This week, MP Kevin Waugh introduced An Act to amend the Criminal Code (prohibition – promotion of antisemitism) that, if passed, would ban Holocaust denial in Canada. The initiative was seconded by Thornhill MP Melissa Lantsman and represents an important step toward this key priority staked out at the National Antisemitism Summit convened in July.
You can email a note of appreciation to Kevin Waugh here, and to Melissa Lantsman here. We also note the introduction of NDP MP Peter Julian’s Bill C-229, a private member’s bill that would ban the sale and display of symbols that promote hatred.
At CIJA, we are pleased to support all these efforts on issues core to our mission to preserve and protect the quality of Jewish life in Canada through advocacy. We will keep you updated on opportunities to encourage passage of these bills through the next steps to becoming law.
Calling all Lawyers: Come learn from international and Canadian experts about what the legal community can do to fight antisemitism – and bank your CDP hours at the same time.
On February 15, the best of international and Canadian legal experts will share what you can do to fight antisemitism at Legal Perspectives 2022 - Rising Antisemitism: Legal Tools to Fight Hate, CIJA’s fifth annual legal conference, co-hosted with UJA Federation of Greater Toronto, Federation CJA, and the Jewish Federation of Greater Vancouver. You will learn what Jewish lawyers and our allies can do to fight Jew-hatred and about the legal tools available to push back against this hate.
In partnership with Jewish Federations across Canada, CIJA hosted Has Amnesty International Lost its Way?, a webinar that unpacked Amnesty International’s recent report calling into question Israel’s right to exist. Panelists Yoseph Haddad, Founder and CEO of Together Vouch for Each Other; Anne Herzberg, Legal Advisor at NGO Monitor; and Izabella Tabarovsky, Senior Program Associate at the Kennan Institute of the Wilson Center, discussed its implications for our community.
Last week, at Charles H. Best Junior Middle School, two students displayed swastikas and others performed the Hitler salute in front of classmates. In response, CIJA issued a statement condemning these hateful acts, underscoring the need for impactful antisemitism education for middle school students, funding for which the Ministry of Education announced two weeks ago. Read our full statement here.
After releasing our statement, the Toronto District School Board (TDSB) announced that a teacher has been put on home assignment after allegedly comparing COVID-19 vaccine mandates to Nazis requiring Jews to wear a yellow Star of David. CIJA will continue to support the Board in the development of strategies and antisemitism training to curb this growing and dangerous trend at the TDSB.
February is Black History Month. We join Canadians in honouring the legacy of Black Canadians, past and present, and celebrating how the rich and diverse culture of this vibrant community has enhanced Canadian society. As part of our support for Black communities, we are engaged with Black partner organizations on issues of mutual importance, including combating anti-Black racism, a malicious hatred that must be stopped. We share a common goal of working together to build a better Canada, free from racism, antisemitism, inequality, and inequity.
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