From indifference to internment : an examination of RCMP responses to Nazism and fascism in Canada from 1934 to 1941 / by Michelle McBride.
This study examines the phenomenon of Fascism in Canada during the Depression and how the authorities, primarily the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, chose to deal with it. The topic of Canadian Fascism has been largely ignored in favour of the more fashionable topic of Communism, Fascism was never a large scale movement in Canada; it did, however, effect portions of the German and Italian communities as well as individual French and English Canadians. The conventional view of the RCMP Security Service argues that the RCMP ignored Fascist movements until external events caused them to take internal actions. I would challenge this argument, marshaling evidence that the RCMP was indeed watching Fascist organizations from their inception, although choosing not to view them as a serious threat. The RCMP began investigating Fascist movements in Canada in the early 1930's but did not view them as much of a threat, seeing them as largely disorganized and, if not as potential allies in their fight against Communists, at least as the lesser of two evils. As both the RCMP and the Fascists were anti-Communists, the RCMP viewed Fascists with rather a benevolent eye. The RCMP was more ideologically to the right and this effected how the RCMP viewed both Fascists and Communists. Once war broke out the Canadian Government decided to act against groups it had consistently said were not dangerous. For years the Government, via the RCMP and other government departments, turned a blind eye to foreign interference by the Consuls in both the German and Italian communities, choosing to view events in the immigrant communities as matters for the communities to decide. By viewing Fascism as a limited threat and by allowing foreign coercion to occur in Canada it can be argued that the Canadian government failed to defend its own citizens.
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