A petition calling for the Canadian government to deny funding to non-governmental organizations (NGOs) that promote or engage in antisemitism was presented on Wednesday in the House of Commons.
The citizen’s petition, organized by a group of citizens from Ontario, Manitoba and Quebec, contained 1,431 signatures. It was tabled in parliament by independent Toronto MP Kevin Vuong.
The petition said: “We, the undersigned, citizens and residents of Canada, call upon the House of Commons to ensure that the Government of Canada deny public funding or assistance to any domestic and foreign non-governmental organizations who promote or engage in antisemitism, as defined in the IHRA working definition of antisemitism.”
The petition stated that the IHRA definition of antisemitism is a critical tool to to combat antisemitism and noted that Canada adopted the definition as part of its 2019-2022 Anti-Racism Strategy. It also pointed out that the government expressed a commitment to combating antisemitism when it convened a National Summit on Antisemitism in July 2021 and promised to using all the tools in its power to fight anti-Jewish discrimination.
B’nai Brith Canada expressed support for the petition and its goal of banning government funding for NGOs engaged in antisemitism.
“Antisemitism is a global phenomenon, and its propaganda, rhetoric and violence abroad deeply affect Canadian Jews,” said Marvin Rotrand, B’nai Brith Canada’s national director of its League for Human Rights. “The IHRA definition should be implemented to prevent funding NGOs whose work fans the flames of antisemitism.”
The advocacy organization called on the government to respond positively to the petition’s aim.
“The Government will have 45 days to return with a proposal in response to the petitioners. We urge it to reinforce its commitment to the IHRA definition, by preventing public funding of NGOs that violate the definition,” said B’nai Brith Canada CEO Michael Mostyn. “We thank MP Kevin Vuong for his work on behalf of the Jewish people. This is an important petition, and we appreciate that he championed it.”