February 6, 2024
Trudeau Envoy supported fired Minister after racist outburst
Amidst a chorus of voices decrying BC Post-Secondary Education minister Selina Robinson’s anti-Palestinian racism she was forced from cabinet yesterday. Ignored in the controversy is the implication of the government’s Special Envoy on Combating Antisemitism Deborah Lyons.
During a January 30 B’nai Brith webinar Robinson made a series of anti-Palestinian remarks including calling pre-European colonization Palestine “a crappy piece of land with nothing on it”.
Lyons spoke minutes after Robinson’s colonialist and racist comments. Yet Lyons failed to criticize or remark on what Robinson said. Instead she repeatedly praised Robinson even labelling her “wonderful”.
As the scandal has played out over the past week Lyons has yet to distance herself from the controversial webinar she lent government credibility to.
“Imagine the reaction if Trudeau’s Special Representative on Combating Islamophobia had sat through a similar anti-Jewish tirade and then responded by repeatedly praising the person as ‘wonderful’,” noted Rabbi David Mivasair.
“Special Envoy Lyons must apologize for giving credibility to maybe the most mediatized incident of anti-Palestinian racism in Canadian history”, added Rabbi Mivasair.
When Lyons was Canada’s ambassador to Israel she organized a pizza party at the embassy for Canadians fighting in the Israeli military. At the January 2020 event ambassador Lyons told the Canadians fighting in a foreign military “we at the embassy are very proud of what you’re doing.”