‘Sieg heil’ in the parliament of Canada

How did my country suddenly end up in the global headlines? What is the dirty secret that has been hidden in plain sight for so long?

How many people were previously aware that Canada had been a vital haven for Ukrainian Nazis? And how many people today know that there are Canadians of Ukrainian descent whose traditions are quite different frrom those of Yaroslav Hunker?

This article was sent to us by a reader in Canada and we reproduce it here with thanks.


The world was shocked by recent events in Canada. Normally nothing of note happens here.

But then, lo and behold, in the Canadian legislature, there’s a fist-pumping President Zelensky, saluting a Ukrainian SS veteran of the second world war!

The speaker of Parliament, with heartfelt praise, hails the noble hero – a fighter against Russia in the second world war! All the glistening eyes in the chamber look up to the balcony to pay homage to the freedom fighter. The speaker thanks the SS man for his selfless service!

The old man seems confused at his sudden elevation to sainthood, as he receives not one, but two standing ovations from the assembled ‘dignitaries’. There is no sign of dissent among the well-heeled MPs. Everyone is in fine festive form!

What the heck? Wasn’t Russia the ally of Canada in the fight against nazism? Are Canadians all crazy?

Perhaps … but the background and meaning of this fiasco really lie in the two separate, contradictory waves of Ukrainian immigration into Canada.

Red Ruthenians

The first and largest wave of immigration occurred in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. By and large, it consisted of downtrodden masses escaping social degradation in the semi-feudal Russian empire. Canadian capitalists, coincidentally, required pools of labour-power for their industrial expansion and profit-making.

Many people, such as my immigrant grandparents from Ukraine and Belarus, saw in these circumstances a chance for a better life.

Landless farmers, day labourers, petty-bourgeois, the immigrants were mainly poor, but not powerless. In fact, many of them were politically advanced, through adherence to the Marxist social-democracy of the early Second International.

Across their newly adopted homeland, Ukrainian families pitched in to build many sturdy and beautiful labour-farmer temples (which offered a range of cultural and educational activities). They also formed cooperatives and trade unions and became a key constituency in the founding of the multinational Communist Party of Canada in 1921.

Needless to say, the bourgeois Canadian governments of that era got more than they bargained for by importing ‘cheap’ Ukrainian labour. The immigrants had a stubborn, proletarian mindset, and a social cohesion that threatened the unlimited dictatorship of Canadian capital.

So it was that during the first world war, for example, the Canadian state took the opportunity to deport hundreds of Ukrainians who were involved in union struggles. They were labelled as “enemy aliens and anarchists”. Later, in the 1930s and 1940s, leading Ukrainian-Canadian communists were persecuted and imprisoned.

Black fascists

The second, much smaller, but heinous wave of immigration occurred after the second world war.

At that time, the western powers managed to ‘save’ many fleeing Nazis from Soviet retribution. Among them were anti-Soviet Ukrainians from the Waffen-SS Galicia division, supporters of Stepan Bandera, who settled in Canada. (It is noteworthy that Canada’s current deputy prime minister descends from these same émigré circles.)

The motivation for importing these ultranationalists was the fervent anticommunism that prevailed in Canada during the cold war. Even Nazis could be rehabilitated and used for the ‘just cause’ of capitalist imperialism.

In the postwar period, Canadian Banderists, allied with western intelligence agencies, helped sustain an anti-Soviet insurgency in Belarus and Ukraine. This dirty campaign lasted until 1956, claiming several hundred thousand lives.

Banderist backing of the fascist underground continued right up until the dissolution of the USSR in 1991; and, after the Nato-inspired Maidan putsch in 2014, the Banderist brand of nationalist venom was injected mainline into the Ukrainian state, bursting it asunder along ethnic lines and sparking the current fratricidal war.

Cognitive dissonance

The progressive, heroic character of the first wave of Ukrainian immigration has been all but erased in today’s Canadian milieu. All postwar governments in Ottawa supported and intrigued with the fascist diaspora.

Multitudes of dark secrets were buried like stinking corpses. Hideous crimes were whitewashed or concealed. The Banderists steadily gained leverage in Canadian politics, schools and universities, clerical circles, and society at large. They established a strong degree of ideological hegemony – favourable to western imperialism – within the minds of beguiled Ukrainian-Canadians.

The Canadian public has so far been willing to pay homage to Bandera with blue and yellow flags, to squander untold billions for the anti-democratic Zelensky regime that idolises many mass murderers. We appear to be stupid enough to give nazism and its current enablers a thunderous applause that shows the depths of our ignorance.

Canadians are now shocked and embarrassed. But that is encouraging. I, for one, was happy to see the twisted character of our ruling class so starkly exposed. They like to portray themselves as paragons of virtue, white knights, humanists even, but now we plainly perceive them as bad actors with farcical scripts, warmongers and hypocrites.

It’s time to end the incessant war propaganda in our country. The simplistic ‘good versus evil’ paradigm is a lie. We must condemn the awful slaughter of the tens of thousands of young men on both sides of this terrible war, a slaughter instigated and fuelled by the imperialist west of young men who will never experience the fullness of life.