Canada’s Pledges on Holocaust Remembrance and Combatting Antisemitism
The Government of Canada unequivocally condemns the disturbing rise of antisemitism at home and abroad. Canada is committed to reinforcing efforts to advance Holocaust awareness, remembrance and research, and to combat antisemitism as key elements of the promotion and protection of human rights globally. We know that antisemitism is not a problem for the Jewish community to solve alone, it is a challenge for all of us, especially governments, to take on. The Government of Canada will always stand with the Jewish community to fight antisemitism and hatred in all its forms. To that end, since November 2020, the Honourable Irwin Cotler, Canada’s first Special Envoy on Preserving Holocaust Remembrance and Combatting Antisemitism, has worked to promote Holocaust education, remembrance, and research, as Canada continues working with partners at home and around the world to fight against hate and intolerance, including convening the National Summit on Antisemitism in July 2021.
Antisemitism has no place in Canada or elsewhere. The Government of Canada commits therefore to the following pledges today:
We pledge to combat antisemitism, Holocaust denial and distortion, hate crimes and all other forms of racism and to protect at-risk communities
- As part of a renewed Anti-Racism Strategy, we will engage with Jewish communities in the development of our National Action Plan on Combatting Hate.
- Establishing the Special Envoy on Preserving Holocaust Remembrance and Combatting Antisemitism as a permanent position, supported by dedicated resources.
- We will strengthen the Canada Human Rights Act and the Criminal Code to more effectively combat online antisemitism and hate.
- We will introduce legislation to combat serious forms of harmful online content.
We pledge to promote awareness about the Holocaust and antisemitism in Canada
- Building on lessons learned regarding the increase of antisemitism and of Holocaust distortion, we will continue to expand publicly accessible Holocaust-related material and to bring awareness to the dangers of antisemitism. This will include using the historical legacy of Raoul Wallenberg - Hero of the Holocaust and Canada’s first honorary citizen - as an inspirational role model for educational purposes.
We pledge to continue supporting the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) and to promoting the IHRA working definition of antisemitism
- We will continue to enhance the adoption and implementation of the IHRA working definition of antisemitism.
- We will encourage mainstreaming the implementation of the definition to dovetail with the Canadian adoption of the IHRA definition in June 2019, as part of Canada’s federal anti-racism strategy (2019-2022).
- We will work internationally to encourage broader cross-regional representation at the IHRA, toward a more inclusive organization.
We are reminded every day that antisemitism is still very much alive. Its new and resurgent forms require constant vigilance and action. Canada remains unwavering in its commitment to challenge antisemitism wherever and whenever it occurs and to build more just and inclusive societies.
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