Speaking in support of a Canadian Jewish Heritage Month

On Tuesday, June 20th, 2017 in Parliament, Speeches

Elizabeth May

Mr. Speaker, I want to let my friend know that I am pleased to see this piece of legislation come forward. I hope it will have, and I believe it will have, unanimous support in this place.

I was trying to search my archives to see if I could find proof of this, but I know that the synagogue at Whitney Pier near Sydney, Nova Scotia, is one of the oldest in Canada, if not the oldest. We have rich traditions, and a societal contribution that is absolutely disproportionate to the number of people within the Jewish community. It is experienced right across Canada.

I want to add that to my colleague’s list of communities where the roots go deep, to around 1890. It is well over 100 years that there has been a synagogue and an active community in industrial Cape Breton where I used to live, and certainly on southern Vancouver Island where I live now.

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  • Will-o’-the-West

    I certainly don’t want to stir up any painful Israel-Palestine business again. But Canada’s Muslim population is about 1,054,000, more than twice our Jewish population of about 400,000. So does Canada have a Muslim Heritage Month? Or even a Christian Heritage Month (let alone Hindu, Sikh or Buddhist)? If not, will you be proposing and supporting those, Elizabeth?

    • fjwhite

      Excellent question. But will Ms. May respond?
      Re your first sentence, was there anyone in particular you were thinking of who might not want you to “stir up any painful Israel-Palestine business again”? Is there someone who needs to be protected?

      • Will-o’-the-West

        I hope Ms. May does respond; mixing religion with politics can stir up strong brew. We Greens have stumbled over Middle East rubble before — Paul Estrin a few years ago, and the compromise over the boycott movement last year. But no, I had no one in mind as I wrote that. What we need to protect is peace.

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