March 26, 2019
TORONTO – A City of Toronto report on preventing hate rallies has been sent back to the drawing board.
On March 21, 2019, B’nai Brith Canada CEO Michael Mostyn gave his deputation to a Toronto Executive Committee on why the Administrative Inquiry on Hate Sponsored Rallies report does not address issues we have previously raised regarding the promulgation of hatred at the annual al-Quds Day rally in Toronto.
The flag of Hezbollah, a listed terrorist group in Canada, the U.S., and elsewhere, was prominently displayed at the 2018 al-Quds Day rally in Toronto, while more than 100 police officers were dispersed to keep the peace. Because al-Quds organizers do not apply for permits, this illustrates only a portion of the massive expense Toronto taxpayers are forced to annually subsidize.
There have also been repeated calls to violence at past rallies. al-Quds Day speakers have called for Israeli civilians to be shot, while background music has been played encouraging listeners to bomb Israelis, stab them, and run them over.
The Toronto staff report, however, failed to address if these occurrences have been thoroughly investigated by police. The report also does not provide a recommendation to the recovery of costs and fees normally associated with such rallies, including lane closures, TTC route disruption, event clean-up, security, and the like, as was expected.
After our detailed deputation, Toronto Mayor John Tory and City Councillor James Pasternak both agreed that the report cannot be accepted.
“We thank Mayor Tory and Councillor Pasternak for continuing to treat this matter seriously and pushing this issue forward,” Mostyn said. “Contrary to statements made by some of the speakers at Thursday’s meeting, al-Quds Day has indeed been rife with antisemitic content and singles out the Jewish State of Israel for delegitimization and demonization.”
He added: “B’nai Brith Canada will not rest until this Iranian regime-inspired rally will no longer be held on public property in Toronto, or across our great nation of Canada.”
To watch the meeting in full, click here.