Updates

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

MP Tom Kmiec seeking Conservative nomination in Calgary Shepard ahead of 2019 Federal Election

Serving the people of Calgary Shepard as Member of Parliament for the past two years has been a great privilege. I was honoured by the strong support I received during the last election earning the support of 43,706 voters, more than any other winning candidate in Calgary.

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I have fought hard on behalf of constituents including obtaining an emergency debate on the Alberta jobs crisis, co-sponsoring a motion to give taxpayers enforceable rights against the Canada Revenue Agency, and working on the Foreign Affairs committee report that led to passage of the Magnitsky Act. Ranked 6th out of 338 MPs in the Maclean’s Figures of Speech for words spoken in Parliament; I will continue to defend the interests of Calgarians.

In Parliament, I am humbled by the trust placed in me by my leader, the Honourable Andrew Scheer, as the Deputy Shadow Minister for Finance. I have also served on the Foreign Affairs committee and currently serve on the Finance committee defending the interests of Albertans.

There’s still more work to be done and as we inch closer to the 2019 federal election, it is fair that I state and express my intention to seek the Conservative Party of Canada nomination once again as well as re-election in the next general election as Member of Parliament for Calgary Shepard.

I look forward to earn, once again, the trust and votes of the residents of Calgary Shepard, and the opportunity to continue to work hard on their behalf.

In your service,

Tom Kmiec, M.P.

Calgary Shepard

Reckless Liberal energy policy to blame for Energy East cancellation

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Dear constituent,

Just like you, I woke up yesterday to the shocking news that TransCanada is pulling the plug on the Energy East pipeline. The $16 billion dollar project would have carried more than one million barrels of oil every day from Alberta and Saskatchewan across the country to be refined or exported from facilities in New Brunswick and Quebec.

It would have added 1,500 kilometres worth of new oil pipelines to an existing network of more than 3,000 kilometres, which would have been converted from carrying natural gas, to carrying oil.

Lastly, it would have created over 14,000 direct and indirect full-time jobs each year across Canada during development and construction alone, and 900 full-time direct jobs across Canada in its first 20 years of operation.

What bothers me is that the Liberals are calling this move a “business decision”. Sure, but it’s one that was influenced by the Liberals’ own energy policy choices. In their filing with the National Energy Board (NEB), TransCanada cited "existing and likely future delays resulting from the regulatory process, the associated cost implications and the increasingly challenging issues and obstacles," facing the project with the decision to pull the plug.

And there you have it. Energy East was cancelled for “business reasons” because the Liberals messed up whatever certainty existed there before for the project. And that’s because they changed the rules halfway through the process. New Liberal regulations on Canadian energy projects have forced companies to adhere to standards not enforced in other countries, giving exporters in Venezuela, Saudia Arabia and Algeria a competitive advantage. More conflict oil and less Canadian oil for Eastern Canadians.

Here at home, we had our own local Liberal MP Kent Hehr repeating the Liberal government’s talking points yesterday afternoon – that it was a business decision. This is the same Alberta MP with a seat at Justin Trudeau’s Cabinet table who said during the last election that he “will pound the table on the need for pipelines”.

But guess who voted against the Conservatives' pro-Energy East motion last year. Kent Hehr. He had an opportunity to champion this project, and to "pound the table", and he didn’t. He did nothing as far as I can tell.

In the last 18 months Canada’s energy industry has lost a whopping 110,000 direct and indirect jobs. There has also been an approximate $50 billion drop in energy investment in Canada since 2014 – that’s a 62% decline. This is equivalent to losing 75% of auto manufacturing in Ontario and almost all of aerospace in Quebec. Both of the latter would be a national emergency, but when it comes to Alberta we get the double standard treatment.

Prices are steadily going up, not down. Demand for oil worldwide is up, not down. In fact, global oil demand has gone up 10 million barrels per day over the last 6 years and will top the 100 million barrels per day mark in 2018. The need for oil has never been higher.

It is obvious that there is a market demand for Canada’s oil and the Trudeau Liberals need to stop putting the interests of foreign oil companies and foreign despots ahead of Canadian interests.

The business decision TransCanada made on Energy East was to abandon a project mired in red tape, with new near impossible rules to abide by, and a coarse public anger campaign waged by the Mayor of Montreal.

Yesterday was a very disappointing day for the hundreds of thousands of Albertans who rely on the Canadian energy sector for a job. I are here to be the voice of each and every person who is affected by this decision, and unlike Kent Hehr, I won't make excuses or hide behind my leadership when the going gets tough.

In your service,

Tom Kmiec, M.P.

Calgary Shepard

MP Tom Kmiec's open letter to Finance Minister Morneau

This morning I wrote to Finance Minister Bill Morneau on behalf of Calgary Shepard constituents asking him to abandon his small business tax proposals and issue a complete, unequivocal apology to law-abiding small business owners whom he labelled as tax cheats and tax dodgers.

See the letter in its entirely below.

In your service,

Tom Kmiec, M.P.

 

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Calgary MP Tom Kmiec appointed Deputy Shadow Minister for Finance

Calgary, AB – Today, Tom Kmiec, Member of Parliament for Calgary Shepard, was appointed by Conservative leader Andrew Scheer as Deputy Shadow Minister for Finance. Kmiec, who was previously Deputy Critic for Foreign Affairs, will be working closely with University of Calgary graduate Pierre Poilievre, who was appointed Shadow Minister for the same portfolio, to keep the Liberal Finance Minister Bill Morneau and his Parliamentary Secretary accountable for their tax policy decisions. 

“I'm grateful to be appointed by our leader, Andrew Scheer, as Deputy Shadow Minister for Finance. I am confident in his decision and the Cabinet team he assembled this week to take on the Trudeau Liberals in 2019. I will use this new opportunity to be a principled voice for the Canadian taxpayer and oppose job-killing tax hike proposals by the Trudeau Liberals” said Kmiec.

Kmiec’s appointment means that he will become a Member of the Standing Committee on Finance, which studies and reports on all matters relating to the mandate, management and operation of selected federal departments and agencies, including the Department of Finance and the Canada Revenue Agency, and conducts pre-budget consultations.

In the past, MP Kmiec worked as Manager of Policy and Research for the Calgary Chamber of Commerce, one of the most progressive and influential organizations in the country, pushing to shape policy at all levels of government to make Calgary a great city to do business in. He is looking forward to draw on this past experience to similarly help make Canada a great place to do business and attract investment.

When Parliament resumes sitting later this month on September 18th, MP Kmiec plans to drill down on small business tax proposals recently introduced by Finance Minister Bill Morneau.

 

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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

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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