Skip to main content
Complete Olympic Games coverage at your fingertips
Your inside track on the Olympic Games
Enjoy unlimited digital access
$1.99
per week for 24 weeks
Complete Olympic Games coverage at your fingertips
Your inside track onthe Olympics Games
$1.99
per week
for 24 weeks
// //

Diversity Minister Bardish Chagger says Ottawa will be listening and engaging with community members.

Adrian Wyld/The Canadian Press

The federal government will continue rejecting and fighting antisemitism in all its forms as hate-motivated crimes against the Jewish community rise in Canada and around the world, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said Wednesday.

Speaking to a national antisemitism summit hosted by the federal government, Trudeau said the spike in hate crimes is troubling and alarming.

“Antisemitism isn’t a problem for the Jewish community to solve alone, it’s up to everyone to take on this challenge,” he said.

Story continues below advertisement

Trudeau’s government announced Wednesday that 150 projects representing over $6 million in funding have been recommended for development under a program to support communities that face the risks of hate crimes.

“This is the largest investment for a given year in the history of the program, and it will enhance the security of many synagogues, Jewish schools and community institutions,” Trudeau said.

He said the implications of the recent Israeli-Palestinian conflict resonated around the world with an unacceptable rise in antisemitism.

“We remain committed to supporting progress towards a two-state solution. We continue to oppose unilateral actions that jeopardize the prospects for peace,” he said.

“We will stand firmly with the Israeli and Palestinian peoples in their right to live in peace and security, and with their human rights respected.”

Trudeau added: “Canada stands firm in its support for Israel’s right to live in peace with its neighbours within secure boundaries, and for Israel’s right to defend itself.”

Diversity Minister Bardish Chagger said the summit will allow community members to speak directly with politicians in an environment that ensures their safety.

Story continues below advertisement

The federal government will also hold a summit on Islamophobia on Thursday.

Chagger said in an interview Tuesday the government will be listening and engaging with community members aiming to turn their ideas into actions to implement policies that reflect the diversity of Canada.

Green party Leader Annamie Paul told a virtual news conference Wednesday the government’s decision not to invite her to speak at the summit is a “loss” to the discussion.

“I am one of a kind. I am the first Jewish woman to lead a major political party in Canada, and I’m only the second Jewish person (to lead a party) in the last 45 years, so, my perspective matters in this conversation.”

NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh said discussing the rise of hate crimes in a national summit is important but is not enough to address the issue.

“There are a number of solutions that we have known about for years, and, sadly, Mr. Trudeau has not responded, has not taken action,” he said.

Story continues below advertisement

“Some of the things we can do: immediately tackle online hate, put resources at the federal level of CSIS or CBSA or other federal resources towards dismantling white supremacist groups, extreme right-wing groups, that are spreading divisive and hateful messages that are resulting in the loss of lives of people.”

Irwin Cotler, Canada’s special envoy for preserving Holocaust remembrance and combatting antisemitism, said in an interview Tuesday that Jews are being targeted and threatened in their neighbourhoods. Synagogues, memorials and institutions have also been attacked and vandalized.

B’nai Brith Canada, a Jewish human rights organization, says it recorded 2,610 antisemitic incidents last year, which was the fifth consecutive record-setting year for antisemitism in Canada.

The organization says 44 per cent of violent antisemitic incidents in 2020 were COVID-19-related, with Jews being spat on and otherwise assaulted, driven in part by antisemitic conspiracy theories.

Cotler proposed a 10-point action plan to combat antisemitism in Canada during the summit.

“The summit is as timely as it is necessary, but it will only be effective if, in fact, we implement an action plan,” he said.

Story continues below advertisement

His proposed plan calls on the government to implement a comprehensive national action plan to combat antisemitism by enhancing security and protection for Jewish institutions including synagogues, schools, community centres and memorial sites. The plan would also provide more resources for Holocaust and antisemitism education, among other elements.

He said Canadian governments should learn from the best practices and the failures of European countries who have developed plans and proposals to combat antisemitic hate crimes.

Our Morning Update and Evening Update newsletters are written by Globe editors, giving you a concise summary of the day’s most important headlines. Sign up today.

Your Globe

Build your personal news feed

  1. Follow topics and authors relevant to your reading interests.
  2. Check your Following feed daily, and never miss an article. Access your Following feed from your account menu at the top right corner of every page.

Follow topics related to this article:

View more suggestions in Following Read more about following topics and authors
Report an error
Due to technical reasons, we have temporarily removed commenting from our articles. We hope to have this fixed soon. Thank you for your patience. If you are looking to give feedback on our new site, please send it along to feedback@globeandmail.com. If you want to write a letter to the editor, please forward to letters@globeandmail.com.

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff. Non-subscribers can read and sort comments but will not be able to engage with them in any way. Click here to subscribe.

If you would like to write a letter to the editor, please forward it to letters@globeandmail.com. Readers can also interact with The Globe on Facebook and Twitter .

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff. Non-subscribers can read and sort comments but will not be able to engage with them in any way. Click here to subscribe.

If you would like to write a letter to the editor, please forward it to letters@globeandmail.com. Readers can also interact with The Globe on Facebook and Twitter .

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff.

We aim to create a safe and valuable space for discussion and debate. That means:

  • Treat others as you wish to be treated
  • Criticize ideas, not people
  • Stay on topic
  • Avoid the use of toxic and offensive language
  • Flag bad behaviour

If you do not see your comment posted immediately, it is being reviewed by the moderation team and may appear shortly, generally within an hour.

We aim to have all comments reviewed in a timely manner.

Comments that violate our community guidelines will not be posted.

UPDATED: Read our community guidelines here

Discussion loading ...

To view this site properly, enable cookies in your browser. Read our privacy policy to learn more.
How to enable cookies