Canadian umbrella group targets BDS activities on college campuses


MONTREAL (JTA) An umbrella body representing 97 Canadian universities made it much tougher for the anti-Israel Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement to be promoted on campuses.

The Association of Universities and Colleges of Canada, known as Universities Canada, on Thursday added “places of origin” to its list of discrimination criteria on campuses, which was widely seen as a way to stifle anti-Israel BDS activities there. The criteria already prohibit discrimination based on race, religion and sexual orientation.

Universities have until 2020 to put the updated criteria into place.

“It sends a clear statement to campuses that inclusivity is paramount and is obviously something that administrators should be taken into account and their codes of conduct will reflect that,” Matthew Godwin of the Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs  told The Canadian Jewish News.

A decision in June by McGill University students in Montreal that found BDS to be “unconstitutional” was seen as helping the cause. In February, McGill students refused to ratify a pro-BDS motion that had passed previously.

Since 2013, several Canadian student unions have passed pro-BDS motions, including at Ryerson, York and McMaster universities in Ontario.

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