Newfoundland and Labrador is now the 7th province to adopt the IHRA definition of antisemitism: Does it matter?

Newfoundland and Labrador holds a news conference Tuesday May 9, in St. John's to adopt the IHRA definition of antisemitism. Rabbi Chanan Chernitzky of Chabad and Gerry Bryne, the minister of immigration, population growth and skills attend the event. (John Thompkins photo)

The government of Newfoundland and Labrador will hold a news conference today, May 9, to officially announce its adoption of the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance’s definition of antisemitism. The move will be done by proclamation and unveiled at the Confederation Building in St. John’s. “We remain unwavering in our commitment to always challenge antisemitism, wherever and whenever it occurs,” said Gerry Byrne, the cabinet minister in charge of immigration, population growth and skills, in a media release.

Officials say the adoption came after a request from local Jewish communities, and is being done as part of the province’s efforts to tackle racism in all its forms.

With this, Canada now has seven provinces—plus the federal government—who have incorporated the IHRA definition of antisemitism as official policy.

So why are reports of Jew-hatred incidents in Canada still in the thousands last year, according to a recent B’nai Brith report? Does this latest adoption mean a setback to those groups who oppose the IHRA definition, such as academics, unions, the NDP, some First Nations groups, and particularly the Independent Jewish Voices group?

The CJN Daily spoke with Belle Jarniewski, a member of Canada’s delegation to IHRA, about the recent successes and where the challenges still lie.

What we talked about

  • Hear Ellin speak in Calgary on Thursday, May 11, for Jewish Heritage Month at The Military Museums


The CJN Daily is written and hosted by Ellin Bessner (@ebessner on Twitter). Zachary Kauffman is the producer. Michael Fraiman is the executive producer. Our theme music is by Dov Beck-Levine. Our title sponsor is Metropia. We’re a member of The CJN Podcast Network. To subscribe to this podcast, please watch this video. Donate to The CJN and receive a charitable tax receipt by clicking here.