Stop Proposed Bill C-51 That Will Threaten Religious Freedoms in Canada
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We the undersigned request your support in standing against Clause 14 in Bill C-51 as proposed by the Federal Liberal Government of Canada.
One of the purposes of this Bill is to streamline the Criminal Code of Canada by removing certain provisions that no longer have any relevance in contemporary society. Clause 14 proposes to remove a general prohibition against interrupting religious services or interfering with members of the clergy.
This section that the Liberal Government wants to remove reads as follows:
•176 (1) Every one who
(a) by threats or force, unlawfully obstructs or prevents or endeavours to obstruct or prevent a clergyman or minister from celebrating divine service or performing any other function in connection with his calling, or
(b) knowing that a clergyman or minister is about to perform, is on his way to perform or is returning from the performance of any of the duties or functions mentioned in paragraph (a) (i) assaults or offers any violence to him, or (ii) arrests him on a civil process, or under the pretence of executing a civil process, is guilty of an indictable offence and liable to imprisonment for a term not exceeding two years.
(2) Every one who wilfully disturbs or interrupts an assemblage of persons met for religious worship or for a moral, social or benevolent purpose is guilty of an offence punishable on summary conviction.
(3) Every one who, at or near a meeting referred to in subsection (2), wilfully does anything that disturbs the order or solemnity of the meeting is guilty of an offence punishable on summary conviction.
By repealing this section, the Liberal Government will be removing the only provision in the Criminal Code that directly protects the rights of individuals to freely practice their religion, whatever that religion may be. While the government claims that this section is obsolete and it is actually being used right now in a criminal case in Ottawa.
Bill C-51 has already begun making its way through the House of Commons, but because the House is adjourned for the summer there is time to make your voice heard. Please sign this petition and contact your Member of Parliament and the Senators in your region to let them know that you do not support any diminishment of protection for religious freedom and that they should not support this section of Bill C-51.
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