Open Letter to the Liberal Party of Canada on why I am resigning my membership

Robert B. Marks
8 min readJan 2, 2024

Dear Ms. Elise Bartlett, Party Secretary,

It is with a heavy heart that I must tender my resignation from the Liberal Party of Canada, effective immediately. Please remove my name from the membership rolls.

To understand why this leaves my heart so heavy, let me tell you a bit about what the Liberal Party means to me. I am a centrist, and a classical liberal. For me, the Liberal Party was the centrist party, the party that leaned right fiscally while leaning left socially, which always seemed to me to be the right mix of economic and public policy. It fit my own worldview of practical policies based in reality, rather than pure ideology.

And some of my proudest moments in Canadian politics came from the Liberal Party of Canada. I was a big fan of Jean Chrétien — admittedly, any Prime Minister so kick-ass that when a burglar breaks into the PM’s residence the RCMP has to protect the burglar will always be awesome in my books — but even though he was more manager than statesman, I saw him score some serious and meaningful policy victories. It was on his watch that the 1995 Quebec referendum was defeated, keeping this great country together for future generations (and I remember joining hands with my fellow Queen’s University students in front of Victoria Hall and singing “O Canada” in celebration). It was under him that the Canadian government finally realized that if the Charter of Rights and Freedoms forbade discrimination based on race, religion, and sex, then that also had to include sexuality, making Canada a leader in legalizing same-sex marriages (and I remember being at a convention in Toronto and seeing same-sex couples in the lobby, waiting to tie the knot and thrilled to finally be able to do so). And it was the Liberal government under Jean Chrétien that kept Canada out of the Iraq War and recognized that it was a foreign intervention that was not in our country’s best interests.

But those are victories from decades ago. Let’s talk about the last few years. In 2020, I was recovering from abdominal surgery when the Covid-19 pandemic hit, creating the greatest crisis this country had seen since the Second World War. And the Liberals acted fast, getting relief funds to those Canadians who needed it and saving our economy from what could have been far greater damage than it actually took. And while this was happening, our southern neighbours were playing party politics and wrangling for months to do far less.

That was a major victory, and it helped a lot of people. I was proud to be associated with the party that managed that. But I can’t be associated with you any longer. We now face a far greater challenge than Covid-19, and not only are you not on the right side, you don’t even recognize the problem.

I am Russian Jew. As a late Generation Xer, my family stories from my grandparents of the old country all ended with the same phrase: “They were killed by the Nazis.” Even with 80 years distance, the Holocaust remains an open wound. And while I have always been prepared to deal with antisemitism and even violence from racists and white supremacists (in fact, as a former vice-president of one of Kingston’s synagogues, I once had to participate in a discussion of whether to ask for police protection after a white supremacist group marched through the city), I had never once imagined that there would be mass protests in Canadian and American cities calling for the extermination of Jews. After all, this is Canada in 2023, not Germany in 1938.

And yet, now there are. And the party that led the world in legalizing same-sex marriage, kept the country together, and saved the economy from a worldwide pandemic, has embraced the very ideology that is enabling and fuelling this genocidal hatred.

Part of maturing into adulthood is realizing that just because somebody claims to be supporting a thing or to be that thing, that does not necessarily make it so. You have to look at both actions and words. But in embracing the modern “Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion,” aka “DEI,” you have been seduced by the words, but not actually looked at what the movement was doing.

Let me be clear: DEI is not diverse, equitable, or for inclusion. It is the opposite of all of these things. It defines people by their race and divides them into simplistic categories of “oppressed” and “oppressor.” It justifies blanket discrimination based on these categories, and declares that it has to do this because this is a “white supremacist system.” It excludes those who refuse to fit into the nice neat little boxes it demands of any and all ethnicities — and this includes Jews.

Let me be clearer: there is no ethnicity that fits into a nice, neat little box, particularly not that of “oppressor” or “oppressed” — to force them to do so is rejection of the very diversity upon which this nation has thrived for decades. The affirmative action clause of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms exists to help minority communities suffering from actual, real world problems — not as a blanket umbrella to justify discriminating against large swaths of people based on the colour of their skin. And South African apartheid was a white supremacist system, not Canada — white supremacist nations do not have a Charter of Rights and Freedoms making discrimination illegal, or a Human Rights Tribunal to expedite discrimination complaints. We are not a perfect country, but we are a good and virtuous one, and one only needs to read the Charter of Rights and Freedoms to realize that.

In fact, if you would actually take the time to apply critical thinking to the modern DEI movement, you’d see that it is not a movement championing diversity, but a racist movement championing hate. It doesn’t build on the gains and ideals of the Civil Rights movement, but rolls them back. Segregation was long ago recognized as being racist and discriminatory, but DEI supports it. In fact, if it is aligned with any organization, it would be the Ku Klux Klan (and you don’t need to take my word for it — this video contains an interview with a leader of the KKK, and he openly praises DEI for the impact it has had on race relations — and as a general rule, if the KKK is giving what you’re doing the thumbs-up, you’re doing the wrong thing).

In fact, let me put it this way: when somebody redefines the word “racism” to allow acceptable targets, it is they who are the racist. DEI has done just that. And not only are you supporting them, you are placing discriminatory rules on who can tell stories about whom funded by the Canada Media Fund — and let me say that as a published fiction author and the owner of a publishing company, I will write stories about whoever I want, and I will allow my authors to do the same. We all share a common humanity — perhaps you should remember that.

We are now in a challenge far greater than Covid-19 ever was — a war for the soul of our country against an ideology of hatred and racism. And you’ve chosen the side of hatred and racism.

You know who hasn’t? The Conservatives.

Let me give you an example: in the wake of the Hamas attack against Israel in October, and the rising antisemitism that manifested as a result, the Ontario Conservative government expanded mandatory Holocaust education in grade 10. Not just that, but starting in 2025 it would now cover contemporary antisemitism, and education in extremist ideologies. This is the right thing to do. It recognizes the degree to which this is a societal problem, and that it has to have a long-term solution based on education. The term for this is “inoculation” — these are concrete steps to ensure that the next generation does not fall into the same antisemitism as we are seeing today.

But this is also something else: action. Actual action. Not words of support, not posturing and making speeches, not honeyed words about how “it is more important than ever to focus on ‘respectful, constructive dialogue,’ and ‘creating space for education.’,” but concrete measures that attack and solve the problem. I know that the provincial Conservatives will do this because they’ve already done it. But I can’t say the same about you.

On December 5th, the House Committee on Education and the Workforce in Washington called the presidents of three Ivy League schools to answer under oath for rising antisemitism on their campuses. Their responses shocked the world, and two have now resigned from their posts in disgrace (one after a major plagiarism scandal). And what did the Canadian government do after this hearing, while at least one class action had been launched against Canadian universities for failure to properly combat antisemitism (including the one I teach at)? Did you call in the presidents or chancellors of these universities, put them under oath, and demand answers? No. Five Liberal MPs wrote them a letter.

Speaking as the former vice president of a synagogue and a man who now needs to worry that some day his daughter and son will be told by their classmates or passers-by that they deserve to be raped or murdered because they are the child of a Jew, kindly take your letter and shove it up your collective asses. If you’re not going to do it properly, don’t do it at all. And don’t make pretenses that you’re helping when the best you can do can be later claimed to have been lost in the mail.

You are not on my side. If you were on my side, you’d be deporting non-citizens who violate the hate speech laws by advocating for genocide. If you were on my side, you’d be calling university heads in for questioning under oath instead of writing letters. If you were on my side, you’d be enforcing your own hate speech laws (which have an entire section on “Wilful promotion of antisemitism”), policing antisemitism within your ranks before the media reports on it, and actually showing some signs that you had at least bothered to read the Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

Funny thing about having people start calling for your extermination — it makes you a lot less tolerant of empty words and hypocrisy.

So, for now my support is going to the Conservatives, both provincial and federal. I have no doubt that they’re going to do some things I don’t agree with — I’m still a centrist and a classical liberal, after all — but not only have they realized that this battle for Canada’s soul is happening, they’re on the right side of it. They’re trying to make a world with less racism, not implement more racism under the guise of diversity. They’re taking a stand against racial hatred, not encouraging it with classifications of “oppressor” and “oppressed.” Their path leads away from the horrors of Auschwitz…and I’m afraid to inform you that yours is winding its way towards those horrors.

And if you want to protest that you’re actually against antisemitism and Jewish genocide, then I have just one thing left to say to you: PROVE IT.

Robert B. Marks



Robert B. Marks

Robert B. Marks is a writer, editor, and researcher. His pop culture work has appeared in places like Comics Games Magazine.