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Home arrow Censorship arrow The BCCLA opposes the international campaign to adopt the IHRA definition of antisemitism
The BCCLA opposes the international campaign to adopt the IHRA definition of antisemitism PDF Print E-mail
Jun 18, 2019 at 12:00 AM

The BCCLA is concerned about an international campaign that is urging governments to use the definition of “antisemitism” adopted by the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (“IHRA”).  The campaign is targeting all levels of government in Canada, as well as universities, police, and other authorities.

We strongly oppose this proposal because of its threat to freedom of expression.

Antisemitism is a serious problem.  Our association is unequivocally opposed to antisemitism and other forms of racism. We believe, however, that fighting racism and defending civil liberties are complementary objectives; that the best way to defeat racism is to promote arguments against it rather than to have the government silence people.

We have long had concerns about the use of hate speech laws, especially with respect to their capacity to chill legitimate political speech. We believe that the legal adoption of the IHRA definition in Canada is inconsistent with the values underlying the Charter of Rights and Freedom and would greatly narrow the scope of political expression in Canada.

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