HAMILTON, ONT. – A former teacher who was driven from the profession for expressing racist and white nationalist sentiments wants to be the next mayor of Hamilton, Ont.
Paul Fromm, 69, who described himself in a YouTube video as a “populist and a white nationalist,” filed his nomination papers on July 20. He took up residence in Hamilton six months ago, after living in Mississauga for several years.
He will be running against 11 other candidates in the Oct. 22 municipal election, only three of which, including the incumbent, Mayor Fred Eisenberger, are generally considered to have a reasonable chance of winning (Fromm is not considered to be a serious candidate).
Fromm, who has supported Holocaust deniers such as Ernst Zundel, once shared a stage with former Ku Klux Klan grand wizard David Duke and describes immigrants as the cause of traffic congestion in the Greater Toronto Area and a drain on public resources, said in an interview with The CJN that he is running in Hamilton on a platform of infrastructure renewal.
“Number 1 is an issue that bedevils the entire Golden Horseshoe and that is traffic gridlock. It is slowly grinding many parts of the Horseshoe to a halt. It is costing a fortune and it’s getting worse every year,” he said.
Fromm blamed the gridlock problem on the failure of provincial and federal governments to spend money on road projects, but added that the problem is aggravated by Ottawa’s refusal to stem the flow of immigrants into Ontario.
“The federal government continues to pour people into the Golden Horseshoe. We’ve had over two million in the past 20 years, yet the infrastructure has remained, with the odd exception, the same,” he said.
“We have an infrastructure that worked pretty well in 1975, but now we’re 45 years on into the future and it isn’t working now. The federal government has to be confronted by outspoken mayors and told, ‘No more, until you spend the tens of billions to build the infrastructure to take the people.’
“Mass immigration is the major component in traffic gridlock. It’s a double whammy. The government has not spent the money over the past 40 years to keep the infrastructure current and yet continues to bring in the people.”
Fromm said he also believes that halting the flow of immigration will help solve the poverty problem that plagues Hamilton.
“You don’t have to walk very far down King Street downtown to see very many homeless people and poor people,” he said. “I know it’s volatile and it’s easy to call people names if they bring up the issue, or any issue critical of immigration, but I’m prepared to do that. I’m prepared to do that because if we’re going to solve our problems, we have to talk plainly about that.
“The solution is to make a lot of noise and demand that the federal government stop the immigration inflow until they’re prepared to provide the money, and it has to be big money. We’re not talking about widening this road or that road a little bit, we’re talking about a major new network of expressways.”
As for his support of noted Holocaust deniers such as Monika and Alfred Schaefer, who are currently on trial in Germany, Fromm said his real concern in those debates is ensuring that freedom of expression is protected.
“I supported their right to speak and I think that has been steadily eroded in this country over the last 40 years. That tradition has been really eroded and that is really bad for Canada,” he said.
“What has replaced it is we don’t have the right to offend certain groups. You can offend me all you want, you can mock Christianity and knock heterosexuality and I’m just supposed to put on a wan smile and take it. I don’t think that’s a realistic world.”
The Hamilton mayoral campaign is not Fromm’s first run for elected office. He has twice campaigned to be the mayor of Mississauga, stood for a Toronto seat in the recent Ontario election, has run for federal seats in Alberta and Mississauga, and for school board positions in Toronto and Peel Region. He served a single term as a Catholic school trustee in Toronto.
Fromm holds masters of arts and education degrees from the University of Toronto and worked in the Peel school system for 25 years, before being stripped of his teaching license in 2007 for unprofessional conduct outside the classroom, because he embraced views and beliefs that are contrary to multiculturalism and tolerance and participated in white supremacist groups and events.
That activity also got him expelled from the federal Progressive Conservative, Reform and Social Credit parties. In 2016, the Conservative party refused to accept him as a member, when he tried to join, to support leadership candidate Kellie Leitch’s calls to subject prospective immigrants to a test for “Canadian values.”
We’ll be monitoring the situation and responding appropriately.
– Judy Zelkovitz
Today, Fromm is the director of the Canadian Association for Free Expression (CAFE) and the Canada First Immigration Reform Committee. According to its website, CAFE is “dedicated to free speech, immigration reform and restoring political sanity.”
Judy Zelikovitz, vice-president for university and local partner services with the Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs wrote in an email to The CJN that Fromm is well-known to the agency.
“We’re aware of this development and are quite familiar with his history. We note that he received 0.5 per cent of the popular vote when he ran for mayor of Mississauga in 2014,” she wrote. “While we expect a similar outcome in Hamilton, we’ll be monitoring the situation and responding appropriately.”