‘Hate literature’ hits metro homes
Ontario group’s postcard campaign targets religions, calls for ban on
By Chris Lambie
The Daily News
Saturday, November 17, 2001
Postcards blaming “poorly screened immigration” for terrorist attacks on
New York’s World Trade Center landed yesterday in about 2,000 metro
Designed to be sent on to the recipient’s Member of Parliament, the card
demands a five-year moratorium on immigration “so that we can sift out
who’s here and absorb the flood of recent years.”
It also calls for “a concerted effort to detect and deport the Islamist,
Sikh, Tamil and other terrorists who have infiltrated and abused
While the postcard is not signed, it bears the acronym CFIRC, which
for Canada First Immigration Reform Committee, an Ontario far-right
organization linked to white-power groups.
Paul Fromm, an anti-immigrant extremist who heads the group, makes no
apologies for targeting specific religions on the cards, sent out to
about 12,000 Canadian homes.
“These are the groups that have generated terrorists recently in
Canada,” Fromm said.
“After Sept. 11, we just have to be a little bit more prepared to call a
spade a spade. It wasn’t members of the United Church that did it.”
Fromm said there was “no particular reason” his group’s name wasn’t on
“There wasn’t anything underhanded about it,” he said. “It was a matter of
economy; there’s only so much space on the back of a small postcard.”
Halifax immigration lawyer Lee Cohen called the cards “hate literature.”
“It’s intending to incite the nation,” Cohen said. “And the nation means
the white, Christian nation of Canada against those who are foreign.”
Fromm argues halting immigration would lower unemployment.
“We have to give first priority to Canadians,” he said.
But Cohen said a five-year moratorium on immigration would bring our
economy to a standstill.
“Under more normal circumstances, I would regard the postcard as part of
a fanatical fringe that raises its head from time to time, more than
anything just to get a public response,” he said.
“But these are not normal times. And post-Sept. 11, I am concerned about
the growing sense of anti-immigrationism in Canada.”
Muslim spiritual leader Jamal Badawi said people who receive the
“unconscionable” postcards should ignore them. Or, better yet, he said,
mark them return to sender, and pop them back in the mail.
“All Canada, except for the native Indians, is a nation of immigrants,”
“It is unfortunate that some people take advantage of the tragic events
of Sept. 11 to vent their latent racism and bigotry.”
Copyright 2001 The Daily News