Justin Trudeau
Justin TrudeauReuters

The Canadian government on Monday published its pledge to tackle anti-Semitism as presented at the recently concluded Malmo International Forum on Holocaust Remembrance and Combating Antisemitism.

The document includes a government pledge “to combat anti-Semitism, Holocaust denial and distortion, hate crimes and all other forms of racism and to protect at-risk communities.”

Canada also pledges to promote awareness about the Holocaust and anti-Semitism in Canada and to continue supporting the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) and to promoting the IHRA working definition of anti-Semitism.

B’nai Brith Canada expressed optimism following the Government of Canada’s pledge, welcomed remarks from Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and said it is further encouraged by the release of Canada’s country pledge.

“Canada showed leadership at the Malmo Forum,” said Marvin Rotrand, B’nai Brith Canada’s National Director of the League for Human Rights. “This pledge serves as an additional testimony to the Government’s commitment to address these serious issues.”

“I respect the scope of this pledge,” said Michael Mostyn, Chief Executive Officer of B’nai Brith Canada. “Fewer than 100 years ago, 6-million Jews perished in the Holocaust. We owe it to the victims and survivors to keep their memories alive. The Government’s pledge is encouraging in that it promotes Holocaust education and advances the IRHA definition. We hope these commitments will successfully lead to combating a troubling rise in hate.”

During the Malmo forum, Trudeau announced that the job of Canada's special envoy on preserving Holocaust remembrance and fighting anti-Semitism is now a permanent role.

In November 2020, the government appointed to the role Irwin Cotler, an international human rights lawyer and former minister of justice. Now, Trudeau said, Cotler's office will be supported by dedicated resources.

Canada has seen a rise in anti-Semitic incidents in recent years. In late March, Statistics Canada released its annual survey of police-reported hate crimes which found that Jews have remained by far the most targeted religious group for hate crimes in Canada.

The Statistics Canada report found that there were 1,946 police-reported hate crimes in Canada in 2019, up 7 percent from a year earlier.

In April, B’nai Brith Canada released its Annual Audit of Antisemitic Incidents, which found that anti-Semitic incidents in Canada have increased 18 percent since 2019.

The study affirms that Canadian Jews remain the most targeted religious group in the country.