Religious Freedom Protection – C-51

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Recent MY Canada National Updates on This Motion:

.July 12th, 2017 – Bill C-51 and How it Could Affect Church Services and Religious Gatherings

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Overview:

This June, Minister of Justice Jody Wilson-Raybould tabled bill C-51, a bill which would have an impact on the religious freedom of Christians and other groups in Canada.

One positive focus of the bill is to update Canada’s sexual assault laws and offer greater protection for alleged sexual assault victims. But the bill also seeks to remove a number of sections of the Criminal Code that are viewed as obsolete or redundant, often referred to as “zombie laws.”

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Section 176:

The area of concern is Clause 14 (Section 176) of Bill C-51 which proposes to remove a section of the Criminal Code that offers protection from any individual who:

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,
who assaults or arrests a clergyman or minister who is about to perform or is on his way to perform any of his ministerial duties or functions,
who willfully disturbs or interrupts an assemblage of persons met for religious worship or for a moral, social or benevolent purpose,
who, at or near such a meeting willfully does anything that disturbs the order or solemnity of the meeting.

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As MP David Anderson has said, “by repealing this section, the Government would remove the only provision in the Criminal Code that directly protects the rights of individuals to freely practice their religion.” Click here to read more.

Senator Betty Unger has also issued a press release stating her concerns regarding C-51. Click here to read now.

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What You Can Do:

1) Pray:

Please pray that God would keep Canada glorious and free. Pray that our government and all parliamentarians would work to establish greater protections surrounding religious freedom and ardently protect those we already have. Please pray that the Christian believers in Canada, and those from all religious groups would become aware of this bill and its implications and that they too would become more involved in standing for religious freedom in Canada.

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2) Contact Key Parliamentarians:

Please take a few moments to call and/or e-mail your Member of Parliament and the Minister of Justice to register your concerns about the section of Bill C-51 mentioned above.

Please also include David Anderson, Official Opposition Critic for International Human Rights and Religious Freedom, and Deputy Critic Garnett Genuis so that they can effectively fight against this section of Bill C-51 in the House of Commons.

Minister of Justice Jody Wilson-Raybould: 
E-mail at Jody.Wilson-Raybould@parl.gc.ca 
Telephone: 613-992-1416

MP David Anderson: 
E-mail at david.anderson@parl.gc.ca 
Telephone: 613-992-0657

MP Garnett Genuis: 
E-mail at Garnett.Genuis@parl.gc.ca 
Telephone: 613-995-3611

Your Member of Parliament: 
Please click here to find your MP by postal code now.

The Justice Committee (Studying this Bill in Fall 2017):

Anthony Housefather (Chair) – Anthony.Housefather@parl.gc.ca
Ted Falk (Vice-Chair) – Ted.Falk@parl.gc.ca
Alistair MacGregor (Vice-Chair) – Alistair.MacGregor@parl.gc.ca
Chris Bittle – Chris.Bittle@parl.gc.ca
Randy Boissonnault – Randy.Boissonnault@parl.gc.ca
Michael Cooper – Michael.Cooper@parl.gc.ca
Colin Fraser – Colin.Fraser@parl.gc.ca
Iqra Khalid – Iqra.Khalid@parl.gc.ca
Ron McKinnon – Ron.McKinnon@parl.gc.ca
Hon. Rob Nicholson – Rob.Nicholson@parl.gc.ca

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3) Sign the Petition: 
Please sign and share the official petition calling on the government to amend Bill C-51 to keep section 176 of the Criminal Code Act.

You can find the petition on the official Government of Canada petitions website by clicking here.

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4) Continue to Watch and Pray: 
We encourage you to sign up to MP David Anderson’s e-mail list as he is carefully following and reporting on this and all updates related to religious freedom in Canada. This is an excellent way to stay informed about the latest on this bill.

You can sign up for his e-mails on MP Anderson’s website by clicking here (mid-way down on the right side).