White powder sent to four Canada ministers: police

MONTREAL - Four Canadian government ministers were sent envelopes of a suspicious white powder on Thursday that was later believed to be harmless, police said.

"In each case, a staffer found white powder in an envelope" at the ministers' Quebec regional offices, provincial police Sergeant Richard Gagne told AFP.

The envelopes were delivered to the constituency offices of Infrastructure Minister Denis Lebel, International Development Minister Christian Paradis, Minister of State for Small Business and Tourism Maxime Bernier and Public Safety Minister Steven Blaney.

Police indicated that an analysis of the powder found in the first envelope, opened by Lebel's office, did not present any danger.

The envelopes arrived as parliament debates a controversial anti-terror law, championed by Blaney.

The episode calls to mind anthrax scares and hoaxes in October 2001 in the United States and other countries in which anthrax-laced letters were sent to journalists and lawmakers, infecting several