Statement by Minister Hussen marking Jewish Heritage Month in Canada
OTTAWA, May 1, 2023
Today marks the beginning of Jewish Heritage Month, a time to celebrate and recognise Jewish culture, faith, history and the immense contributions the communities have made to the social, political and economic fabric across Canada.
Our country is the proud home to about 400,000 people of Jewish heritage, making it the fourth-largest community in the world. Canadians of Jewish heritage have always played important roles in advancing medicine and the sciences, human rights, philanthropy, the media, the arts, and business. This month we also honour the courage and resilience that members of Jewish communities have shown throughout history and beyond.
However, it is important that we recognise that Jewish communities in Canada and around the world continue to face a frightening rise of antisemitism, hate and discrimination. This is a lived reality for the communities, it is unacceptable, and it is our collective responsibility to denounce and combat hate whenever and wherever it occurs.
To help combat antisemitism at home and abroad, the Government of Canada has allocated $5.6 million over five years to support the important work of the Special Envoy on Preserving Holocaust Remembrance and Combatting Antisemitism, Irwin Cotler. We also doubled Canada’s annual contribution to the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance. Budget 2022 allocated $85 million over four years to support the launch of the new Anti-Racism Strategy and the Action Plan on Combatting Hate, and budget 2023 has committed an additional $25 million towards the new Anti-Racism Strategy.
Our government provided $20 million to support the construction of the new Holocaust Museum in Montréal and $2.5 million for the Sarah and Chaim Neuberger Holocaust Education Centre in Toronto. We also amended Canada’s Criminal Code to make it a crime to willfully promote antisemitism by condoning, denying or downplaying the Holocaust.
As Minister of Housing and Diversity and Inclusion, I encourage all Canadians to take this opportunity to reflect and learn more about the inspirational role Jewish Canadians have played and continue to play in our society. Let us continue to educate ourselves and the next generation on the importance of building a safer, more diverse and inclusive society for all.
For more information (media only), please contact:
Office of the Minister of Housing and Diversity and Inclusion
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