BC Civil Liberties Association March 8, 2016
On the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement and the narrowing of acceptable speech
Individual Canadians must feel completely free to express themselves on matters of public importance, whether or not their views are supported by a majority of the Members of Parliament. Constitutional rights must come before foreign policy decisions.
by Alyssa Stryker, BCCLA
On Tuesday, February 23, the House of Commons voted to formally condemn the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) campaign. The full text of the motion, introduced by the Conservatives, reads:
“That, given Canada and Israel share a long history of friendship as well as economic and diplomatic relations, the House reject the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement, which promotes the demonization and delegitimization of the State of Israel, and call upon the government to condemn any and all attempts by Canadian organizations, groups or individuals to promote the BDS movement, both here at home and abroad.”
While professing unhappiness about supporting the motion, the Liberals – confusingly – voted for it anyway, showing themselves a little too willing to narrow the range of political perspectives that Canada’s democracy can accommodate. The New Democrats and the Bloc Québécois both opposed the motion. Continue reading