By Mitchell Thompson

The Canadian military’s efforts in the Second World War are often mythologized so as to portray opposition to fascism as a cross-class trait, shared by workers, bosses and politicians alike. The disturbing reality, however, is that well into the late 1930s, a significant section of Canada’s elite admired fascism in Italy and even in Germany.

The Empire Club and Mussolini

In 1938, the Empire Club of Canada, Toronto’s leading luncheon of elites tied to the British empire, hosted commentator Rex Frost, who offered an account of his meetings with officials in Italy and Germany. While expressing a preference for the former, Fox told the audience: “Germany at once impresses you as a highly disciplined country.”

He said further: “I can speak in the highest terms of the courtesy with which I was greeted by German officials and members of the government departments.”

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