Liberals’ accountability in Marouf scandal stymied by Conservative filibuster

Anti-racist consultant Laith Marouf

October 7, 2022

The federal government was called on the carpet today to take responsibility for the scandal of Heritage Canada hiring Laith Marouf as an anti-racism consultant despite his history of anti-semitic and racist tweets (examples below).

Diversity and Inclusion Minister Ahmed Hussen answered questions from Opposition MPs on the Parliamentary Heritage Committee probing why Marouf was hired and why it took the Minister a month after being notified of the tweets on July 19th to comment publicly and terminate Heritage’s relationship with Marouf.

Hussen reiterated his condemnation of anti-semitism and racism and promised better vetting of consultancy applications and more training for Heritage officials. His explanation for his delayed public response was essentially that is the speed at which the federal civil service moves when lawyers and contract liability are involved.

MPs also asked how Heritage’s vetting of an anti-racist consultant did not include an Internet search that would have discovered the tweets.

Pressing the Minister, Conservative MP John Nater asked if he could confirm a press report quoting Marouf bragging that Heritage Canada was so desperate to appear responsive to racism suffered by media workers that officials pro-actively solicited an application from him to provide anti-racism training.

The Minister said he would check with officials on the report. But with the responsible Assistant Deputy Minister waiting in the witness queue to answer questions, Conservative MP Rachael Thomas began a filibuster of the remaining hour of the Committee session. The official was never questioned and so no answer was provided.

There has been detailed reporting on Marouf’s tweets, his work for Heritage and the government’s accountability in the matter. The pot will continue to boil because despite Heritage Canada banning Marouf from future consultancy contracts, the CRTC has said it may continue funding him under the Broadcasting Participation Fund to take part in certain Commission hearings.

Marouf’s defence —repeated by some— is he doesn’t mean all Jews.

You cannot read Marouf’s incendiary tweets without acknowledging, only to yourself if necessary, that they indiscriminately incite violent feelings and violent actions against Jews, not just Zionists (again, see below).

Everyone knows who Zionists are. They are Jews. There are millions of Jewish Zionists around the world, even if not all Jews are the “white supremacist” Zionists that Marouf insists he is accusing. But if you flood my house with gasoline and walk away, you are still culpable for the deadly spark and explosion that follows. Would we tolerate incitement of murderous hate against Black Lives Matters because not all Blacks belong to BLM?

Yes, the situation in Israel and Palestine makes moral choices hard. Whatever you think injustice or justice means there, the fact remains there is a 75-year war that has never stopped and never will until those who insist on vanquishing their enemies turn to pragmatism and peace. 

Laith Marouf’s racist and anti-semitic tweets tells us he stands with the vanquishers. More’s the pity.

Published by

Howard Law

I am retired staff of Unifor, the union representing 300,000 Canadians in twenty different sectors of the economy, including 10,000 journalists and media workers. As the former Director of the Media Sector and as an unapologetic cultural nationalist, I have an abiding passion for public policy in Canadian media.

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