PROFUNC (1950–1983), which stands for “PROminent FUNCtionaries of the communist party”, was a Government of Canada top secret plan to identify and intern Canadian communists and crypto-communists during the height of the Cold War.
With the 1945 Gouzenko Affair occurring in Canada, which was a main contributor to starting the Cold War and the threat of the Korean War becoming the precursor for the Third World War, the Government of Canada in 1950 determined a need to create the PROFUNC blacklist.
In the 1950s, Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) Commissioner Stuart Taylor Wood, had a PROFUNC list of approximately 16,000 suspected communists and 50,000 communist sympathizers to be observed and potentially interned, in a national security state of emergency, such as a Third World War crisis with the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR) and Red China.
A separate arrest document, known formally as a C-215 form, was written up for each potential internee and updated regularly with personal information, including but not limited to, age, descriptions, photographs, vehicle information, until the 1980s. In addition, more obscure information, such as, potential escape routes from the individuals personal residence were noted. Several prominent Canadians are suspected of being on the PROFUNC list including: Winnipeg alderman Jacob Penner, Roland Penner and the founder of the New Democratic Party of Canada Tommy Douglas.
It is suspected that the PROFUNC blacklist was used to increase the number of people detained as Front de libération du Québec (FLQ) suspects during the 1970 October Crisis, in contravention of the presumption of innocence, many of whom had no affiliation with the FLQ.
The Canadian Penitentiary Service received an updated PROFUNC list from the RCMP in 1971 to make them aware of the number of potential internees.
In the early 1980s, the then Toronto Liberal Member of Parliament and Solicitor General of Canada, Bob Kaplan, caused PROFUNC to become defunct by introducing administrative changes entailing the RCMP to discontinue whatever was contributing to superannuated communists encountering problems while attempting to cross the Canada – United States border. Kaplan claims to have had no knowledge of PROFUNC until advised of it by journalists in 2010 and that he was dismayed by its existence, “I just can’t believe it had any government authorization behind it”, said Kaplan