Canada Palestine Association sent out a questionnaire to the candidates and parties running in the upcoming Vancouver city election, asking them about anti-Palestinian racism, #NoIHRA, JNF, police exchanges with Israeli units and making Vancouver an apartheid-free city. Here are the responses to date:
1. Response from Christine Boyle, OneCity Vancouver
2. Response from Sean Orr, Vote Socialist: YES to all five questions. Inclusion of points raised in our questionnaire in their platform.
3. Response from Jean Swanson & COPE
We urge the Palestinian, Arab and Muslim communities, our allies in progressive Jewish groups, our friends in other immigrant communities as well as anti-racist, human rights, church, trade union and social justice activists to familiarize themselves where these parties and candidates stand. We were encouraged by the positive responses we received; check out our findings and learn which candidates stand up for human rights and liberation for all and who supports apartheid and war crimes. #IVotePalestine
History of Voting on IHRA from July 2019 Vancouver City Council
As noted in our questionnaire, a motion was submitted by current Councillor Sarah Kirby-Yung on July 23, 2019 to adopt the anti-Palestinian definition of the “International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) definition of antisemitism”, which aims to silence criticism of Israel.
The motion, which at the time would have made Vancouver the first municipality in Canada to officially adopt the IHRA, did not pass. Following are the voting details on that motion, and other documentation, for some of the candidates standing in the 2022 election.
Kennedy Stewart (Forward Together) did not respond to our questionnaire, but as current mayor, he voted against adopting the IHRA motion in July 2019 at Vancouver City Council
Colleen Hardwick, former NPA councillor now running for mayor under TEAM, did not respond to our questionnaire, but she voted in support of the IHRA motion.
Ken Sim (ABC Vancouver) did not respond to our questionnaire nor was he on council in 2019, but he is on the record as publicly supporting the IHRA definition of anti-Semitism.
Christine Boyle, running again for OneCity, voted against adopting the IHRA motion in July 2019. “It is my view that criticism of Israeli policies should not be equated with anti-Semitism, and therefore I disagree with the IRHA definition.”
Jean Swanson, running again for COPE, voted against the 2019 IHRA motion and COPE itself mobilized against adopting the motion, joining with others to emphasize the need to fight against all forms of racism.
(The Green Party of Vancouver did not respond to our questionnaire, but their Councillors did vote against adopting the IHRA motion in July 2019)
Adriane Carr, running again for Green, voted against adopting the motion
Pete Fry, running again for Green, voted against adopting IHRA motion
Michael Wiebe, running again in this election for Green, voted against adopting the IHRA motion.
(NPA did not respond to our questionnaire, but they introduced the 2019 IHRA motion and all of their councillors at the time supported it.)
Sarah Kirby-Yung, NPA councillor running in this election for ABC Vancouver, introduced and voted in favor of the IHRA motion in July 2019
Lisa Dominato, NPA councillor running for ABC Vancouver, voted in favour.
Rebecca Bligh, NPA councillor running for ABC Vancouver, voted in favour.
Melissa De Genova, NPA councillor running again for NPA, voted in favor of the IHRA motion in July 2019