The philanthropist behind the University of Manitoba’s largest-ever personal donation — $30 million — has denounced a speech made by a valedictorian for medicine grads and admonished the university for letting it happen.

In a letter dated Monday, Ernest Rady says he was hurt and appalled by the remarks by valedictorian Gem Newman at the May 16 convocation for students from the Max Rady College of Medicine. The school was renamed in honour of Rady’s father after the 2016 donation.

“Newman’s speech not only dishonoured the memory of my father, but also disrespected and disparaged Jewish people as a whole,” said Rady’s letter, sent to U of M president Michael Benarroch and college of medicine dean Dr. Peter Nickerson.

Approximately two minutes of Newman’s nine-minute address focused on the war in Gaza and called for a ceasefire in the ongoing Israel-Hamas conflict, which began after an Oct. 7 cross-border attack on Israel led by Hamas that killed roughly 1,200 people, mostly civilians, and took 250 others hostage.

In a statement emailed to CBC News on Wednesday, college dean Nickerson confirmed the video that included the speech had been taken down.

  • Perhapsjustsniffit
    2 months ago

    I’m not normally one of these guys but on this point I am. CBC is habitual about its one sided coverage of the genocide in Palestine. It has openly suppressed journalists reporting on the Palestinian perspective and actively reports Israeli perspective regularly.

    Fuck CBC’s lopsided and biased coverage of the genocide in Palestine. They are complicit in promoting this genocide and need to be more than called out on it.