Ian Verner Macdonald

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Ian Verner Macdonald
Ian Verner in Yemen.png
Macdonald(2nd from rt.) posing alongside Yemeni mountain rebels
Born (1925-01-19) January 19, 1925 (age 94)[1]
Alma materQueen's University
University of Toronto
Years activeUnited States - 1962-63[2][3]
EmployerTrade Commissioner Service
RelativesCousin - Lt. Harvey MacHattie (d. 1943 in Battle of Ortona[4])
WebsiteThistle Express

Ian Verner Macdonald is a Canadian former trade diplomat and entrepreneur, known for his controversial associations with far-right figures and groups.

Military career[edit]

Macdonald is claimed to be a World War II veteran of the Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF) and Fleet Air Arm, however, details of said service are unknown.

Career diplomat and advocate[edit]

Macdonald served as Canada's senior trade commissioner in Sri Lanka, the United States of America, and Lebanon in the 1970s.[5]

As President of the Iraqi-Canadian Friendship Association in the 1990s, he spoke at conferences in Montreal, Moscow and Baghdad opposing the sanctions and the use of depleted uranium munitions against Iraqi civilians.

In 1984, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police investigated allegations that Macdonald had given confidential Canadian trade documents to the government of Iraq.[5]


In 1987, Macdonald, who had business dealings with Libya since 1970, was asked by Palestinian-American Mousa Hawamda, a Libyan agent, to organise a Canadian delegation to Tripoli to commemorate the American bombing of Libya the previous year. Macdonald agreed and recruited a contingent of 96 members, among whom were representatives of the far-left and far-right.[6]

In March 1989, he and Ingrid Beisner organized a sold-out speaking engagement for controversial author David Irving at the Chateau Laurier in Ottawa. In September of that year, author Warren Kinsella wrote an article titled "The Somewhat Right of Centre Views of Ian Verner Macdonald" for Ottawa Magazine.

In the early 1990s, Macdonald permitted white supremacist rallies, as well as camps by neo-Nazi skinheads and Aryan Nations groups, to be held on his property.[5] He was a friend of James Alexander McQuirter, leader of the Canadian Knights of the Ku Klux Klan, in the 1980s.[7]

Kinsella published the book Unholy Alliances in 1992 and devoted Chapter 5 of the work to detailing his allegations about Macdonald's personal views. He also wrote Web of Hate in 1994, and accused Macdonald of being a "fascist" and "anti-Semite", claiming that Macdonald's friendship with McQuirter linked Irving to the KKK.

In 1992, Ottawa's Frank Magazine described Macdonald as a "neo-nazi" landlord, which he denied.[8]

In 1996, Kinsella took part in a Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC) radio call-in program wherein he stated that Macdonald "provided rhetorical and material support to the Canadian Knights of the Ku Klux Klan, and ... provided connections between Ku Klux Klan leaders and the Government of Libya." Kinsella also stated that the Libyan government "provided funding to far right groups in Canada to carry out illegal acts." Macdonald subsequently engaged litigation lawyer Doug Christie to sue the CBC and Kinsella for libel. The case was dismissed on the grounds that the statements were not defamatory and that the claim was filed more than six weeks after the broadcast. The presiding justice wrote, "It is clear from the evidence that Macdonald was known for his anti-Semitic, racist views and friends, and for being at least an admirer of the KKK. Nothing that Kinsella said affected that reputation. Nothing he said alluded to any criminality."[9]

The ruling was upheld on appeal by the Court of Appeal for Ontario on October 19, 2011, and an application to the Supreme Court was rejected.[10]

"Sympathetic? In a way...[the KKK] are harassed to a certain extent and I think they should be allowed to have freedom of expression"

Ian Macdonald[11][12]

Macdonald has written many letters to the editor on Zionism, World War II, the 1996 American attacks on Iraq, the September 11 attacks, the 2011 war in Libya, the removal of a daughter from her mother who espoused Neo-Nazism, immigration, gun control, and what he calls the subversion of the political process in Canada. He is a member of the Royal Canadian Legion.


+In 2008, Macdonald, a collector of paper antiques, published Ottawa - The Golden Years, an album of 2,144 rare images from the Victorian era. A copy was presented to Queen Elizabeth II who welcomed the book into the Buckingham Palace Library.[13]

He published in 2010 the Star Weekly at War, an album of vivid wartime covers of the magazine.


  1. ^ http://thistlexpress.com/about-the-author/
  2. ^ Department of State, "Foreign Consular Offices in the United States", 1962. pt. "Michigan"
  3. ^ American Society for Metals, "ASM Transactions Quarterly", Volume 56. p. 933
  4. ^ Library Information and Research Services, "The Middle East, Part 2", 2005. pt. 17407
  5. ^ a b c Mike Haymes, "Arson suspected on ex-KKK adviser's land: Supremacist scoffs at idea fire connected to reputation, past activities," Ottawa Citizen, 18 March 2005.
  6. ^ Warren Kinsella, "Remembering a Canadian victim of the Gadhafi regime," Calgary Sun, 28 August 2011, p. 28.
  7. ^ Stewart Bell, "Confessions of a Grand Wizard," National Post, 23 May 2009, A10.
  8. ^ "Not a neo-Nazi, FRANK MAGAZINE". www.ianvmacdonald.com/. Retrieved 10 June 2015.
  9. ^ Kristy Nease, "Liberal strategist Kinsella defeats defamation suit; Ex-diplomat had established 'anti-Semitic, racist views,' judge rules," Ottawa Citizen, 21 July 2009, C3.
  10. ^ Natalie Stechyson, "Libel lawsuit against CBC, Warren Kinsella quashed by top court," Postmedia News, 5 April 2012.
  11. ^ Macdonald v. Kinsella and CBC, Ruling by Justice Metvier, June 25, 2009
  12. ^ Kinsella, Warren. Unholy Alliances, 1992. Chapter V.
  13. ^ http://thistlexpress.com/ottawa-the-golden-years/

External links[edit]