A Victory for Faith Communities –Religious Protections Stay in the Criminal Code

Late Wednesday afternoon, Bill C-51 was reviewed at the Standing Committee on Justice and Human Rights. Hidden within Bill C-51 was Justin Trudeau’s attempt to quietly remove the religious protections covered in Canadian law through repealing Section 176 of the Criminal Code. Section 176 is the only section that serves as a deterrent against willfully interrupting, stopping, or disrupting a faith assembly including baptisms, worship services, funerals, and many other religious assemblies.

My office received thousands of emails and petition signatures expressing deep concern with the Liberal’s plan to revoke religious protections. After presenting the Liberals with thousands of petition signatures and letters from concerned Canadians, the Liberal Government has finally agreed with the Conservative’s position on Section 176: the protection of religious officials and religious freedoms should remain in the Criminal Code. This was only possible because of the thousands of Canadians who mobilized and voiced their concerns through petitions and countless letters. This just goes to show what can be achieved when Canadians engage in the democratic process and hold the government to account.

Faith communities in Canada need, and deserve, legal protections. At a time when hate crimes against religious communities are significantly increasing across Canada, the Justin Trudeau Liberals tried to quietly remove the religious protections covered in Canadian law.

I applaud all of my constituents and Canadians from across the country who stood up for religious freedoms and took part in the democratic process.


In your service,

Tom Kmiec, M.P.
Calgary Shepard