question period — Foreign Affairs and International Trade

Definition of Anti-Semitism

June 5, 2019


Honourable senators, my question is for the government leader. The International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance, IHRA, has a working definition of anti‑Semitism that has clear parameters for what does and does not constitute anti-Semitism. Global Affairs Canada has adopted this definition with respect to our foreign policy. However, the rest of the Canadian government does not have a uniform definition of anti-Semitism. This week, the Organization of American States recognized the IHRA definition.

Senator Harder, why won’t your government adopt the IHRA definition of anti-Semitism for the whole of government?

Hon. Peter Harder (Government Representative in the Senate)

Again, I thank the honourable senator for her question.

I will have to take that under advisement. I was aware, of course, of what Global Affairs was doing, but I am not aware of what the Government of Canada outside of that department is doing. I welcome the OAS decision because that too gives us a common base.

I should add, in reference to my previous answer, anti-Semitism is also used in social media and ought to be condemned in the use of social media in that regard.


Thank you.