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Debate on motion to silence Ontario NDP legislator set to resume today

TORONTO — The debate on a Progressive Conservative motion to effectively silence an Opposition legislator is set to resume in the Ontario legislature today. 

Premier Doug Ford’s government wants NDP MPP Sarah Jama to apologize again and retract her statement about the conflict between Israel and Hamas.

The Tories, who have a large majority, are calling through their motion for the Speaker to not to recognize Jama in the House until she does so.

Jama came under fire for the post she made earlier this month decrying the “occupation” of Palestine without mentioning the attack by Hamas militants on Israeli civilians. She later posted an apology online but did not retract the original statement.

Jama has since sent a cease-and-desist letter to Ford demanding he retract and apologize for his own statement on her comments in which he said she has a “well-documented history of antisemitism” and supports the “rape and murder of innocent Jewish people.”

The premier – who has not commented publicly on Jama’s letter – provided no specific details supporting the allegations he made against Jama. 

The Tories’ motion could pass today.

Jama’s office said on Friday that it had received “a number of concerning calls and emails” that led it to have staff in Jama’s Hamilton Centre office work remotely and only accept in-person meetings by appointment. 

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Oct. 23, 2023.

The Canadian Press


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