New Rights Group Head Warned Of Muslim Immigrant Threat

New rights group head warned of Muslim immigrant threat

Fannie Olivier
The Canadian Press
Published On Mon Mar 01 2010

OTTAWAThe man chosen by the Harper government to lead the Rights and Democracy organization has publicly warned about threats posed by Muslim immigration.

He made the observations in a brief tabled at a public commission struck by the Quebec government in 2007 amid a raging debate in that province over how best to integrate minorities.

Gerard Latulippe argued that the concentration of immigrants in Montreal, as well as the geographic concentration of more and more immigrants from Muslim countries undermined the proper functioning of Quebec society.

He then concluded that if Quebec failed to change the way it selected immigrants, it faced a significant threat: the unnecessary risk of fostering domestic terrorism.

The federal Tories have picked him to become president of the federal organization responsible for promoting human rights and democracy around the world.

Latulippe made the remarks in a brief to Quebecs Bouchard-Taylor commission, in his then-role as resident director of the National Democratic Institute in Morocco.

He had been a former adviser to Stockwell Day when the current Treasury Board minister was head of the Canadian Alliance, and he also ran as a candidate for the Alliance.

He is now the resident director of the National Democratic Institute in Haiti.

Foreign Affairs Minister Lawrence Cannon has called him an exceptionally qualified candidate to lead the rights organization, now gripped by controversy and internal discord.

Opposition parties, however, had already slammed the nomination, saying the government should have appointed someone less partisan and ideological.

Cannon is expected to announce this week whether he will take the oppositions advice and choose another candidate.

One Muslim-rights group is pleading with him to do just that in light of Latulippes past musings.

In our opinion this promotes an unfounded fear of Muslims and of Muslim immigration in Canada, said Ihsaan Gardee of the Council on American-Islamic Relations Canada.

This is not consistent with the values of tolerance and acceptance enshrined in our Canadian Charter (of Rights and Freedoms). . . Mr. Latulippe has a right to his opinion, but its a whole other story when its taxpayers money going to someone whose values dont reflect whats in our Charter.

Gardees group is asking Canadians to send Cannon a letter urging him to drop Latulippe as a candidate to lead the 22-year-old rights organization based in Montreal.