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


Published October 23, 2023 at 8:20 am

Sarah Jama poses for a portrait at her home in Hamilton, Ont., on Tuesday, March 13, 2018. The debate over a Progressive Conservative motion to silence an Opposition legislator is set to resume in the Ontario legislature today. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Peter Power

The debate on a Progressive Conservative motion to effectively silence Hamilton NDP MPP Sarah Jama is set to resume in the Ontario legislature on Monday (Oct. 23).

Premier Doug Ford’s government wants 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.”

Through her lawyer Stephen Ellis, Jama demanded that Ford immediately “cease and desist” from publishing “defamatory” statements, immediately retract them and publish an “unequivocal apology” within the next seven calendar days.

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.

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