Statement on Antisemitic Assault

Published on November 14, 2018

It is very disheartening to find myself rising today to respond to an anti-Semitic assault and robbery that occurred on the evening of Sunday, November 11, in my riding of Eglinton–Lawrence.

According to media reports, at approximately 8 p.m. on Sunday, four yeshiva students walking home on Fairholme Avenue near Bathurst and Lawrence in visible religious attire, including kippot, were subjected to derogatory comments from a larger group of youth.

The incident quickly escalated to a physical assault and robbery, now under investigation as a hate crime by the Toronto Police Service. I want to thank the Toronto police for their prompt attention to this matter.

Let me be clear and unequivocal: There is no place for hatred or anti-Semitism in the province of Ontario. We will not tolerate a situation where members of the Jewish community feel uncomfortable practising their faith or wearing religious items such as kippot in public.

I call on those responsible for this despicable act to turn themselves into the Toronto police, apologize to the four young men targeted for no other reason than their faith and commit to working with the Jewish community to put an end to anti-Semitism.

Mr. Speaker, I hope and pray that this is the very last time an act of anti-Semitic violence happens here in Ontario and certainly in my riding.