing.

The new phenomenon of the 1921 parliament was the contingent of some 65 “Progressive” members.  In this and the succeeding parliaments of the 1920’s and 1930’s Mr. Woodsworth regularly had one or two labor colleagues from the west, and they formed a little labor party of their own.  (On one occasion Bill Irvine explained about the labor party:  “The member for Winnipeg North Centre is the leader of the party and I am the party.”)  They co-operated throughout these years with this larger and looser body of Progressives.  But the Progressives were never quite able to make up their minds whether they were a new political party, or whether they were an independent left wing of the Liberal party, or just what they were politically.  And after the first upheaval of post-war unrest was over, they gradually disintegrated.  Mr. King carried on a patient courtship which, like most of his statesmanship, was somewhat slow in producing results but very



effective in the long run.  Most of the Progressives, because they didn’t quite know where they stood, because they were well-meaning but unmeaning, disappeared into the Liberal party or were left at home in later elections by their electorates.  Some of them, especially in Manitoba, became known as Liberal-Progressives.  And new we have “Progressive Conservatives” and “Labor Progressives” as well.  That fine word “Progressives,” which seemed to hold such promise in 1921, must be said in our day to have acquired a certain smell.

In 1924 a few of the Progressives, who were determined to remain independent and not to succumb to the embraces of parties run from St. James St. or King St., broke away from the main Progressive body and formed an independent group which the newspapers nicknamed the Ginger Group.  Most of them were U.F.A. members from Alberta who insisted on their function as spokesmen of a distinct occupational group, the farmers, and who, like the labor members, were denounced by right-thinking people for introducing class distinctions into politics.  Mr. Woodsworth worked with them, and so did Agnes Macphail from Ontario.  They were the nucleus from which sprang the C.C.F. in 1932.  Ten years’ experience in parliament had shown them that it was perfectly possible for farmer and labor representatives to agree on every main issue that came up, and had confirmed the beliefs with which they entered public life that what was needed in Canada was not mere tinkering with tariffs or railway rates but a far-reaching change in the whole economic and social system.  By 1932 they were ready to commit themselves to the launching of a



party which was definitely socialist in its program.  Their socialism came not from any abstract philosophizing of their own nor from imported ready-made European philosophies, but from their practical experience in dealing with national Canadian problems in the post-war years.  And the Regina manifesto, in the language and in the substance of its program, was an expression of this fact.

The 1920’s and 1930’s, so far as Mr. Woodsworth’s parliamentary work was concerned, must often have seemed to be years of rather fruitless agitation.  Only this small minority of independent members survived to sit and vote with him.  The resolutions which he presented in the House were always voted down by big majorities and usually were discussed very inadequately by those majorities.  But we can see now that it was he who first advocated most of the social policies which with general consent we are just beginning to adopt today.  And he did in the earlier years achieve one concrete result.  In 1927 Old Age Pensions were adopted because of his pressure upon the leaders of the two old parties.

The first resolution which he drafted after his election in 1921 was one for unemployment insurance, which he was told by the Clerk of the House he could not move because only members of the government can make motions involving the expenditure of money by His Majesty’s government.  Steadily he kept pressing the question of the B.N.A. Act and of the obstacles which it presents to any advanced social-reform policy.  And just as steadily the Liberal government kept making the B.N.A. Act an excuse for doing nothing.  It was only at last in 1935 that Mr. Woodsworth



succeeded in getting a special committee appointed to examine our constitutional difficulties, and the report of that committee is one step in the sequence of events that led to the Rowell-Sirois Commission.  On foreign policy and international relations also it was likely to be Mr. Woodsworth, in any given session, who raised questions and forced some discussion in a very apathetic Commons.  It was he who became the chosen spokesman for working-class groups when they had some grievance which they wished to get before parliament and the public.  It was he who more than any other private member, after the depression came, kept calling the attention of the government to the plight of the poor and the unemployed.  And, in addition, he spent all the months between parliamentary sessions in missionary tours across the country speaking to all kinds of audiences in all kinds of assembly halls.

This work won for J. S. Woodsworth an acknowledges position as the chief private member of parliament.  His influence in the House and in the lobbies was far greater than any recorded votes would indicate.  More important, when the C.C.F. was founded in 1932, he was its inevitable leader.  He was known all across the country.  He and his farmer colleagues had learnt the technique of organized team-work in parliament and had found that they agreed on all major issues.  He was chosen leader of the new movement because of his acknowledged mastery of those issues.  In parliament and in the country at large he had built up a following who had come to accept his analysis of the problems facing Canada and who trusted without reserve his essential honesty of purpose.



The C.C.F. grew slowly but surely.  In the years when it seemed hardly to grow at all Mr. Woodsworth worked tirelessly at his missionary task of bringing social and economic realities before the Canadian people.  He did not go in for emotional rabble-rousing, he did not indulge in personal invective or in party manoeuvering.  Under his leadership his party won the reputation of sticking to the issues that were really important.  And today, now that he has gone, no one needs to be told what that has meant in the growth of popular support for the C.C.F.

In September, 1939, came the second world war.  Mr. Woodsworth refused to compromise with his life-long convictions, though he knew that he could not carry his party with him.  He stood up in parliament by himself and opposed our participation in the war.  Never was his hold on the respect of parliament, of opponents as well as of followers, so clearly shown as in the hearing which was given to this last great speech of his.

Then, shortly after, came the breakdown in his health, his enforced retirement from public activities, and finally, on the 21st of March, 1942, his death.  “After this it was noised abroad that Mr. Valiant-for-truth was taken with a Summons. … When he understood it, he called for his Friends, and told them of it.  Then said he, I am going to my Father’s, and tho with great Difficulty I am got hither, yet now I do not repeat me of all the Trouble I have been at to arrive where I am.  My Sword, I give to him that shall succeed me in my Pilgrimmage, and my Courage and Skill, to him that can get it. … So he passed over, and sall the Trumpets sounded for him on the other side.”

We are trying now to raise an Ontario memorial



to him.  Let us remember that the best way to perpetuate his memory is to cultivate those qualities for which he was distinguished — his moral courage, his wide social sympathies, his passion for truth, his intellectual pioneering.  The C.C.F. will remain his greatest work, and a special responsibility rests upon its leaders and its members to hold firm to the values which he cherished.  Politics by itself is apt to become an accursed profession — as it was once called by one of its most eminent English practitioners — for it involves so much competitive striving for personal and party success; and politicians are under a constant temptation to become so concentrated upon victory over the enemy — or even, alas, at times over their own friends — that the purpose of victory is forgotten.  The C.C.F. is still what Mr. Woodsworth left it, a movement devoted to social and economic change in the interests of the great mass of the plain common people.  Let us resolve to keep it a movement and to save it from sinking into being merely a party intent on collecting votes.  And one of the best ways to do that is to foster through this Woodsworth Foundation a vigorous program of imaginative social study and research, so that Woodsworth House may become a source of the same kind of inspiration as radiated from J. S. Woodsworth’s successive offices of church minister, social worker and member of parliament.



to him.  Let us remember that the best way to perpetuate his memory is to cultivate those qualities for which he was distinguished — his moral courage, his wide social sympathies, his passion for truth, his intellectual pioneering.  The C.C.F. will remain his greatest work, and a special responsibility rests upon its leaders and its members to hold firm to the values which he cherished.  Politics by itself is apt to become an accursed profession — as it was once called by one of its most eminent English practitioners — for it involves so much competitive striving for personal and party success; and politicians are under a constant temptation to become so concentrated upon victory over the enemy — or even, alas, at times over their own friends — that the purpose of victory is forgotten.  The C.C.F. is still what Mr. Woodsworth left it, a movement devoted to social and economic change in the interests of the great mass of the plain common people.  Let us resolve to keep it a movement and to save it from sinking into being merely a party intent on collecting votes.  And one of the best ways to do that is to foster through this Woodsworth Foundation a vigorous program of imaginative social study and research, so that Woodsworth House may become a source of the same kind of inspiration as radiated from J. S. Woodsworth’s successive offices of church minister, social worker and member of parliament.

From the Writings of
J. S. Woodsworth

Our Alien Immigrants

(From the University Magazine, Feb., 1917)

The coming of the immigrant has intensified and complicated the serious problems that would in any case have to be solved in a young and developing country … The transition from the agricultural to the industrial stage has not been easy in any country … and becomes very formidable indeed when the country is being settled by newcomers who have not even a common language … Undoubtedly the immigrant has thus helped to create our problems — as, it should not be forgotten, he has helped to create our wealth.  It is not so clearly realized that the immigrant must help to solve these problems and may indeed take a foremost place in the bringing in of a better day.  The immigrants bring better assets than we sometimes realize … The members of each nationality bring with them a rich and varied culture … Further, the immigrants are imbued with a reverence and a patriotism which we need in this new and commercialized country of ours … The problem after all is possibly not so much the problem of the immigrant as the problem of the Canadian.  We have in practice taken for granted that our standards were the only and final standards … More than missionaries we need interpreters — those who can mediate between the Canadian and the newcomer … “God has many bests,” as a wise teacher once put it.



The Business Man’s Psychology
(From On the Waterfront, written in 1918 or 1919)

A good deal of nonsense is often solemnly uttered by Socialist speakers and other working class advocates with regard to the “capitalist bunch.”  They are classified as bourgeois and petty bourgeois.  They are often depicted as a set of self-conscious hypocrites. … Now, as a matter of fact, most of these descriptions are second-hand, being borrowed from translations of European writers. … Our “middle class” occupies a very different position from what is known in Europe as the “middle class.”

In the background of the majority of the successful business men of Canada there is an old Eastern homestead.  The successful business man may lunch at a high-class club or occupy a box at the theatre or spend his vacations in Europe, but as a boy he “did the chores,” swam in the village millpond, cut his name in the desks of the little red school-house, and generally lived the all-round democratic life of a farmer’s boy. … The labor problem was confined to the hired man and the hired girl. … Flitting recollections of such a life pass before the half-shut eyes of the big business manager as he rests in his comfortable leather chair after a heavy day at the office.  In the nearer background of his consciousness is the life of the small town in which he experienced his early business struggles.  Here he married and set up his first home.  Here his children had measles and croup and he knew what it was to be on friendly terms with all sorts of neighbors.  In his business he called most of his employees by their first names and knew more or less of their personal affairs.  There were few poor in the town, and they were generally shiftless and addicted to



drink.  If a man didn’t make things go, it was more or less his own fault.  Organized labor was unknown and Socialism was unheard of.

Since our successful business man moved to the city and entered upon larger commercial and financial enterprises, the life has been very different.  The greatest change lies in his isolation from the common life about him.  His offices in the fine new warehouses are open only to employees of the highest rank.  He throws the responsibility for details upon managers and foremen. … At noon he lunches at an exclusive club with men of his own group and way of thinking.  He drives or is driven in his own car, so that he does not even rub shoulders with the strap-hangers in the street cars.  His home is in the best residential district. … His isolation is complete, his class-consciousness assured.

He is kind-hearted. … His early childhood and the village life gave him personal sympathy.  But he has had no personal experiences of the desperate struggles of modern industrial life, and no enlightenment with regard to modern methods of social service.  He will send a Christmas basket to a poor family at Christmas but he will fight valiantly against organized labor.  Again the key to his action lies in his own personal experiences with their limitations.  He thinks he knows the problems of labor because he knew his fathers’ hired man. … He fails to realize that just as his mahogany-finished office and beautiful residence differ widely from the old barn in which he forked hay or his little bedroom with the rag carpet, so an absolutely new world has grown up about him.

But is he not a leader in the new commercial and industrial life?  Undoubtedly; but he has seen life not as a series of human relationships, but



merely from the standpoint of dividends.  He thinks himself just.  He would not commit a vulgar theft.  He would not insult his neighbor’s wife.  He does not realize that he is the beneficiary of a system that is degrading womanhood and crushing out manhood.  Can he be made to understand?


The Business Man’s Psychology
At Bay:  On the Shores of the Last West
(From On the Waterfront)

The longshoremen of Vancouver are as varied in type as their previous occupation and place of residence. …

That “bunch” of men rolling the oil barrels — one is an ex-minister.  Years ago in an ancient university, while engaged in historical studies, he broke away from the orthodox evangelical positions.  He threw himself into all sorts of social service activities where, by slow degrees, he learned to trace the causes of social evil.  Then came the war.  Conventional religion and profiteering patriotism were seen in their true light.  He preferred the rough and uncertain road of freedom and followed the great adventure over the mountains to the land’s limit.*

His companion is a young Greek.  When but a child he fared forth to follow his ideal. … The new world beckoned him.  South America did not offer what he sought.  He came to Canada.  By slow stages he has crossed from the Atlantic to the Pacific.  He has engaged in every conceivable occupation and learned, alas, that in no country can he live up to his ideals.  Passionately devoted to his language, lighted by the wisdom of the ancient philosophers, he dreams of an international republic in which the idealized genius of Greece will find realization.

*  Clearly a description of J. S. Woodsworth himself.



Together these two deliver their oil barrel to a big Finn.  He has been through the fight for democracy in his own unhappy country.  Years ago, when he emigrated to New York, he had given his scanty savings to a Finnish professor to help start a Socialist newspaper.  In California he had been induced to join a co-operative colony on Malcolm Island.  The scheme had failed.  He will not travel further.  The shores of the Pacific afford standing ground for one more struggle for democracy.

From the cradle of the race civilization has moved westward.  Ever there has been an outlet to the West.  But now the circle is complete. … Men have fled before the system, but the system has overtaken them — it is crowding them into the sea.  As they awaken to the situation they are preparing with quiet determination not to trek but to stand. … These men represent the great army of Labor.  The war has carried us to the shore of the last West.  We stand at bay!


A Prayer
(Written for the Winnipeg Labor Church, 1920)

We meet together as brothers and sisters of the one big family.

We confess that we have not yet learned to live together in love and unity.  We have thought too much of our own interests and too little of the common welfare.  We have enjoyed and even sought special privileges.  Our own gain has often involved another’s loss.  We are heartily sorry for these, our misdoings; the memory of them is grievous unto us.

We acknowledge that we are still divided into alien groups separated from one another by barriers of language, race and nationality; by barriers of class and creed and custom.  May we



A Prayer
(Written for the Winnipeg Labor Church, 1920)

overcome prejudice.  May we seek to find common ground.  May we recognize the beauty in other types than our own.  As we claim that our own convictions should be respected, so may we respect the convictions of others.  May we grow in moral stature until we can join hands over the separating walls.  May we enter into the joy of a common fellowship.

We have learned how imperfect is our knowledge, how narrow our vision.  May we be willing to welcome truth from whatever source it comes.  May we endeavour to follow the truth at whatever cost.

We should remember that the things that are seen are temporal; that the things that are not seen are eternal.  May we judge things by their spiritual value.  May we estimate success by high standards and, in our own lives, reject the temptation of a low aim and easy attainment.

We would be wise in our sympathies and generous in our living.  If we have more than others, may we accept our heavier responsibilities.  We would extend to others that indulgence which we crave for ourselves.

We are grateful for the lives of all the wise and good who have made this world a better place in which to live.  May we enter into their spirit and carry forward their work.

We pledge ourselves to united effort in establishing on the earth an era of justice and truth and love.

May our faces be toward the future.  May we be children of the brighter and better day which even now is beginning to dawn.  May we not impede but rather co-operate with the great spiritual forces which, we believe, are impelling the world onward and upward.




What it is and what it proposes to do

ONTARIO WOODSWORTH MEMORIAL FOUNDATION was incorporated in October, 1944, under the laws of the Province of Ontario, as a corporation establishing an educational institution to teach and provide courses and research in the social sciences, economics, philosophy and kindred subjects.

The Foundation is empowered to accept gifts and donations for the above purposes, and generally to do all such things as are incidental or conducive to the attainment of these purposes.  It is to be carried on without the purpose of gain, and any profits or other accretions are to be used in promoting its objects.

The Foundation embodies an idea which was very dear to Mr. Woodsworth’s heart, and one of which he spoke many times.  He had hoped to see it take shape in his lifetime.  It was considered, therefore, that no more fitting form could be found for a memorial to his life and work.

At an inaugural dinner held in Toronto on October 7th, 1944, a campaign was launched to collect $25,000 for the purchase and equipment of a building in uptown Toronto to form the nucleus of a centre in which could be carried on the activities indicated in the Charter.  It was at this dinner that the address printed herewith was delivered.

The initial response to the appeal for funds was most encouraging, but as the first edition of



this booklet goes to press most of the money needed to reach the above objective is still to be raised.

It is hoped that rentals for the use of space in Woodsworth House by organizations fulfilling its purposes will make it self-sustaining.  It is also planned to collect a small annual sustaining fee from those who wish to become active members of the project.

It is intended, as circumstances and funds permit, to expand facilities by additions to the property, and ultimately to develop a fully staffed Labor College, where study of the social sciences, co-operative living and democratic leadership will be more completely organized.

Contributions in any amount will be welcomed from those who would like to have a part in establishing this memorial to a great Canadian, the keynote of whose life and ideas is so well expressed in the address printed in this booklet.

A subscription form will be found on the adjoining page.

All the proceeds from the sale of this booklet will go to the Foundation.



45 Castle Frank Crescent, Toronto, Ontario.

I desire to contribute to the establishment of an Ontario Memorial to the late James Shaver Woodsworth, to the amount of $_______, payable as follows:_______

Enclosed find Cheque_______ for $_______
Money Order

NAME (Mr. Mrs., Miss) ___________________________________
ADDRESS _________________________________________________


Praxis Exposed!  Your Money, Their Revolution

Category: Historical Reprints.
Source: Straight Talk! The Official Bulletin Of The Edmund Burke Society.
Editor: F. Paul Fromm
Associate Editor: Jeff Goodall
Volume III Number 5, January-February 1971
The Edmund Burke Society is a conservative organization unaffiliated with any political party. We are dedicated to the principles of individual freedom and responsibility, free enterprise and firm ACTION against all tyrannies, especially Communism and all its manifestations in Canada and abroad.

The E.B.S. is financed mainly through small donations from generous Canadians. Straight Talk! is produced by voluntary labour.

[Ed. NSIM:] The graphic title is from the front cover of this edition of Straight Talk!.

Paul Fromm’s Introduction to “Praxis Exposed” (from page 2)


This month STRAIGHT TALK! is proud to publish a work that has taken three months to research.  Jaanus Proos wrote it; but, a dozen E.B.S. members were involved in gathering the information.  Further exposes on related topics will follow.  The article I refer to is PRAXIS EXPOSED (page 9).  This article analyzes the men in the $200.00 suits and how they work.  It discusses pressure from the academic elite and the government at the top and pressure from the bums at the bottom to soak the productive middle and working class.  The name of the game is power.  The method tax-payer subsidized revolution and agitation.  Our name for it — treason!  Treason to the ideals of hard work, individual responsibility, and economic freedom that characterize our Western Civilization.

Yes, I said that this article would cheer you up.  I meant it in a grim and ironic sense.  As we go to press, you will be pleased to know that Health Minister, John Munro, has given away $104,000.00 of YOUR money to the Hamilton Welfare Rights Organization.  This group has occupied a section of the Hamilton Welfare office and set up a “counselling table.”  Seemingly members of this group and affiliated drones have harassed welfare officials; tossed a knife at one woman official; broken doors, windows, and chairs at the welfare office; and fired a bullet through the office window.  An official of the Canadian Union of Public Employees, Local 167, has demanded a city policeman to protect the welfare workers from the militant parasites.  And guess who is spokesperson for the Hamilton Welfare Rights Organization?  William Freaman, “a social worker and McMaster University graduate student, who ran unsuccessfully on the N.D.P. municipal slate last December.”  (TELEGRAM, p. 6, February 4, 1971).  Once again we see it:  pressure from the academic and political people-planners to [incite] the rabble to further despoil the working backbone of this country.  But, smile bravely as you fill out your income tax form.  The people planners, the parasites, and the academics need you:  YOU’RE THEIR MEAL TICKET!

— F. Paul Fromm


Praxis Exposed!  Your Money, Their Revolution

by Jaanus Proos


Praxis Exposed! Your Money, Their Revolution

Praxis Exposed! Your Money, Their Revolution

This article is presented to enable the reader to effectively comprehend an important aspect of the socialist threat to the values of individual freedom and responsibility, to the very values which have created, in Canada, one of history’s best examples of political freedom combined with general national economic affluence.  The primary prerequisite for any understanding of this threat is the realization that it does not come from the easily identifiable rabble in the streets exclusively, with their sitting-in at the university or manpower office, or throwing paint at the US Consulate.  They would constitute a negligible threat, were it not for their access to public funds and to persons with political power.  Their infantile romanticism blinds them to the fact that the basically conservative Canadian public will not respond to slogans berating American imperialism and capitalist exploitation; the “wise socialist”, on the other hand, knows that the public can be duped, by means of the indirect Fabian approach, into supporting socialist programs under the guise of fighting social injustice.

At this point, let us consider the men in the two hundred dollar suits who bankroll, propagandize, and manipulate the rabble in the streets in the interests of their Utopian socialist pipe-dreams and personal aspirations for power and influence.  They seldom label themselves socialists; they are never found wearing a red armband, throwing themselves against a line of police, inhabiting Rochdale’s l4th floor commune, or even speaking out of order at a public forum.  They are more likely to cluster around the university faculty club, and to find their natural habitat in Rosedale or Forest Hill.  Their first concern is to maintain a low profile of visibility in their behind-the-scenes activity.  They squirm and bleat the loudest when exposed, as we saw in the childish hysteria displayed by some of the executive officers of the Praxis Corporation toward Peter Worthington for his TELEGRAM articles exposing Praxis to non-readers of STRAIGHT TALK! (November 25th and 26th, 1970).

The tactic followed, in short, is the classic one embodying the pincer effect of pressure from the top manipulating pressure from below, to wipe out the productive middle, by means of economic and political strangulation.

This strategy was used most successfully in imposing Communist totalitarian rule in Czecho-Slovakia, and has been graphically described by Communist theoretician Jan Kozak in his book, AND NOT A SHOT IS FIRED.

Why this conspiracy against the middle class?  Why this effort to render it economically and politically impotent?  Primarily because the free man is not amenable to state planning.  The agents of this pressure from the top in the Toronto area are mainly organized in the Praxis Corporation.  Herein follows a systematic examination of the structure, personalities, financing, theories and purposes behind Praxis, complete with an analysis of how only the socialist politicians on the federal level, and to a lesser extent, on the municipal level, stand to gain.  The small independent entrepreneur, the backbone of the economic freedom manifested in a free enterprise economy, without which political freedom becomes extremely problematical, would, on the other hand, be very much on the losing end.

What Is Praxis?

Praxis is a private corporation, founded in 1968 by a like-minded crew of about a dozen leftist academics roosting on the faculties of the Universities of York and Toronto.  Praxis’ books concerning its governing structure are open to the inspection of the public at the Office of the Provincial Secretary.  By means of incorporation, Praxis achieves the status of a non-profit charity, enabling it to receive tax-deductible donations from individuals and organizations, as well as government grants.  Praxis refers to itself rather high-mindedly as a “Research Institute for Social Change”.  A nervous voice on its telephone line stuttered to this reporter that the word Praxis is an Aristotelian term denoting the combination of theory and practice.  Now installed in Room 209 at Rochdale College, Praxis used to be housed in a house at 373 Huron St., about half a block south of Rochdale.  The house used to be owned by the Anglican Church, which turned it over, rent free, to Praxis.  However, when the house was acquired by the U. of T., Praxis claimed to be paying a rent of $100.00 a month, which means that the rent of the building was partly subsidized by the taxpayer (you cannot rent a one-bedroom apartment in downtown Toronto for under $125.00, let alone a whole house).  Until recently, the building was shared by the tear-jerking parasites of the Just Society, which now operates out of 392 St. George St. and 931 College Street.  The building was still being shared, however, by the Women’s Liberation Movement, the SSSOC (Stop Spadina, Save Our City Coordinating Committee — if you can stomach that sanctimonious title) and the Metro Tenants Association, the vast majority of whose members do NOT LIVE IN REGENTS PARK OR MOSS PARK or any other subsidized housing project, but who live in $250.00-a-month swinger apartments which you or I couldn’t afford. 1

On December 18th last, a fire destroyed 575 Huron St., beyond repair.  Not too surprisingly, a group such as Praxis, which was so politically unsophisticated as to keep all their files in one place making them vulnerable to destruction in a single fire, reacted in an unsophisticated manner.  At a press conference, a Praxis spokesman childishly flailed away at the atmosphere of “hate” generated by Peter Worthington’s articles in the TELEGRAM which, he said, might “possibly” have encouraged “some East European rightist group” to start the fire, which is the gutless liberal’s way of saying, “them Burkers done it”, just short of being hauled into court to prove it.  Ironic, is it not, that the fire should so upset these fellows, who spend considerable energy defending the inalienable right of every revolutionary to burn, loot, and steal to his underprivileged, oppressed, and frustrated heart’s content?

Who Is Behind Praxis?

An incomplete, though thoroughly researched list of the original founding members of Praxis includes the illustrious names of Professor Stephen Clarkson, U. of T., Professor Howard Adelman, York University, Prof. Charles Hanly, U. of T., Jane Jacobs, American import and self-styled expert on the Spadina Expressway, Prof. Meyer Brownstone, U. of T., Prof. Peter Russell 1, U. of T., (presently in Uganda), Prof. Ian Burton, U. of T., Prof. F. Griffiths, U. of T., Robert Wright, of the law firm of Lang, Michener, Cranston, Farquharson & Wright, Colin Vaughan, of the architectural firm of Robbie, Vaughan & Williams, and George Montague, an investment banker (i.e., international banker) working out of that “symbol of wealth and power” (Cf. leaflet for the “National Day of Protest”, January 25th last), the Toronto Dominion Centre.

Now, it takes an I.Q. of five to discern a remarkably consistent characteristic among these socially-conscious “beautiful people”, supposedly fighting for worker control, for community control, and for “poor people power”:  not one is a worker; not one resides in a low income neighbourhood; not one sends his children to a slum school; and not one draws anything less than a five-figure salary, and, in most cases (from the number of professors of political economy involved) they are on the receiving end of the taxpayers’ money, brainwashing impressionable students with their leftist bias, while contributing nothing of a productive nature to the economy.

Some of these founding members have since drifted toward the periphery of Praxis, while a more militant hard core has emerged.  Another familiar leftist pattern is evident in the extensive overlapping membership of Praxis, the Woodsworth Foundation, Stop Spadina, the Just Society, the Toronto Women’s Caucus, and the Metro Tenants’ Association.  However, the familiar pattern persists:  that of an exclusively upper-class membership, usually in unproductive tax-subsidized jobs, as Praxis attracts university professors, CBC employees, social workers, sociologists, as well as a very small percentage of businessmen.  An expose of some of the leading lights in Praxis is nevertheless in order:

HOWARD BUCHBINDER:  321 Lonsdale Ave.  This recent import from the US has been employed by Praxis almost from the start, to apply his knowledge of the American experience to the Canadian situation (so much for the clamor for “Canadian content” on the local left!).  He played perhaps the major role in turning the Metro Social Planning Council into the Socialist Planning Council.  This advisory body was emasculated and taken over by Praxis by the simple device of taking out mass memberships just before the elections, and then stacking the election meeting.  As a result, the Social Planning Council’s 35-member Executive has become totally radicalized and infested with a Who’s Who of Praxis.  Buchbinder is now on the payroll as Executive Secretary.  Since the Council is subsidized by the United Appeal, Buchbinder finds himself in the familiar position of leeching off the public dollar.

Shortly after arriving in Canada, Buchbinder was on the receiving end of a $47,000.00 grant from the DAILY STAR to study the poor and oppressed.  Now, if the Star management really wants to study oppression, all it needs to do is to step outside its own front door and talk to the three picketers (limited to three by a nasty, oppressive court injunction) from the International Typographical Union, who were thrown out of work back in 1964, when the STAR reneged on all the points it had previously agreed to in collective bargaining negotiations and brought in US scabs.  Apparently the STAR can afford to throw away $47,000.00 to Buchbinder, as well as the flashy new high-rise at 1 Yonge St., but cannot bring itself to bargain in good faith with its unionized employees.

The STAR can always be counted upon, nevertheless, to champion the cause of labor in its pages, and to give front page prominence to the latest blackmail threat emanating from the mouth of some overpaid sponge on the National Council on Welfare, comfortably installed in its plush, tax-subsidized office in Ottawa’s Brooke Claxton Building, to the effect that the poor will surely revolt if the taxpayer doesn’t cough up more goodies for them.

Only the gullibility and myopia of the public permits the STAR to get away with it.  Buchbinder has found a further tap on the public purse through his employment as an “outside consultant” to John Munro’s Department of National Health and Welfare.  Further, Buchbinder has received $4,000.00 to evaluate the spending of Federal funds on Digger House, a half-way house for Toronto’s hippie parasites on Hazleton Avenue.  By the merest coincidence (?) Buchbinder is listed as an advisor to Digger House.

According to Peter Worthington, Buchbinder receives $7,500.00 from McMaster University in Hamilton as a part-time lecturer.  Since a full-time lecturer rarely lectures over six hours a week, one is left wondering what a part-time lecturer does.  As a consultant to the Federal Government, Buchbinder makes his services available for the modest fee of $200.00 a day.  Nevertheless, we are supposed to believe that Buchbinder has forsaken the US, moved into the heart of the exclusive, upper crust district of Forest Hill out of a feeling for the “powerlessness and frustration experienced by people who attempt to have some control over the content of their lives” (Cf. Praxis letter to the TELEGRAM, December 1970).  Certainly, Buchbinder has come a long way in overcoming his own feeling of powerlessness, largely at the expense of your tax dollar.

FERRY (alias GERRY) HUNNIUS, 27 McMaster Avenue:  According to the Stockholm Estonian-language paper, EESTI PAEVALEHT (December 11, 1970), Ferry Hunnius (born in Tallinn in 1925) is the spoiled son of a rich German-Estonian landowner.  An uncle of his apparently died in a Siberian slave labour camp.  Hunnius first made a name for himself as program director and Soviet Affairs Specialist for the Asian Studies Group at Montreal’s Sir George Williams University, which is linked to the notorious Institute of Pacific Relations.

IPR has been thoroughly unmasked by the US Internal Security Subcommittee as the Red-dominated organization responsible for the sabotaging of US foreign policy against CHIANG Kai-shek and facilitating the Maoist takeover of mainland China.  Subsequently, the IPR, with Owen Lattimore and company migrated, at your expense, to the University of British Columbia.

Hunnius’ activity continued within “pacifist” movements of the “ban the bomb” sort (ours, not the Soviets’, of course) culminating in his attendance in Moscow in 1962, in his capacity as National Secretary of the Canadian Committee for Nuclear Disarmament, at the World Congress for General Disarmament and Peace, sponsored by the Red front, the World Peace Council.  He was concurrently editor of the radical rag, OUR GENERATION, and working with the War Resisters International, operating out of 3934 rue St. Urbain in Montréal, run by veteran Red, Danny Daniels.

In 1963 Hunnius was involved in the Canadian Peace Research Institute (yes, we know Trudeau and Pelletier were on its Executive!).  In 1968, Hunnius helped to organize a world “pacifist” conference in Ljubljana, Yugoslavia, and in the same year was employed as a consultant for the Company of Young Canadians in British Columbia.  In 1969, he was involved with the Rochdale Play School (what else?).

Hunnius‘ ideal of decentralized worker-control of industry is Yugoslavia, from whence he has recently returned, presumably to apply the Yugoslav model to Canada2

(Every year Red dictator Tito turns loose 100,000 people throughout Western Europe to find the employment he cannot provide them at home, with their families carefully kept behind in Yugoslavia as hostages.)  Again we are supposed to believe that Ferry Hunnius’ sole concern is with bettering the lot of the poor people of Toronto.

Stephen Clarkson

Listed as Executive President of Praxis is U. of T. Political Science professor Stephen Clarkson, former Liberal Party candidate for Mayor of Toronto.  Like the innumerable Fabian socialists who have taken over the federal Liberals, Clarkson realizes that he can effect social change, not by honestly joining the New Democratic Party, but by adopting the much more respectable Liberal Party label.  Clarkson has attempted, therefore, to keep his presidency of Praxis out of public view.  His most recent contribution to rational democratic decision-making was the threat that there would be violence if the Spadina Expressway was built.  One finds it hard to conceive of the good professor leaving his Powell Ave. home, tucked away among the $100,000.00 mansions in the bottom of Rosedale, to toss his carcass in front of a bulldozer, though he probably wouldn’t mind being the spokesman, after some suckers like his brainwashed students tried it.  From this power-hungry political incompetent who spent $15,000.00 of his own money in the last mayoralty contest attempting to portray himself as the candidate of the “beautiful people” of young Toronto, there has metamorphosed, apparently, an advocate of “poor people power”.  Now, if Clarkson was really interested in helping the poor, he could have passed out that $15,000.00 in front of the Unemployment Office at Jarvis and Dundas Sts., or he could try serving soup for the Salvation Army or the Scott Mission.  However, the motto of the Scott Mission is “Feed the Poor and Preach the Gospel”, and that just wouldn’t do, not when the cause of poverty is capitalistic.

Listed as the Treasurer of Praxis is U. of T. Political Economy Professor, Abraham Rotstein (102 Admiral Rd.) (1 Highland Ave., Rosedale).  A short word is in order re Mr. Adelman, whose major concern recently has been “student” housing, if one may thus describe Rochdale College, that 18-storey combination pig pen and play pen for “flower children”, drug freaks and assorted revolutionaries.  Rochdale would be nothing more than part of a drug-sodden hippie’s psychotic fantasy, had it not been for men like Adelman, together with the federal politicians behind the Central Mortgage and Housing Corporation, who, in the midst of an acute housing shortage, saw to the financing of 90% of the cost of Rochdale from the taxpayer’s dollar.

This year’s acting President of Praxis is U. of T. Professor Meyer Brownstone, 57 Poplar Plains Road.  Having been Deputy Minister of Municipal Affairs from 1960 to 1964 in the socialist Cooperative Commonwealth Federation [CCF] cabinet of T.C. Douglas in Saskatchewan, Mr. Brownstone should know all about poverty and unemployment and the abject failure of socialism.  In 1960, in the midst of a wheat boom, Saskatchewan had a staggering 30,000 urban workers unemployed.  When free enterprise was restored to Saskatchewan through the defeat of the CCF at the polls in 1964, the exodus of unemployed socialist politicians [and] civil servants hitting the road for Ottawa was on.  Led by Alvin Johnson, now one of the most powerful men in Canada, dozens of these socialists found a new home in top-level positions in the federal bureaucracy, under the auspices of the federal Liberal Party.  Brownstone, however, could do no better than a cushy berth on the public payroll with the Royal Commission on Bilingualism and Biculturalism.  Among his other notable achievements is a recent term of service on behalf of the pro-Red régime of Dictator Julius Nyerere of Tanzania.

How Your Tax Dollar Bankrolls Praxis

The backbone of the Praxis budget is a $68,000.00 grant from the Central Mortgage and Housing Corporation, in Ottawa.  With this handout, Praxis has been commissioned to do an 18-month study of the organization and structure of lower income groups seeking social change; in other words, $68,000.00 to study the Just Society, “Welfare Rights”, and the other groups which shared the same address with Praxis before the fire of December 18th.  Of this amount, $30,000.00 is to go to two or three researchers, $15,000.00 to a research assistant, and $8,500.00 to a secretary, to concoct a totally predictable doctrinaire socialist manifesto lamenting “the lack of control over our lives”, a manifesto which could just as well be written now.  By thus leeching off the public dollar, and having no one to answer to regarding the quality of their propaganda, the gentlemen of Praxis have a distinct built-in advantage over the productive worker, who must put in a 40-hour week, while they are available at any hour of the day to petition City Hall, lead a protest delegation, write a brief, seek funds, make contacts in the mass media, etc.

It was also a federal initiative, this time engineered through the National Council on Welfare (12 handpicked stooges, led by Reuben Baetz), constituted as an “advisory body” to the federal Department of National Health & Welfare, which set up and financed the farce known as the Poor People’s Conference, held at Toronto’s expensive Lord Simcoe Hotel from January 6th to 8th.  To get 102 groups to send representatives, Praxis was hired as organizer, at a fee of $5,000.00 (that’s $50.00 in postage stamps for each group); $6,000.00 was spent on two organizational meetings, and $51,000.00 on the conference itself.  Again public funds poured in, to the tune of $10,000.00 from the CMHC, $5,000.00 from the Citizenship Branch of the Office of the Secretary of State, and $2,000.00 from the Indian Affairs Branch. Naturally, the so-called “poor people” wanted jobs, not handouts (but they will continue to take the handouts just the same).

Ironically, the conference produced much talk about human dignity; yet, totally devoid of any dignity is the man who will go around proclaiming himself “poor people”, and who will permit himself to be used as a puppet to serve the self-centered ends of his manipulators:  opportunist socialist politicians seeking greater bureaucracy (hence more personal power), welfare bosses seeking a larger welfare empire (hence more personal power), and political science professors, fuzzy-minded, effete intellectual snobs of no redeemable economic value, seeking a guiding role in the vanguard of the rising oppressed masses (hence more personal power).

A certain degree of sincerity in their dedication to underdoggery makes them all the more dangerous.  As for the conference itself, EBS members, associates and allies attended almost all the seminars and general sessions.  Since the conference was transparently staged mainly to serve as a catalyst rallying point for organized nationwide radicalism, in our next issue we shall take a good hard look at the sinister network of groups which has emerged from it, as well as their anti-civic activity.

Space limitations do not permit us, in this present article, to launch upon a serious discussion of a rational, realistic theory of social welfare and the forms it might take.  Suffice it to say that, if this nation is to reverse the drift toward socialist authoritarianism, the basic, guiding principle of a national public assistance program, with regard to those physically and mentally capable of working, should be that of its own abolition, by reason of the need for its existence having been removed.  Today, alas, welfare is becoming nothing more than a political football, for buying votes at election time.

The poorest of our poor still live more expansively than the sable aristocracy of Uganda.  It is still virtually impossible to get a taxicab in Toronto’s Cabbagetown on the day the welfare cheques arrive — they are all lined up outside the liquor stores at Queen and River Sts., and at Gerrard and Ontario Streets.

The theory which Praxis is financed to propagate is that poverty in Canada is the fault of the social structure, not of the individual.  No revolution is possible if the individual is taught that he is responsible for himself.  Only when he has been indoctrinated to believe that government owes him a living, will he be able to shift the blame and strike out at the social structure, when he lacks instant gratification of his desires.  Welfare in turn, compounds the malaise by destroying the initiative of the recipient to seek work, as well as undermining the initiative of the producer who must pay exorbitant taxes to prop up the welfare system.  The day the unproductive outnumber the producers is fast approaching, as a result of the abject failure of the socialist economics practiced by Canada and the United States.

Praxis’ constant message to the public is “give all power to the government, and then we shall have people power and participatory democracy”.

A world littered with the débris of socialist failures seems to make no impression on these idealists. We in the EBS maintain that being on one’s knees before the government is not the posture of a free man. The day when poverty will be unequivocally the fault of a socialist state, and not the individual, is approaching far too rapidly to justify the silence and acquiescence of any of us.

* * * * *

– 30 –

NSIM Editor’s Notes

1  Professor Peter Russell was the first to rubber-stamp — well, the first after Mrs. Windsor, anyway — Pierre Elliott Trudeau’s Marxist constitution which he imposed on Canada in 1982 disguised as “patriation”.*  In a surprisingly candid reflection in his article “Constitutional Reform of the Canadian Judiciary” in the Alberta Law Review of 1969 (7 Alta. L. Rev. 103 (1969), Professor Peter Russell declares the very obvious basis on which that coup was pulled off:

“The opening phrase of the American Constitution, “We the people of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union …” provides the main clue to the basic difference between the status and role of the written constitution in our two countries.  Granted there is an element of political mythology in those initial words of the U.S. Constitution, but still it is a mythology WITH VERY REAL ROOTS in the AMERICAN POLITICAL CULTURE.  For certainly the United States’ Constitution is much more a product and a possession of the POPULAR political conscience of that country than is the B.N.A. Act, with its colonial origins and Imperial trappings, of ours.  In practical terms this means that in Canada THERE IS AN INSUFFICIENT COMMON UNDERSTANDING — at the political level — of the CONTENT and PURPOSE of the important provisions of the Constitution, with the RESULT that ALMOST ANYTHING GOES BECAUSE FEW PEOPLE KNOW.”

— Emphases added by NSIM.

The “few who know” are obviously the Socialists, like Russell himself, who have taken full advantage of our apparently well known ignorance to cuckold us with a Marxist-Leninist overthrow of Confederation.  (See the next footnotes.)

* Russell’s rubber-stamp is here:  The Court and the Constitution, Comments on the Supreme Court Reference on Constitutional Amendment, By Peter Russell, Robert Décary, William Lederman, Noel Lyon, Dan Soberman, Institute of Governmental Relations, Queen’s University, Kingston, 1982, ISBN 0-88911-034-4 (paper); ISBN 0-88911-035-2 (cloth).  Nota Bene, my copy of this document is a PDF provided to me by Queens via email.  As to the Marxist constitution we were given in 1982, my research indicates that the 1982 “Charter” is based on a decree of Stalin and Lenin at the time of the 1917 Bolshevik Revolution.

2 Right you are, Jaanus Proos!  Alan Stang, in his April 1971 article in American Opinion entitled “CANADA How The Communists Took Control“, sums up Praxis:

“In other words, Praxis is what the Communists call an “agit-prop” outfit (agitation and propaganda), egging people on to Marxist revolution.”

In the same article, Stang highlights a typical Hunnius-Praxis initiative:

“For instance, in March, 1970, Praxis had run another conference, on “industrial democracy,” at which Gerry Hunnius, who runs Praxis, said workers should “control the means and processes of production.”  What that means, said Hunnius, is this:  “It should be obvious that a fully operational system of workers’ self-management cannot operate within a Capitalist system ….”

No, it cannot.  More importantly:  if you give the factories to the workers, you thus eliminate free enterprise; and if you have given the government to Big Business and their sponsors the international bankers, you have the ultimate cartel, with zero competition.  Therefore, socialism is an elite tool to corner all the markets.

Stang then underscores:

“In October, 1970, Praxis had run still another Conference — this one on “Workers’ Control and Community Control” — at which a demand was made to destroy Capitalism by revolution.  Capitalism would be replaced by “radical Socialism.”  Confrontation is obsolete, the conferees were told.  What they should do now is “infiltrate,” and, like “microbes,” destroy Canada from within.”

The same Professor Russell, still with the University of Toronto in 1999, co-authored an “academic” article advocating that

“If the sovereigntists [they’re Communists] win another referendum in Quebec, the terms of Quebec’s accession to sovereignty should be negotiated and ratified under the existing rules for amending the Canadian Constitution  […].”

— Abstract, Bruce Ryder (Osgoode) and Peter Russell (U. of T.), “Ratifying a Post-Referendum Agreement on Quebec Sovereignty” in The Referendum PapersEssays on Secession and National Unity, David Cameron ed., Toronto:  University of Toronto Press, 1999. Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=1742100.

That so-called “Canadian Constitution” would be the illegal coup d’état misnamed “patriation” which Russell helped Trudeau to put into place. [For more, see “Patriation and Legitimacy of the Canadian Constitution“, the 1982 Cronkite Lectures, in which one of the chief coup culprits who aided Trudeau, confesses.]

If indeed the “rest of Canada” were to allow the “negotiations” called for with Quebec, as Russell and Ryder both propose, Quebec would become a Communist banana republic on the model of the former Yugoslavia, with self-managed worker factories of the kind espoused by Ferry Hunnius for Praxis, a Marxist agit-prop front which was equally the home of Socialist, Peter Russell.

Are we connecting the dots yet?

A socialist takeover of our academic institutions, of the law journals, of the Province of Quebec, of the Federal “government” (the two latter being both “sides” in the planned “negotiations”), … — and other provinces as well:  the Mike Harris government of Ontario was a complete Red sell-out — the whole to engineer the conversion of all of Canada to a string of banana republics, on a “Yes” in Quebec, using the 1982 “amending formulae” of the Marxist “coup” constitution rubber-stamped by Russell to forcibly restructure Quebec and the whole country to the Yugoslav system favored by Hunnius in the desired “negotiations”.

The fly in the socialist ointment, however, happens to be the temporal (i.e., prospective) character of the Rule of Law.  That which is forbidden by the lawful Constitution of 1867, the BNA Act, cannot be done, including using the front of “constitutional amendment” to seem to authorize what the Constitution forbids.  It forbids, first, replacing itself with any other constitution, as was nonetheless done in 1982; second, it forbids dismantling Canada by “secession”; third, it forbids annexing Canada to the USA (and Mexico) — for example — in a North American Soviet regional union.

That insight links directly to my next footnote:

3  Precisely the Yugoslav self-managed model is at the core of the 1972 manifesto of the Parti Québécois for a Communist State of Quebec, entitled Quand nous serons vraiment chez nous (translation:  When we will be truly at home).  Which means that French-Canadians in Quebec will never be “truly at home” until they adopt third-world, banana-republic, Tito-style, Yugoslav-style, self-managed factory-worker Communism.  See the Free Downloads tab, top menu, to get your free copy of that Manifesto.  Read the 1972 CBC Radio talk-show translation first, discussing it, in particular where invited guest and Marxist sociologist, Narcisso (Narciso) Pizarro, speaks:

[UN INVITÉ (doit être Narcisso PIZARRO):]

D’un autre côté, une inspiration dans le modèle Yugoslav — c’est-à-dire par­ti­ci­pa­tion, co-gestion, auto-gestion. Euh — […]

[A GUEST (must be Narcisso PIZARRO):]

In another aspect, inspiration in the Yugoslav model:* which is to say participation, co-management, self-management. Uh —


Did Radicals Aim to Overthrow Government?

Category”  Historical Reprints
Source:  The Winnipeg Free Press
Date:  “Did Radicals Aim to Overthrow Government?“, Thursday, January 27th, 1977.  Front Page and Page 4.
Unsigned Editorial


This article in The Winnipeg Free Press of 27 January 1977 is careful to exclude most names of individuals and of the “radical” organization subject of Solicitor-General Jean-Pierre Goyer’s “letter” “warning” government departments of subversive activities.^nbsp; However, the reference to a $68,000 federal-government grant to the “radical group” by Central Mortgage and Housing Corporation, identifies the unnamed radical organization working to overthrow the government of Canada as Praxis Corporation, also then known as the “Research Institute for Social Change”.

One name the WFP does reveal is that of Walter Rudnicki, described by the WFP as “policy planning director of Central Mortgage and Housing Corp”.  That raises my question, was Rudnicki responsible for the CMHC award to Praxis of the $68,000, its main operating budget?

The question is important because just prior to Rudnicki’s employment with the CMHC, he was an official in the Privy Council Office of Canada which conducts research to advise the Prime Minister.

Rudnicki’s official biography (a short one, to cover his personal and professional archives on file with the University of Manitoba in Winnipeg, describes his positions with the PCO and then the CMHC this way:

“Rudnicki also worked within government as Secretary of the Social Policy Committee, in the Privy Council Office (PCO), and as a senior policy advisor for Cabinet Minister Robert Andras (1968-1970).  In 1969 he left the PCO and became the Executive Director of the Central Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) and advised the Minister on housing and urban development.”

Why did Solicitor-General Jean-Pierre Goyer decide to blow the whistle, naming some twenty-one individuals as likely “radicals” (subversives) involved in a plot at Praxis to overthrow the government of Canada?  The question is important, because, as American anticommunist Alan Stang reveals in the April 1971 issue of American Opinion, Jean-Pierre Goyer himself was a communist.  Said Stang:

Another thing you need if you are imposing a dictatorship is control of the police.  In Canada, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police are controlled by the Solicitor-General.  So Trudeau made Jean-Pierre Goyer the Solicitor-General — when Parliament was not in session and could not question him.  Goyer, it goes without saying, was a regular contributor to Cité Libre.  Isn’t everybody? He was once arrested for staging a sit-in outside the office of the Premier of Quebec.  He has been involved in several pro-Communist fronts.  And he has attended Communist meetings behind the Iron Curtain.  Like his friend Trudeau, he is a revolutionary.

This is the man now running the national police of Canada.

In the same long article, in a section headed “The Poor War Revolution”, Stang also talks about Praxis.  He says, “Praxis is what the Communists call an “agit-prop” outfit (agitation and propaganda), egging people on to Marxist revolution.”

The Poor People’s Conference run by Praxis had been financed by the federal government of Pierre Elliott Trudeau through funds contributed by Trudeau’s Minister of Health and Welfare John Munro, through such federal agencies as the National Council of Welfare.

Stang quotes from a speech by Alex Bandy to the Poor People’s Conference run by Jerry [Ferry] Hunnius via Praxis:

“… The way Munro tells it, the government is really, secretly, on our side.  It’s everybody else who is against us and that’s why the government can’t help us.  So, the master plan is to give us money to organize and demonstrate and win popular support, then the government will move ….”  [Emphases added.]

Obviously, the de facto federal government of Pierre Elliott Trudeau was not at all hostile to Praxis Corporation.

Stang describes the kind of “social change” that Praxis “radicals” were working for:

… in March, 1970, Praxis had run another conference, on “industrial democracy,” at which Gerry Hunnius, who runs Praxis, said workers should “control the means and processes of production.”  What that means, said Hunnius, is this:  “It should be obvious that a fully operational system of workers’ self-management cannot operate within a Capitalist system …. ”

In October, 1970, Praxis had run still another Conference — this one on “Workers’ Control and Community Control” — at which a demand was made to destroy Capitalism by revolution.  Capitalism would be replaced by “radical Socialism.”  Confrontation is obsolete, the conferees were told.  What they should do now is “infiltrate,” and, like “microbes,” destroy Canada from within.”

Furthermore, Stang links Hunnius to Pierre Elliott Trudeau:

It is interesting to note that in 1962, Gerry Hunnius, who runs Praxis, which ran the Conference Pierre paid for, was in Moscow at the World Congress for General Disarmament and Peace, sponsored by the Communist World Peace Council – which had sponsored Trudeau’s trip to Moscow ten years before.  In 1963, Hunnius went to work as European representative of the Canadian Peace Research Institute, which the Canada Council supports with public funds — and two directors of which, at one time, were Trudeau and Pelletier.  Another director, named in 1962, was Communist Jean-Louis Gagnon.  [Emphases added.]

Which brings us full-circle to our equally Communist Solicitor-General, and back to my question, why would Jean-Pierre Goyer (appointed by Trudeau “when Parliament was not in session and could not question him” said Stang) “blow the whistle” on the radicals at Praxis?  Goyer himself, like Pierre Elliott Trudeau and Jean-Louis Gagnon are penetrated Communists working “like microbes” to “destroy Canada” … for the Yugoslav system of Communist “worker control” or “industrial democracy”.

According to my original research, the Trudeau objective is excactly the Praxis objective:  Yugoslav-style Communist “Worker Control”, aka “industrial democracy” of the kind practiced under Marshall Tito.  That information comes from a reading of the 1972 manifesto of the Parti Québécois for a Communist state of Quebec — which I have translated into English — together with a 1972 Radio-Canada transcript and audio tape — which I have also translated into English — in which the manifesto is identified as calling for Yugoslav-style Communism for Quebec.

For a free download of the 1972 manifesto and the radio show in one zip file, see the Download button on the top menu.

Furthermore, the Parti Québécois was set up by Lévesque (1967-1968) on orders of Trudeau and other embedded Reds under Soviet Agent Lester Bowles Pearson.  That news emerges from a 1967 dispatch of American CIA agent Edward C. Bittner, then stationed in Ottawa; confirmed by Jean-François Lisée (a main PQ strategist and prolific author of state-funded political pot-boilers) in circa 1990 by interviews with parties mentioned in the dispatch.  The Bittner dispatch, said Lisée, revealed the existence of a “secret committee” of “Liberals”  most being cabinet ministers from Quebec in the Lester Pearson federal government.  On the committee were Pierre Elliott Trudeau, Jean Marchand, Maurice Sauvé and others  [translation]:

“the Committee encouraged René Lévesque and his sympathisers within and outside the Liberal Party of Québec to set up a distinct party, which would be soundly defeated in an electoral showdown.”  [Emphasis added.]

“Electoral” meaning “referendum”.  And thus we have the true source of our Quebec “independence” or “sovereignty” referendums.

Obviously, the “radicals'” plan to penetrate and destroy Canada “like microbes” had long been well under way at the federal level.  Lester Bowles Pearson was in fact a Soviet agent, exposed in the U.S. McCarran hearings and to the FBI by defecting GRU Elizabeth Bentley (formerly with Soviet military intelligence).

Jean-François Lisée — a known Communist — is now the elected leader of the Communist PQ [7 October 2016], succeeding multimillionaire Pauline Marois, Lucien Bouchard, Bernard Landry, Jacques Parizeau and René Lévesque in their goal of making the province of Quebec into a Communist banana republic attached to the “rest of Canada” and to the “USA” by “trade agreements”.

I have read that the Canada Council was actually funded or majority funded from the outset by David Rockefeller (whose Chase Manhattan bank co-funded the 1917 Bolshevik Revolution), but I haven’t got the footnote handy right now.  However, and cautiously, a few words on Praxis from the Lyndon Larouche group.  “Former” Marxist Lyndon Larouche’s Executive Intelligence Review (EIR) of July 12, 1977, Vol. IV, No. 28 (ISSN 0146-9614), referring to EIR’s own research, has alleged:

A preliminary investigation of the actual nature of the Praxis Corp. network reveals it to be the centerpiece in a broad-based, largely Rockefeller-inspired, conspiracy directed at all phases of the Canadian policy making process.  Information on Praxis and associated networks gathered in Canada and gridded against the extensively documented activities of the terrorist controllers at the U.S.-based Institute for Policy Studies (IPS) both in North America and in Europe show the Praxis Corp. to be an IPS-Canadian front organization.

The EIR concludes:

This iden­tification, matched in turn against known official Rockefeller policy options for Canada, allows the ef­ficient assemblage of the complete profile of Rockefeller and allied network agencies of subversion directed at Canadian national sovereignty.



The Winnipeg Free Press

Did radicals aim
to overthrow government?

Letter names
21 suspects
in 1971 plot

OTTAWA (CP) — Prime Minister Trudeau said Wednesday that some “pretty senior” public servants are named in a 1971 letter as suspects in a radical socialist attempt to set up an “extra-parliamentary opposition” and overthrow the government.

The letter from Jean-Pierre Goyer, then solicitor-general and now supply minister, is accompanied by a list of 21 names, mostly public servants. With proper names blanked out, it was read in the Commons by Frank Oberle (PC-Prince George-Peace River), who urged that the matter be referred to the House committee on privileges.

Mr. Oberle maintained that:

— Solicitor General Francis Fox misrepresented the letter this week saying it simply advised that those named be briefed on security responsibilities and that other ministers lied in saying they had never heard of it.

— The June 15, 1971, letter led to the dismissal in 1973 of Walter Rudnicki, 56, one of the 21 named, as $33,000 a year policy planning director of Central Mortgage and Housing Corp (CMH), which was singled out in the letter as emplyer for “a small group of former campus revolutionaries”.

The Ontario Supreme Court ruled last summer that Mr. Rudnicki was wrongfully dismissed and awarded him $18,000 compensation.

The letter said the New Left, a 1960 movement, had devised an extra-parliamentary opposition program to “mold the underclass into a revolutionary force capable of overthrowing the present socio-political system.”

The Just Society, “originally a legitimate citizen’s group,” had been infiltrated and used as “a stepping stone into other legitimate welfare agencies such as the Toronto Metropolitan Social Planning Council and the United Appeal.”

The Poor People’s Conference of January, 1971 had been turned into “a sounding board for (the) radical EPO program and revolutionary propaganda,” the Goyer letter said.

The radical group also was alleged to be at work in the reform causus [sic] of the Canadian Labor Congress and had received a federal grant of $68,000 “through contacts in government”.

“Of more concern, however, is the presence within certain government departments and agencies, particularly

— Continued

See RADICAL page 4

/ 4

Radical suspects
named in letter


CMHC, of a small group of former campus revolutionaries,” the Goyer letter said.

“This group was led until recently by        of the Canadian Union of Students.  The short-term objectives of       ‘s group include the organizing and radicalizing of sympathetic civil servants and getting them to support its long-term political program of socialist revolution.”  [Blanks are left by The Winnipeg Free Press.  Admin]

The letter said the number of sympathizers in government jobs was probably small but worrying because it suggested a “conscious attempt by various persons to use the knowledge and influence gained by their employment within the federal government to further their own ends.”

“For this reason,” Mr. Goyer concluded, “I have attached a list of those we suspect of being engaged in or sympathetic to EPO activity in one way or another, with the recommendation that steps be taken to ensure that these people have been fully briefed as to their responsibilities for ensuring the security of government information and that their activities be watched with more than normal care.”
– 30 –


The Winnipeg Free Press, also on the front page, quotes a part of Goyer’s letter:

Goyer Cites Destructive New Left“.

U of T Silent, While Activist Groups Burn

Category:  Historical Reprints.
Source:  “U of T Silent, While Activist Groups Burn”, unsigned editorial, The Varsity Toronto, Wednesday, January 13, 1971
Emphases added by Admin ACA.


U of T Silent, While Activist Groups Burn

Something is happening just outside the university campus, which the university cannot afford to ignore.

The night of December 18 there was a fire at ­373 Huron Street … in a U of T-owned building rented to a group of organizations working for social changes in Canada.  The groups included The Toronto Women’s Liberation Movement, the Metro Tenants’ Association, the Stop Spadina Save Our City Coordinating Committee, and the Praxis Research Institute.  Until recently, the Just Society movement, an association of poor people, also used the building.

With differing emphases, all these groups have been working to lay the basis for fundamental social changes which would put the real power in our society back in the hands of the Canadian people.

That means fighting to end the oppression of women, fighting to achieve cheap housing for Torontonians.  And fighting to stop the destruction of the city by deveopers and politicians with an eye only to profit and efficiency.

There is no evidence that the fire was an accidental one.  There is considerable evidence that it was the direct result of the atmosphere of repression and hysteria which groups and organizations — from the federal government in Ottawa down to the Toronto press and fanatic groups like our own home-grown Edmund Burke Society have been promoting.

The hostility with which the press treated last weekend’s Poor People’s Conference too, is a barometer of the attitudes irrational hysteria promotes.

There is evidence [ —- ] our front page report that the events at 373 Huron on December 18 were deliberately calculated to undermine the Poor People’s Conference held here last weekend.

There appears to be abundant circumstantial evidence to show that Telegram reporter Peter Worthington could be charged with incitement to arson (if there is such a charge) in the series of provocative and unsubstantiated attacks he has mounted on Praxis.

It was no surprise, for instance, to find Worthington, the weekend of Laporte’s murder, writing virulently that Canada’s campuses were hotbeds of violence and extremism which ought to be purged if social upheavals were to be avoided.

Worthington warmly endorsed the remarks of retired RCMP security and intelligence —– W. H. Kelly, that, without political purges in universities, the campuses could become “incubators of terrorism.”

The technique might [to] be quite familiar to us, if we have learned anything in the last couple of months.  The way in which federal politicians were able to raise the spectre of “insurrection” and of thousands of armed FLQ members, in order to crush a wide range of democratic community organizations in Quebec, provides a textbook example.

Peter Worthington took a page right out of Jean Drapeau’s book, when he mounted his campaign against Praxis just as the organization was beginning to oganize workshop-style conferences at which people could discuss how to begin to achieve their social aims.

The fire and looting of course, occurred the same day one of Worthington’s slanderous attacks appeared in print.

And let’s not forget Prime Minister Trudeau, who picked up on Kelly’s rhetoric when he suggested early last month that university campuses will have to be increasingly under police surveillance since the university is the place where “the instigators of violent dissent are going to find their natural milieus.”

In the first place, U of T plans to stand idly by while Praxis and the other groups attempt to survive this blow at both their physical survival and their viability as community organizing groups.

U of T, which owns 373 Huron, does not plan to restore it for use by its original occupants, or to help find alternate accommodation for its occupants.

The university’s callous stand on this issue is just another example of its traditional attitude to groups outside the parameters of the ivory tower.

Two summers ago, U of T tore down an outstanding second hand bookstore,  Volume One, at the corner of Harbord and Spadina — for parking space.

Last spring, U of T, in a situation almost parallel with the 373 Huron affair, refused to spend $2,000 on repairs to a cooperative daycare centre housed in a university building on Sussex Ave.  That error in judgement was corrected by a prolonged overnight visit of hundreds of students and faculty to Simeon Hall, where they threatened to remain unless the university agreed to help out the daycare centre.

But what is even more appalling is the apparent disinterest U of T President Claude Bissell has displayed in the whole atmosphere of repression infecting Canada.

He made no public statement on the suspension of civil liberties in October, and the subsequent crackdown on the people of Quebec.

A man of reason, and a leader of opinion in English Canada, Claude Bissell did not feel compelled to articulate any objections to the actions of the federal government in Quebec and of governments — like the B.C. and Quebec Governments for instance — which took the opportunity to impose strict political control on teachers and faculty.

Bissell’s incredible disinterest in these challenges to the independence of the university and to the Canadian traditions of freedom of thought and learning, is difficult to comprehend.

The university should be a place where free exchange of opinion can always take place.

But it should take place there especially if it attempts in an analytical way to examine the problems facing Canadians and begin to resolve them.

U ot T took a half-hearted step in that direction when it (or at least its faculty, students, and president) opposed the Spadina Expressway.

It is time now for U of T to come to the aid of the groups who have been terrorized out of their accommodation.

U of T should be standing solidly behind all of these groups — supporting them both in the public eye and in working for fundamental social change.

Concretely, this would mean providing physical facilities and helping them with their work — as an integral part of the university’s responsibilities.

It would also mean speaking out publicly to demand that the police move to protect such groups from right-wing harassment, and to support any legal charges Praxis, or others, might wish to lodge against Peter Worthington.

– 30 –

The Poor War Revolution

The Poor War Revolution

Alan Stang

A segment of CANADA How The Communists Took Control

American Opinion, April 1971

In January, 1971, hundreds of “poor people” from throughout Canada descended on Toronto’s comfortable Lord Simcoe hotel, to participate in a “Poor People’s Conference.”  The Conference was run by the Praxis Corporation, which calls itself a “research institute for social change.”  Praxis was established by some professors in 1968.  In a Praxis brochure we read as follows:  “Praxis Corporation is a non-profit research institute established to generate the creative ‘social invention’ that is needed for social change …. The overall aim of Praxis is to promote ways of organizing more democratic control by communities and individuals of their social environment and a higher level of participation by citizens in the decisions which affect their lives.”

In other words, Praxis is what the Communists call an “agit-prop” outfit (agitation and propaganda), egging people on to Marxist revolution.

For instance, in March, 1970, Praxis had run another conference, on “industrial democracy,” at which Gerry Hunnius, who runs Praxis, said workers shouldcontrol the means and processes of production.”  What that means, said Hunnius, is this:  “It should be obvious that a fully operational system of workers’ self-management cannot operate within a Capitalist system …. ”

In October, 1970, Praxis had run still another Conference — this one on “Workers’ Control and Community Control” — at which a demand was made to destroy Capitalism by revolution.  Capitalism would be replaced by “radical Socialism.”  Confrontation is obsolete, the conferees were told.  What they should do now is “infiltrate,” and, like “microbes,” destroy Canada from within.  The guest speaker, Andre Gorz, was one of the organizers of the Paris riots a few years ago.  He advocated revolution in Canada.

Praxis honcho Hunnius has an interesting background.  In 1956, at Sir George Williams College in Montreal, he was program director of the Asian Studies Group, linked to the Communist Institute of Pacific Relations.  He was a founding official of the London-based International Confederation of Disarmament and Peace, an umbrella for such revolutionary outfits as the Fellowship of Reconciliation, the War Resisters International, and the Student Union for Peace Action.  At the time, he explained:

“There must be an examination … of our tactics.  We must develop a new loyalty, a world loyalty which must be placed above loyalty to the nation state.”

In 1968, he was in Communist Yugoslavia, running a “peace” conference.  The next year, in Toronto, he was involved with the Rochdale Play School, the educational policy of which is this:

“Giving children complete freedom, within restrictions of the group, to do whatever they wish.  No taboos … we are determined that our Socialist, humanist values be passed on to our children.”

Hunnius has naturally been a consultant for U.N.E.S.C.O., an agency of the United Nations.  He has worked with the Canadian Pugwash crowd, bossed by Soviet apologist Cyrus Eaton.  He has spent some time in Washington with the Institute for Policy Studies, a radical outfit working for America’s defeat.  In an article published by War Resisters International, Hunnius wrote:

“Marxism, for us, is a method of analysis of the realities of our society, as well as being an uncompromising call to fight.”

Recently, Mr. Hunnius tried to arrange another conference, for which one of the speakers he suggested was Michel Chartrand, the labor leader and F.L.Q. supporter charged with seditious conspiracy under the War Measures Act.

The Poor People’s Conference run by Hunnius by way of Praxis began with a speech by Alex Bandy, of the Unemployed Citizens’ Welfare Improvement Council of Vancouver.  “If there is anyone who came here for good times, forget it,” Alex says.

His lips quiver.  He has been so abused.

” … As poor, oppressed people in Canada we see our plight as inseparably bound up with the people of Asia, Africa and Latin America and the poor in the U.S.,” Alex explains.  “… We have more in common with a Vietnamese peasant than with the tyrant Trudeau.”

Alex really has a thing about Trudeau.  Pierre is keeping the people down.  Alex, like Eldridge Cleaver, wants All Power to the People.

“… Capitalism means concentration of wealth and power,” he says.  “To hell with everyone else.  What we desperately need is a distribution of the wealth …. At this conference we must come to grips with the fact that a thoroughgoing war on poverty means nothing less than war on the rich.  Nothing less.”

“Whatever it takes,” he says, “only when we’re willing to sacrifice do we stand a chance to win.  No slave should die a natural death.”  During the Conference, a woman, puzzled by the constant repetition of the word “fight,” stands up and inquires what the word means.  She is expertly expelled by members of the revolutionary Just Society.  And the Press is denied admission to various secret “workshops.”

Now, who paid for this Communist Conference?  Where did the necessary thousands come from to fly people from all over the country back and forth to Toronto, put them up at the Lord Simcoe and pay Praxis to arrange it?  As with similar affairs in the States, the money came from the federal government — from the same Trudeau whom Bandy condemns — paid by Minister of Health and Welfare John Munro, through such federal agencies as the National Council of Welfare.

Why?  For the same reason it happens in the States.  Incredibly, Alex Bandy explained it at the Conference:

“… The way Munro tells it, the government is really, secretly, on our side.  It’s everybody else who is against us and that’s why the government can’t help us.  So, the master plan is to give us money to organize and demonstrate and win popular support, then the government will move ….”

Perhaps some of the delegates at the Conference were suspecting that is true.  Perhaps Bandy was just trying to persuade them it isn’t.  Communist Pierre Trudeau is using what Czech Communist theoretician Jan Kozak called “pressure from above” and “pressure from below.”  As in Czecho-Slovakia — and as in the United States — the Communists high in the government are financing a phony demand at the bottom, to provide an excuse for their takeover from the top.*

Alex calls his boss a tyrant to keep the taxpayer well conned.

It is interesting to note that in 1962, Gerry Hunnius, who runs Praxis, which ran the Conference Pierre paid for, was in Moscow at the World Congress for General Disarmament and Peace, sponsored by the Communist World Peace Council — which had sponsored Trudeau’s trip to Moscow ten years before.  In 1963, Hunnius went to work as European representative of the Canadian Peace Research Institute, which the Canada Council supports with public funds — and two directors of which, at one time, were Trudeau and Pelletier.  Another director, named in 1962, was Communist Jean-Louis Gagnon.

It pays to have important friends.

And Hunnius has been a consultant — at $1,000 per month — for the Company of Young Canadians, which apparently is the Canadian version of V.I.S.T.A., and which was established and federally financed by former Prime Minister Lester Pearson.  Dozens of other C.Y.C. revolutionaries have been caught using taxpayers’ money to finance revolution, and in January, 1971, Diefenbaker** demanded that the C.Y.C. be investigated too.

Trudeau has also told Munro to finance the Black Power forces in Nova Scotia, despite the opposition of real Negro leaders who live there, including Arnold Johnson, Halifax County Councillor, and Ross Kinney, Moderator of the African United Baptist Association of Nova Scotia, the largest black outfit in the province.  And the federal government awarded a large contract it was forced to withdraw, for the purchase of dairy products for the Armed Forces, to the People’s Cooperative, a Winnipeg outfit which has been described as a subsidiary of the Communist Party.

Trudeau is also using Crown Corporations, controlled not by Parliament but by him, to communize the economy under the guise of private enterprise.

What he is organizing, an M.P. tells us, is best called “the new Fascism.”

*  (Prime Minister) Stephen Harper is financing radical communists in Quebec.  He has poured over $5 million in federal tax dollars into a specific Communist cause, which he labels our” democratic partners”. Admin 20 April 2012.

**  In 1968, Diefenbaker will be found attending a celebration of the 1917 Bolshevik “Revolution” at the Soviet Embassy in Ottawa.  Ergo, “controlled opposition”.

Probe Ordered Into Alleged RCMP Illegal Break-ins

Category:  Historical Reprints
SourceBangor Daily News, July 7, 1977

Probe Ordered Into Alleged
RCMP Illegal Break-Ins

c. 1977 N.Y. Times

OTTAWA — The Canadian government ordered a full-scale inquiry Wednesday into charges that the Royal Canadian Mounted Police had resorted to illegal break-ins and other activities in carrying out security investigations.

The announcement caused a political sensation here, with what are widely expected to be damaging implications for the government of Prime Minister Pierre Elliott Trudeau.  Trudeau had defended the security service against criticism by opposition parties as allegations of wrongdoing had grown and had rejected demands in Parliament for the inquiry that has now been ordered.

A three-man commission of legal experts was named to investigate the Mounted Police, and from that inquiry new rules are expected to emerge governing how far the unit can go in carrying out responsibility for protecting national security.  The organization corresponds to the Federal Bureau of Investigation in the United States.

The commission is the outgrowth of a series of incidents that have tarnished the reputation of the Mounties, heretofore widely regarded as an elite force whose wholesome image has been a source of national pride to Canadians.  Though few are seen on horses now, some still appear for ceremonial occasions in the traditional red jacketed uniform.

An earlier incident involving the Mounties, now under investigation by Ontario provincial authorities, concerned charges that records of the Praxis Corporation of Toronto, a group formed to organize the poor, had been illegally seized.

– 30 –


Radicals Pursue RCMP Officers

Category:  Historical Reprints
SourceThe Montreal Gazette, Dec. 10, 1980

Radicals Pursue RCMP Officers

TORONTO (UPC) — Royal Canadian Mounted Police officers who received documents allegedly stolen from the headquarters of a now-defunct Toronto radical group will face criminal charges — if the group’s lawyer can discover their identities.

Directors of Praxis Corporation said that they would try to lay private charges of possession of stolen property valued under $200 against several RCMP Security Service officers.

On Dec. 19, 1970, Praxis’ midtown offices were burgled and most of the building destroyed by a blaze of undetermined origin.

Among files taken were study papers on organizing poor peoples’ conferences, minutes of meetings and a reprint of a newspaper article warning of the “socialist threat”.

In February 1977, the RCMP admitted it had received documents stolen in the break-in and that some of them had been destroyed.

– 30 –