CBC News
– Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Emergency crews and a hazardous materials team have ruled out any threat to Ottawa’s National Library and Archives, where a controversial film on Iran was supposed to have been screened Tuesday night.

The library cancelled the screening of?Iranium, a film critical of Iran’s leadership and nuclear program, around 4 p.m. after receiving complaints and a threat.

Police were called in and around 5:15 p.m. ET shut down the building, which is on Wellington Street near Bay Street.

The National Library and Archives on Wellington Street was closed after the library received a threat. A controversial film on Iran was set to screen at the building Tuesday before it was cancelled. (Giacomo Panico/CBC)

Police discovered two suspicious envelopes containing a white powder inside a plastic bag inside the building, said a fire official at the scene.

A hazardous materials team was called but police did not end up needing its help, Ottawa fire department spokesperson Marc Messier said.

Fred Litwin, who organized the screening several months ago through the Free Thinking Film Society of Ottawa, said library officials had considered cancelling the event as late as Monday because of the sensitive subject matter but early Tuesday gave him the OK to screen it.

But when he arrived at the library, he was told the screening had been cancelled because there had been protesters inside and outside the building although he said he didn’t see any himself.

“I heard there was a threat,” Litwin told CBC News from the


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