May 11, 2022
OTTAWA – B’nai Brith Canada is seeking a progress report concerning antisemitism from the Canadian Government.
In a letter addressed Wednesday to The Honourable Irwin Cotler, Canada’s Special Envoy for Preserving Holocaust Remembrance and Combatting Antisemitism, B’nai Brith asked that he explain how the Government is making good on the promises it made last October to fight antisemitism more vigorously.
“We strongly support what our Government pledged to the international community at the Malmo International Forum last October,” said Marvin Rotrand, National Director of B’nai Brith’s League for Human Rights. “At the time, we said the promises were robust and welcome. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau led the Canadian delegation in Malmo and articulated many of the long-standing demands of the Jewish community as Government policy going forward, which had great resonance with the Jewish community.”
B’nai Brith’s letter asks Cotler to provide a “report card,” tracking the Malmo pledges.
“The Government has come through with the promise to make the Special Envoy position permanent and to ensure substantial recurring funding for the position,” said Michael Mostyn, B’nai Brith’s Chief Executive Officer. “But the community would like to assess the Government’s success in implementing the IHRA definition of antisemitism through the whole of Government and in working with the provinces to improve the teaching of the Holocaust.”
B’nai Brith is often contacted by community members seeking updates on what Canada has done to advance its Malmo promises. The consensus is that it would be useful for Cotler to make such a report available publicly so that community members can assess the gains made and the work that remains to be done.
“Special Envoy Cotler’s post conveys the independence and impartiality to issue an honest assessment to advise and enlighten the community,” Rotrand said. “Such a report can act as a tool to guide on-going Government work. It’s the best way to promote a collaboration to advance what was promised at Malmo.”