FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
May 13, 2019
Press Release: CIJA Applauds Terror Incitement Amendment to Bill C-59
OTTAWA, ON — The Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs (CIJA) applauded today’s decision by the Standing Senate Committee on National Security and Defence to amend Bill C-59 to close the terror incitement loophole.
The bill, which proposes a wide array of changes to Canada’s national security policies, included redefining the criminal offence of “advocacy and promotion” of terrorism to become “counselling terrorism”. In testimony to the committee, CIJA did not oppose the new term but urged parliamentarians to amend wording in the definition that suggested the law only applies to someone who counsels another specific person to engage in terrorism. CIJA argued that this left a significant loophole in the bill that could be exploited in court by an extremist, such as an ISIS supporter or a white supremacist, who calls on a general audience – such as in a public gathering or on social media – to commit terrorism.
In response to the committee’s adoption of CIJA’s proposed amendment, CIJA President and CEO Shimon Koffler Fogel issued the following:
“We applaud senators for uniting across party lines to pass this common sense amendment, which closes the terror incitement loophole. While the Jewish community is disproportionately targeted by terrorists, all Canadians are safer when police have the tools they need to counter those who incite terrorism – be they violent Islamist extremists, white supremacists, or those motivated by other toxic ideologies.
“In testimony before the committee, Minister Goodale confirmed he welcomes amendments and a senior Justice Department official noted it shares the goal of ensuring this law can be used against those who call on broad audiences to commit terrorism. In light of this, as well as the multi-partisan support in the Senate for today’s amendment, we urge the government to endorse this amendment when Bill C-59 returns to the House of Commons for approval.”
The Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs (CIJA) is the advocacy agent of the Jewish Federations of Canada
- On December 12, 2017, CIJA testified at the House of Commons Standing Committee on Public Safety and National Security on Bill C-59. CIJA’s full testimony may be found here.
- On April 29, 2019, CIJA testified at the Standing Senate Committee on National Security and Defence on Bill C-59. CIJA’s full testimony may be found here.
- CIJA recently launched a campaign (changec59.ca) mobilizing thousands of Canadians to urge senators to close the terror incitement loophole.