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Prime Minister announces new Special Advisor on Jewish Community Relations and Antisemitism

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The Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau, today announced that Anthony Housefather, Member of Parliament for Mount Royal, has been named Special Advisor on Jewish Community Relations and Antisemitism.

In recent months, we’ve seen a disturbing rise in antisemitism across the world, including right here in Canada. This must not continue. Whether it’s at a synagogue or a Jewish business or school; whether it’s wearing the Star of David or a Kippah – Jewish Canadians deserve to feel safe, supported, and welcomed. They deserve to live openly and proudly Jewish lives, without intimidation or fear. Too often in recent months, Canadians have been threatened, harassed, and excluded because of their faith, their identity, or because they support the Jewish people’s right to self-determination. That is unacceptable and must stop.

Mr. Housefather’s role will be to advise the Prime Minister and ministers on the development and co-ordination of the Government of Canada’s work to combat antisemitism and ensure Jewish Canadians are able to live with vibrancy, security, and dignity. This will include working with Jewish Canadians from across the country. Mr. Housefather will help advance actions throughout the federal government to combat antisemitism, enhance the protection of Jewish Canadian communities, and address the unacceptable discrimination against them – both historical and current. In this role, Mr. Housefather will work closely with Jewish communities and relevant stakeholders across the country and Canada’s Special Envoy on Preserving Holocaust Remembrance and Combatting Antisemitism, Deborah Lyons.

Mr. Housefather has been an elected official for 30 years. He served as a municipal councillor from 1994 to 2005 and as Mayor of Côte-Saint-Luc, in Montréal, from 2005 to 2015. As a former Chair of the House of Commons Standing Committee on Justice and Human Rights and a steadfast advocate for Jewish Canadians, Mr. Housefather has advanced efforts to tackle antisemitism, hate, and bigotry in Canada. As Co-Chair of the Inter-Parliamentary Task Force to Combat Online Antisemitism, he has also helped tackle antisemitism around the world, including in online spaces – working with international parliamentarians, the world’s leading social media platforms, ambassadors, and special envoys. His breadth of experience advocating for Jewish communities at home and abroad will bring value to this role.

Antisemitism is not a problem for the Jewish community to solve alone. We will continue to take action – across government – to make Canada safer, more inclusive, and better for everyone.


“We stand with Jewish Canadians – today and every day. And we will do whatever it takes to fight antisemitism and hate, which is unfortunately too prevalent in our communities. With Mr. Housefather’s appointment, we’re continuing to make sure Jewish Canadians’ voices are heard, protecting Jewish Canadian communities, and making Canada more inclusive for everyone.”

“There has been no time in my lifetime when Jewish Canadians have felt as threatened as they do today. While we cannot make antisemitism disappear, all levels of government, universities, and police can take concrete steps to make Jewish Canadians feel safer in this country. I am grateful to the Prime Minister for putting me in a position where I can work with Deborah Lyons to help translate words to action.”

Quick Fact

  • Mr. Housefather will undertake his new responsibilities while continuing his role as Parliamentary Secretary to the President of the Treasury Board.