February 6, 2018
Dear members of the McGill community,
Last fall, I gave former Ombudsperson for Students and former Faculty of Education Professor Spencer Boudreau a specific mandate to “undertake a thorough identification and examination of the facts of the events of October 23, 2017, for the purpose of determining whether the facts substantiate the allegation of an incident of anti-Semitism” in connection with the General Assembly of the Students’ Society of McGill University.
Prof. Boudreau submitted his report to me and, as promised, I am now making it public here.
In his report, Prof. Boudreau concluded that the evidence did not substantiate the notion that the vote was motivated by anti-Semitism. He did determine, however, that two candidates were not ratified because of their stances on the Israeli-Palestinian situation.
As a result, Prof. Boudreau commented that the Jewish student who raised the allegation of anti-Semitism had “an honest and even understandable reaction to the vote”, as had members of the broader community and particularly members of the Jewish community.
I would like to take this opportunity to make it clear that there is absolutely no place for anti-Semitism at McGill University and that, as Principal and Vice-chancellor, I will remain vigilant to ensure that all members of our community feel safe, welcomed and respected on our campuses.
As a community, we are continuing to work hard to make our institution inclusive for all. In this regard, the Task Force on Respect and Inclusion in Campus Life, which started its work last fall, was mandated “to recommend a set of concrete measures by which the University may ensure the full and effective operationalization of its core principles across all University activities, but with particular consideration paid to student life at McGill.”
The Task Force is set to deliver its report and recommendations by end of April 2018. The University commits to taking appropriate action based on these recommendations.
The important work the Task Force has undertaken will help us ensure that the environment in which we learn and work is consistent with our principles and that we stand steadfastly against any form of exclusion based on one’s identity.
Finally, I would like to thank Prof. Boudreau for his thoughtful and thorough report.
Principal and Vice-chancellor