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The Vancouver Province
Friday, January 16, 1998

Mayor upset by hate label

Jewish group wants charges laid in Oliver

by Jack Keating

Oliver Mayor Linda Larson is furious because her town is being called the hate capital of Canada by Sol Littman of the Simon Wiesenthal Centre.

"I think it was irresponsible, and I'm very, very angry and I expect an apology and a retraction", said Larson.

"Oliver is the wine capital of Canada, not the hate capital of Canada."

Littman made the comment at a Vancouver press conference yesterday at which he urged Attorney-General Ujjal Dosanjh to prosecute an Oliver-based Internet provider for allegedly violating Canada's hate laws.

"Oliver, B.C., is now the hate capital of Canada", said Littman. "And British Columbia is the province which houses the hate capital of Canada."

Littman says Bernard Klatt, who owns Fairview Technology Centre, provides access to more than a dozen Web sites that the Wiesenthal Centre says violate Canadian hate laws.

Klatt provides Web sites for neo-Nazi, white supremacist, and racist groups such as the Heritage Front, Skin-Net, and the Euro Christian Defence League, said Littman.

"Most of what we see is a breach of our anti-hate legislation", he said.

"And we urge that charges by laid against Mr. Bernard Klatt and his network."

"They should be prosecuted under Section 318-319 of Canada's anti-hate legislation."

Littman says much of the hate literature is aimed at children and teenagers. Jews are depicted as "rats and subhumans" out to take over the world.

David Cohen, dean of the University of Victoria law school, called the sites "morally reprehensible".

"They are promoting hatred against Jewish people in an organized way."

Klatt was unavailable for comment.

Vancouver police Sgt. Rick McKenna, who heads the B.C hate-crime unit that was formed last April, said the complaint will be investigated.

"We'll take a good look at the complaint and then, based on what's contained in it, will determine the direction we should take", he said.


Copyright © 1998 by The Vancouver Province. All Rights Reserved. Reprinted with permission.