Thus, for example, CJC worked to help shape almost a century of human rights and anti-hate lawand public policy toward eliminating antisemitism and Holocaust denial but also racism anddiscrimination of all stripes and the promotion of human rights across the board. This continuestoday in regards to creative ways to combat hate on the Internet of all kinds and to expand the“fence of protection” around vulnerable minorities while safeguarding the fundamental nature of expressive rights in Canada.Similarly, since the inception of the
Charter of Rights and Freedoms
, CJC has been in theforefront of advocacy for a variety of s. 15 equality causes. Its Supreme Court intervention inthe case of Delwin Vriend helped get sexual orientation “written into” the
as a prohibited ground of discrimination.Congress has always operated under the notion that if you want to go fast,
go alone; if you wantto go
together. As part of its modus operandi, CJC has worked with both establishedethnocultural communities like the Chinese, Italians and Greeks as well as new Canadiancommunities like the Somalis in common cause against hate and in favour of human rights andhuman dignity. More recently, this legacy of partnership has extended to enhanced relationswith Canada’s Aboriginal peoples. CJC was also a
pioneer in the field of inter-faith dialogueand this important effort continues today with outreach efforts to newer faith communitiesgrowing in Canada.
CJC has weighed in with Jewish perspectives over the years, often with our federation partners,on a variety of national social justice issues, sometimes at the cost of criticism from those withinthe community with a narrower view of community advocacy that these were not “Jewishissues”. These include: poverty, homelessness, disability issues, HIV/AIDS, child care, refugeeand immigration policy, capital punishment, and employment equity. Jewish tradition impelsCJC to help “repair the world” and such advocacy meets this obligation.CJC has lobbied successive governments to prosecute Nazi war criminals and enablers found inCanada, but always couched this advocacy in Canada’s larger obligations to morality and justice.Thus, CJC continues to push for action against the likes of Rwandan and Balkan
found residing in our country.Similarly, CJC has, as a natural function of its community’s history, promoted Holocaustremembrance and the battle against the deniers of memory in Canada and abroad. Thisunderstanding of genocide, especially on the part of Holocaust survivors living here, promptedCJC to establish a Darfur Action Committee which continues to urge the Canadian governmentto maximize its efforts to end the humanitarian disaster in that region of Sudan.In a strictly non-partisan way, CJC has focused its advocacy efforts in key areas of communication and relationship-building. Advocacy is not like manufacturing widgets, where production and sales bottom lines dictate success or failure. It is all about investing time increating and nurturing relationships with key interlocutors to eventually carry the day, even if that day is far down the road from where you began. On occasion, something you push for seesthe light of day in short order, but typically it takes time and consistent effort to achieve success.There are generally no quick fixes.