Contesting Bill 168

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A Socialist Project e-bulletin ... No. 2010 ... February 29, 2020

Contesting Bill 168:
Controversial Antisemitism Bill Passes Second Reading in Ontario

Independent Jewish Voices

Independent Jewish Voices Canada is deeply dismayed and concerned with the Ontario Government’s decision to unanimously approve Bill 168, the Combating Antisemitism Act, on its second reading at Queen’s Park yesterday. The Bill seeks to adopt the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance’s (IHRA) flawed and controversial definition of antisemitism.

Bill 168 was approved on second reading by a vote of 55-0, and now goes to the standing committee on justice policy for review and public input before a final vote. Particularly concerning is that not one NDP MPP voted against the Bill, representing a serious betrayal of the party’s commitments toward human rights and progressive values in Ontario. Conspicuously absent were nearly the entire Ontario NDP caucus, including party leader Andrea Horwath, and anti-racism critic Laura Mae Lindo. In a bizarre move, NDP MPP John Vanthof spoke to concerns around the impact on freedom of expression that Bill 168 represents, but then voted in favour of the Bill.

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