Encouraging responses from Municipal and School Board Candidates in Ontario #IVotePalestine

See details about #IVotePalestine in Ontario municipal and school board elections scheduled for October 24, 2022.

Municipal Responses

At present the survey has been sent to all City of Toronto mayoral and council candidates.

The following have answered “yes” to all questions related to anti-racism, international law and human rights, and charter rights & civil liberties.

Three Candidates for Toronto Mayor have responded “yes” to all questions

Knia SIngh
Soaad Hossain
Blake Acton

Ferin Yusuf Malek

Four Toronto City Council candidates have responded “yes” to all questions

Ashan Fernando, Ward 25 Scarborough-Rouge Park

Axel Arvizu, Ward 11 University-Rosedale

John Genser , Ward 1 Etobicoke North

Adam Smith,  Ward 19, Beaches-East York

Subhash Chand, Toronto Ward 1

Corey David,  Toronto Ward 20 SSW

Subhash Chand, Etobicoke North 1

Kiri Vadivelu, Scarborough Centre – Ward 21

Miguel Avila, Toronto Ward 13

Wali Abro,Toronto-Danforth Ward 14


Others that responded included:

Steve Yuen, Ward 4, Parkdale-High Park, indicated in an email that stands with the principles

Philip Davidovits, Ward 8 Lawrence Eglinton, Yes to first 2 questions and No to others

Sharif Ahmed, Ward 20 Scarborough Southwest, No to all questions


Ottawa Council

Peter Westaway,  Ward 9 Knoxdale-Merivale, Yes question 1 to 7, no answer to question 8 and 9


Mississauga Council

Mark Freeland, Mississauga Ward 7, City Council, YES to all

Sarah Szymanski, Mississauga Ward 3, Yes to all except no answer to #6

The Questions included:


Q1. Do you recognize the fundamental rights of the Arab-Palestinian citizens of Israel to full equality and protection under the United Nations Declaration of Universal Human Rights?

Q.2 Would you be prepared to implement policies to ensure no anti-Palestinian racism?

Q3. Do you oppose the anti-Palestinian, anti-democratic and politically charged IHRA definition of anti-Semitism, and do you pledge to ensure this racist Ontario government position is not implemented in your municipality?

International Law and Human Rights

Q4. Do you support ending Israeli occupation and colonization of all Arab lands allocated to the Arabs in 1946 by the United Nations including dismantling the Wall, and do you support the necessary concrete measures to implement such a commitment including in your scope as an elected municipal official?

Q.5 Are you prepared to ensure procurement procedures for your municipality ensure that no goods or services come from any company listed on the UN database as complicit with war crimes in occupied Palestine? The full list of the companies can be found in the report.

Q.6 Are you prepared to develop a supply chain management system, like that of the OECD, to ensure the human rights of all participants meet the requirements of the United Nations Declaration of Universal Human Rights?

Q7. Do you support calling on municipal police forces to stop exchanges with Israeli police officials and units, and to educate themselves on anti-Palestinian racism and its implications in their relations with the community?

Civil Liberties and Charter Rights

On February 22, 2016 the House of Commons passed a resolution that called “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.” Ontario passed a motion in this regard on December 1, 2016.

Q8.  Do you recognize the rights of Ontarians to support the Boycott Divestment and Sanctions [BDS] movement as a non-violent strategy to force Israel to abide by UN resolutions and all international humanitarian laws?

Q.9 Do you condemn these tactics to try to silence the rights of Palestinians and those who stand in solidarity with them?

For ease you can ask local council candidate questions at this LINK.

School Board Trustees Give Clear Answers in support of Anti-Racism and Against Apartheid


Over 700 candidates in the English Public and Catholic school boards in Ontario received the questions directly.

The following answered “yes” to all questions:

Davin Thornborrow, Hamilton, Ward 4, English Public

Wendy J Ashby, Waterloo District Catholic School Board

Caitlin Morrison, Simcoe County Public School Board, Barrie Wards 7,8,9,10

Margaret Stanley, Greater Essex County District School Board (GECDSB)

Vijaykumar Bhosekar, Peel District School Board

Jenny Rivera, Ottawa Catholic School Board

Sarah Cipkar, Greater Essex County District School Board

Tracey Aquilina, London Ward 2-6, Thames Valley District School Board

Carolyn Butterworth, York Region District School Board

Daniel Tarade , Toronto District School Board, Parkdale-High Park (Ward 7)

Rasha Shehadi, Peel District School Board

Naveed Ahmed, HDSB

Lyra Evans, OCDSB

Sergio Raez Villanueva, Dufferin-Peel Catholic District School Board

Ben Hendriks,  YRDSB

Alysha Aziz,  Ottawa-Carleton District School Board (OCDSB)

Meghan Dunlop, Simcoe County District School Board (SCDSB)

Yasmin Aden, TDSB


Those who answered with one or more “no” responses and at least two of the questions include:

Alison Hodd, Halton District School Board, No Yes No

Matthew Forbes, York District School Board,  No Yes No

Michael Beauchemin, Halton District, Yes to 1 & 3, does not see 2 as applicable

John Bradford, GEDSB, Yes to 1 & 2, willing to research collectively

Eric Renaud, Windsor Essex Catholic Board, No to all questions

Vipul Shah, PDSB Brampton Ward 1 & 5, No Yes Yes

Sharon Siriboe, Dufferin Peel Catholic District, No answer to 1, Yes to 2 & 3

Ibtisaam Abboud, OCDSB, Yes, Yes, No

Jennifer Mitchell, Dufferin-Peel Catholic District school board, Yes, Yes, Open to learning more

David Sabine, Thames Valley District School Board, posted the following responses.

Q1: https://www.voiceforparents.ca/do_you_agree_that_such_a_definition_that_equates

Q2: https://www.voiceforparents.ca/do_you_pledge_to_consult_with_palestinian_arab_muslim_and_human_rights_organizations

Q3: https://www.voiceforparents.ca/would_you_be_willing_to_work_towards_declaring_your_school_board_as_an_apartheid_free_zone






David Sabine




The Questions included:

No IHRA in Ontario schools

On September 14th trustees of the York Region District School Board (YRDSB – Ontario’s third largest school board) heeded the concerns of anti-racist parents and community members, and voted to indefinitely postpone a vote to adopt the dangerous and highly controversial International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) antisemitism definition.

1.       Do you agree that such a definition, that equates criticism of Israel with anti-Semitism, “undermines both the Palestinian struggle for freedom, justice and equality and the global struggle against antisemitism”?

2.       Do you pledge to consult with Palestinian, Arab, Muslim and human rights organizations when discussing city policies relating to race relations and racism, and to combat all forms of racism including anti-Palestinian racism?

Israeli Apartheid:

International human rights organizations Amnesty International (AI) and Human Rights Watch (HRW), and the Israeli human rights organization B’Tselem, have established that Israel is an apartheid state that practices institutional racism in all of the territories under its control “from the Jordan River to the Mediterranean Sea”.

Please check out Amnesty International’s Aug. 15, 2022 post: “Israel’s Apartheid Against Palestinians: Report & Resources” and Desmond Tutu’s opinion: Israel guilty of apartheid in treatment of Palestinians.

3.       Would you be willing to work towards declaring your school board as an apartheid free zone?

We will make your answers public on our websites.

We call on our all-anti-racist voters to vote their conscience based on the information provided.

We do not support any candidates and are non-partisan organizations.

For ease you can answer questions at this LINK.

Other responses have been received, some indicating that:  wanting to understand more; or have comments but did not answer the questions directly.

A summary will be pulled together in a separate report.

Initiated by: the Canadian BDS Coalition, Just Peace Advocates, Palestine House and the Oakville Palestinian Human Rights Organization

We call on our all-anti-racist voters to vote their conscience based on the information provided but to reach out directly to all candidates running in their own municipality and school board.

We do not support any candidates and are non-partisan organizations.

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