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B’nai Brith Recommends Amendments to the Universities Act to Combat Antisemitism

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The Ontario Legislative Assembly building (Benson Kua / Wikimedia Commons)

April 16, 2024

TORONTO – B’nai Brith Canada appeared Tuesday before the Ontario Legislative Assembly’s Standing Committee on Social Policy (SCSP) to make key recommendations to amend legislation to help  combat antisemitism on university campuses.

B’nai Brith was among groups consulted for feedback on the proposed Bill 166.

Among other things, B’nai Brith called for the province to add a mechanism to the proposed legislation that could be used to hold post-secondary institutions accountable for failing to address antisemitism on their campuses. We also asked for the Ministry of Higher Education to mandate that institutions use the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) definition of antisemitism when establishing rules and policies to combat hate on their campus, which would be mandatory under the proposed amendments.

“For too long, antisemitism has been allowed to proliferate on the campuses of Ontario’s public universities and colleges,” said Richard Robertson, B’nai Brith Canada’s Director of Research and Advocacy, who represented our organization Tuesday before the SCSP Committee. “The situation was already intolerable before Hamas’ brutal terrorist attacks and has only devolved further since the start of the war this past October.

“By adopting our recommendations, the SCSP can aid the legislature in developing amendments to the existing legislation that provide the necessary support to Ontario’s Jewish Post-Secondary students to ensure their continued safety and well-being on campus.”