Source: Halifax Herald | March 31, 2001
‘Racist’ Flyer Causes Stir in Metro
By Randy Jones | Crime Reporter
Sherri Keirstead was horrified when she saw a flyer from the neo-Nazi Heritage Front posted on a bulletin board in a downtown Halifax music store.
“I was completely outraged, disgusted and shocked,” Ms. Keirstead said Thursday.
Using the image of a tiny blond-haired white girl, the flyer suggests the little girl’s future in Halifax is bleak.
“There will be no future for her in the multicultural Halifax that our provincial enemies are planning,” it reads.
Ms. Keirstead, at the store with a friend, pulled down the flyer and walked out of the store.
She forwarded the flyer to this newspaper, describing its message as “awful.”
Viki Samuels, co-ordinator of race relations and affirmative action at the Nova Scotia Human Rights Commission, said Thursday the flyer is “definitely racist.” “It’s disturbing. It’s in line with other types of materials that we see being distributed from this and other organizations, either flyers that are dropped off by hand or (information) over the Internet,” Ms. Samuels said.
A concerned employee at a Halifax library also anonymously sent the flyer to the commission, asking it to look into the matter.
Someone put the flyers on a library bulletin board and on library shelves.
Unfortunately, Ms. Samuels said, proceeding with a formal complaint is difficult because the commission doesn’t know who is distributing the material.
The flyer provides a Toronto mailing address, a Toronto phone number that reaches a recorded message, a Web site and a Halifax e-mail address.
“When we try to deal with these kinds of complaints, we often run into freedom of expression and free speech, as dictated by the Constitution,” Ms. Samuels said.
“So, in some ways dealing with it through our complaint process would be very lengthy (and) would draw attention to the cause in some way that the Heritage Front might like because then they would get their right to argue freedom of expression.”
Ms. Samuels said such flyers underscore the need to educate the public that racist groups exist.
“The Heritage Front might sound like a quite innocent organization that someone might support if they don’t know . . . this is a group that promotes hate,” she said.
She said people who see such literature should remove it, notify the provincial or federal human rights commission or call the police.
On its Web site, the Heritage Front calls itself Canada’s largest “racialist” group and claims it has been in existence for 13 years.
News stories from across Canada describe the Heritage Front as a neo-Nazi group. Calls and e-mails to the group were not returned.
Const. Brenda Zima, Halifax Regional Police spokeswoman, said the flyer has been forwarded to the Criminal Intelligence Service of Nova Scotia.
“As far as us making a comment, we won’t until we send it to them for them to determine what it is,” Const. Zima said.