FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
December 11, 2019
Press Release: CIJA Applauds Introduction of the Combating Antisemitism Act, 2019
TORONTO, ON — Today, MPP Will Bouma introduced the Combating Antisemitism Act, 2019 for first reading at the Ontario Legislature. The Bill requires the Government of Ontario to be guided by International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) definition of antisemitism when it interprets Acts, regulations and policies designed to protect Ontarians from discrimination and hate amounting to antisemitism.
In response, Noah Shack, Vice President, GTA, issued the following:
“This is an important step in addressing antisemitism in our province. Antisemitism can manifest in many different ways and it cannot be effectively countered if it is not properly identified.The IHRA definition is a crucial tool in this regard.“More than 30 countries have endorsed the IHRA definition, as well as the UN’s Secretary General and Special Rapporteur on freedom of religion or belief. In Canada, the IHRA definition was adopted by the Canadian government as part of its Anti-Racism Strategy, and has been endorsed by the Canadian Race Relations Foundation and the Canadian Human Rights Commission.
“Last month, Jewish community leaders from across the province came to Queen’s Park to meet with Members of Provincial Parliament about the issues that matter most to our community. I’m pleased that their collective voices have been heard, and appreciate MPP Bouma taking initiative.”
- The definition now constitutes the world’s most widely accepted definition of antisemitism, having been endorsed or adopted by dozens of countries and bodies – including the UK, US, EU, France, Germany, and Greece.
In 2016, the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) plenary – of which Canada is a member – adopted a working definition of antisemitism and list of illustrative examples.
- Statistics Canada data consistently confirms that the Jewish community is the most frequently targeted minority when it comes to hate crime. In 2017, Statistics Canada reported 360 hate crimes targeting the Jewish community – an average of once every 24 hours.
The Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs (CIJA) is the advocacy agent of the Jewish Federations of Canada-UIA