Citizenship and Immigration Canada

Citizenship and Immigration Canada

November 09, 2010 09:00 ET

Government of Canada Reiterates Commitment to Fight Anti-Semitism

OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - Nov. 9, 2010) - Canada will continue to be a global leader in the fight against anti-Semitism, Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism Minister Jason Kenney said today.

"Canada is not content to be an observer on the world stage," Minister Kenney told the second annual conference of the Inter-parliamentary Coalition for Combating Antisemitism (ICCA). "Canada is a leader in this fight."

The Minister reminded the conference that Canada led the world in withdrawing from the Durban Review Conference, or Durban II, held by the United Nations. He said that Canada takes a zero-tolerance approach to anti-Semitism, and that this also applies to those who question Israel's right to live in peace and security with its neighbours.

Noting the day marked the 72nd anniversary of Kristallnacht, when Jewish homes and properties were attacked in Germany and Austria in 1938, Minister Kenney explained Canada's actions to acknowledge dark chapters in its own history. This includes creating a $2.5 million fund to support commemoration and education of unjust immigration restriction measures, such as those related to the M.S. St. Louis, a ship carrying Jewish refugees in 1939 that was refused safe haven by a number of countries, including Canada, and forced to return to Nazi Germany.

Minister Kenney added that the Government of Canada is collecting data from the police forces to develop a clearer picture of hate crimes in Canada and their targets. He pointed out that, while Jews make up approximately 1% of the country's population, hate crimes against them account for almost two-thirds of those targeting religious groups.

The inaugural conference of the ICCA was held in London in 2009 and produced the London Declaration on Combating Antisemitism. Canadian parliamentarians who attended that conference later established the Canadian Parliamentary Coalition to Combat Antisemitism (CPCCA).

The CPCCA has conducted an inquiry on anti-Semitism in Canada and has assisted in hosting the 2010 ICCA Conference in Ottawa.

Minister Kenney is an ex-officio member of the CPCCA, along with the Honourable Irwin Cotler, Chair of the ICCA and Member of Parliament for Mount Royal.

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Contact Information

  • Citizenship and Immigration Canada
    Minister's Office
    Celyeste Power
    or
    Citizenship and Immigration Canada
    Communications Branch
    Media Relations
    613-952-1650
    CIC-Media-Relations@cic.gc.ca