Hundreds of Canadian Police Gain Insight to Confront Hate Crimes at FSWC Conference in Toronto

February 16, 2023

Community Update

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L-R: Jeff McGuire, Executive Director of Ontario Association of Chiefs of Police, Chief Nishan Duraiappah, Peel Regional Police, Chief Myron Demkiw, Toronto Police Service, Michael Levitt, FSWC President and CEO, the Honourable Michael Kerzner, Ontario's Solicitor General, and Paul Hebert, Director of Ontario Police College

Yesterday, Friends of Simon Wiesenthal Center (FSWC) held its third annual Building A Case Against Hate conference, welcoming hundreds of law enforcement officials, both in person in Toronto and virtually. This year's theme was "Confronting the Evolving Challenges of Hate Crime Policing."

From the Vancouver Police Department to the Saskatoon Police Service to the Toronto Police Service and the Halifax Regional Police, officials represented dozens of police departments from across the country. During the conference, they heard from several featured speakers who delved into important past hate crime cases in North America and provided insight into how to better investigate and successfully build a case against those perpetrating hate crimes and other cases of extremism.

Speakers included:

Toronto Police Chief Myron Demkiw and Ontario Police College Director Paul Hebert, who delivered opening remarks and the welcome address.

The Honourable Michael Kerzner, Ontario's Solicitor General, who spoke on behalf of the Ontario government, relaying its commitment to standing up against hate.

Colleyville Police Chief Michael Miller, who discussed lessons learned after last year’s hostage incident at a synagogue in Colleyville, Texas.

A panel of law enforcement officials and legal experts involved in the Your Ward News case in Toronto discussed how to contend with hate speech and lessons learned from the case.

American former white nationalist Arno Michaelis, who shared his personal story and highlighted the signs of hate to look out for.

Jeff McGuire, Executive Director of Ontario Association of Chiefs of Police, who delivered closing remarks and discussed the important role played by organizations like Friends of Simon Wiesenthal Center in the ongoing fight against hate crime.

Feedback from participants has been extremely positive, who left the conference with additional tools and knowledge to better tackle hate crimes in their local communities. We are thankful to all of yesterday's speakers for sharing their expertise and to all police departments and officials who were in attendance, showing a shared commitment to combat antisemitism and all other forms of hate and extremism.

FSWC programs such as the Building a Case Against Hate conference would not be possible without your generous support. Please consider making a donation today.

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