Home  > Israel-News Today
Peter Kent condemns anti-israel rally at Queen’s Park (NATIONAL POST) Jake Edmiston TORONTO, CANADA 08/11/12) Source: http://news.nationalpost.com/2012/08/10/peter-kent-condemns-anti-israel-rally-at-queens-park/
The Headline Contains

* Choose from 1 of the 4 descriptions for the headline and or any paragraph.


TORONTO — A senior member of the Harper government has condemned a Queen’s Park decision to allow an anti-Israel rally to be held on its lawn next week.
Paragraph-1 Contains
Peter Kent, Minister of Environment and MP for Thornhill, said the Sergeant-at-Arms was wrong to approve a repeat of an event that offended Jewish groups.
Paragraph-2 Contains
“Video recordings of last year’s ‘Rally’ document hate speech, racism, anti-Semitism, and support for listed organizations that clearly exceed the limits of Canadian freedoms of free assembly and free speech,” read a statement from Mr. Kent Friday.
Paragraph-3 Contains
The event is in support of the International Day of Al-Quds, which invites “peace loving people to voice their opposition to the unjust and illegal occupation” of religious sites in Jerusalem, according to the event’s website. Al-Quds is the Arabic term for Jerusalem.
Paragraph-4 Contains
Toronto Jewish groups took issue with video footage of last year’s Al- Quds day at Queen’s Park, which depicted speakers likening Israel to a cancer and waving Hezbollah flags.
Paragraph-5 Contains
Mr. Kent said his role as a member of the federal cabinet doesn’t impede his ability to comment on a provincial issue.
Paragraph-6 Contains
“Of course I respect the Sergeant-at-Arms, but I think a mistake has been made,” he said in an interview with the National Post on Friday. “As you know, Thornhill is a wonderful diverse community but there is a significant Jewish community … Being a federal minister doesn’t diminish my responsibility to speak up for my constituents.”
Paragraph-7 Contains
The MPP for Thornhill, Peter Shurman, has also publicly condemned the decision.
Paragraph-8 Contains
Last week, the Friends of Simon Wiesenthal Center for Holocaust Students wrote a letter to Premier Dalton McGuinty urging him to ensure this year’s event was barred from the legislature’s grounds.
Paragraph-9 Contains
At a news conference Thursday, Mr. McGuinty said the issue is the jurisdiction of Sergeant-at-Arms and the Speaker.
Paragraph-10 Contains
“But let me just say something as a Premier,” he said. “We believe in freedom of speech, but there are some limits associated with that so we will not tolerate intolerances, we will not tolerate hate.”
Paragraph-11 Contains
Sergeant-at-Arms Dennis Clark said his office receives hundreds of applications a year and “it would be very rare for us to deny an application.”
Paragraph-12 Contains
Mr. Clark said protocol is to meet with all organizers to outline the rules and procedures for a demonstration at Queen’s Park.
Paragraph-13 Contains
“When they walk away they know what they can and can’t do,” he said.
Paragraph-14 Contains
According to a Queen’s Park application, those rules include abiding all laws and volume limits and demonstrators must not enter the building
Paragraph-15 Contains
“Illegal signs or speeches, such as obscenity or hate propaganda are strictly prohibited,” reads the “Guidelines” section of the application, which is available on the Ontario government’s website.
Paragraph-16 Contains
Jewish group leaders from the Friends of Simon Wiesenthal and B’nai Brith said they have been in touch with Toronto Police’s Hate Crimes Unit, who will monitor the situation.
Paragraph-17 Contains
Organizers of the event are not identified by the Sergeant-at-Arms and emails to the Al-Quds Committee website were not returned.
Paragraph-18 Contains
National Post
Paragraph-19 Contains
KENT’S FULL STATEMENT
Paragraph-20 Contains
August 10, 2012
Paragraph-21 Contains
It is with great sadness and concern I’ve learned that authorities at Queen’s Park have again issued a permit for an “Al-Quds Rally” on the grounds of the provincial legislature on Saturday, August 18, 2012.
Paragraph-22 Contains
Equally concerning is the refusal of Queen’s Park authorities to reveal the identity of the sponsoring individuals or organizations which have been granted a permit.
Paragraph-23 Contains
Video recordings of last year’s “Rally” document hate speech, racism, anti-semitism, and support for listed organizations that clearly exceed the limits of Canadian freedoms of free assembly and free speech.
Paragraph-24 Contains
The flag of Hezbollah, a radial Shia group, supported by Iran, and dedicated to the destruction of Israel and imposition of an Islamic state, was displayed prominently at the “Rally”. Under Canadian law, Hezbollah is a listed terrorist organization.
Paragraph-25 Contains
As the Member of Parliament for Thornhill, I celebrate the rights and freedoms extended to Canadians of all ethnic groups, cultures and religions.
Paragraph-26 Contains
I also believe that all levels of government should stand together to condemn any among us who would propagate hatred.
Paragraph-27 Contains
Hon. Peter Kent, P.C., MP Thornhill (© 2012 National Post, a division of Postmedia Network Inc. 08/11/12)
Paragraph-28 Contains
MATERIAL REPRODUCED FOR EDUCATIONAL PURPOSES ONLY


NATIONAL POST Articles-Index-Top Publishers-Index-Top Return to Top