Heritage Minister Pablo Rodriguez breaks silence, condemns 'disgusting' tweets

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OTTAWA — Heritage Minister Pablo Rodriguez has broken his silence over his department's funding of an agency whose senior consultant posted a series of tweets about "Jewish white supremacists."

In a statement to The Canadian Press, Rodriguez is condemning the comments on Twitter by Laith Marouf as "disgusting" and "antisemitic," adding that racism has no place in Canada.

He also says the Community Media Advocacy Centre, which Marouf works for as a consultant, should never have received a cent of taxpayer money and the Liberal government is reviewing the vetting process to ensure it does not happen again.

Diversity Minister Ahmed Hussen cut $133,000 in Heritage Department funding to the CMAC last week and suspended an anti-racism project it was overseeing after "reprehensible and vile" tweets posted by Marouf came to light.

CMAC has not responded to requests for comment, but a lawyer representing Marouf has previously drawn a distinction between his client's tweets about people he calls "Jewish white supremacists'' and Jews in general, saying Marouf harbours no animus toward the Jewish faith as a collective group.

On Monday, Liberal MP Anthony Housefather, who is Jewish, posted a tweet urging all 338 members of Parliament to condemn antisemitism, after which a significant number of Liberal MPs began speaking up about the issue.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published August, 31, 2022.

The Canadian Press