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e-3858 (Social affairs and equality)

Initiated by Marvin Rotrand from Montréal, Quebec

Original language of petition: English

Petition to the House of Commons

  • We, as do most Canadians, acknowledge the debilitating impacts of racism and its various manifestations that seek to undermine efforts to promote and foster inclusiveness and respect;
  • The Government of Canada has made combatting the scourge of antisemitism, both at home and abroad, a major priority and underlined its commitment by convening a National Summit on Anti-Semitism in July 2021, and following the Summit, committed to taking a whole of government approach to combatting antisemitism;
  • The International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) working definition of antisemitism is a critical tool in combatting this form of hatred;
  • The Government of Canada adopted the IHRA working definition of antisemitism in June 2019 as part of its 2019-2022 Anti-Racism Strategy - a tool that is now shared by IHRA’s 35 Full Member States and its nine Associate Member Nations; and
  • Antisemitism is a global phenomenon, and its propaganda, rhetoric and violence abroad deeply affects Canadian Jews and Canadians who desire understanding among the cultural diversity that empowers and strengthens Canada and its various communities.
We, the undersigned, citizens and residents of Canada, call upon the House of Commons to ensure that the Government of Canada deny public funding or assistance to any domestic and foreign non-governmental organizations who promote or engage in antisemitism, as defined in the IHRA working definition of antisemitism.

Response by the Minister of Foreign Affairs

Signed by (Minister or Parliamentary Secretary): Rob Oliphant

In an increasingly interconnected world, the persistent scourge of antisemitism, at home and abroad, harms Canadian Jews and all Canadians who strive for a more inclusive society, characterized by mutual respect for our cultural and religious diversity.

Canada remains steadfast in its pledge to fight antisemitism, domestically and internationally. Antisemitism has no place in Canada. The Government of Canada is committed to taking immediate steps to combat antisemitism and all forms of racism and discrimination. Canada’s longstanding membership in the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) is an affirmation, at the highest levels, of its commitment to Holocaust education, remembrance and research.

In 2019, Canada adopted and implemented the IHRA working definition of antisemitism domestically with the launch of the Canadian Anti-Racism Strategy (CARS). Combatting antisemitism is a core priority of the anti-racism strategy, and this commitment was reaffirmed at the National Summit on Anti-Semitism, held in July 2021. Based on its engagement with Canadian Jewish communities, the Government of Canada will ensure that lessons learned, in areas such as tackling digital misinformation and combatting online hate, will inform the renewal of the Canadian Anti-Racism Strategy. The new CARS will take our efforts against racism and discrimination further. It will continue to place a strong emphasis on combatting antisemitism and it will continue to uphold the IHRA working definition of antisemitism.

In November 2020, the Prime Minister appointed the Honourable Irwin Cotler as Canada’s Special Envoy on Preserving Holocaust Remembrance and Combatting Antisemitism. The creation of the Special Envoy position, which has since been made permanent, demonstrates Canada’s ongoing commitment to strengthen domestic and international efforts to combat antisemitism. With support from officials at Global Affairs Canada and the Department of Canadian Heritage, the Special Envoy works with the Minister of Foreign Affairs, the Minister of Housing, Diversity and Inclusion, and other implicated ministers to inform Government of Canada policy and programming related to issues of combatting antisemitism. The 2022 Federal Budget announced $5.6 million (over 5 years) to support the work of the Special Envoy.

The promotion of human rights remains a priority for the Government of Canada and is an integral part of Canada’s foreign policy. At home and internationally, Canada supports projects that defend and advance human rights, including freedom of religion or belief; that promote inclusion and respect for diversity; and that aim to eliminate antisemitism and all forms of discrimination.

Canada’s international programming follows a human-rights based approach and adheres to the ‘do no harm’ principle. It also funds programs that actively address antisemitism. Global Affairs Canada, through the Office Human Rights, Freedoms and Inclusion (OHRFI), has dedicated funding for projects addressing antisemitism, including $3.5M since November 2020. The OHRFI provides extensive and sustained support to Special Envoy Cotler’s broader international, bilateral and multilateral engagement, including with counterparts and relevant high-level UN officials. In addition, the Minister of Foreign Affairs announced $2 million in funding to support a UNESCO initiative to prevent genocide. Delivered in conjunction with the US Holocaust Memorial Museum, this initiative addresses the troubling rise of antisemitism internationally.

All Government of Canada policy and programming undergoes a Gender-Based Plus Analysis (GBA+), a rigorous method of intersectional analysis that considers the differential impact of programs and initiatives on the basis of gender and other aspects of identity, including religious and racialized identity. GBA+ considerations are particularly sensitive to intersecting forms of discrimination.

The Government of Canada has the highest of standards for our international partners, who work in all areas of foreign policy. Accountability and safeguards are central to the management of Government of Canada funds. Support is only given to organizations with proven track records of effective program delivery and who operate in compliance with all Canadian requirements. Canadian values and key priorities are reflected in the terms and conditions of partnership agreements and form the basis of evaluation. Canada exercises due diligence, screening funding recipients along these lines.

Canada remains committed to the fight against antisemitism, here at home and around the world, as part of the Government of Canada’s broader defence of the rule of law, multilateralism, the full enjoyment of human rights and inclusive societies that respect diversity.

Open for signature
March 1, 2022, at 2:47 p.m. (EDT)
Closed for signature
May 30, 2022, at 2:47 p.m. (EDT)
Presented to the House of Commons
Kevin Vuong (Spadina—Fort York)
June 8, 2022 (Petition No. 441-00550)
Government response tabled
September 20, 2022
Photo - Kevin Vuong
Spadina—Fort York
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