Protests No Longer Postpone Marc Garneau’s Talk

Event to Take Place March 20

A talk featuring Liberal MP Marc Garneau has been rescheduled for March 20 after it was postponed last month due to possible protests.

Last update: February 23, 2015 at 2:37

“Explicit police advisories” of a “potentially violent large-scale ‘protest’ demonstration” delayed the talk, according to a press release by the Canadian Institute of Jewish Research. The Committee for Accuracy in Middle East Reporting in America (CAMERA) is the event sponsor.

Originally scheduled for Jan. 12 at the CIJR’s downtown offices, the talk titled “Canada, Israel and the Middle East” will now be held at the Gelber Conference Centre.

In its press release, CIJR said that they will not be intimidated by the “violent and threatening tactics” used by supporters of Palestine and the Boycott, Divest and Sanctions movement (BDS) of Israeli products. They added that the recent attack on the publication Charlie Hebdo in Paris influenced their decision.

“We don’t want to blame any specific groups because we didn’t have any threats from any specific groups.” — Rob Coles, Canadian Institute of Jewish Research

Rob Coles, the publications manager for CIJR who emailed the statement, told The Link that the police did not say pro-BDS or pro-Palestinian groups were responsible for the threats.

He said that their recent press release was a “little strongly worded.”

“We don’t want to blame any specific groups because we didn’t have any threats from any specific groups,” he continued.

In response, the BDS committee at Concordia University and Students for Palestinian Human Rights released a joint statement that they “strongly” condemn the “false and racist” allegations posed against them by CAMERA and CIJR.

They said that ethnically linking the deaths of Charlie Hebdo writers by non-BDS movement groups to their own groups at Concordia is “bluntly racist and unfounded.”

Students voted to have the CSU endorse the BDS movement in a referendum this semester.

Police officers will be present at the talk, according to the Service de police de la Ville de Montréal. A spokesperson said they have no further comment about what information led them to initially advise organizers to cancel the event.

A media representative for Garneau said he has no comment on the situation.

Correction: In a previous iteration of the story, it stated that CAMERA published the press release. CIJR was solely responsible for its publication and distribution. The Link regrets the error.

By commenting on this page you agree to the terms of our Comments Policy.