Ha! According to Karl Nerenberg, the Toronto Board of Rabbis is slamming the Harper government over bill c-31, notably the failure to recognize the risk to Hungarian Roma people with a neo-Nazi party around and about, and the restrictions on health care for refugee claimants. Also other prominent "mainstream" (aka Zionist) members of the Jewish community such as our old babble pal Bernie Farber...
Rather late in the day, as Nerenberg says, but he adds this:
"As long as the only objections to these aspects of C-31 came from the Roma community and human rights oriented groups, the government seemed to believe there would be no price to pay for its tough stance.
The intervention of the Toronto Board of Rabbis marks the first time that a major and official Jewish institution has taken on the Harper government.
This government has worked very hard to cultivate Jewish support, mostly by taking an almost over-the-top Israel-can-never-do-any-wrong stance.
Arguably, Conservative MPs Peter Kent, Mark Adler and Joe Oliver owe their Toronto area seats to Jewish votes.
In fact, some pollsters' analyses show that about 50 per cent of Canadian Jews voted for the Conservatives last time, the Conservatives' best ever showing with that community. The Jewish vote was a factor that helped Harper's Conservatives win urban seats, last time, after they had been largely shut out from urban Canada for the previous three elections.
The Senate was scheduled to have its final vote on C-31 on Wednesday afternoon. It passed and receives Royal Assent on Thursday.
The ball is now in the government's court. The Minister of Immigration now has the responsibility to officially designate safe countries.
If Harper and his colleagues can afford to ignore the politically powerless Roma and academics and human rights advocates who are not on their best friends list, can they afford to ignore the Toronto Board of Rabbis?"