Why Emma Cunningham quit the Ontario NDP over antisemitism

Emma Cunningham, a riding president with the Ontario NDP, quit the party after witnessing too many antisemitic incidents. (Photo by Jevonna Wynter)

Emma Cunningham has been a volunteer with the New Democratic Party for several years, in several elections, at several levels. Even though she personally feels a little further left than the party at large, she knew she could find a home with the NDP as a progressive Jew. Until last week.

When the Ontario NDP nominated Steve Parish—the former mayor of Ajax, who lobbied to keep a local street named after a Nazi officer—to run in the upcoming provincial election, that was the last straw for Cunningham. Despite being the president of a neighbouring NDP riding association, she quit, taking to Twitter to call out the party for what she called “so many antisemitic incidents” she’s encountered over the years.

While Parish has since apologized for offending Jewish people in Ontario and beyond, and Ontario NDP leader Andrea Horwath told The CJN she’s working to stamp out antisemitism, that’s not good enough for Cunningham. She joins today to explain why.

What we talked about:


The CJN Daily is written and hosted by Ellin Bessner (@ebessner on Twitter). Victoria Redden 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; find more great Jewish podcasts at thecjn.ca.