More than $100,000 has been raised by the Tamil community in Canada to fight an appeal challenging a previous court's decision to uphold Bill 104, Ontario's Tamil Genocide Education Week (TGEW) Act.
A statement from the National Council of Canadian Tamils, Canadian Tamil Youth Alliance and Canadian Tamil Academy announced a total of $102,374 had been raised so far, as they sought to ward of a legal challenge to the act, which was passed in 2021.
TGEW was introduced by MPP Vijay Thanigasalam in April of 2019 and was enacted to recognize the genocide against Tamils in Sri Lanka and aimed to spread awareness about the atrocities. However, TGEW faced a constitutional challenge shortly after being enacted into law. Several Sinhalese groups claimed TGEW was unconstitutional and challenged the act at Ontario's Superior Court. However, Ontario Superior Court of Justice, Justice Akbarali, ultimately dismissed their challenge, upholding TGEW.
The same groups have since appealed the court's decision at Ontario's Court of Appeal, with a hearing set for December 4, 2023.
“The passing of Bill 104 was a historic moment for Tamil people across the world,” said the Tamil Canadian groups. “It was the first time a government officially passed such a bill to educate about the Tamil Genocide.”
“The deliberate and the continuous attempts to target Bill 104 clearly suggests, that the Tamil Genocide deniers are actively working to silence the victims of the Tamil Genocide,” they added.
“Hence, as Tamil people, it is extremely integral that we maximize our efforts collectively to continue to stay engaged and provide ongoing support for all future efforts to combat Tamil Genocide denial and distortion.”