The Nizkor Project: Remembering the Holocaust (Shoah)

The Heritage Front Affair
Report to the Solicitor General of Canada
Security Intelligence Review Committee
December 9, 1994

IV. The Heritage Front Emerges

4.1 Events in 1990

At the beginning of 1990, discussions were underway in both the Nationalist Party of Canada and Wolfgang Droege's Heritage Front to "garner more American support". With neither Andrews nor Droege welcome in the United States, the Source thought that Grant Bristow might have had to be their emissary, but he actually travel led little on their behalf during that year.

We learned that, on March 18, 1990, Droege, Bristow, Lincoln, Donna Elliot and others were responsible for disrupting a television broadcast. The program was aired on TV Ontario and dealt with racism issues. During the telephone-in portion of the program, the Heritage Front group was able to partially tie up the telephone lines, and they "were also able to start a number of arguments with the guest panel and state their white supremacist views."

From time to time, Droege wanted action, and the Source would have to manoeuvre to maintain credibility, and yet not divulge information. He created a series of imaginary events to demonstrate that he was active, fictitious events he would recount to Ken Barker, Elisse Hategan, Wolfgang Droege and other Heritage Front member. Wolfgang Droege would allege to the Review Committee, on the other hand, that it was Grant Bristow who got a kick out of harassing people, and keeping track of them, but no laws were broken and it did not concern him.[1] Our assessment of Wolfgang Droege's testimony is described in chapter XIII.

Both the Heritage Front and the anti-racist groups sought out disaffected youth in Toronto. In June 1990, Droege told Bristow about plans to distribute leaflets at schools. They also discussed "spray painting (anti-white slogans) and vandalism operations" to discredit anti-racists, but we saw no information to show that the latter activities were carried out by the Front.

In November 1990, Ernst Zundel asked Droege to provide security for David Irving's visit to Ottawa. Irving is a British writer and Nazi sympathizer who denies the Holocaust took place and is a favoured speaker for anti-Semitic and white supremacist groups. Droege, in turn, directed Grant Bristow to accompany him.

On December 8, 1990, a secret Heritage Front rally was attended by Edmund Burke Society founder, Paul Fromm. The meeting, a "Martyr's Day rally was held to honour the memory of Robert J. Matthews, leader of the violently racist extremist group, "The Order" who was killed in a shootout with US officials in 1984. Wolfgang Droege had been on the periphery of that group, known to its members as the "Bruders Schweigen", or the "silent brotherhood. "[2]

In 1990, Stephen Andrew Hammond was arrested on a Canada wide Immigration Warrant for which the Source provided the information. Hammond, a white supremacist from the United Kingdom, had been deported twice before from Canada and the USA. He was associated with the Ku Klux Klan and had been jailed in Dominica for threatening to kill a cabinet minister, and after attempting, with Wolfgang Droege, to overthrow that island's government.

4.2 The Heritage Front in 1991

In January 1991 Droege asked Grant Bristow to meet Al Hooper in British Columbia and Terry Long in Alberta to solicit support in an attempt to unify the white supremacist movement in Canada. Droege wanted Hooper's list of 180 names of persons who supported the movement. Droege also wanted an assessment of the split in the Aryan Resistance Movement (ARM); its leader, Al Hooper had pledged his support to Droege.

When Bristow visited Terry Long in Alberta at the request of Wolfgang Droege, Long spoke of setting up a Canadian Aryan Computer Network. Long was the head of Canada's Aryan Nations white supremacist group and told Bristow that he was developing a list of targets (see Chapter V, 5.2).

Droege instructed Grant Bristow to accompany him on a trip to Munich on March 20, 1991 to a neo-Nazi conference sponsored by Ernst Zundel. Zundel had asked the two to accompany him to the conference which he promoted. The rally was broken up by German police and Zundel was arrested.

April 1991 saw two events. Droege established a "computer link" with Terry Long, although this means of communications was short-lived. Of greater significance that month, Wolfgang Droege and Ernst Zundel, the Holocaust Denier and prolific publisher of hate literature, [3] appeared together publicly at a Heritage Front meeting. [4]

In May 1991, Terry Long, Wolfgang Droege and Grant Bristow met to discuss, among other issues, the establishment of a bulletin board (BBS) hate line similar to one in the United States.

On May 27, 1991, Alan Over field's security group, including several people from the Heritage Front, provided perimeter security at a Reform Party information meeting in Toronto. Bristow was part of the team that waited outside the church, presumably to repel members of CARP - Coalition Against the Reform Party. The role of the CSIS Source is described in chapter VII concerning the Reform Party (7.1).

Also in May, Alan Over field associated with the Heritage Front, was involved with the interim board of the Beaches-Woodbine riding association of the Reform Party.

The next month, on June 12, 1991, the Reform Party of Canada held a massive rally in Mississauga, Ontario. The event, which drew some 6,000 people to hear Preston Manning, marked the first high profile event for the security group directed by Droege's employer, Alan Overfield. During the June Mississauga rally, Grant Bristow served as an escort/bodyguard for Preston Manning, at the direction of Al Overfield and Wolfgang Droege.

The security group impressed some local Reform organizers who attended the event and they drew upon the group's free services to protect other meetings until January 1992. Details about the security group and the Reform Party of Canada are provided in chapter VII (7.5).

On June 13, 1991, several Heritage Front members attended a meeting of Paul Fromm's Canadians for Foreign Aid Reform (C-FAR) where Overfield from the Reform Party set up a table to sign people up for the Party. The dates on the membership forms for Droege, Polinuk, Dawson and Mitrevski, however, show that they had joined the Party before that meeting.

On June 19, 1991, Droege's racist agenda was profiled in a "Toronto Star" article. He stated then that "Preston Manning has given us some hope. [5] In that month, violent United States white supremacist, Tom Metzger came to Canada at the invitation of Droege to attend a Heritage Front rally.

Wolfgang Droege and Terry Long requested that Bristow attend the Aryan Nations Headquarters annual meeting at Hayden Lake Idaho in mid-July. He also received a verbal invitation from USA white supremacist Louis Beam to attend the function. Droege wanted Bristow to make contact with other white supremacists and, possibly, to deliver correspondence to Louis Beam. Bristow stayed with Sean Maguire at a hotel near the campground.

In July 1991, the Source intercepted and provided to CSIS a listing of personal information which the Front received from Terry Long. The list was presented as an intelligence file in which the recipients were to contribute material when required.

In early July, the Overfield security group provided security for the founding meeting of the Beaches-Woodbine Reform constituency association. Bristow was outside the meeting with the Overfield team and, with Wolfgang Droege, paced the street in front of the Legion hall. Overfield was elected to the executive at the end of the month.

The fact that Droege was an avowed racist was revealed to some Ontario Reform Party officials in July and August 1991 (see chapter VII, 7.3.4).

The Heritage Front's telephone Hate Line was established by the Fall of 1991. It was to be the target of legal actions by the Jewish and Native communities, and was to be stopped, and then restarted seven times over the next three years. 6 Eventually, the hotline was mainly Gary Schipper's project, see chapter V (5.3).

In the autumn, Nicola Polinuk and James Dawson became associated with the Beaches Woodbine riding executive.

September 1991 saw the first public meeting of the Heritage Front to which the media had been invited. Bristow, according to the Heritage Front, had set up a media room to facilitate interviews with those who spoke at the meeting. Grant Bristow was among those who spoke there.

That month, Toronto police, in a coordinated operation with several other agencies, arrested American racist Sean Maguire in Bristow's car. Maguire was arrested and deported on an Immigration warrant. Details of the case are provided in chapter IX (9.1).

On September 24, 1991, Heritage Front members attended the Toronto Mayor's Committee on Community and Race Relations. At the meeting, Paul Fromm yelled out "scalp them" at an anti-racist leader, when the latter said that halls should not be rented to racists. Fromm and 15 supporters were ejected.

In December 1991, American racist Dennis Mahon entered Canada to speak at a Heritage Front meeting. The month also marked the first appearance of the Heritage Front newsletter "Up Front" prepared by Gerald Lincoln.

4.3 Reform Investigation and Clashes with Anti-Racists

In 1992, the Front branched out. In January of that year, Bristow was sent to Montreal by Droege "for the purpose of feeling out the White Supremacist movement there". The CSIS Source would later learn the outcome of this trip and advised the Service. CSIS, in turn, forwarded this information to the police and to several federal government agencies.

Also in January, the Reform Party held its second biggest Ontario rally, this time in Pickering. As with the previous massive rally, the Overfield team provided security. Grant Bristow was once again the bodyguard for Preston Manning in the hall. We describe the situation in chapter VII (7.5).

On February 28, 1992, the "Toronto Sun" published an expose which showed that the Heritage Front had infiltrated the Reform Party of Canada in Ontario. The article resulted in a decision. by the Reform Party to form a Special Committee of the Executive Council to investigate the problem. Through the Spring of 1992, the Special Committee contacted the 22 people that Al Overfield had signed up for Reform and expelled five persons: Wolfgang Droege, James Dawson, Nicola Polinuk, Peter Mitrevski and then Alan Overfield. Later that year, others would follow.

Five days before the Pickering rally, according to a magazine article, the militant anti-racist group, Anti-Racist Action appeared in Toronto.[7] While the Heritage Front held a meeting in Toronto's Ristorante Roma Restaurant, Anti-Racist Action demonstrators tried to confront the estimated 40 skinheads inside. The issue is described in chapter V (5.4).

On April 13, 1992, the "Canadian Press" revealed that high school English teacher, Paul Fromm, spoke at a secret Heritage Front rally in December 1990. He also, said the article, addressed another Heritage Front meeting in September 1991.[8]

On May 18, 1992, the Morgentaler abortion clinic in Toronto was firebombed. Graffiti identifying the Heritage Front was found on a nearby wall and the police received unsubstantiated allegations that the Heritage Front had knowledge about the incident.

Recruiting at high schools led the Heritage Front into direct conflict with the ARA, and the two groups collected information on one another. The ARA started holding their meetings at high schools, and putting their position forward. The first discussions took place at this time in the Heritage Front on whether to monitor or infiltrate the anti-racist groups.

In 1992, the "Klanbusters" group was established. They had discovered a method of gaining access to Droege's answering machine. As a result, they could change the message he left on his machine, and they could learn who had called him. The practice, Droege would later tell the Review Committee, was adopted by a number of Heritage Front opponents and, ultimately, the Heritage Front itself.[9]

The Heritage Front and its opponents in the ARA adopted similar techniques of breaking into each others' hotlines in order to disrupt each others' activities.[10] To CSIS' Toronto Region, the information indicated that the potential for confrontations between the racists and the anti-racists would likely increase. We discuss the issue in chapter V (5.4).

In July 1992, Tom and John Metzger of the White Aryan Resistance were arrested after they left a Heritage Front meeting. They were deported several days later (see chapter IX, 9.2). This was also the year that David Irving, a British author and Nazi sympathizer, was arrested and deported from Canada.

The allegation was made in 1992 that Front members ciculated the unlisted telephone number of a prominent Vancouver Canadian Jewish Congress leader, Dr. Michael Elterman. The charge proved to be unsubstantiated. Details are provided in chapter V (5.10).

By the winter of 1992, Heritage Front efforts to recruit students at Toronto's East End high schools were well underway.

In early 1993, the Heritage Front attended an anti-racist demonstration held by the students at Riverdale Collegiate. No violence took place.

Two persons from the Church of the Creator helped Grant Bristow perform security duties for the Heritage Front. On December 15, 1992, Bristow was asked to show the Fischer brothers how to trace telephone numbers using the reference books available in the public library. The result is described in chapter V (5.8).

In 1992, the Heritage Front members, on the instructions of Droege, were using the telephone numbers they had acquired to make increasingly violent threats against anti-racists. To reduce the threatening nature of the program, an information collection campaign, the "It" campaign, began at the end of 1992 and continued through 1993. The campaign drew on the information which the Heritage Front obtained by breaking into answering machines.[12] Chapter V (5.7) in this report describes the campaign.

In November 1992, Heritage Front activities were described in the media and Grant Bristow was mentioned incidentally. Some time later he set up a course in security training.

Tom Metzger, the avowed American racist, would state in 1994, on "The Fifth Estate", that Grant Bristow visited him in California in December 1992, bringing lists of Jewish leaders and a considerable amount of money. His statements were fabricated; we describe the issue in chapter IX (9.2).

4.4 The Harassment Campaign Peaks

On January 22, 1993, American white supremacist Dennis Mahon, of the White Aryan Resistance movement was arrested on his arrival at Toronto's Pearson International Airport and then deported.

On January 25, 1993, as police escorted 30 Heritage Front members into a courthouse for a Human Rights Tribunal hearing, a protest organized by the Anti-Racist Action group, which attracted 500 demonstrators, turned violent with two protestors being arrested on assault charges.[13]

In February 1993, Wolfgang Droege was told that the Klanbusters and the International Socialists were going to hold meetings. Eric Fischer sent two Church of the Creator members to find out what was going on.[14]

In the Spring of 1993, the Native Canadian Centre filed a complaint against the Heritage Front's hate line. Droege and others would later receive prison time for contempt of a Court Order in this connection.

In March 1993, the Source reported that the Church of the Creator had been successful in attending anti-racist meetings.

CSIS files showed that the Source obtained information from members of the Church of the Creator who had penetrated the anti-racist meetings. This information indicated the degree to which antiracists were preparing to confront the white supremacists; the file information indicated that Klanbusters organizer Rodney Bobiwash encouraged direct confrontation as the best way to defeat the neoNazi groups.

Bristow provided some names to Alan Overfield, under instruction from Droege. These were names obtained from numbers which had appeared on Droege's answering machine. The Source consulted with the Toronto Region Investigator, who said to go ahead if the information received from the answering machine was specific and well-known.

In March 1993, racist posters were produced which listed the names and addresses of anti-racists.[15] In October 1993, Elisse Hategan was charged with disseminating defamatory libel and wilful promotion of hatred for her involvement with the posters. She would later affirm that she was informed that Al Overfield produced the flyers that she was arrested for distributing (see chapter V, 5.9.4).

From April through June 1993, Grant Bristow was involved in several incidents with members of the Jewish community. In April, Bristow was said to have intimidated a B'nai Brith lawyer at the Toronto Mayor's Committee on Community and Race Relations.[16] The next month, he approached the President of the Jewish Students Network at a demonstration outside the Ontario Attorney General's office in Toronto. These and other events which took place in June 1993, are described in chapter V (5.10).

On May 29, 1993, an estimated five hundred anti-racist supporters demonstrated outside a Heritage Front recruitment concert in Ottawa. The racist band, RaHoWa[17] was playing to a crowd of about 60 skinheads. After a near-riot, four Heritage Front members were charged with assault. The Heritage Front then became more militant as Droege wished to increase the confrontations with his opponents. CSIS routinely provided threat assessments to the police on the potential for violence arising from the confrontations between the racists and the anti-racists.

In May 1993, John Gamble, former Conservative and Reform Party nominee in Don Valley West riding, was expelled from the Reform Party. Also expelled were several officials who supported him from various riding associations. Wolfgang Droege had attended Gamble's March 31, 1993 nomination meeting. Later that month, Droege received $500 to embarrass Reform Party leader Preston Manning by attending a meeting in Oshawa. The events are described in chapter VII (7.6.7, 7.6.8).

Droege and Ernst Zundel wanted the telephone numbers and the addresses of both anti-racist and Jewish community leaders. Had the Source wished to do so, the numbers and the addresses could have been provided quite easily; but the Source did not do so.[18]

Bristow, in his position with the Heritage Front, carried out Droege's instructions in regard to a harassment campaign and also informed the anti-racists that a Heritage Front event was planned (see chapter V, 5.7, the "It" campaign). When the Source could not avoid this type of task, he informed the Toronto Region Investigator who said that he then notified the police.

The harassment calls made by the Heritage Front started abating in June 1993, and finally stopped in November 1993. The campaign was viewed as a major victory by the Heritage Front. The Source stated that most of the harassment calls ended in the Summer, and that no physical harm resulted from the program.[19] CSIS believes that its work with the Source during this period was very successful in that a potentially explosive situation, with a great deal of anger on all sides, was defused without any physical violence occurring. We analyze the situation in chapter V (5.7).

On June 11, 1993, an estimated 200 ARA members headed from downtown into the East End of Toronto by street car. By the end of the day, Gary Schipper's house had been vandalized and Droege and others had been arrested and charged for various offenses. We describe the issues in chapter V (5.9.6). After the media allegations which started in August 1994, Droege and his associates would blame Bristow for instigating the battle.[20] The Source, however, said that Bristow was not involved in the incident and the Source had, in fact, passed information to the police on where some of the attackers had fled to. [21]

In June, three members of George Burdi's Church of the Creator (Drew Maynard, Eric and Elkar Fischer) were charged with kidnapping, forcible confinement and assault in an attack on Heritage Front member, Tyrone Alexander Mason. They believed that he had stolen a COTC computer. Eric Fischer was a former corporal in the Canadian Airborne Regiment. That month, a Tamil refugee was viciously beaten and partially paralysed in an attack by a racist skinhead, considered by Droege to be a low level "hanger on" of the Heritage Front.

In late October 1993, the CSIS Source learned about a threat of serious physical violence against leaders in the Jewish community by a Heritage Front member. The threat was evaluated by CSIS, and the police were notified. Ernst Zundel wanted information on the Jewish community's leaders during this time and was provided with publicly available information (see chapter V, 5.10.6) [22]

4.5 Leave Taking

In March of 1994, the Source decided that he could no longer abide the stress of living two separate lives, or of continuing his association with the Heritage Front.

CSIS and the Source created a story which allowed him to leave the Heritage Front on good terms. CSIS wanted to be able to re-introduce the Source at a later date if the situation required it.

In June of 1994, Wolfgang Droege and two other Front members were convicted of defying a Court Order to close the racist hotlines.

In August 1994, the "Toronto Sun" alleged that Grant Bristow was a CSIS informant. Jewish groups and anti-racists expressed their concern. Heritage Front leaders, members, and their American associates were provided with unparalleled media coverage. They used their unprecedented access to the media to allege that CSIS, through Grant Bristow, was responsible for everything that had taken place during the previous five years; including, as Wolfgang Droege put it, some "unethical or immoral " behaviour.

SIRC began its investigation of the "Heritage Front Affair" the day after the article appeared.


1. SIRC interview of Droege . 2. "The Order" was an American terrorist organization which espoused a white supremacist ideology and was affiliated with the Aryan Nations. It was active during the early 1980's. 3. Zundel said that he produces "truth" not "hate" literature. 4. The Heritage Front Report: 1994, pp. 5-6, prepared by the League of Human Rights of B'nai Brith, Canada. 5. Rosie DiManno, "Ex-mercenary aims for country uniquely white", Toronto Star, June 19, 1991. 6. The Heritage Front Report: 1994, pp. 5-6, prepared by the League of Human Rights of B'nai Brith, Canada 7. This Magazine, February 23, 1992. 8. Canadian Press, "Teacher fingered at rally of racists", April 13, 1992. 9. SIRC Hearing, Wolfgang Droege 10. SIRC interview with Wolfgang Droege 11. SIRC interview with Riverdale Collegiate teacher. 12. SIRC interview with Source. 13. Moira Welsh, "2 arrested as racism protest turns ugly" , Toronto Star, January 26, 1993. 14. SIRC interview with Source. 15. Toronto Sun, October 4, 1994. 16. SIRC interview with Marvin Kurz. 17. Racial Holy War. 18. SIRC interview with Source. 19. SIRC interview with Source. 20. SIRC interview with Wolfgang Droege. 21. SIRC interview with Source. 22. SIRC interview with Source.

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