OCLA opposes the international campaign to adopt the International Holocaust Remembrance Association (IHRA) definition of antisemitism
The OCLA endorses the recently expressed position of the BCCLA.
Whereas the OCLA and the BCCLA (and the CCLA) are distinct and separate organizations, the OCLA nonetheless also opposes the international campaign to adopt the International Holocaust Remembrance Association (IHRA) definition of antisemitism, which is targeting all levels of government in Canada, as well as universities, police, and other authorities.
In this context, the OCLA opposes the “hate speech” provisions of the Criminal Code. The said provisions are distinct from the “threat of violence”, “harassment” and “coercion” provisions, are contrary to international law, remove the State’s onus to prove actual harm to any actual specific victim, and are incompatible with democratic values. Further, the said provisions are susceptible to erosion and practical abuse from political campaigns such as the IHRA campaign.
The OCLA has the position that the State should stay clear of societal debates, no matter how distasteful or “harmful” some participants may find expressed opinions and beliefs. There is no body of science that establishes a causal link between negative or extreme views expressed in society at large and individual or mass crimes. Advancing such a link is equivalent to advancing any other baseless pretext for State censorship.