Jan. 25, 2023
OTTAWA — B’nai Brith Canada is delighted that Ottawa City Council officially renamed a section of Metcalfe Street Wednesday outside the former Iranian Embassy as Mahsa Amini Street.
B’nai Brith had circulated a petition in honour of Amini and the thousands of brave protestors who have been imprisoned, tortured and killed for demonstrating against the human-rights abuses of the Iranian regime. Amini was killed in police custody after she was arrested for “improperly wearing” a hijab last September. She was 22.
“This is more than a symbolic gesture. Today, the City of Ottawa has taken a stance and affirmed its commitment to human rights at home and abroad,” said Michael Mostyn, Chief Executive Officer of B’nai Brith Canada. “It is gratifying to know that B’nai Brith played a role in this development. We thank all our supporters and friends who signed B’nai Brith’s petition, which helped propel the Council forward in making this important decision.”
The motion that passed recognizes decades of human-rights abuses and violations, theocratic tyranny and the unequal status of Iranian women. It extends beyond the symbolic street-renaming and affirms Ottawa’s solidarity with the Iranian people as they struggle and protest to bring about democracy and freedom.
The Iranian regime has reacted to the public protests by shooting down some 700 unarmed protesters, many of them children, imprisoning thousands and conducting barbaric public executions after sham trials.
Renaming a section of Metcalfe Street is only one element of the motion that passed today. Ottawa City Councillor Ariel Troster, who co-sponsored the motion in its entirety with fellow City Councillor Theresa Kavanagh last month, has acknowledged B’nai Brith’s key role in renaming the street.
“Thanks to local Iranian women activists and B’nai Brith Canada for your advocacy,” Troster tweeted.
“As Canada’s capital,” Mostyn said, “Ottawa’s action serves as an inspiration for other municipalities seeking to stand with Iranian-Canadians supporting their friends and family in Iran protesting for fundamental freedoms. Iranians have suffered for decades under brutal theocratic rule. Renaming the street outside the former Iranian Embassy sends a strong message that Canadians support the people of Iran.”
Appeals to rename the section of Metcalfe Street were put forth by a number of groups in support of B’nai Brith’s advocacy and petition. They included the Council of Iranian Canadians, Macdonald-Laurier Institute, Jamaica Association of Montreal, Network of Azerbaijani Canadians, International Centre for Human Rights Canada, Justice 88, Federation of Filipino Canadian Associations, Greater Toronto Area Kurdish House, Antigua and Barbuda Association of Montreal, the Raoul Wallenberg Centre for Human Rights, and the Iranian Student Association-University of Ottawa.
“We are extremely pleased that Ottawa City Council and Mayor Mark Sutcliffe voted in favour of this important motion,” said David Granovsky, B’nai Brith Canada’s Director of Government Relations. “We celebrate the Council’s vote. Ottawa standing for human rights is a beautiful sight.”