Stephen Harper, Nelson Mandela and whitewashing the past - 2013-12-16
The membership of the NF read like a who's who of the far right in Canada. Many, if not all, of its members were also members of the Reform Party. In 1991 Harper told Trevor Harrison, who was researching his PhD on the Reform Party (later a book entitled Of Passionate Intensity): "I helped establish something called the Northern Foundation before it (much later) deteriorated into a kind of quasi-fascist organization. I was actually expelled from it. It's got stranger and stranger." Yet there was no doubt about what the organization stood for when Harper was still a member. And by his own account he didn't leave voluntarily.
Prime Minister Harper's communications aide gives a very different account now. In an email response to a version of this story published earlier today, he claimed Harper simply attended one meeting (about British market reforms) and that once he realized it was a pro-apartheid group he had nothing further to do with it.*
The NF's magazine was explicitly pro-apartheid (as well as anti-gay, and anti-French language rights). It provided free advertising to many right-wing groups including the pro-apartheid magazine The Phoenix and the Reform Party which apparently didn't object to being promoted by a gang of racists.