FSWC CEO Avi Benolo
TORONTO (October 17, 2017) – Friends of Simon Wiesenthal Center (FSWC) has learned that the City of Toronto will use its policies to block a rally planned by white nationalists in its parks. FSWC reached out to the Mayor John Tory, as well as Councillor Mary Margaret McMahon for the Beaches-East York and the Chief of Toronto Police Service, expressing concern about the announced November 4 rally by a group called the Canadian Nationalist Front and urging that they use the tools at their disposal – including the City’s Human Resources Policy on Hate Activity and the Permit Allocation Policy – to prevent the planned rally.
Although the City has indicated that no application for the date or location as announced has been received to date, the Mayor has informed FSWC that the City will not allow this kind of event on its property according to its permit policy and has alerted the Toronto Police Service as well as the Parks permit department to that effect.
“It rests on the City to ensure that messages of hate and intolerance are not given a platform on public streets and property,” said FSWC President and CEO Avi Benlolo. “The area planned for the white nationalist rally is a diverse family-based neighborhood that has already made clear that it does not want hate on its streets. We were most pleased that the City of Toronto has responded to our concerns clearly and uncategorically to the effect that it would not allow its community-based facilities to be used by those who do not share the City’s commitment to its diversity, thereby ensuring that everyone feels safe throughout the municipality.”
According to FSWC, the event is being hailed as an anti-immigration rally, organized by a group called the Canadian Nationalist Front and its chairman Kevin Goudreau, and is set to take place on November 4, 2017 out of Kew Gardens in the Beaches area. This is similar to the rally planned in Peterborough last month where a permit was refused only because organizers failed to meet procedural requirements.
Through its advocacy initiatives and educational programs – such as Tour for Humanity, Freedom Day and the National Policy Conference on Holocaust Education – FSWC speaks out against all forms of hate and antisemitism, and is committed to promoting tolerance and acceptance in communities throughout Canada.