John Ross Taylor
Early life and family
Taylor's fascist activities began in the 1920s. In the 1930s he joined with the Quebec-based fascist leader Adrien Arcand in creating a national fascist party, the National Unity Party. Taylor played a key role in organizing the putative party in English Canada before he broke with Arcand and joined the Canadian Union of Fascists becoming its secretary and organizer.
During the 1960s, Taylor acted as the Canadian representative of the anti-Semitic National States' Rights Party and was based at his farm at Gooderham, north of Peterborough, Ontario, where he held fascist meetings and published virulent anti-Semitic and racist literature that led Canada Post to revoke his mailing privileges. He also led his own movement with David Stanley which he called "Natural Order". In 1965, he was featured on the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation's public affairs program This Hour Has Seven Days. During his interview with CBC journalist Larry Zolf, Taylor called for Jews to be exiled to Madagascar.
In the 1963 Ontario election, he ran in St. Andrew riding for the "Social Credit Action", a splinter group from the Social Credit Party of Ontario. However, when his political past was reported, the Social Credit Action group dumped Taylor and he ran instead as a candidate of the "Natural Order of Social Credit Organization". He won 102 votes, or about 1% of the total cast.
Taylor was a founding member of the white supremacist political party, the Western Guard. He ran for Toronto City Council in the 1972 municipal election as a candidate for the Western Guard placing last in Ward 11. In 1973, he was the party's candidate in a provincial by-election in the Toronto riding of St. George where he came in sixth and last place with 83 votes (0.4% of the popular vote).
In the 1974 federal election, he was the Western Guard's candidate for the Canadian House of Commons in the riding of Davenport and described himself during an all candidates meeting as "a racist and a fascist". As the Western Guard was not a registered federal political party, he was officially an Independent candidate. Taylor received 102 votes (0.69% of the popular vote), placing fourth in a field of six candidates.
From 1970 to 1977, Taylor was again involved with the Social Credit Association of Ontario as a result of a takeover of the party by Paul Fromm and the Western Guard. In 1972, the Social Credit Party of Canada declared membership in the Western Guard "incompatible" with membership in Social Credit had the provincial association put into trusteeship and Taylor, Fromm and their supporters were expelled though Taylor continued to lead a splinter group that claimed to be the Social Credit party until 1977.
Canadian Human Rights Commission and imprisonment
In 1976, as a result of Don Andrews' conviction for hate crimes, he became leader of the Western Guard, renaming it the Western Guard Party. He also established ties to the Ku Klux Klan and attended the International Patriotic Conference held by David Duke that year. In the 1980s, Taylor was twice found in contempt of court for refusing to comply with a 1979 order by the Canadian Human Rights Tribunal to end his recorded "White Power" messages on the Western Guard Party's phone line. He was imprisoned from October 1981 to March 1982, and again later in the decade for violating the Canadian Human Rights Act. In 1990, the Supreme Court of Canada upheld the ruling against Taylor.
Taylor was a fixture during the 1989 trial of accused Nazi war criminal Imre Finta and could be seen carrying lawyer Douglas Christie's books. He was also an associate of Ernst Zündel and Jim Keegstra.
In the last years of his life, Taylor was active in the Aryan Nations after he moved to Calgary following his release from prison. In 1993, using the pseudonym "His Excellency J. J. Wills", he co-wrote a book with Robert O'Driscoll titled The New World Order in North America which Bernie Farber described as "the anti-Semitic ravings of a very confused mind."
He appears in the 1991 documentary film Blood in the Face, directed by Kevin Rafferty, which looks at the American neo-fascist movement. The name of the film is taken from his claim that white people are superior to non-whites because they show "blood in the face" and blush when they are ashamed.
He died in a Calgary boarding house in 1994.
- "OBITUARY / John Ross Taylor White supremacist defied court order" by Rudy Platiel, Globe and Mail, November 9, 1994
- "Now Socred Splinter Party is Splintered", Toronto Daily Star, September 25, 1963
- "Three Police Bodies to Act Against Outlawed Groups", Toronto Daily Star, June 6, 1940
- "Mail Ban Made Permanent On U.S. Party Hate Writings", Globe and Mail, March 6, 1965
- Tory image on test today, Windsor Star, March 15, 1973
- "Supremacist J.R. Taylor dies of heart attack", Toronto Star, November 9, 1994
- Summary of the 1979 hearing before the Canadian Human Rights Tribunal.
- Canadian Human Rights Commission v. John Ross Taylor Summary of the case heard by the Supreme Court of Canada.
- 1965 This Hour Has Seven Days feature on hate, including an interview with Taylor
- Blood in the Face on Google video in which John Ross Taylor is interviewed.
- History of the Hurt Feelings Law Sun News' Ezra Levant monologue about John Ross Taylor and the origins/history of hate speech laws in Canada.