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B’nai Brith Canada Reaches Provisional Agreement with McGill Over Graduate Students Society’s Controversial Policy

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The McGill Post-Graduate Student Society

July 2, 2024

MONTREAL – Following B’nai Brith Canada’s advocacy, McGill University and the Post-Graduate Students’ Society of McGill University (PGSS) have reached a provisional agreement preventing the association from ratifying or implementing a controversial policy and a series of motions until the matter is resolved by the Court, or unless the provisional agreement is voided by the parties.

The Superior Court also ordered that Plaintiff’s identity be kept confidential.

As a result of the lawsuit, which was filed in mid-June against the PGSS, with support from B’nai Brith Canada, McGill filed a statement into court confirming that it deems the PGSS’ policy and motions to be null and void. It further stated that if the PGSS attempts to implement them, it will issue a notice of default under its Memorandum of Agreement with the PGSS.

“The agreement with the PGSS and McGill – which was the result of significant effort on the part of B’nai Brith and Tina Silverstein and Matthew Meland from Fishman Flanz Meland Paquin LLP, who are representing the Plaintiff – ensures that there will be consequences if the PGSS ratifies or implements these policies before the matter is fully litigated,” said Henry Topas, Quebec Regional Director for B’nai Brith Canada. “We are fully committed to advocating for Jewish students at McGill, who are increasingly facing harassment and intimidation from seemingly every student group on campus.”

The issue in the litigation concerns the PGSS Council’s Dec. 8, 2023, policy statement in “solidarity” with members of McGill’s undergraduate Student Society of McGill University (SSMU) who voted for the so-called “Policy Against Genocide in Palestine.” The SSMU’s policy is being challenged in another B’nai Brith-backed lawsuit filed by an anonymous Jewish undergraduate student.

This litigation also seeks to prevent the ratification and implementation of several motions which were controversially adopted despite the PGSS’ own counsel questioning their legality.

Neither the SSMU policy nor the PGSS’ policy and motions contain any reference to Hamas’ brutal Oct. 7 attacks on Israel, during which terrorists murdered about 1,200 Israelis, mostly civilians, and abducted 251 people.

“B’nai Brith is proud that it was instrumental in ensuring that these policies will not be implemented any time soon,” said Richard Robertson, B’nai Brith Canada’s Director of Research and Advocacy. “Although there was finally some proactive action taken by the parties, we are still fighting for a permanent injunction and will continue supporting the Plaintiff in the fight to protect their rights.”