Shurman: Events That Incite Hatred, Anti-Semitism and Discrimination Have No Place at Queen's Park
17 August 2012
TORONTO – Peter Shurman, MPP (Thornhill) expressed his disappointment and concern with the decision by the Speaker of the Legislative Assembly to allow the Al Quds rally to proceed.
“I am disappointed in the Speaker’s decision to allow the Al Quds rally to proceed on the grounds of Queen’s Park,” Shurman said. “In Ontario we celebrate a strong tradition of multiculturalism, respect for our differences. We have laws that highlight our respect for human rights and protect us against hate speech. Demonstrations that promote hatred and incite violence against any community or ethnic group have no place in Ontario and certainly don’t have a place at Queen’s Park.”
Since news of the planned Al Quds rally was announced last week, Shurman has urged fellow MPPs to stand against the proposed demonstration. He referenced last year’s rally, which raised concerns about hate speech, anti-Semitism and discrimination.
“Reports of last year’s Al Quds rally suggest that limits of the Canadian freedoms of expression were exploited to provide a platform for the dissemination of hatred, intimidation and anti-Semitism. It makes me wonder whether the Speaker and others in authority actually looked at the same videos of last year’s event as I did,” Shurman said. “Such events do not belong in Ontario. Given the very disturbing nature of last year’s Al Quds rally, I urge the Legislature’s authorities to take every necessary step to ensure that organizations which utilize Queen’s Park grounds respect the values Canadians stand for.”
Shurman has consistently taken a stand against hate speech and discrimination. In 2008 he led the Legislative Assembly of Ontario to unanimously condemn use of the term “Israel Apartheid Week”. Earlier this year he co-sponsored a Private Member’s Bill to designate the month of May as Jewish Heritage Month.