Albrecht welcomes keeping religious protection in Criminal Code

Taken from: The Record


Pressure from the Conservative party, faith groups and citizens have helped keep specific protections for religion in the Criminal Code, said Kitchener-Conestoga MP Harold Albrecht.

The federal Liberal government proposed Bill C-51 in June to update Canada’s Criminal Code. The bill would have repealed section 176, which creates unique criminal charges for anyone who interferes with a faith ceremony or threatens or assaults a religious official.

The Liberals have now changed course and will keep those protections in the code.

Albrecht alerted people and religious groups in the Kitchener-Conestoga riding of the proposed change, and said he heard from people and institutions who opposed the change. Albrecht said he was glad the Liberals have changed direction and will now keep section 176.

“In fairness, the government listened,” he said. “I think that’s a good illustration of the democratic process.”

There is enough religiously-based violence in the world that this protection is still needed, the MP said.

“It doesn’t matter which faith group. Our duty is to protect all faiths and the right to worship freely,” Albrecht said. “This is not the time to remove the specific protection that’s there.”