Canada PM's holiday cards raise concern over religious profiling
Jewish Canadians receive Rosh Hashana cards containing a photo of Stephen Harper and family.
Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper is facing mounting questions about religious profiling after Jewish Canadians received Rosh Hashana cards from him. The card says "L'Shana Tova U'Metuka" ("Have a Sweet and Happy New Year") and contains a photo of Harper and his family.
Critics have charged that the cards raises concerns over voter privacy, and ask whether it is appropriate for a prime minister to compile a list of Jews to send them unsolicited cards. Some Jews who do not affiliate in any formal way with the Jewish community have been surprised and upset that somehow they got on Harper's list.
Anita Neville, a Liberal member of Parliament in Winnipeg, says, "I know people who have gotten the cards who aren't Jewish but have Jewish-sounding last names. I also know Jewish people who haven't gotten the cards. Some people are amused and others are offended."
The Liberals have demanded unsuccessfully in Parliament that the Conservatives reveal how they compile their list of Jewish voters. Privacy Commissioner Jennifer Stoddart concluded after a brief investigation that there was no violation of federal privacy legislation since political parties are exempted from most of its provisions. Mr. Harper also sends out Christmas cards and Chinese New Year cards.