Special envoy on combatting antisemitism will be permanent role, Trudeau says

The job of Canada’s particular envoy on preserving Holocaust remembrance and preventing antisemitism is now a permanent function, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau mentioned Wednesday.

Trudeau made the remarks at a global discussion board on Holocaust remembrance and antisemitism in Malmo, Sweden.

In November 2020, the federal government appointed to the function Irwin Cotler, a global human rights lawyer and former minister of justice. Now, Trudeau mentioned, Cotler’s workplace will be supported by devoted sources.

“This is in line with Canada’s commitment to promote and defend pluralism, inclusion and human rights,” Trudeau mentioned.

“Education and awareness will always be key to combating Holocaust distortion, antisemitism and all other forms of racism.”

It’s the particular envoy’s job to “work with the minister of foreign affairs, the minister of diversity and inclusion and youth and other implicated ministers to inform Government of Canada policy and programming,” says the federal authorities.

Trudeau additionally highlighted actions taken by his authorities on Holocaust remembrance and preventing antisemitism, together with convening a nationwide summit on antisemitism in Canada and adopting the working definition of antisemitism developed by the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance.

“Antisemitism is a certain perception of Jews, which may be expressed as hatred toward Jews. Rhetorical and physical manifestations of antisemitism are directed toward Jewish or non-Jewish individuals and/or their property, toward Jewish community institutions and religious facilities,” the definition reads.

Trudeau spoke about preventing hate on-line — an effort Ursula von der Leyen, president of the European Commission, cited as a precedence for the European Union.

Calling antisemitism a “canary in the coal mine of evil,” Trudeau mentioned his authorities will work on a nationwide plan to fight hate.

“Antisemitism isn’t a problem for the Jewish community to solve alone. It’s everyone’s challenge to take on, especially governments,” he mentioned.

“And that’s why we’ll develop and implement a national action plan on combating hate, working in concert with Jewish communities and our special envoy.”

Jewish advocacy teams applaud announcement

Canadian Jewish advocacy teams welcomed the transfer to make the place permanent, one thing they’ve known as on the federal government to do prior to now.

Michael Mostyn, CEO of B’nai Brith Canada, known as Trudeau’s speech and presence on the summit “important.” He mentioned the group has tracked an increase in antisemitic hate over the course of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“We’re glad that Canada is showing a commitment going forward to combat this scourge,” he mentioned.

He applauded the transfer to make the particular envoy place permanent and supply the workplace with a funds and employees.

“One person can only do so much, and this was an unfunded position,” Mostyn mentioned. “Professor Cotler needs a staff to get the job done to combat antisemitism in a systemic way.”

B’nai Brith Canada Chief Executive Officer Michael Mostyn welcomed the federal government’s dedication to battle antisemitism and hate, and applauded the federal government’s resolution to make the particular envoy on Holocaust remembrance and combatting antisemitism permanent. (Adrian Wyld/The Canadian Press)

He known as on the federal government to take legislative motion in opposition to social media firms that enable hate on their platforms, and to make sure that purveyors of hate face penalties.

The Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs (CIJA) additionally voiced its help for making the place permanent.

“Today represents a milestone for the Jewish community and Jewish federations across Canada who have been advocating for making the role of special envoy permanent, with dedicated resources,” mentioned Shimon Koffler Fogel, CIJA president and CEO, in a information launch.

 “We are pleased to see that the government has heeded our advice, and we thank them for being our allies in the fight against the scourge of antisemitism and for their continuous and unambiguous support for the IHRA definition of antisemitism, an important tool to combat Jew-hatred.”

A lot of Muslim advocacy teams in Canada, together with the National Council of Canadian Muslims, have known as on the federal government to create an identical permanent authorities place to fight Islamophobia.

The authorities has not but responded to CBC’s inquiries about whether or not the federal government is working to create that workplace.

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