For Immediate Release
November 28, 2017
Ottawa, ON—Today, Statistics Canada released a summary report of police-reported hate crime for 2016. In response, Shimon Koffler Fogel, CEO of the Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs (CIJA), issued the following:
“While Canada remains one of the best countries in the world to be a minority, antisemitism and hate persist at the margins of society. We are alarmed by the overall increase in hate crime, the increasingly violent nature of these crimes, and the spike in incidents targeting the Jewish community. That is why we lobbied federally for the extension of criminal code protections for schools and community centres (Bill C-305), pushed for the criminal charges that have been laid against Your Ward News, are meeting with Attorneys General across Canada to encourage more consistent application of hate legislation, and launched a widely supported Declaration Against Hate signed by dozens of groups.
“We continue to urge federal, provincial, and municipal governments to take four practical steps to combat these disturbing trends: 1) Establish uniform guidelines for gathering and publishing hate crime and hate incident data; 2) Ensure police forces have dedicated hate crime units; 3) Create training programs to ensure more consistent and effective enforcement of hate speech laws; and 4) Launch new measures to monitor and counter the spread of hate propaganda, which often foreshadows violent radicalization.”
- CIJA’s Security Team supports Jewish institutions to respond to incidents, liaise with police, and improve their security systems and protocols. This work is conducted through the National Community Security Program (NCSP), a collaborative partnership between CIJA and local, organized Jewish communities across Canada.
- CIJA mobilized a coalition of faith, ethnic, and civil society organizations to successfully advocate for stronger protections for at-risk institutions from hate mischief (Bill C-305, which passed in October 2017). CIJA has similarly worked with other faith and ethnic partners to successfully urge the Government of Canada to modernize and increase funding for the Security Infrastructure Program (SIP). A number of CIJA’s suggestions were adopted by the government when it expanded the SIP in November 2016.
- Last week, as part of our outreach to Attorneys General across Canada, CIJA met with the Attorney General of Ontario and had a constructive discussion about the streamlining of hate crime prosecution.
- Statistics Canada report available here: https://www.statcan.gc.ca/daily-quotidien/171128/dq171128d-eng.htm
The Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs (CIJA) is the advocacy agent of the Jewish Federations of Canada.
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