OTTAWA, July 21, 2021
Antisemitism and hate, in any form, have no place in Canada. They run counter to the values and spirit of a diverse and inclusive society. In recent months, there has been a disturbing increase of community-reported hate crimes targeting Jewish communities, neighbourhoods, and synagogues.
The Government of Canada is committed to taking immediate steps to combat antisemitism and all forms of racism and discrimination. Today, the Honourable Irwin Cotler, Canada’s Special Envoy for Preserving Holocaust Remembrance and Combatting Antisemitism, and the Honourable Bardish Chagger, Minister of Diversity and Inclusion and Youth, convened a National Summit on Antisemitism to identify ways in which organizations, communities, individuals, and the federal government can work together to increase public awareness, enhance community security, combat misinformation and online hate, and identify new measures necessary to combat antisemitism.
Organized by the Federal Anti-Racism Secretariat, the summit brought together diverse Jewish community leaders, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, federal ministers, members of Parliament, and officials from provincial and municipal governments.
The summit provided the opportunity for ministers, policymakers, and program administrators to listen to the concerns of community leaders, better understand the pervasiveness of antisemitism in Canada, and identify concrete steps the government can take to address the issues facing Jewish communities.
Discussions also focussed on how the federal government should work with Jewish communities to implement or improve existing programs, as well as develop new proactive and responsive initiatives that address antisemitism and hate.
Following the summit, the Government of Canada committed to the following initial actions:
- Engage with Jewish communities on the Government’s next anti-racism action plan, which will be launched when the 2019–2022 Anti-Racism Strategy comes to an end;
- Explore potential adjustments to the Security Infrastructure Program (SIP), Anti-Racism Action Program (ARAP), Community Support, Multiculturalism, and Anti-Racism Initiatives Program (CSMARI) and other relevant/related programs to enhance effectiveness and to be more responsive to community needs. These programs will continue to dismantle white supremacist groups, monitor hate groups, and take action to combat hate everywhere, including online;
- Building on lessons learned to improve digital literacy and tackling misinformation;
- A renewed focus on dedicated resources to support the work within government to combat antisemitism and all forms of hate, including the work of Special Envoy, Irwin Cotler;
- Take a whole of government approach by working with departments across the government to take further action on these priorities.
Minister Chagger also announced today support for two projects through the Anti-Racism Action Program that address antisemitism and hate. These projects aim to tackle online hate and employment-related barriers facing religious minorities, as well as support inter-community outreach and cultural sensitivity training.
Additionally, earlier today, the Honourable Bill Blair, Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness, and the Honourable Mary Ng, Minister of International Trade and Minister of Small Business and Export Promotion, announced funding for 150 projects representing over $6 million to support communities at risk of hate-motivated crime through the Communities at Risk: Security Infrastructure Program (SIP). The announcement was delivered from Chabad Lubavitch in Markham, Ontario, which is among the 150 projects recommended for development.
Today’s summit is another important step in combatting systemic racism and discrimination. It reminds us of our collective responsibility to continue acknowledging combating antisemitism and all forms of hate and discrimination to build a consciously more inclusive society for all.