Adrien Arcand (1899 – August 2, 1967), was a Montreal journalist who led a series of fascist political movements between 1929 until his death in 1967. During his political career he proclaimed himself the Canadian führer.
In 1934, he established the Parti national social chrétien (National Social Christian Party), which advocated anti-communism and the deportation of Canadian Jews to Hudson Bay, an idea that was inspired by his friend, noted British Rhodesian fascist Henry Hamilton Beamish, who suggested sending the Jews to Madagascar. Even then, Bennett secretly hired Arcand as his chief electoral organizer in Quebec for the 1935 federal election.
In 1938, Arcand was chosen leader of the federalist/fascist National Unity Party of Canada, born of the fusion of his Parti National Social Chrétien with the Prairie Provinces’ Canadian Nationalist Party and Ontario’s Nationalist Party, which itself grew out of the Toronto Swastika Clubs of the early thirties.
Arcand was always a staunch federalist and an anglophile. He received secret funds from Lord Sydenham of Combe, former governor of Bombay and a prominent fascist sympathizer in the British Conservative Party. He also maintained correspondence with Arnold Spencer Leese, chief of The Imperial Fascist League. Arcand’s party statutes called for the following oath to be taken at the beginning of every party meeting:
On May 30, 1940, he was arrested in Montreal for "plotting to overthrow the state" and interned for the duration of the war as a security threat. His party, then called the National Unity Party, was banned. In the internment camp, he sat on a throne built by other prisoners and spoke of how he would rule Canada when Hitler conquered it.
Arcand ran for the Canadian House of Commons on two occasions. Despite being shunned by mainstream Quebecers in the post-war years, he managed to come in second with 29 per cent of the vote when he ran as a National Unity candidate in the riding of Richelieu—Verchères in the 1949 federal election 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 election.
Arcand never wavered in his belief in Adolf Hitler, and, in the 1960s, was a mentor to Ernst Zündel, who became a prominent Holocaust denier and neo-Nazi propagandist in the latter part of the 20th century.
On November 14, 1965, he gave a speech before a crowd of 900 partisans from all over Canada at the Centre Paul-Sauvé in Montreal. As reported in La Presse and Le Devoir, he took the occasion to thank the newly-elected Liberal Member of Parliament for Mount Royal, Pierre Trudeau, and former Conservative leader George Drew, for speaking in his defence when he was interned. However, both Trudeau and Drew denied that they had ever defended Arcand, or his views, and insisted that they had in fact been defending the principle of free speech even for fascists. Trudeau also denied later rumours - for which no evidence has been uncovered - that he and Arcand had once been members together of a secret Rosicrucian Order.