Sarah Jama booted from NDP caucus over comments that ‘contributed to unsafe work environment’

The MPP called for an end to 'all occupation of Palestinian land' and an end to 'apartheid' in the region. The NDP urged her to retract the post, but their request went unanswered.

Sarah Jama booted from NDP caucus over comments that ‘contributed to unsafe work environment’
Facebook/ Sarah Jama
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The controversial Ontario MPP Sarah Jama has been given her walking papers and will no longer serve in the NDP caucus, effective immediately.

NDP leader Marit Stiles released a statement Monday morning on Jama, lambasting her for “undertaking a number of unilateral actions that have undermined our collective work and broken the trust of her colleagues.”

“Some of Ms. Jama’s actions have contributed to unsafe work environments for staff,” she wrote. “With the support of our Ontario NDP MPPs, I have been left with no option but to remove Ms. Jama from our caucus.”

The MPP’s booting represents a stark departure from previous weeks, when Stiles called out the Ontario Tories “for repeatedly and cynically fanning the flames of division.”

“We always condemn and we will continue to condemn anti-Semitism, Islamophobia, anti-Palestinian attacks. Hate in any forum has no place in our party,” she told reporters on October 20.

At the time, Stiles said Jama had been absent from Queen’s Park to spend time with family.

Meanwhile, Jama has officially been censured by the Doug Ford government over her comments about the Israel-Hamas war.

The Speaker will not recognize her in the House “until the Member retracts and deletes her statement on social media and makes an apology in her place in the House.”

The MPP prefaced her statement two weeks ago on Palestinian grievances, where she condemned the “violence and retaliation rooted in settler colonialism” that killed “far too many innocent people.”

She also called for the end of “all occupation of Palestinian land,” as well as an end to “apartheid” in the region.

Stiles urged Jama to retract the post but to no avail. Instead, the NDP MPP pinned her statement to the top of her X feed.

Israeli bombardments since the October 7 attacks by Hamas have killed at least 5,087 people in Gaza, according to its Health Ministry. 

The MPP did not directly condemn Hamas for slaughtering over 1,400 Israelis and foreign nationals from some 41 countries at the time.

At the request of the legislature, Jama apologized October 16 after Tory House leader Paul Calandra first  advocated her censure and called her an “anti-Semite.”

“I heard many voices yesterday raising concerns about my post,” she wrote. “I hear them — and above all, I understand the pain that many Jewish and Israeli Canadians, including my own constituents, must be feeling. I apologize.”

Jama also condemned the “terrorism by Hamas” while noting that she maintains her belief that “Israel’s […] siege on civilians in Gaza […] is wrong.”

Despite her censure, the chaos surrounding her controversial comments continues, having threatened Premier Doug Ford with legal action.

On October 19, Jama penned a letter to Ford, denouncing him for “defamatory” remarks that accuse her of being “anti-Semitic.”

On October 11, Ford called for the Hamilton-Centre MPP’s resignation, citing comments Jama made about the Israel-Hamas war in a post to X.

Ford, in his statement to social media, claimed she supported “the rape and murder of innocent Jewish people.”

Jama demanded an apology Thursday from the premier with a retraction by next week, stating the comments have caused serious reputational harm.

The Ontario MPP denied all claims of bigotry towards Jewish Canadians and reiterated she is not a terrorist sympathizer.

Hamas, the governing body in the Gaza Strip, has been recognized as a terrorist organization by the federal government since 2002.

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