In early November 1935, a widely reported debate at the University of Manitoba addressed the issue of Canada’s attendance at the Olympics. Debate participants voted 90 to 20 in favour of Canada boycotting the Games.
Those supporting Canada’s participation argued that a boycott would antagonize Germany and increase Nazi hostility toward Jews. They claimed that the Games were under the direction of the International Olympic Committee (IOC), which prohibited racial and religious discrimination.
Those opposed to going to the Games claimed that participation sanctioned Nazi racial policies. They contended that German assurances to the IOC would be broken and insisted that the Olympics be held elsewhere.
To the shock of Olympic boycott supporters, Canadian Olympic officials ignored protests. There was no airing of the boycott issues at the annual meeting of the Amateur Athletic Union of Canada (AAUC) in Halifax. Meeting behind closed doors, the AAUC’s Resolutions Committee proposed to follow the lead of Great Britain, which had decided to attend the Games. Delegates to the meeting approved this resolution without discussion. Other agenda items received a full airing.