The BCCLA is resolutely opposing the anti-BDS participation bill (Bill 202) that is being debated in Ontario.
Entitled the “Standing Up Against Anti-Semitism Act, 2016”, the bill would, among other things, prohibit public bodies from contracting with individuals or entities that support or participate in the international boycott, divestment and sanctions (“BDS”) movement which is critical of the state of Israel. The bill would also prohibit colleges and universities from supporting or participating in the BDS movement, which would almost assuredly affect students’ political participation rights. There is simply no question that this bill would have a disastrous effect on the democratic rights of people in Ontario.
Micheal Vonn of the BCCLA, said: “To be clear, governmental bodies can generally choose their contractors. What we say they can’t do is enshrine political discrimination in law, chill rights to public participation, sanction political witch hunts and threaten and punish individuals for their political views. The claim that this bill will not affect rights to free expression is simply ridiculous. It is designed to do that very thing. It is shocking that the government of Ontario is considering such a bill. We say it is almost certainly not constitutional, and a very serious curtailing of democratic rights.”
The BCCLA urges the Ontario legislature to reject Bill 202.
For further information about the BCCLA’s views on free expression and BDS see here.
Contact : Micheal Vonn, [email protected], 604-630-9753