Gord Brown thanks colleagues for ensuring religious gatherings remain protected under the Criminal Code of Canada

November 09, 2017

Ottawa – Gord Brown, Member of Parliament for Leeds-Grenville – Thousand Islands and Rideau Lakes, this morning thanked his colleagues on the Justice Committee for successfully working to protect religious gatherings in Canada.

 

“Conservatives have been working hard to ensure that sections of the Criminal Code  which makes it a crime to unlawfully obstruct, threaten or harm a religious official before, during, or after they perform a religious service, remained in the Code. That section also makes interrupting or disturbing a religious service a crime,” explains Brown.

 

Clause 14 in Bill C-5, which was introduced by the Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada, the Honourable Jody Wilson-Raybould, just days before the summer parliamentary recess on June 6, 2017, would have repealed this section of the Criminal Code.

 

On Wednesday, the Honourable Rob Nicholson, Member of Parliament for Niagara Falls and the Opposition Shadow Minister for Justice, proposed two amendments to Bill C-51 at the Standing Committee on Justice and Human Rights. The first amendment would keep religious protections (Section 176) in the Criminal Code of Canada, while the second amendment would modernize the language of this Section.

 

“Holding the Justin Trudeau Liberal Government to account is our job as the Conservative Opposition. Yesterday, we were successful with the support of tens of thousands of Canadians including many from Leeds-Grenville –Thousand Islands and Rideau Lakes who took the time to send me letters and emails about their concerns over this Bill,” comments Brown.

 

At a time when hate crimes against religious communities across Canada are increasing, the Justin Trudeau Liberals tried to quietly remove the religious protections covered in our Criminal Code, Brown explains.  It is our belief that disturbing a religious service is a very serious offence and should not be treated as a mere mischief charge. 

In the words of the Right Honourable John G. Diefenbaker: “I am a Canadian, free to speak without fear, free to worship in my own way, free to stand for what I think right, free to oppose what I believe wrong, or free to choose those who shall govern my country. This heritage of freedom I pledge to uphold for myself and all mankind.”