Jewish federal employees form network to combat antisemitism in government service

·1 min read

OTTAWA — Jewish civil servants met the prime minister's special envoy on fighting antisemitism Tuesday to ask for support dealing with anti-Jewish abuse and slurs in the federal public service.

The government officials have formed a support network to provide a “safe space” where they can share experiences of antisemitism and combat its spread.

Artur Wilczynski, Canada's former ambassador to Norway, says this is the first time in his 30 years working in the public service that Jewish public servants have formed such a group.

Kayla Estrin, a federal official for 30 years, says antisemitism has caused many public service members stress and anxiety.

Irwin Cotler, the prime minister's special envoy, says he wants to ensure antisemitism is included in all government strategies to combat racism so it isn’t marginalized.

The Treasury Board of Canada, which is responsible for the federal public service, says eradicating bias, barriers, and discrimination demands an ongoing, relentless effort.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Dec. 8, 2021.

The Canadian Press

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