Toronto Sun

March 24, 2001

Fry a heavy Liberal cross to bear

By DAVID GAMBLE -- Ottawa Bureau
Toronto Sun

OTTAWA -- The federal minister in charge of fighting racism no longer has the credibility to do her job and should quit, opposition MPs charged yesterday.

Despite an apology Thursday, Hedy Fry continued to feel the heat over her claims that Prince George, B.C., was a haven for racism and cross burnings.

NDP MP Svend Robinson joined Canadian Alliance MPs in demanding Prime Minister Jean Chretien fire Fry, who is the secretary of state for multiculturalism.

Deputy Prime Minister Herb Gray called on the Opposition to drop its attacks against the Caribbean-born Fry, "an immigrant to this country ... a person of colour who has devoted her life to fighting against discrimination and racism." But Robinson and Alliance MP Dick Harris, who represents Prince George, would not relent.

"This minister is totally incompetent," Robinson said, noting Prince George is far from a haven for racism, having won this year's End Racism Award from the B.C. government.

Two hours after she made the comment about "crosses burning as we speak" in Prince George, she insisted the mayor of Prince George had told her about the cross burnings in a letter.

The City of Prince George denied Fry's claim.

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