ontario news watch

Conservatives vow to remove Liberals’ pick for Canadian Human Rights Commission

OTTAWA — The Opposition Conservatives are vowing a future Pierre Poilievre-led government would remove the man the Liberals just appointed to lead the Canadian Human Rights Commission.

Birju Dattani is to take over as the chief commissioner next month for a five-year term but Melissa Lantsman, one the party’s deputy leaders, says in a statement that Conservatives would rescind that appointment.

She says Dattani has a “long track record of anti-Israel statements” including a “justification of terrorism,” and that Prime Minister Justin Trudeau should demand Dattani stand down or “fire him.”

After some Jewish advocacy groups raised concerns about the appointment Justice Minister Arif Vriani launched an independent investigation into the allegations surrounding Dattani’s online activities from almost a decade ago.

Dattani’s lawyer Muneeza Sheikh said in a statement today that her client can’t comment given the probe underway but says “any bad faith or improper removal” of Dattani from his role “would be challenged in accordance with the law.”

Dattani has previously called the allegations unfounded.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published July 5, 2024.

The Canadian Press