Crate hailed from a working class family in northern Ontario. Crate became radicalized into fascism as a result of the great depression.
Crate joined the navy during World War 2 as a postman and a gunner. He also worked for several years as a gold miner and Mine Mill and Smelter Worker shop steward and union organizer where he actually helped get equal pay for Native American workers who also worked in the mines. He was supportive of the rights of Canadian Indigenous peoples and supported their rights.
At the age on 17, Crate became a member (and later the leader) of the Canadian Union of Fascists).
Fascist political activity
After joining the Canadian Union of Fascists at the age of 17, he became the leader of the organization and made them lobby for native rights. However, they did also ally with the British Union of Fascists, as well as having close ties with and inspiration from Adrien Arcand, another Canadian fascist.