July 22, 2021
Ottawa, ON – Yesterday, the Government of Canada hosted a National Summit on Antisemitism to identify and take concrete action to address the rise of antisemitism facing Jewish communities across Canada.
Organized by the Federal Anti-Racism Secretariat, the summit brought together diverse Jewish community leaders, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, federal ministers, members of Parliament, and officials from provincial and municipal governments.
At the summit, CIJA presented concrete policy proposals including:
Enhanced Security. More investment in the Security Infrastructure Program (SIP), to increase at-risk communities’ capacity to enhance protection of communal institutions.
Education. Improve education about antisemitism in Canadian curricula and launch a special Canada-wide initiative to address the toxicity circulated online.
Legal Initiatives. Follow the lead of countries such as France, Germany, Austria, Hungary, and Poland and make Holocaust Denial an indictable offence in Canada.
Shimon Koffler Fogel, President and CEO, the Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs (CIJA), issued the following:
“Anti-Jewish hatred is a growing and constantly mutating scourge that must be combatted with determination by all Canadians. We are pleased that the Government of Canada demonstrated leadership by organizing this National Summit on Antisemitism.
“We will continue to work with our elected officials, at all three levels of government, on advancing the concrete and constructive policy proposals we are presenting related to community security, education, and combating Holocaust denial.
“While today’s summit focused on antisemitism and Jewish lived experience, the lessons learned and measures that will be implemented as a result will be instructive and of value to all at-risk minorities. All Canadians—Jewish and non-Jewish alike—have a role to play in creating the Canada we aspire to live in, one free from hate, racism, and bigotry.”
Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs (CIJA) is the advocacy agent of Canada’s Jewish Federations
- Government of Canada Press Release
- CIJA Policy Proposals
- National Summit on Antisemitism – Opening Remarks
- The summit took place one week after CIJA hosted a Canada-wide Jewish Community Town Hall on July 14.
- Following the summit, the Government of Canada committed to the following initial actions:
- Engage with Jewish communities on the Government’s next anti-racism action plan, which will be launched when the 2019–2022 Anti-Racism Strategy comes to an end;
- Enhancements to the Security Infrastructure Program (SIP), Anti-Racism Action Program (ARAP), Community Support, Multiculturalism, and Anti-Racism Initiatives Program (CSMARI) and other relevant/related programs to be more responsive to community needs. These programs will continue to dismantle white supremacist groups, monitor hate groups, take action to combat hate everywhere, including online;
- Work toward improving digital literacy and tackling misinformation;
- A renewed focus on dedicated resources to support the work within government to combat antisemitism and all forms of hate, including the work of special envoy, Irwin Cotler;
- Take a whole of government approach by working with departments across the government to take further action on these priorities.