After HRC Exposé, Sadia Zaman & Her Employer Offer Apology, But No Concrete Action

On July 2, HonestReporting Canada exposed and raised the alarm regarding Sadia Zaman, the CEO of the Inspirit Foundation who is also a board member of the Canadian Journalism Collective (CJC), the body created by Google to assist the technology company in helping to disburse 100 million dollars in annual grants, as part of its agreement with the federal government.

As noted by HonestReporting Canada, on social media, Zaman has shared many anti-Israel, and in our view, antisemitic posts, including one which grotesquely compared Israel’s counter-terrorism operations against Hamas in Gaza with the Nazi’s murder of Jewish babies in the Auschwitz death camp during the Holocaust, as well as another post which appeared to rationalize, or at the very least seem to explain away, the genocidal rationale of Hamas in its October 7 massacres in Israel.

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She had also used her position at the Inspirit Foundation, whose mandate is to promote “a more inclusive and pluralist Canada where our differences are valued and engaged,” to outrageously and falsely accuse Israel of genocide in Gaza.

Following HonestReporting Canada’s alert, on July 6, The National Post published a detailed article on the affair, written by reporter Matthew Hanick, entitled: “Journalism Collective director apologizes for antisemitic re-posts”.

In the article, Hanick reported that, following HRC’s exposure of her comments, Zaman had issued an apology on July 3, saying “I acknowledge that some of the content I reshared on social media adds to the pain of Jewish communities and I apologize for that unreservedly.”

Her apology continued: “I am unequivocally opposed to antisemitism and all violence against Jewish people. Immediately upon learning about these concerns, I reached out to leaders in the Jewish community to listen and will continue to do so. I have devoted my career to anti-racism work, and I will continue to speak out against racism, discrimination and violence in all its forms.”

The following day, the Inspirit Foundation, signed by co-chairs James Chan and Deborah Irvine, issued its own apology in an emailed statement to The National Post, which read “The social media content reshared by CEO Sadia Zaman is inappropriate. For that, we unreservedly apologize to the Jewish community and others who were hurt by these actions “Ms. Zaman has also expressed regret and apologized. Inspirit is unequivocally opposed to antisemitism and all violence against Jewish people. Ms. Zaman is in the process of contacting members of the Jewish community directly to express her regret for these social media posts.”

While these statements are welcome, they also come only after HonestReporting Canada publicized the issue, raising questions as to what degree Zaman’s views could potentially play a role in helping to decide which news media outlets could receive significant funding from Google.

While the apologies are welcome, as of yet there have been no concrete steps outlined as to how Zaman will take responsibility for her past actions, nor from the Canadian Journalism Collective as to how the body will ensure that Zaman’s previously-expressed anti-Israel views, and in our opinion, antisemitic content, will in no way colour the grants paid for by Google, and directed by the CJC.


Given her deeply problematic views and conduct, HonestReporting Canada is of the opinion that it’s highly inappropriate for her to remain in a position of influence at the Canadian Journalism Collective and have communicated that directly to the CJC and to Google.

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