July 13, 2017 10:33 am

Toronto library reviewing policies after controversial event sparks outrage

Toronto Public Library received calls to cancel the memorial service in honour of lawyer Barbara Kulaszka.

Barbara Kulaszka/Handout
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TORONTO – The Toronto Public Library says it is reviewing its policies after a gathering at a local branch to honour a lawyer who defended people associated with the white supremacy movement was met with widespread criticism.

An announcement for the event held Wednesday at the Richview branch described it as a memorial for Barbara Kulaszka, a lawyer whose clients included Marc Lemire, the leader of the now-disbanded white supremacy group Heritage Front.

READ MORE: Toronto library refuses to cancel controversial memorial despite requests from mayor, councillors

It also said Lemire and Paul Fromm, a former teacher whose ties to racist groups cost him his licence, were among those expected to speak at the event, which cost $10 to attend.

Toronto Mayor John Tory says he had initially asked for the event to be cancelled, but was told the library was advised by its lawyer that it could not refuse the booking.

Tory says he received many calls about the controversial gathering and is “deeply concerned.”

In a statement released this morning, the Toronto Public Library said it did not endorse the gathering but could not reject it.

“We did have staff monitoring the event, and nothing took place that contravened our rules of conduct,” it said. “We will be debriefing on this event and also reviewing our policy.”

© 2017 The Canadian Press

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