FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Tuesday, February 6, 2018
Montreal, QC. – Earlier today, McGill University Principal and Vice-Chancellor Suzanne Fortier released a report outlining results of an internal investigation, led by Professor Spencer Boudreau, into the October 23rd SSMU General Assembly vote targeting Jewish / pro-Israel student representatives nominated to the Board of Directors.
The Student Society of McGill University (SSMU) Judicial Board ruled the vote unconstitutional and, following a subsequent online vote, the students’ nominations were overwhelmingly approved last month.
In response, Rabbi Reuben Poupko, Co-Chair of the Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs-Quebec (CIJA-Québec) issued the following:
“We welcome the response from Principal Fortier to concerns raised by many students, both Jewish and non-Jewish, regarding incidents of antisemitism and discrimination at McGill. In launching the investigation and the task force, she has contributed to creating a positive environment on campus.
“We welcome the leadership demonstrated by Principal Fortier who has made it clear that antisemitism will not be tolerated at McGill.
“The General Assembly vote on October 23rd was discriminatory to Jews and pro-Israel students. While the report strongly validates concerns raised by many, it does not reach a clear conclusion. While the investigation failed to determine antisemitic intent, it is clear to us that the targeting of those students was antisemitic in effect. CIJA and FCJA / Hillel will continue to constructively support students to ensure that the McGill campus is secure and inclusive.”
In a statement released today to the McGill community, Principal Fortier highlighted Prof. Boudreau’s assertion that the student who raised the allegation of anti-Semitism had “an honest and even understandable reaction to the vote.” Fortier went on to say “I would like to take this opportunity to make it clear that there is absolutely no place for anti-Semitism at McGill University and that, as Principal and Vice-Chancellor, I will remain vigilant to ensure that all members of our community feel safe, welcomed and respected on our campuses.”
The Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs (CIJA) is the advocacy agent of the Jewish Federations of Canada.