November 09, 2017
Office of Harold Albrecht, MP
Yesterday, after consistent pressure from the Official Opposition, the Federal Government has amended Bill C-51 – An Act to amend the Criminal Code. The Department of Justice has decided to reverse their plan to repeal section 176 of the Criminal Code. This section provides protection for religious officials and ordinary Canadians to practice their religion without fear of disturbance or violence.
Bill C-51 was introduced in the House of Commons by the Liberal Government in June of 2017. The bill contains a number of measures that seek to modernize the Criminal Code. However, clause 14 of Bill C-51 proposed to remove Section 176 of the Criminal Code. Section 176 is the only provision in the Criminal Code that directly protects the rights of individuals to freely practice their religion. Section 176 defines offences that obstruct or prevent clergymen or ministers from performing functions of their religion as well as offences related to willfully interfering with religious ceremonies.
“I’m encouraged by the groundswell of support our team has received from many faith based organizations and institutions, as well as from individual Canadians. They made their voices heard, and ultimately helped us win the fight to protect religious freedom here in Canada.” – Harold Albrecht, MP