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Quebec court orders pause to ratification of McGill student union pro-Palestine vote

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Quebec Superior Court has issued an order temporarily blocking a McGill University student society from moving forward with a pro-Palestine policy approved in a recent referendum.

The order states that the Students' Society of McGill University has agreed not to ratify or implement its Policy Against Genocide in Palestine until the case returns to court in March.

McGill students voted this month 78.7 per cent in favour of the policy, which calls for the school's administration to condemn what it calls a "genocidal bombing campaign" against Gaza and to cut ties with corporations or institutions that are complicit in "settler-colonialism" or "apartheid."

An unnamed Jewish student from McGill went to court to challenge the policy, which she describes in court documents as "hate literature" that violates the student society's own constitution as well as its antisemitism and equity policies.

The student is also seeking $125,000 in damages, and her lawyer says that claim will be heard at a later date.

The student group said in a statement that it has agreed to suspend the ratification of the policy for now, but plans to "vigorously contest" the attempt to permanently suppress it.

Jewish advocacy group B’nai Brith Canada applauded the court order but called on McGill to do more to stand up for its Jewish students and hold the student union accountable.

- This report by The Canadian Press was first published Nov. 22, 2023.

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