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Nearly 20 buses fail to take participants in Toronto to pro-Israel rally on Parliament Hill, UJA says

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Nearly 20 buses scheduled to carry community members in Toronto to Ottawa for a rally on Parliament Hill never arrived on Monday.

The UJA Federation of Greater Toronto had booked approximately 70 buses to provide transportation to the event but 17 of them did not show up.

Alternative travel arrangements were eventually made for those affected and UJA Federation of Greater Toronto President and CEO Adam Minsky said the community’s “voices will be more determined than ever.”

CTV News Toronto was not able to reach the bus company UJA had previously been in contact with and contracted.

“We were shocked that, of more than 70 buses UJA booked, 17 did not show up,” Minsky said. “Those 17 buses were the responsibility of a particular sub-contracted company. Despite charging in full in advance and confirming its participation, the company did not send a single bus and has declined all communications while refusing to provide any explanation.”

Prominent Jewish groups, including the Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs, are hosting the rally to show collective strength in the face of staggering antisemitism, the CIJA said.

At this point it is not clear why the buses did not show up.

In his statement, Minsky pointed out that the no-show comes after a “similar situation” last month where buses transporting supporters for a pro-Israel march in Washington, D.C. did not arrive as scheduled.

“Given the absolute silence of the sub-contractor and with no other explanation, we are driven to the view that this shameful decision is intended to disrupt our peaceful rally out of hatred toward Jews,” Minsky said.

He pledged to respond with “aggressive” legal action against the subcontracted company.

“Hate and discrimination against any community can never be tolerated in Canada,” he said.

A weeklong ceasefire between Israel and Hamas expired over the weekend nearly two months after Hamas militants launched a surprise attack on Israel on Oct. 7.

Deadly airstrikes have resumed and Israel is expected to expand its ground offensive in Gaza. 

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