FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
November 7, 2018
Press Release: CIJA Welcomes Historic St. Louis Apology
OTTAWA, ON — Today, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau issued a formal apology in the House of Commons on behalf of the Government of Canada for its refusal to grant asylum to Jewish refugees aboard the MS St. Louis in 1939.
In response, Shimon Koffler Fogel, CIJA CEO, issued the following:
“We commend the Prime Minister for today’s historic apology for the St. Louis incident, a shameful decision that reflected Canada’s ‘none is too many’ policy toward Jewish refugees fleeing Nazi persecution.
“For many Holocaust Survivors, today’s apology is a profound statement that Canada acknowledges and regrets a decision that caused so much pain and loss.
“Canada has changed dramatically since 1939. Canadians can be proud that our country has become a world leader in combating antisemitism and in welcoming refugees. Acknowledging moments in our history when Canada failed our ideals will help us remain vigilant in upholding those values today.
“Antisemitism remains a serious threat, as seen in the recent heinous attack on a Pittsburgh synagogue, in which 11 Jewish Americans were murdered. According to Statistics Canada and Canadian law enforcement officials, the Jewish community is consistently the most frequently targeted religious minority when it comes to hate crime. We applaud the Prime Minister for committing to expand the Security Infrastructure Program, which provides valuable support to at-risk institutions within and beyond the Jewish community. We look forward to working with the government on this important initiative and on other practical policies to combat antisemitism in all its forms today.”
The Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs (CIJA) is the advocacy agent of the Jewish Federations of Canada