A group of leaders in the Canadian Jewish community have launched a citizens’ petition to end government funding to NGOs that promote antisemitism.

The petition was submitted to the House of Commons website. It will be formally tabled in parliament in early June.

The campaign is being supported by B’nai Brith Canada at the request of the group, which approached B’nai Brith to handle the technical and media aspects of the petition.

According to B’nai Brith, “the citizens’ petition is significant in targeting federal government aid to any domestic or foreign NGOs that promote or support antisemitism, as defined by the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA).”

It will will be tabled in Ottawa by Spadina-Fort York MP Kevin Vuong.

“B’nai Brith is delighted to join this distinguished group of community leaders in supporting this important petition,” said B'nai Brith Canada CEO Michael Mostyn. “Canadians should not be footing the bill for promoting racism and hatred either here or abroad, whether by NGOs or others. We strongly urge those who stand against antisemitism and racism to sign this petition.”

Canadian government funding of antisemitic and anti-Israel NGOs has long been denounced by the Jewish community and supporters of Israel.

The issue again surfaced in August 2021 in regard to Oxfam-Quebec when NGO Monitor published an article on its website entitled, “Why is Canada’s government funding Oxfam-Quebec’s demonization of Israel?”

NGO monitor detailed that Oxfam-Quebec was to receive up to $50 million CAD from the Canadian government, with 10 percent going to “volunteer placements” at NGOs in Judea and Samaria and in Gaza.

Describing the NGO’s “repeated use of double standards against Israel, [yet] blatant violations perpetrated by Palestinian terror groups are ignored,” NGO Monitor slammed the fact that the Canadian government was funding the organization, especially in light of its support for BDS which contradicted stated government policy – further noting that Prime Minister Justin Trudeau had previously “condemned BDS as antisemitic and contrary to Canadian values” in 2019.

Other supporters of the citizens’ petition include lawyer David Matas, B’nai Brith’s senior legal counsel; Ellie Israel, commissioner of the English Montreal School Board; Reza Banai, founder of Justice 88, an Iranian-Canadian group advocating for justice for Ukrainian flight PS752 that was shot down by Iranian forces in 1988; Ramon Vicente, the president of the Filipino Family Association of Quebec; and anti-racist education and cultural advocate Gemma Raeburn-Baynes, president of Playmas Caribbean Cultural Association.