Thank you, Mr. Chair, and members of the committee for inviting us to join this important conversation. I am pleased to offer reflections on behalf of the Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs, CIJA, which is the advocacy agent of the Jewish Federations of Canada and represents more than 150,000 Jewish Canadians from coast to coast.
CIJA is encouraged by the launch of this important study. Since the horrific mass shooting at the Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh last October – the deadliest act of antisemitic violence in North American history – CIJA has mobilized thousands of Canadians to email the Justice Minister to call for a national strategy to counter online hate, beginning with this very study. We have done so with the endorsement of a diverse coalition of partners, including Muslim, Christian, Sikh, and LGBTQ+ organizations. It is also worth noting that various groups we have worked with to mark Genocide Awareness Month – including Ukrainian, Armenian, Roma, Rwandan, and Yezidi representatives – have united to call for a national strategy on online hate, knowing that genocide begins with words.