Printed from JRCC.org

Boris Shtein

Boris Shtein

Engineer, IT Professional

 Email

Boris Shteinfacecommsep17.JPG

Engineer, IT Professional

North York

How long have you lived in Ontario?

I live in Ontario since 2000.

Where does your family come from?

My family comes from Lithuania, but during the war my parents were evacuated to Kazakhstan, where I was born.

What do you do in your free time (or study)? Do you have any hobbies?

I'm fond of poetry. My poems have been published in the local Russian-language press (the newspaper "Our Canada"), and I maintain my own website.

Given the opportunity to meet anyone in history, who would you choose?

Definitely with the Lubavitcher Rebbe. This would be the most amazing and joyful meeting possible.

When did you start to participate in JRCC programs? What do they mean to you?

I began my interest in the community programs soon after my arrival in Canada. Programs are important and necessary for the community, especially during this difficult time for Canada and the world as a whole. Community programs help people stick together.

* * *

I would like to take this opportunity to share a moving experience I had recently. By chance, while browsing online through the new books at the Toronto Public Library, I saw came happened to come across e-book versions of Adolf Hitler’s Mein Kampf, in both English and Russian!

I sent a letter to the library staff responsible for maintaining the book collection asking them to remove Mein Kampf (both print and electronic versions) from the library materials. They kept silence for a long time, after which I wrote to them that if they continue to ignore my request, I will forward it to the office of the Prime Minister of Canada. The next day I received an assurance that a detailed reply will be sent in the coming days. This happened, but with an undesirable result: my request was rejected, with the decision being rationalized by the idea of "diversity of opinions" - the right in Canada for a variety of opinions and giving the reading public the opportunity to study this material.

In light of my disagreement with their decision, I was asked to fill out a standard form formally requesting to remove a work from the library catalog. I filled out this form and sent it to them.

Over time, it turned out that the problem, however, is not limited to Toronto Public Library alone. With time I discovered that many Canadian libraries, financed with taxpayer money in the same way as the Toronto Public Library, offer Hitler's Mein Kampf - essentially using your money to spread Nazi ideology from sea to sea. And, what is noteworthy to me, in Russian!

Since the problem turned out to be so great, I thought about solving it at the legislative level, through the Federal Parliament. In May of this year, I took the opportunity and, talking about the current state of affairs, asked the opinion of one of the leaders of the Conservative Party, Maxim Bernier, who visited Toronto then. He replied that it was "very difficult, but a chance is probable."

I think that based on the experience of our discussion with the Toronto Public Library, it is possible to propose a relevant bill that would oblige the Canadian Public Libraries to remove Hitler's Mein Kampf from their collections. The process of proposing a bill is not complicated, but community support is needed (at least 500 signatures are required under the electronic petition).

It is also necessary to find a member of the federal parliament who would agree to "sponsor" the petition, that is, submit it to Parliament. I have already sent a request to several MPs about this, but if someone could help in finding such a sponsor soon, it would be very good. I very much hope to get the support of the community in this matter. I think that we are all interested in stopping the spread of Nazism around the world - especially in light of recent events in the US.

 Email