Alberta province adopts IHRA definition of antisemitism

The IHRA working definition assists law enforcement, community leaders and lawmakers to identify and understand modern forms of antisemitism.

 National Flag of Canada (Queen's Park, Toronto). (photo credit: Wikimedia Commons)
National Flag of Canada (Queen's Park, Toronto).
(photo credit: Wikimedia Commons)

The Alberta province of Canada accepted the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance's (IHRA) definition of antisemitism on Friday, becoming the fifth Canadian province to do so.

“The Alberta government’s adoption of the IHRA definition of antisemitism is a clear affirmation of our elected officials’ recognition of the upsurge in hate targeting Jews and the need to counter this rise,” said Shimon Koffler Fogel, President and CEO for the Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs. “Identifying antisemitism is the first step in recognizing its manifestations, which is key to standing against it. Today, Alberta joins governments across the country to say that enough is enough."

The announcement comes roughly two months after a report by Canada’s national statistical agency which states that Jewish Canadians were the most targeted religious minority for hate crimes last year, making up nearly half of all reported incidents.

“Identifying antisemitism is the first step in recognizing its manifestations, which is key to standing against it. Today, Alberta joins governments across the country to say that enough is enough."

Shimon Koffler Fogel, Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs CEO and President 

The IHRA working definition assists law enforcement, community leaders and lawmakers to identify and understand modern forms of antisemitism in public life, education, media and the workplace.

Which parts of Canada have already utilized the working definition?

Previous Canadian provinces that have already adopted the IHRA definition include Ontario, British Columbia, Quebec and New Brunswick.

Prime Minister of Canada Justin Trudeau attends a memorial service at the University of Alberta for the victims of a Ukrainian passenger plane that crashed in Iran, in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada January 12, 2020 (credit: REUTERS/CANDACE ELLIOTT)Prime Minister of Canada Justin Trudeau attends a memorial service at the University of Alberta for the victims of a Ukrainian passenger plane that crashed in Iran, in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada January 12, 2020 (credit: REUTERS/CANDACE ELLIOTT)

The decision made by the Alberta province has been endorsed by the Calgary Jewish Federation, the Jewish Federation of Edmonton and the Center for Israel and Jewish Affairs organizations.

“IHRA will equip policymakers with a usable tool to address this rise in hate and discrimination," said Calgary Jewish Federation CEO Adam Silver. "We look forward to working with stakeholders as they apply the IHRA definition to guide education, public policy, anti-racism strategies, and law enforcement hate crime identification frameworks.”