Rise in Antisemitic Incidents: CIJA is Asking for Concrete Engagements from Quebec’s Political Parties
CIJA has published a list of electoral priorities for Quebec’s Jewish community
Montreal, QC – Monday, September 12, 2022 – Responding to the rise in antisemitism in Quebec and Canada, the Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs (CIJA) has asked Quebec’s political parties to commit to fighting hatred and to present their respective plans during this campaign.
“Despite the fact Quebec is an open and tolerant society, there are still hateful individuals who have not understood this message. All Quebecers have the right to feel safe in their homes, and that includes those of Jewish faith and descent,” said CIJA Quebec Vice President Eta Yudin. “We have provided Quebec’s political parties with concrete proposals to fight hate and are now waiting to see what they propose in response.”
Over the course of the last year, religiously motivated hate crimes reported to police have grown by 67 per cent compared to 2020, according to data from Statistics Canada. The Jewish community was the most frequent target for these crimes, representing 55 per cent of all reported cases.
Although official provincial data is not yet available, Statistics Canada notes that, with the exception of the Yukon, hateful crimes have risen in every province and territory in 2021.
To help authorities fight antisemitism and all forms of hate, CIJA proposed a series of measures to Quebec’s political parties.
Increasing resources dedicated to hate-crime specific training specialized units to fight hate-crimes within police forces and the Director of Criminal and Penal Prosecutions would allow the deployment of staff specialized in the fight against hateful crimes.
Creating a community securitisation fund for cultural communities, similar to Ontario’s Safer and Vital Community Grant, would respond to the specific needs for community security amongst groups more frequently targeted in hateful crimes.
CIJA is also asking political parties to include a segment on the history of Quebec’s Jewish community, and its contributions to its political, cultural, and economic vitality, in the Citizenship Education course plan.
CIJA reiterates that, amongst other facts of interest, Trois-Rivières native Ezekiel Hart was, in 1807, the first Jewish person elected to a legislative assembly anywhere in the British Empire. He served in the Legislative Assembly starting in 1832 thanks to support from his fellow citizen in Trois-Rivières.
“Quebec’s Jewish community represents more than 250 years of belonging and contributions to our common nation,” said Yudin. “The history of Quebec’s Jewish community is integral to Quebec’s history, and that must be recognized in the way Citizenship Education will be taught.”
The policy proposal document entitled Priority Issues for Quebec’s Jewish Community 2022 can be viewed here: https://assets.nationbuilder.com/cija/pages/77/attachments/original/1662743492/22-07-08_QC-issues-guide-EN-digital.pdf?1662743492.
About the Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs
The Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs (CIJA) is the advocacy agent of Jewish Federations across Canada. CIJA is a national, non-partisan, non-profit organization whose mission is to preserve and protect Jewish life in Canada through advocacy and to advance the public policy interests of Canada’s organized Jewish community.
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