FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Montreal, June 7, 2012 – The Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs (CIJA Quebec) commends Quebec’s political leaders for commemorating 180 years of political emancipation for Quebec Jewry in a unanimous all party motion. On June 5th 1832, the Legislature of Lower Canada (Quebec), presided over by Louis-Joseph Papineau leader of the Patriotes, adopted a then ground-breaking law establishing full civil, political, and religious rights for Quebec Jewry. This was the first law of its kind in the British Empire, followed 27 years later by a similar event in Great Britain.
“As Quebecers we take great pride in the unanimous resolution of the Quebec National Assembly commemorating Quebec’s pioneering role in 1832 in the emancipation of Quebec Jewry,” stated CIJA Quebec Chair Eric Maldoff. “We therefore rejoice in the decision taken by all Quebec political leadership to celebrate the 180th anniversary of this important milestone.”
The law represented the end of a long struggle for the people of Trois Rivières who twice elected a Jew, Ezekiel Hart as their representative to the legislature and twice saw him forbidden from sitting in the legislature because he was a Jew. The Jewish community has long been at the forefront of the battle for human rights. This law paved the way for many of the rights and freedoms all Quebecers enjoy today.
The motion was sponsored by the three political parties represented by Liberal MNA for Darcy McGee Lawrence Bergman, PQ MNA for Richelieu Sylvain Simard, CAQ MNA for Deux Montagnes Benoit Charette, as well as independents including MNA for Borduas Pierre Curzi and MNA for Cremazie Lisette Lapointe, reads as follows:
« Que l’Assemblée nationale souligne le 180e anniversaire de la loi du 5 juin 1832 adoptée à l’unanimité qui a octroyé aux juifs l’égalité et la pleine émancipation politique et religieuse. » ( That the National Assembly highlight the 180th anniversary of the June 5th, 1832 law granting Quebec’s Jews equality and full religious and political emancipation).
The Centre is the advocacy arm of the Jewish Federations of Canada and Quebec.
For more information:
Associate Director for Quebec Public Affairs and Jewish Community Relations
514-345-6411 x 3169
Associate Director for Quebec Public Affairs
514-345-6411 x 3675