Skip to main content

NDP Leader Tom Mulcair argues Justin Trudeau is aligning himself with the Tories to suppress the civil liberties of advocacy groups.

Sean Kilpatrick/THE CANADIAN PRESS

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau's Liberals have joined forces with the official Opposition to overwhelmingly approve a Conservative motion condemning Canadians who promote the boycott, divestment and sanctions movement against Israel.

But not all Liberals are on side.

About a dozen Liberal MPs refused to vote on the motion, which passed by a vote of 229-51; one Liberal voted against it.

Story continues below advertisement

Nevertheless, the fact that Trudeau and most Liberals supported it prompted NDP Leader Tom Mulcair to charge that the prime minister is once again aligning himself with the Tories to suppress the civil liberties of advocacy groups.

Mulcair says Trudeau did the same last year when he chose to support the Conservative government's controversial anti-terrorism legislation, which New Democrats and other critics maintain equates legitimate dissent with terrorism.

The Tory motion calls upon the government to condemn any and all attempts by Canadian groups or individuals to promote the boycott, divestment and sanctions movement, which it describes as promoting the "demonization and delegitimization" of Israel.

"This goes against the freedom of expression we hold so dear in our society," Mulcair said following the vote Monday.

Mulcair said one can disagree with the boycott movement and debate it.

"But to call upon the government to condemn someone for having that opinion, that's unheard of," Mulcair said, adding that motion "makes it a thought crime to express an opinion."

"Since when do we allow that in a free and democratic society?"

Story continues below advertisement

Anthony Housefather, Liberal MP for the Montreal riding of Mount Royal, said Liberal MPs were free to vote as they saw fit on the motion. He said he's unconcerned that more than a dozen didn't support it.

"I'm thrilled that the great majority of Liberals voted in favour of it when we had a free vote," said Housefather, whose riding includes a large Jewish population.

Report an error
Comments

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:

  • All comments will be reviewed by one or more moderators before being posted to the site. This should only take a few moments.
  • 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

Comments that violate our community guidelines will be removed. Commenters who repeatedly violate community guidelines may be suspended, causing them to temporarily lose their ability to engage with comments.

Read our community guidelines here

Discussion loading ...

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.
Cannabis pro newsletter