The Nizkor Project: Remembering the Holocaust (Shoah)

Shofar FTP Archive File: orgs/canadian/canadian-jewish-congress//marches-to-modems/mtm-006

Archive/File: orgs/canadian/canadian-jewish-congress/marches-to-modems/mtm-006
Last-Modified: 1997/03/30


The battle against hate is a continuing process. While the
white supremacist movement in Metro Toronto (and for that
matter across the continent), has always remained very much
on the periphery of society, its potential for violence
should be our foremost concern.

While the history of hate groups and their leaders is almost
tidal - a regular ebbing and flowing of their fortunes, the
movement reached strengths unheard of in the early 90's. And
although criminal sanctions and the thorough penetration of
the group by a CSIS mole led to a recent, temporary,
collapse of the movement, there is little cause for
celebration. This latest incarnation has demonstrated that
Canadian society was ill-prepared, unwilling and lacked the
'fire in the belly' necessary to take the strong and
decisive action required to inoculate society effectively.
We have the legal tools; we appear to lack the will.

The real danger as we head into the 21st century is that now
a significant number of hate group leaders have emerged who
are experienced organizers and who understand the importance
of "preparing the soil" before the seeds of hate may grow.

While presently these groups appear in disarray and the
attention of Toronto and Canada is elsewhere, the work of
the Droeges, Zundels, Lemires, and others continue to creep
along like some malignant vine.

With potential leaders like George Burdi waiting in the
wings it becomes more urgent that Metro Toronto be seen as a
leader in combating hate, hate groups and white supremacy.

We offer therefore the following recommendations emanating
from this report for your respectful consideration:


1. Education

(a) Notwithstanding any planned changes to Metro Toronto's
government structure, Metro Council should re-affirm the
need for an Equity Centre to carry out the vital role of
equity education and advocacy in a thriving multicultural

(b) Metro Council should press local school boards to offer
mandatory courses on anti-racism, Holocaust education and
the history of white supremacy. The utilization of
videotapes, reference books and the internet should be

(c) Metro CounciI should more broadly recognize those young
people actively involved in legitimate anti-racism work.
Awards, citations and other forms of recognition go a long
way in presenting a positive image about our multicultural

(d) Metro Council, through its Equity Centre, should acquire
and provide "public" information in the form of CD ROMs,
printed material, videotapes etc. on the history of white
supremacy in Toronto: its dangers, and how best to deal with
the situation.

(e) Metro Council should conduct a review of area public and
school libraries to determine if openly white supremacist
and Holocaust denial material is available for general
distribution. The review should include an examination of
what, if any, policies are in place to ensure that such
materials are appropriately classified and reserved for
academic work, perhaps centralized in the Metro Reference

(f) Metro Council, should encourage area schools and other
institutions to make common use of facilities within Toronto
such as the Holocaust Education and Memorial Centre in
understanding the evolution and history of hate.

(g) Metro Council should encourage the provincial teachers'
associations and unions to be more cognizant of the need to
ensure that their charter and guidelines around anti-racism
are strictly upheld. Council should recommend to the newly-
instituted College of Teachers that it develop and enforce a
code of conduct that sends a clear message to the community
that racist activity by teachers - in or out of the
classroom - will not be tolerated.

(h) Metro Council should encourage private businesses and
enterprises to be quote "good corporate citizens" and not
distribute or sell hate rock CD's, white supremacist
insignias, materials, etc.

(i) Metro Council should consult with the hate crimes unit
of the Metropolitan Toronto Police Service for advice on
hate insignias such as swastika flashes, Doc Marten boots
with coloured shoelaces, Celtic Crosses, etc. Metro Council
should then work with local school boards to ensure our
schools are an inclusive and welcoming place. Racist
insignias create an atmosphere of fear and hate.

2. The Law

(a) "We have the legal tools; we lack the fire in the
belly". Metro Council should ask its representatives on the
Metropolitan Toronto Police Services Board to urge
enforcement of Canada's anti-hate laws. These laws, as they
are now, when properly enforced are effective.

(b) Metro Council should examine what role they can play in
advocating effective use of the law (the Canadian Human
Rights Act, the Ontario Human Rights Code, the Immigration
Act, tax laws, GST AND PST guidelines, etc.) by other levels
of government in dealing with hatemongers.

(c) Metro Council should develop policy forbidding the use
of public facilities such as library auditoriums, city hall
sites, etc. by known hate groups.

(d) Metro Council should refuse to give grants or do
business with those in the private sector who offer
facilities to hate groups.

(e) Metro Council should ask their representatives on the
Metropolitan Toronto Police Services Board to press for the
transformation of the police "Hate Crimes Unit" to a
dedicated full-time unit whose sole function is to
investigate all hate-related crimes within the Metro
Toronto. Its present status as a "part-time" unit with no
separate investigative authority does not conform to the
practice of other large urban police forces which recognize
the need for dedicated units.

(f) Metro Council should urge the local Crown Association to
appoint a Crown or Crowns with specific responsibilities
towards hate and hate groups. The building up of a body of
knowledge be it within the Crown's office or police force is
absolutely essential in coming to grips with hate activity
in our city.

(g) Metro Council should consider lobbying the provincial
government to amend the Ontario Human Rights Code to
prohibit a broader range of hate activity and to permit
individuals or groups to file such complaints with the
Ontario Human Rights Commission. This could be done in
conjunction with providing the Commission with greater
resources to handle such complaints. Consideration of
establishing new "civil procedures" which would allow anti-
racist groups to civilly sue in court would, in our opinion,
not be terribly helpful.

(h) The Government of Metro Toronto should take a firm stand
on not permitting known white supremacists or racists entry
to Canada from another country. In the past it has always
been the affected communities who had to speak out on this
matter. Under section 19 of the Immigration Act racists with
a criminal record can be denied entry. So too can foreign
hatemongers whom Canadian authorities have reasonable
grounds to believe are entering Canada to violate our anti-
hate laws. It is urgent that our elected municipal
representatives make their voice heard on these matters.

3. The internet

(a) The Internet is not sacrosanct. Metro Council should
support the use of criminal law sanctions and civil law
processes in relation to internet use. SpecificaIly, where
there is evidence to proceed by criminal prosecution or
civil process under federal or provincial law such action
should be taken.

(b) Metro Council should establish a method in which the
Access and Equity Centre could continue to gather internet
data and monitor hate groups, hate websites and violent

(c) In conjunction with other like-minded groups and
organizations, Metro Council should continue to raise
awareness of and explore strategies to combat internet hate
by involving university students, the wider community,
women's groups, ethno-cultural groups and other non-
governmental organizations in its efforts.

(d) Metro Council should be a leader in helping to establish
a forum for internet service providers to explore the
possibility of establishing guidelines and/or a code of
ethics for the internet. This could be done in conjunction
with other organizations and interested individuals who are
working towards the same goal.

(e) On the Metro Toronto Government website, links should be
established with other web pages which provide the necessary
information and/or links for individuals who require details
on hate, news groups and hatemongers, as well as provide
information on how best to respond to such groups.

Respectfully submitted

Bernie M. Farber,
January, 1997
for The Canadian Jewish Congress, Ontario Region

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