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Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said that his government will always support the Jewish community at today’s National Summit on Antisemitism.
“We’re here to continue to fight and reject antisemitism in all of its forms,” he said. “The rise in hate motivated crimes against the Jewish community in the past few months is not only alarming, it’s completely unacceptable.”
Hosted online by the Department of Canadian Heritage, Wednesday’s summit brought together politicians and leaders of the Jewish community. The event was created as part of the government’s Anti-Racism Strategy, and will be followed by a National Summit on Islamophobia on Thursday.
Mr. Trudeau was one of several speakers at the virtual event. In his remarks, he referenced how the past few months have been difficult as a result of the “distress and tension caused by the conflict in Israel, Gaza and the West Bank.”
He then reaffirmed that Canada stands strong in its support for Israel’s right to live in peace and Israel’s right to defend itself.
“We condemn the indiscriminate barrage of rocket attacks fired by Hamas into populated areas of Israel, putting civilians and children at risk,” he said. “We remain committed to supporting progress towards a two-state solution, and continue to oppose unilateral actions that jeopardize the prospects for peace.”
Speaking to reporters earlier on Wednesday, Green Party Leader Annamie Paul expressed frustration that she wasn’t invited to speak at the summit.
“The choice of the Minister and the Prime Minister not to invite the only Jewish federal leader to attend, and someone who, it pains me to say, is a regular target of antisemitic attacks, to participate…I think is a loss to the conversation.”
On Tuesday, Ms. Paul said on Twitter that she had not been invited to the summit. Today she Tweeted that she had since been sent a link to watch the summit, but was not invited to speak. She then shared a video statement encouraging people to “speak out” and end the silence around hate.
Shadow ministers for the NDP and Conservative parties are attending the summit.
MAY SAYS SHE’S NOT INVOLVED IN PARTY TURMOIL - Former Green Party leader Elizabeth May says she can provide “no insights” into recent events with the party, and that she is not involved in the turmoil that has been a challenge for current leader Annamie Paul.
SINGH MORE POPULAR FOR PM THAN O’TOOLE IN NEW SURVEY - More Canadians believe that NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh would make a better prime minister than the Conservatives’ Erin O’Toole, according to a new survey by Leger and the Association for Canadian Studies. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau was still the most popular pick for the top job amongst those surveyed.
“TOXIC” ENVIRONMENT IN CROWN-INDIGENOUS RELATIONS OFFICE - Ex-staffers have said that Crown-Indigenous Relations Minister Carolyn Bennett’s office was a ”toxic” work environment, according to reports from the CBC.
REVIEW OF EI SYSTEM WILL GO AHEAD DESPITE POTENTIAL ELECTION - An upcoming election wouldn’t change plans for a review of the employment insurance system, according to Employment Minister Carla Qualtrough. After the COVID-19 pandemic exposed issues with the EI system, Ms. Qualtrough said consultations on how to modernize it will start next month.
PRIME MINISTER'S DAY
The Prime Minister spoke at the National Summit on Antisemitism early this afternoon. Later today, an interview with Mr. Trudeau will air on the radio station Rock 95 in Barrie, Ont., and another will air on Omni News: Arabic Edition.
Bloc Quebecois Leader Yves-François Blanchet meets with mayors and business leaders in the Abitibi region of western Quebec today. This evening he is scheduled to speak at an event in the region for two local MPs.
Conservative Party Leader Erin O’Toole is in Ottawa this week.
Green Party Leader Annamie Paul held a virtual news conference Wednesday morning where she called on the government to reverse the reduction made to the Canada Recovery Benefit.
NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh held a news conference Wednesday morning and then attended a caucus meeting at noon.
Gary Mason (The Globe and Mail) on how Jason Kenney is praying for an Alberta Renaissance, but there are obstacles: “While Calgary is a city that will continue to be identified with the oil and gas industry, it won’t be defined by it in the years to come. It will not be the source of exponential economic growth in the way it once was.”
The Globe and Mail Editorial Board on how carbon taxes could ensure a level playing field for environmental standards: “The absence of such tariffs has long led to carbon policy pretzels. Canada has had no choice but to largely exempt some trade-exposed industries from carbon pricing. The lack of international carbon pricing on, for example, cement or steel, meant that Canada has had to go very light on taxing emissions from those industries. Carbon tariffs could change that story.”
Shimon Koffler Fogel (contributor to The Globe and Mail) on why combating antisemitism will require action beyond a single day’s national summit: “The national summit goes beyond acknowledging anti-Semitism – it is about advancing proposals to combat it. Among the recommendations the Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs (CIJA) offers are proposals related to education, which remains the most constructive approach to addressing and diminishing hate.”
Blake Murdoch (contributor to The Globe and Mail) on why the downsides of vaccine passports have been exaggerated: “One issue raised by critical commentators is that vaccine passports would be unfair to individuals who cannot get vaccinated for medical reasons. In reality, the vast majority of eligible but unvaccinated individuals do not have a medical reason. They are vaccine hesitant, opposed to vaccination or simply complacent.”
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