OTTAWA — Irwin Cotler, a former Liberal cabinet minster and long-time advocate for human rights, has been appointed Canada’s first special envoy for Holocaust remembrance and combating anti-Semitism.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is announcing the appointment today, saying Jewish communities in Canada and around the world face rising anti-Semitism.
Trudeau is affirming Canada’s solidarity with Jewish people and the need to preserve the stories of the Holocaust in the face of hate and intolerance.
Cotler will lead Canada’s delegation to the the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance and will also work domestically to promote Holocaust education, remembrance and research.
The 80-year-old lawyer founded the Raoul Wallenberg Centre for Human Rights in Montreal after retiring from federal politics in 2015, a career that included serving as Canada’s justice minister under former Liberal prime minister Paul Martin.
Earlier this month, Cotler released a report he wrote on behalf of a coalition of international lawyers calling for a new global charter to protect the rights of imprisoned journalists in an increasingly hostile world.
This report by The Canadian Press was first published Nov. 25, 2020.