Updates

Freedom of Religion Petition

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I am sponsoring an e-petition from a constituent calling on the Liberal government to stop its efforts at repealing the only criminal code section that serves as a deterrent against willfully interrupting, stopping or breaking up a faith assembly including baptisms, mass, funerals, and many other religious assemblies.

So what's going on?

The Liberal government has moved a new law, C-51, to the Justice committee. Much of the proposed legislation is reasonable updating of the Criminal Code and better protections for victims of sexual assaults. However, they are also proposing to get repeal Section 176, an important section that protects religious freedoms.

Section 176 gives protection to clergy, regardless of faith, from having their services disrupted or being interfered with in performing their religious duties. This section also protects assemblies from having their religious worship disrupted.

Now you may be thinking that other parts of the criminal code apply or that municipal bylaws can handle this through fines. Not so. There exists laws against causing a disturbance, uttering threats, intimidation and incitement to hatred, true. But causing a disturbance at a theater or a soccer game is different from disrupting a religious worship or baptism or a funeral.

Police officers have greater protection in the criminal code and so do identifiable groups targeted for hate crimes. So why now remove the only protection found in our criminal law that specifically protects religious assemblies and their faith leaders? 

An argument that the section is obsolete and no longer in use however very recently a women was charged in Ottawa with the crime, you can find more information here: https://www.ottawapolice.ca/en/news/index.aspx?newsId=10b726b5-27e0-4eee-b422-178e9672fb3d

As well, earlier this year, a Liberal MP proposed and passed a law that expands the protections against hate crimes to more types of religious property. Why are we now protecting property better than we are protecting people? That does not make sense.

Statistics Canada also recently reported an increase in hate crimes last year. So why would we reduce protections, at this time, for faith leaders and their assemblies in Canada when some of them are targets of criminal activity?

If you agree with me that religious services including worship, funerals, baptisms, and other ceremonies deserve to keep the protection they currently have under Section 176 then please sign the petition.

 

Visit to Our Lady of the Rosary School

With the students of Our Lady of the Rosary school in Cranston to open their play day and replace their flag for Canada Day!

Bryce received a challenge coin for answering my question about Canada's prime ministers.

 

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Thanks for coming out to the Meet and Greet!

Thanks to everyone who came out to the meet and greet on Wednesday at Muldoon's! It was a great way to end the parliamentary session and kick off the summer with hearty discussion about issues that matter to you.

If you didn’t make it out to this one, don’t worry, there will be more to come!

 

 

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NEB Modernization Fails Calgary and Risks Energy Jobs

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For Immediate Release

May 18, 2017

Calgary, AB – Today, Tom Kmiec, Member of Parliament for Calgary Shepard, affirmed that many of the proposed reforms in a report from a Liberal-appointed panel tasked to modernize the National Energy Board (NEB) fail Calgary and energy workers across Canada. The report recommends that the NEB be replaced with two new agencies and its leadership moved from Calgary to Ottawa.

“It's clear that the NEB modernization report is about punishing Calgary for being Canada's energy capital with the know-how and expertise to maximize the NEB's effectiveness” stated M.P. Kmiec.

The proposed move and the panel’s view that the regulator needs a stronger connection to the federal government, hints at an Ottawa power grab and greater centralization by the Liberal government. The decision would reverse the previous move of the NEB from Ottawa to Calgary in 1992 at which time was seen as a good decision to keep it away from policy makers and proximal to the industry it oversees.

“This report is more Ottawa knows best nonsense. Moving NEB board members to Ottawa puts them closer to politicians and lobbyists. That's the wrong message to be sending industry” says M.P. Kmiec.

The report also proposes a two-step review process for major energy projects that would extend the review time from 15 months to three years. No amount of new red tape will ever satisfy opponents of energy infrastructure, regardless of how long the approval timeline is. 

“The Liberals’ NEB modernization is causing unacceptable process uncertainty and delays in Alberta, putting at risk thousands of high paying middle-class energy jobs. This regulatory uncertainty is building Canada’s reputation as a place not to do business and invest, and could have a major impact on the Canadian economy” said M.P. Kmiec.

The panel also held no engagement sessions in Calgary, the city that would be most impacted by the panel’s recommendations and proves yet again that Calgary always comes out short with the Liberals in Ottawa.

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For more information, please contact:

Connor Staus

Constituency Assistant

Office of Tom Kmiec, M.P. for Calgary Shepard

Tom.Kmiec.C1@parl.gc.ca

Office: 403-974-1285

Cell: 403-462-7871

Calgary leaders express frustration at reduction of the Green Line LRT route

 

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Calgary, AB: Today, MP Michelle Rempel (Calgary Nose Hill), MP Tom Kmiec (Calgary Shepard), City Councilor Sean Chu (Ward 4) and community leaders expressed frustration at the recently announced changes to Calgary’s Light Rapid Transit Green Line.

They were reacting to reports that the Green Line that would be roughly half the length of the original route for an even bigger price tag, effectively excluding a wide swath of suburban communities.

“I think a lot of taxpayers will be asking themselves how this happened,” said Rempel. “Two years ago, I stood with City Councilors in front of a map to announce an LRT project that would stretch from the northernmost reaches of Calgary to its southeastern most point. That is not what is being proposed today. I suspect many suburban Calgarians who are desperate for access to the LRT are going to be asking some pretty tough questions about why they should accept such a massive reduction in scope while the price tag for this project has ballooned. Further, all of this has happened before a shovel has even hit the ground.”

MP Tom Kmiec also voiced concerns on behalf of his community. “People in my riding are not happy. A lot of people who recently purchased homes in my community were told the Green Line would service them by 2024. Under this plan, they were sold a bill of goods. The funding announcement by our former federal government was supposed to ease the transit crisis in my riding. Everyone should be asking, how did this happen?”

City Councilor Sean Chu also expressed his frustration. “I found out about this reduction in scope from media reports on Thursday. This is a huge change from the original plan, and many communities in my Ward are going to be negatively impacted. There has been no consultation with Council on this change. This is blatant mismanagement, and taxpayers should be outraged that they’re being asked to smile and pick up the tab for it. It would be irresponsible for Council to vote for another cent of taxpayer dollars to be spent on this project until we find out how and why this happened. Frankly, this is ridiculous.”

David Hartwick, a spokesperson for the Northern Hills Community Association, expressed outrage on behalf of residents in his area. “Centre Street cannot accommodate any more busses in the north, and new developments are about to add tens of thousands of new residents to the transit crisis we face. Southeastern suburbs are facing the same challenge.  This announcement is just another example of the severely broken system we had to challenge during the Harvest Hills Golf Course redevelopment application. For anyone to say that suburban residents wouldn’t be concerned with this shows just how out of touch some officials have become to suburban needs. All Calgarians should be outraged.”

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For more information, please contact:

Dustin Franks, Office of Sean Chu

Caward4@calgary.ca

403-268-3734

 

Sean Schnell, Office of Michelle Rempel

Michelle.rempel.c1@parl.gc.ca

403-216-7777

 

Connor Staus, Office of Tom Kmiec

Tom.kmiec.c1@parl.gc.ca

403-974-1285