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Bernie Farber

Human Rights Advocate, Executive Director Mosaic Institute

A proud fighter for human rights, Bernie Farber is one of Canada’s leading experts on minority and human rights, race relations and antisemitism.

For over a decade working for the Youth Services Bureau and the Children’s
Aid Society in Ottawa, Bernie specialized in assisting at-risk youth and battered women. After moving to Toronto, Bernie made his mark with the Canadian Jewish Congress, where he worked on human relations issues for over 25 years serving the last seven years as its CEO.

At Congress, he was able to take his passion for community and social work to a broader stage, becoming a champion of inter-ethnic cooperation and social justice. Always one to fulfill his local responsibilities, however, Bernie has served on several local and provincial boards including as Chair of the North York Committee for Community Race and Ethnic Relations, the York Region Community Safety Committee and the Ontario Association of Chiefs of Police.

He was appointed by the Attorney-General of Ontario to serve on the Hate Crimes Community Working Group and was awarded an Ontario certificate of merit by the Premier of Ontario for his work in Race Relations.

Bernie has also been awarded the Canadian 125 Medal by the Governor-General of Canada for his work in race relations, and has recently received the prestigious Meir Medical Center’s Medal of Honour for his human rights work in Canada and internationally.

Bernie has led numerous workshops on anti-discrimination issues; has been involved in training police, defence and crown attorneys on matters of hate crime, bias and inter-ethnic/faith sensitivities. An accomplished speaker and author he has written for numerous Canadian and international publications on human and civil rights including the Toronto Star, Globe and Mail, National Post and a host of magazines and other publications.

Bernie has also appeared on television and radio both as a spokesperson for the Jewish community as well as an expert on anti-discrimination issues.
The Terrible Legacy Of Duncan Campbell PeopleImages via Getty Images

The Terrible Legacy Of Duncan Campbell Scott

He was considered one of Canada's preeminent poets, a writer whose verses sang of Canada's natural beauty, whose poems painted pictures of Canadian wilderness that brought pride to a nation. He was also a heartless civil servant, the first superintendent of Canadian residential schools and a deputy minister of Indian Affairs in the early part of the 20th century whose policies targeting First Nations, many believe, meet today's definition of the UN genocide convention. And yet this very same man who had such contempt toward aboriginals became a revered writer and poet.
01/23/2017 07:33 EST
The Vision And Legacy Of Murray Chris Wattie / Reuters

The Vision And Legacy Of Murray Sinclair

Justice Murray Sinclair was tapped for the role of TRC Chief Commissioner when the first Commission came to a sudden end with the resignation of its first Chair Justice Harry LaForme and the two other co-Commissioners. It was up to Senator Sinclair to repair the process and move it forward which he did with a sense of both urgency and grace.
05/24/2016 01:50 EDT
James Keegstra: The Death of an

James Keegstra: The Death of an Antisemite

The death of James Keegstra will probably be little recognized today. However in the end it was this case that became a victory for Canadian tolerance impacting the Jewish community and all vulnerable minorities in Canada.
06/15/2014 05:06 EDT
How Canadian Jewry Got a Holocaust

How Canadian Jewry Got a Holocaust Monument

Last week a design was confirmed for the remarkable Holocaust Monument to be erected in Ottawa in 2015. In March 2011 Executive Director of the Canadian Society for Yad Vashem, Yoram Ashkenazi and I o...
05/20/2014 02:25 EDT
What's the Real Truth About Canada's Refugee CP

What's the Real Truth About Canada's Refugee System?

Peter Kent's article "The Truth About Canada's Immigration System" has left me quite shocked, beginning with the headline itself. Peter refers to the government's commitment to resettle refugees. He actually means privately sponsored refugees.
03/10/2014 01:10 EDT
Canada Fails the Test of a Good

Canada Fails the Test of a Good Society

Chris Alexander, Minister of Citizenship and Immigration, is attempting to justify the recent changes to the refugee determination system and refugee health care with divisive language and misrepresentation of the facts. This is not a reasonable way to develop public policy that affects some of the most vulnerable people in the world.
03/03/2014 12:58 EST
Don't Be Too Quick To Praise John A. ASSOCIATED PRESS

Don't Be Too Quick To Praise John A. Macdonald

Sir John A. Macdonald was also a racist who disdained Chinese rail workers, the very same men who helped build his national dream, by imposing a discriminatory head tax on each of them. And it was Macdonald whose policies of forced starvation helped clear First Nations from the prairies in order to build that railway. Indeed, James Daschuk from the University of Regina argues quite cogently in his book Clearing the Plains: Disease, Politics of Starvation and the Loss of Aboriginal Life that Macdonald's starvation policies led to the deaths of thousands.
02/22/2014 10:03 EST
Christmas by Any Other

Christmas by Any Other Name

As the cold winter wind blows in from the north there are a few things that are inevitable. Snow has to be shovelled and the predictable war of words regarding the depiction of Christmas will be playe...
12/27/2013 12:06 EST
Two Jews Reflect on the Meaning of Christmas in takfoto/Flickr

Two Jews Reflect on the Meaning of Christmas in Canada

To be a Jew this time of year, to be a Christian at Christmas-time, to be a part of the human race as one-billion citizens of the world celebrate with great gusto and light, the birth of Jesus, requires us to understand the complexities of the season. There are those who are blessed to join their family in a festive meal, and those who are not. There is vast wealth from the Atlantic to the Pacific and there is painful, horrible poverty within those same boundaries. One thing we do know: it is this time of the year that we all hold a mirror to our souls.
12/24/2013 12:21 EST
JFK Was Killed on My 12th Birthday, November 22, Huffington Post

JFK Was Killed on My 12th Birthday, November 22, 1963

It was 3 p.m. on this November 22, 1963. I was daydreaming of my party to come that evening to celebrate my 12th birthday. I was hoping that Wendy Briggs would show a little interest in me, truth be told I had a giant crush on her. Quite unexpectedly Mr. Gillies, our school principal entered the room and beckoned Mr. Weaver to step outside. We heard gasps; we knew something was very wrong.
11/22/2013 08:02 EST
How Canada Committed Genocide Against the First Nations CP

How Canada Committed Genocide Against the First Nations People

It's clear that Canada's first Prime Minister Sir John A. MacDonald's policy of starving First Nations to death in order to make way for the western expansion of European settlers meets the criteria of genocide under the CPPCG. The fact that Canada's Aboriginal peoples have not been wiped out, and are indeed growing in numbers, is not proof that genocide never occurred, as some would have us believe. The historical and psychological reality of genocide among our Aboriginal communities is very much alive and a part of living memory. The sooner we recognize this truth, the sooner both Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal Canadians will be able to heal from our shared traumas.
10/18/2013 11:58 EDT