Canadian Racist Loses Job Certificate

Ten years after he was fired from his last teaching job, Paul Fromm, one of Canada's best-known white supremacist and anti-immigration ideologues, was stripped of his teaching certificate by the Ontario College of Teachers.

In its Oct. 31 decision, the regional teachers governing body said that although Fromm's supremacist activities were conducted outside the classroom — and had no direct impact on his students — they disgraced the entire profession.

"This case is not about the member's right to hold political views that are unpopular, or to participate in legal political activities," the disciplinary panel ruled. "It is about whether a teacher who publicly expresses views which are contrary to the values of the profession and the education system, and which have a negative impact on the education system, is entitled to be a member of the college."

Fromm had been a teacher with the Peel District School Board since 1974, even as he was active in the racist movement. When videos showing him at white supremacist rallies became public in 1992, he was reprimanded and transferred the next year to an adult education facility. He was fired from that post in 1997.

That was the last teaching job Fromm ever held. Nevertheless, professional disciplinary hearings were initiated against him in 2005 and were only completed in June of last year. Fromm has the right to appeal the decision to the courts.

The panel considered evidence that Fromm had started groups that attacked multiculturalism; attended white supremacist meetings including one held to mark the anniversary of Adolf Hitler's death; shouted "Scalp him!" at a meeting where an anti-racist suggested curbing racist groups; attended meetings and delivered speeches alongside well-known racists like American David Duke; and more.

None of the activities he was censured for would have been illegal under U.S. law, and probably none would not have cost him his license here. But Canada, like most European countries, has both laws and regulations that punish certain speech and activities that would be protected by the First Amendment in America.