United Against Hate Canada is a new nonprofit founded by Marvin Rotrand, a former Montreal city councillor who was recently a national director at B’nai Brith

United Against Hate Canada held its launch on Zoom on June 19, 2024.

Marvin Rotrand, a former Montreal city councillor and former national director at B’nai Brith Canada, announced the incorporation of a new nonprofit dedicated to combating hate earlier this week.

At a press conference on June 19, Rotrand outlined the priorities of the newly formed United Against Hate Canada (UAHC) organization. A press release from the group stated the organization came together in January, a month before his resignation from B’nai Brith’s League for Human Rights.

Among those listed as its board members are leaders of Tamil, Jamaican, South Asian, Filipino, and Caribbean communities. Several political figures, including English School Board Commissioner Ellie Israel and outgoing Manitoba Liberal leader Dougald Lamont, have joined Rotrand in the effort.

Rotrand said the UAHC is not a Jewish organization, although its current primary focus is antisemitism given the stark increase of hate incidents since Oct. 7. The group is advocating for a second national summit to combat antisemitism. (The first national summit was held in Ottawa in July 2021.)

“We are not a Jewish organization, we don’t pretend to be. We are a multicultural, multiracial organization which happens to make the fight against antisemitism its prime focus because it’s so extensive in Canada right now. We’ve never seen anything like this,” Rotrand told The CJN.

“We recognize the good work of CIJA (The Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs), B’nai Brith, and others in the Jewish community, but that’s not us. We put people together, we promote dialogue and collaboration. We want people to understand the problems of their neighbours.”

Beyond combating the current wave of antisemitism, top priorities for the UAHC are “promoting cross-cultural communication” with a specific focus on bringing together Jews and Muslims. The organization also intends to highlight the contributions of racial and religious minorities in Canada.

While the organization has a national mandate, with antisemitism being reported everywhere from small towns in rural Ontario to major cities, Rotrand acknowledged the gravity of the situation in Montreal.

After a shooting at a Belz school last month and shots fired at a Jewish restaurant this week, Rotrand criticized Montreal mayor Valerie Plante’s response, claiming she “is absent in fighting antisemitism” and has “sympathy for the (pro-Palestine McGill University) encampment.”

“What’s even more shocking is when the police chief in Montreal can say with a straight face that 250 hate incidents and crimes since Oct. 7 and 68 percent of them impacted the Jewish community alone while 32 impacted everyone else. It’s truly a problem; hardly a day goes by when there isn’t news of an incident.”

UAHC is involved in numerous campaigns, including calling on McGill to take action against the months-long pro-Palestine encampment and the Toronto District School Board to drop efforts to incorporate anti-Palestinian racism into its anti-discrimination strategy.