Survey and information on candidates running for school trustee for the Ottawa-Carleton District School Board
The past two years have seen an unprecedented rise in antisemitic harassment and abuse in our schools, and an inadequate response by the major school boards. The Jewish Federation of Ottawa’s urges voters to learn about the trustees in your ward, and vote for those who will do the hard work to end this terrible environment for our students and teachers.
To help inform the Jewish community, Federation sent a survey to all trustee candidates in the Ottawa-Carleton District School Board. The main issue is more direct oversight of the administration’s action by trustees, and in particular, listening to the authentic Jewish community regarding issues related to Jews or antisemitism. For more background on the issues, view our Election Guide.
The Jewish Federation is a non-partisan organization and will work with all elected officials. This information is intended as a tool to help community members make informed decisions.
19/41 candidates responded to the survey, including 3/5 incumbents.
Each candidate is presented by their zone, and listed in alphabetic order. Visit here to find your zone.
In each candidate’s profile, there is an abridged version of the questions to aid readability, while each candidate’s responses are presented in full, along with other relevant information (strictly relating to Jewish issues), as well as links to their platforms.
In addition, the Facebook group Ottawa Against Antisemitism (OAA) also sent a survey to candidates, and relevant quotes from those survey responses have been shared with permission. The full OAA survey results are available on their Facebook group.
The questions, in full, were:
Q1: As trustees, will you instruct the administration, with direct oversight of the trustees, to work with and consult with the Ottawa Jewish community and our representative groups, such as the Jewish Federation of Ottawa, to participate in antisemitic training that accounts for the authentic lived Jewish experience, and to ensure authentic Jewish community consultation in all aspects of remediation of this crisis (including education, guest speakers, cultural notices, etc.)?
Q2: How will you ensure the Board respects the voices of minority groups and protects all minorities, including Jewish students?
Q3: The International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) definition of antisemitism has been adopted by Ontario, Canada, and many municipalities, to help non-Jews understand and recognize modern antisemitism. Contrary to some misinformation, this definition does not interfere with freedom of speech. Therefore, as trustee, would you be supportive of the school board adopting this definition of antisemitism as well?