Canadian Jewry Submits Brief to Prime Minister on Major Issues
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Canadian Jewry Submits Brief to Prime Minister on Major Issues

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The Canadian Jewish Congress has submitted to the Dominion’s Prime Minister, Lester B. Pearson, a lengthy brief dealing with most of the major issues concerning Canadian Jews, both on the domestic level and in the international field.

Included among the issues discussed in the brief were the work of the Government’s Royal Commission on Biculturalism and Bilingualism; immigration; the criminal code; the Bill of Rights; the Human Rights Commission; property nationalized by Poland; heirless property; the USSR and its treatment of Jews; and Israel and the Middle East.

Premier Pearson received the Jewish delegation in the presence of Paul Martin, Secretary of State for External Affairs; Maurice Lamontage, president of the Queen’s Privy Council; and Guy Fabreau, Minister of Citizenship and Immigration.

On the subject of bilingual and bicultural relationships, the brief urged the government to “take into account the contribution made by other ethnic groups to Canada’s cultural enrichment. ” The brief urged the Government “to allow nothing to denigrate the position, rights and privileges of Canadians of non-Anglo-Saxon (Celtic) and French origin” and to study amendment of the British North American Act “to include inalienable rights of citizenry under some Bill of Rights provision as part of the constitution.”


Referring to the position of Jews in Russia and the Soviet restrictions which “inhibit and undermine the efforts of Soviet Jews to maintain and develop their religious and cultural activity, ” the brief asked the government to use its good offices to raise these issues “at appropriate times and in an appropriate forum, ” expressing the hope that “the religious and cultural liberties of the Jewish community of the USSR be restored.”

the brief also urged that the criminal code take “another look” at provisions banning “latent animosities and hatreds”; prohibit spreading of false news promoting disaffection among various groups in Canada; and ban hate materials inciting to violence against any class of persons. It asked that the Government consider tightening protections against violations of the Bill of Rights; and stressed the importance of banning racial discrimination and religious intolerance through a United Nations resolution.

Another brief submitted jointly by the Canadian Jewish Congress and the United Zionist Council dealt with Middle Eastern questions as they affect “the security and the well being of Israel and the Middle Eastern neighborhood as a whole. ” This brief sought to eliminate Israeli Arab border tensions; dealt with the imbalance of arms being shipped into the Middle East region; and called attention to “the unresolved Arab refugee problem and its implications for the future.”

The Canadian Jewish Congress delegation was led by Michael Garber, president of the CJC, and included Monroe Abbey, Harold Lande, Saul Cherniack, Samuel Harvey, David Slater, Lavy M. Becker, Sydney M. Harris and Saul Hayes. The delegation which submitted the joint brief was led by Mr. Garber and Joseph N. Frank, president of the United Zionist Council of Canada.

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