The Canadian government is hosting a National Summit on anti-Semitism today that ministers say will enable members of the Jewish community to directly raise concerns about safety to politicians.
Diversity Minister Bardish Chagger said that the government aims to engage with community members to turn their ideas into policies that will reflect the diversity of Canada.
“In Canada, diversity is one of our greatest strengths, yet we continue to see hate fuelled by racism and discrimination take an unacceptable toll on our communities. We know that this serious issue will not be solved with a top-down approach, so we must actively listen to the voices of communities directly affected by racism,” said Chagger in a statement.
However, CBC News reported that the summit will be largely closed to the public. The government said the reason was to ensure the safety of participants. Only opening remarks will be open to the media and the public.
The summit will include community and political leaders, academics, activists and “members with intersectional identities within these communities.”
A National Summit on Islamophobia will also take place on July 22.
“I have extended an invitation to my cabinet colleagues, members of parliament, and officials throughout all orders of government to hear directly from Muslim and Jewish community leaders,” said Chagger. “Our government knows that we need to keep having these conversations to accelerate our work to combat systemic racism in Canada. As we work to build a safer and consciously more inclusive society, we will continue to listen to the lived experiences of communities affected by racism and hate.”
Speakers at the anti-Semitism summit include Irwin Cotler, Canada’s Special Envoy for Preserving Holocaust Remembrance and Combatting Anti-Semitism.
He told CP24 that he will be speaking about the rise of anti-Semitism in Canada and internationally which he termed an “explosion.”
Colter said he will be explaining his 10-point action plan to combat anti-Semitism in Canada at today’s conference.
He said that his national action plan will call on the government to combat rising anti-Semitism by increasing security for synagogues, Jewish schools, community centers and memorial sites. There would also be additional funds for Holocaust and anti-Semitism education.
Cotler said that the Canadian government should study the successes and failures of European countries which have implemented plans to combat anti-Semitism.
B'nai Brith Canada recorded 2,610 antisemitic incidents in 2020, the fifth year in a row that anti-Semitic incidents hit a record high.