National Unity Party (Canada)

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Parti National Social Chrétien
Founded 1934
Dissolved 1940
Succeeded by None; Banned
Newspaper The Canadian Nationalist (English)
Le Combat National (French)
Paramilitary wing Blue Shirts
Ideology Nazism, Clerical Fascism, Canadian nationalism
Political position Far right
Colors Red, White, Blue
Party flag
Flag of the Parti National Socialiste Chretien.svg
Politics of Canada
Political parties
Elections

The Parti National Social Chrétien was a Canadian political party formed by Adrien Arcand in February 1934. The party identified with antisemitism, and German leader Adolf Hitler's Nazism. The party was later known, in English, as the Canadian National Socialist Unity Party or National Unity Party.

1930s[edit]

The party was formed by Adrien Arcand in February 1934. It was known in English as the Christian National Socialist Party. Arcand was a Quebec-based fascist and antisemite. An admirer of Adolf Hitler, Arcand referred to himself as the "Canadian führer".

In October 1934, the party merged with the Canadian Nationalist Party, which was based in the Prairie provinces. By the mid-1930s, the party had some success, with a few thousand members mainly concentrated in Quebec, British Columbia and Alberta.

In June 1938, it merged with Nazi and other racist clubs in Ontario and Quebec, many of which were known as Swastika clubs, to form the National Unity Party at a national convention held in Kingston, Ontario.[1] At a time of English-French Canadian tension, Arcand tried to create a pan-Canadian (English and French) nationalist political movement. It was based on the National Socialist (Nazi) Party in Germany. Arcand then proceeded to Toronto where his new party held a rally of 800 supporters at Massey Hall. However, the anti-fascist Canadian League for Peace and Democracy held a simultaneous rally of 10,000 people at Maple Leaf Gardens in opposition to Arcand.[1]

The group was known colloquially as the "Blue Shirts", and commonly fought with immigrants, Canadian minorities and leftist groups. The group boasted that it would seize power in Canada, but the party exaggerated its own influence.

Banned[edit]

On May 30, 1940, the party was banned under the Defence of Canada Regulations of the War Measures Act, and Arcand and many of his followers were arrested and detained for the duration of the war.

Post-war[edit]

Arcand ran in the 1949 federal election in the riding of Richelieu—Verchères as a candidate for the National Unity Party. He placed second, winning 5,590 votes (29.1% of the total).[2] He came in second again with 39 per cent of the vote when he ran as a "Nationalist" in Berthier—Maskinongé—Delanaudière in the 1953 federal election.

The party's last public act was a rally held on November 14, 1965 in Montreal's Paul Sauvé Arena with 850 of Arcand's followers in attendance.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Fascist Meet, Time Magazine, July 18, 1938
  2. ^ Richelieu—Verchères Riding history from the Library of Parliament