Canadian Jewish community welcomes appeal in Israeli wine labeling case, to seek intervenor status

09 Sep 2019

The Canadian government has announced that it will appeal the decision in Kattenburg v. Canada, in which the federal court ruled that ‘product of Israel’ labels on wines produced in Israeli settlements is “false, misleading and deceptive.”

The World Jewish Congress’ Canadian affiliate, the Centre for Israel and Jewish affairs, welcomed the move and said that it would seek intervenor status in the case.

Shimon Koffler Fogel, CEO of CIJA made the following statement in response to the government’s announcement:

“CIJA commends the Government of Canada for appealing the decision by Justice Mactavish.

“Considering the substantive errors in the earlier judgement and the importance of the outcome of this case, CIJA will be seeking intervenor status in the appeal. We have retained the services of administrative law experts Mark Freiman and Eric Gertner.”

“It is our expectation that the Federal Court of Appeal will overturn the lower court’s decision. Our position is that the Canadian Food Inspection Agency came to a reasonable decision in accepting the label “Product of Israel” for wines produced in all the geographical area comprised in the Canada-Israel Free Trade Agreement.”

CIJA Legal Task Force member, Mike Freiman, added:

“This appeal raises basic important legal issues involving the role of courts in relation to the conclusions of specialized expert agencies. The decision under appeal also involves the court making assumptions and drawing unjustified conclusions in areas including human rights and Charter jurisprudence in which CIJA has a deep interest and extensive expertise and can thus be of assistance to the Court.”